Dec. 13, 2013
Most BIG EAST teams have been hitting the books a lot harder than the hardwood this week, taking final exams, but many are taking a break this weekend to get back on the court for a game. Seven league teams are in action, four on Saturday and three on Sunday. FOX Sports One is carrying five of the games.
Saturday begins with Seton Hall hosting local foe Saint Peter's on the FOX Sports Networks at noon ET. At 3 p.m., FOX Sports 1 has Marquette at home against IUPUI. At 6 p.m., Butler battles in-state rival Purdue on the Big Ten Network in the Crossroads Classic in Indianapolis, Ind. The day ends at 8 p.m. with Xavier taking on fierce city rival Cincinnati for the 81st time at the US Bank Arena.
FOX Sports 1 has all three Sunday contests, St. John's takes on No. 2/3 Syracuse at Madison Square Garden at noon. Villanova will face its third straight Philadelphia Big 5 rival when it hosts La Salle at 2:30 p.m. DePaul also plays a local rival at home when it faces Chicago State.
Going into this weekend's action, all 10 BIG EAST teams own a winning record. Villanova leads the way with a 9-0 record.
Villanova's Surprising Some
Picked fourth in the BIG EAST preseason coaches' poll, Villanova got out of the gate quickly this season and has not tasted defeat yet. They emerged the winner of the Battle4Atlantis, which included wins over Kansas and Iowa, a pair of ranked opponents. The Wildcats are ranked No. 14 in this week's AP poll. Senior forward JayVaughn Pinkston and guard James Bell are both averaging more than 17 points per game.
McDermott's Not Surprising Anyone
Creighton is in its first season in the BIG EAST, but Doug McDermott's reputation definitely preceded him. The two-time first team all-American was named BIG EAST Preseason Player of the Year. He is leading the league with a 25.3 scoring average. The Bluejays are 7-2.