Seton Hall is coming apart at the seams
Rumors of actual, physical fighting in the locker room and practices? Check. Two players needing to be separated in a huddle during an ongoing game? Check. A starter leaving the program effective immediately during the stretch run? Check. Complete on-court collapse? Check. Seton Hall has gone from 3-1 in conference and ranked to 5-7 and an NCAA afterthought. Sterling Gibbs and Isaiah Whitehead - who absolutely deserve each other, by the way - are openly feuding, and Jaren Sina started 23 of 24 games and then walked. The Pirates surrendered runs of 22-4 and 17-4 to Georgetown in the mid-week to drop their third in a row; what a mess.
Providence can still get healthy
The Friars picked a bad time to hit a rough patch, having dropped two straight and three of their last four following last night's loss to Villanova, but the season might be about to take a favorable turn for them. Their next five include a water-soluble Seton Hall team twice, @DePaul, and home with Marquette, all wrapped around a road trip to Nova. There's still a realistic chance that Providence can put together 11 or 12 conference wins and grab a favorable matchup in the first round of the Big East tournament.
DePaul is finally fading
The Blue Demons have lost two in a row to drop below .500 for the first time in Big East play. In those games the defensive issues that have plagued the team all year as they surrendered 1.2 and then 1.25 points per possession in losses to Butler and now St. John's. Next up are Providence and Georgetown. The Blue Demons played over their heads to start the season and that may just be enough to get them ahead of St. John's in the Big East tournament. Get to MSG and avoid Villanova and anything can happen.
Creighton really is awful but St. John's is coming around
Xavier may have lost to the
Blue Jays Bluejays at home, but that wasn't the start of a sudden renaissance for the team from Omaha. A loss to St. John's dropped them to 2-10 in the conference and looking like nothing more than fodder for whoever they get to start the tournament. The Red Storm, meanwhile, have now won two in a row to scrap back to 5-6 and an outside chance to resurrect their season. The two game stretch coming up at Xavier and at Georgetown will determine whether Steve Lavin's crew has any chance of an NCAA bid.
The Big East will struggle to get six teams in
St. John's is on everyone's bubble right now, landing either in a first four in or a last four out in most projections. The Johnnies can get back on solid footing, but doing that would probably mean beat Xavier twice. That would land the Musketeers squarely on the bubble. If the Red Storm split with Xavier and Georgetown and don't lose to Marquette or Seton Hall, they could still sneak in. Seton Hall, meanwhile, has very nearly torpedoed their own hopes as was outlined in point one. DePaul isn't getting in without winning the tournament. That leaves the top five of the conference looking solid and it very much a white knuckle ride after that.