Marquette is like medicine
No matter what is wrong or how badly things are going for you, there's a very good chance that you can get well by playing the Golden Eagles. Butler did just that this week. After going 1-2 in their last three with the lone win being a nail-biter over Creighton, the Bulldogs comprehensively demolished Marquette at Hinkle. Kellen Dunham dropped 22, Roosevelt Jones and Alex Barlow combined for 12 assists and 4 steals with only 2 turnovers, and Butler posted an OReb% of 46% despite the continued absence of starting PF Andrew Chrabascz.
Villanova is a cut above
Hosting Providence for Senior Day, the Wildcats made a contender for second in the league look like a November guarantee game. Nova forced 15 turnovers and held Kris Dunn and LaDontae Henton to a combined 16 points. Meanwhile, they shot 13-25 from behind the arc, had 15 assists on 25 made field goals, and went 26-31 from the line. Jay Wright described it as the team's best defensive performance all year. Who else is excited about seeing them in Cintas this weekend?
Nothing is decided quite yet
Right now the byes for the opening round of the conference tournament would go to Villanova and Butler. Providence, Georgetown, St. John's and Xavier could all still sneak in there for the second one. (Xavier would need Butler to finish 0-3 while themselves beating Villanova, but it's possible.) In the bottom four, where teams play the very first conference tournament games, Seton Hall and DePaul could both still finish 8-10, a record that is also possible for Xavier and St. John's. A lot will clear up on Saturday, but right now there is still all to play for.
St. John's has rallied hard
The Johnnies beat Xavier early in the week to move to 5-1 in their last six games. From 3-6 and on the verge of becoming irrelevant, they've pulled themselves back into the Big East race and all the way through the bubble and very nearly out the other side. A three game stretch that features Georgetown and Villanova with a Mrquette respite in the middle is going to determine their season. Go 2-1 and feel safe come Selection Sunday, go 1-2 and land squarely back on the bubble after a lot of hard work to get off.
DePaul is done
Remember back when DePaul led the Big East? After opening 5-2 and looking like they had some chance of being a shock team, the Blue Demons have gone 1-8 and fallen back to their rightful place. That start will keep them off the bottom this year, but even if they knock off a cellar dweller in the first round of the conference tournament, none of the big boys will be alarmed to see them. Only the free falling Seton Hall has been worse over the last month.