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The Big East is running in sand

Despite the fact that our Muskies haven't played in two weeks, the league hasn't moved on without them.

NCAA Basketball: Providence at Connecticut
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier, as you might be aware, hasn't played since December 21st, when they retired from the game at Villanova during the final media timeout. If everything goes perfectly - which is definitely a smart thing to be banking on - they'll go 17 days between games, breaking their elongated rest period with a trip to Butler on Friday.

Though this pause is covid related, Xavier has been completely healthy the entire time. Despite that, the league has both failed to reschedule any of their future games against currently healthy Big East teams to break up the pause and - until very late last week - not given them permission to add a non-conference game.

Somehow - as illustrated by both the almost comical forfeit policy and now similarly naïve scheduling practices - a pandemic that has been raging for almost two full years now has snuck up on the Big East.

Fortunately (maybe), the league's inability to plan ahead hasn't just affected Xavier. Since dawn on December 22, Big East teams have been involved in exactly five games, all against league opponents. Xavier, UConn, Georgetown, and St. John's have combined for 0 games in that time and Georgetown and St. John's haven't even played a game in conference yet.

This is not all down to the league, as the gaps in the schedule were brought on by positive covid tests within programs, but the inability to figure anything out over the span of two weeks for a virus for which the CDC currently recommends a five-day isolation period shows how inflexible the league's policies have been.

The future is now fraught with scheduling problems. Should everyone stay healthy, expect a point in the season in which Xavier plays 4 games in 7 or 8 days. The double round-robin - perhaps the single best thing about the Big East schedule - is once again almost guaranteed not to happen.

I'm not saying all this could have been entirely avoided, but the Big East has been so slow to react that they've barely made a good-faith effort to mitigate it. The teams will now suffer the consequences.