Big East Power Ranking 2/17

The last week has been a tumultous one for the Big East conference, with several top teams losing. Alex Jesswein puts his two cents in as to where all 16 teams shake out right now.

1. Pittsburgh (23-2, 11-2)- Huge win over Connecticut last night. Set themselves up nicely for a run at the Big East title. DeJuan Blair proved to me that he is the best post player in the Big East despite what Luke Harandgody and Hasheem Thabeet might say.

2. Connecticut (24-2, 12-2)- Tough one to lose at home. The loss of Dyson proved to be critical because, at times, they struggled to score the basketball. Sitting at 12-2 though, they still are looking good for a Big East title and a number one seed in the NCAA Tournament.

3. Marquette (21-4, 10-2)- Bounced back from two tough losses on the road to defeat St. John's at home. They face Seton Hall tonight before embarking on a five game journey that will show just how good they are.

4. Louisville (19-5, 10-2)- Trounced DePaul on Sunday after getting their butt kicked at Notre Dame. Louisville has some tough games left but should be a lock for a top four finish in the Big East.

5. Villanova (20-5, 8-4)- After scoring 102 points twice in a row, Villanova then went out and let DeSean Butler score 102 on them...Okay, not actually, but he still scorched the Wildcats for 43 in a win.

6. Providence (16-9, 8-5)- With eight conference wins already, Providence has opened some eyes and sits squarely on the bubble for the NCAA Tournament. Games against Pittsburgh, Louisville, Villanova and Notre Dame will decide their tournament fate.

7. Syracuse (19-7, 7-6)- Nearly blew a double-digit lead at home against Georgetown but held on for the overtime win. Syracuse is in good position for an NCAA bid with five games remaining.

8. West Virginia (17-8, 6-6)- Scored a big home victory over Villanova, which solidified their NCAA chances. With a favorable schedule ahead, they should reach double-digit Big East victories.

9. Cincinnati (17-9, 7-6)- Just like Providence, Cincinnati sits squarely on the NCAA bubble. They need to win at least one of their next three (Louisville, West Virginia, @ Syracuse) to get on the right side of that bubble.

10. Notre Dame (14-10, 5-7)- Notre Dame will need the luck of the Irish to make the NCAA tournament at this point. Not all hope is lost but with a difficult schedule remaining, it doesn't look likely.

11. Georgetown (13-10, 4-8)- Despite their 13-10 record the Hoyas still have a chance at making the NCAA tournament field. They have the number-one strength of schedule and a good RPI. They just need to win some games in the Big East.

12. Seton Hall (14-10, 5-7)- Seton Hall has won five of their last six, with the loss coming at the hands of Connecticut. They are playing good basketball right now and could shake up some teams tournament chances coming down the stretch.

13. South Florida (8-16, 3-9)- USF played very well at Notre Dame and seem to be coming together as a team. They are young so their future looks promising.

14. St. John's (12-13, 3-10)- Playing mostly sophomores, the Red Storm have taken their lumps this season, especially since their top player, Anthony Mason, Jr., is out for the season. They have trouble shooting the basketball but they are long and athletic and could cause some teams problems.

15. Rutgers (10-15, 1-11)- Rutgers has played some teams close, despite their record, and the RAC is one of the toughest gyms to play in. Mike Rosario might be the best freshman in the conference and I have a feeling they will knock off one of the conference's better teams in their remaining games.

16. DePaul (8-18, 0-13)- Zero wins in conference so far...enough said.

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