ND Week in Review: The Irish fell in their only matchup last week, a 60-58 heartbreaker vs. pre-season peer Cincinnati. (Click here for a recap of the loss to the Bearcats).
Conference MatchupsCollege basketball's latest rankings will be available Monday afternoon. Expect Villanova and Syracuse to remain at No. 4 and No. 5 respectively and for Pittsburgh to approach the Top 10 nationally after defeating both Connecticut and Louisville last week.
Georgetown should remain in the top 15 after a win over UConn and tough loss to Villanova while West Virginia might slip behind the Hoyas finishing 1-1 last week (following a loss at Notre Dame, the Mountaineers won at USF and lost at home to No. 5 Syracuse). Connecticut will drop from the polls after three consecutive losses.
- Monday, January 18: No. 5 Syracuse (4-1) at Notre Dame (3-2)
- Wednesday, January 20: No. 4 Villanova (5-0) at Rutgers (0-5)
- Wednesday, January 20: No. 11 Georgetown (4-2) at No. 20 Pittsburgh (5-0)
- Wednesday, January 20: St. John's (2-3) at No. 15 Connecticut (2-3)
- Wednesday, January 20: South Florida (1-4) at Cincinnati (3-3)
- Wednesday, January 20: Marquette (2-3) at DePaul (0-5)
- Thursday, January 21: Louisville (3-2) at Seton Hall (1-4)
- Saturday, January 23: No. 4 Villanova (5-0) at St. John's (2-3)
- Saturday, January 23: Marquette (2-3) at No. 5 Syracuse (4-1)
- Saturday, January 23: Rutgers (0-5) at No. 12 Georgetown (4-2)
- Saturday, January 23: DePaul (0-5) at Notre Dame (3-2)
- Saturday, January 23: South Florida (1-4) at Providence (3-3)
- Sunday, January 24: No. 20 Pittsburgh (5-0) at Seton Hall (1-4)
- Sunday, January 24: Cincinnati (3-3) at Louisville (3-2)
- Wednesday, January 20: No. 9 West Virginia (13-3) at Marshall (15-2)
- Saturday, January 23: No. 1 Texas (17-0 at No. 15 Connecticut (11-6)
- Saturday, January 23: Ohio State (13-5) at No. 9 West Virginia (13-3)
Game to Monitor for Irish fans: Cincinnati at Louisville (Sunday) – Notre Dame should naturally pass the Bearcats in the season-end pecking order (and have the benefit of a rematch vs. Cincinnati in South Bend later this season). A loss Sunday by the Cardinals would go a long way toward helping the Irish finish among the conference's top 6-7 teams at season's end.
Game of the Week: Georgetown at Pittsburgh (Wednesday) – Original Big East programs clash in what will be a battle of two top 15 teams.
Team on the Brink: Louisville – Choice 1A Connecticut, losers of three straight, should right the ship at home vs. St. John's and then would not be expected to beat No. 1 Texas over the weekend.
The 12-6 (3-2) Cardinals, on the other hand, have a tricky road contest at offensive-minded Seton Hall followed by a slugfest at home vs. Cincinnati.The Cardinals have played themselves into a sticky NCAA Bubble situation and though they'd likely receive the benefit of the doubt from the selection committee if the season ended today, still face at least eight "toss-up" or underdog situations over the next two months.
Last week's "Team on the Brink" was Cincinnati and the Bearcats stopped their three-game slide with the last-second home win over the Irish.
Upset Alert: Tonight's contest at the Purcell Pavilion – Syracuse will play its third road contest in six days and the Irish have won 64 of their last 68 home games. Look for Seton Hall to give Pittsburgh a few moments of pause next Sunday as well.
Current Big East Standings (as of January 18)
- Villanova: 5-0 (146-1)
- Pittsburgh: 5-0 (15-2)
- Syracuse: 4-1 (17-1)
- Georgetown 4-2 (13-3)
- West Virginia: 4-2 (13-3)
- Notre Dame: 3-2 (14-4)
- Louisville: 3-2 (12-6)
- Cincinnati: 3-3 (12-6)
- Providence: 3-3 (11-7)
- St. John's: 2-3 (12-5)
- Connecticut: 2-3 (11-6)
- Marquette: 2-3 (11-6)
- South Florida: 1-4 (11-6)
- Seton Hall: 1-4 (10-6)
- Rutgers: 0-5 (9-8)
- DePaul: 0-5 (7-10)