2-0 Repeat on Tap?

Still alive in 7th place but just one game out of fourth, Notre Dame has a realistic chance at two wins this week with a trip to Seton Hall and home game on Valentine's Day vs. St. John's. IrishEyes looks at the Big East conference and the week ahead for Notre Dame.

A look at Notre Dame's upcoming schedule and the rest of the Big East for the week of Monday (2/8) through Sunday (2/14). The Irish are currently 17-7 on the season, and 6-5 overall in Big East play.

ND Week in Review: The Irish entered the week at 4-5 on the heels of a two-game road losing streak including the inexcusable loss at previously 0-8 Rutgers. Not surprisingly, the home court provided relief and a 2-0 mark which moved the Irish into 7th place in the Big East with seven games (three home) remaining.

The Irish are technically one game out of 4th place in the congested Big East middle and face each of the three teams one game ahead of them in the standings – Louisville, Georgetown, and Pittsburgh – as well as the team with which they're currently tied – Marquette – in the season-finale.

More importantly, Notre Dame defeated two peer teams in Cincinnati (season split) and South Florida (season sweep). It's unlikely either team would be chosen over the Irish on Selection Sunday should they finish with like records.

Cincinnati Recap

South Florida Recap

On Tap for the Irish

A Thursday trip to the Prudential Center to take on high-scoring Seton Hall (3-7) and a Valentine's Day matchup with St. John's (2-8) on Sunday in South Bend.

  • Thursday, February 11 at Seton Hall: After home wins over Louisville and Pittsburgh, the Pirates have dropped three straight, including a weekend rematch in the Steel City. The Hall's calling card is offense (81 ppg ranks 4th in the Big East) and senior guard Jeremy Hazell is the chief producer, averaging 23 ppg vs. Big East foes.
  • Sunday, February 14 vs. St. John's: On the opposite end of the spectrum is the Red Storm, scoring just 67 ppg (15th among 16 Big East teams). The Irish split with St. John's in two matchups last season as the New Year's Eve loss at The Garden served as the chief black mark on Notre Dame's shaky NCAA resume.

Conference Matchups

College basketball's latest rankings will be available Monday afternoon. Expect Syracuse to move up to No. 2 overall and for Villanova to fall from that lofty perch but remain among the nation's top 7-8. Winners of six straight, West Virginia will likely debut at No. 5 though the Mountaineers play host to Villanova on ESPN's Big Monday tonight. Georgetown bounced back from a home loss to South Florida with a home court victory over Villanova on Saturday. The Hoyas should remain among the nation's top 6-7 as well.

Pittsburgh could cling to a spot in the Top 25 after a blowout loss at West Virginia and home win vs. Seton Hall.

  • Monday February 8: No. 2 Villanova at No. 6 West Virginia
  • Monday, February 8: Robert Morris at No. 21 Pittsburgh (non-conference matchup)
  • Tuesday February 9: No. 8 Georgetown at Providence
  • Tuesday, February 9: Caldwell at Rutgers (non-conference matchup)
  • Wednesday, February 10: Connecticut at No. 3 Syracuse
  • Thursday, February 11: Notre Dame at Seton Hall
  • Thursday, February 11: Louisville at St. John's
  • Friday, February 12: No. 6 West Virginia at No. 21 Pittsburgh
  • Saturday, February 13: Providence at No. 2 Villanova
  • Saturday, February 13: Cincinnati at Connecticut
  • Saturday, February 13: South Florida at Marquette
  • Sunday, February 14: St. John's at Notre Dame
  • Sunday, February 14: Louisville at No. 4 Syracuse
  • Sunday, February 14: No. 8 Georgetown at Rutgers
  • Sunday, February 14: DePaul at Seton Hall

Relevant Game to Monitor for Irish fans: Louisville at Syracuse. A loss by the Cardinals would keep them within a half-game of Notre Dame in the standings (assuming a 1-1 record this week for both), setting up a huge battle between Notre Dame and Louisville at Freedom Hall on February 17.

Game of the Week: Monday: Villanova at West Virginia – A win by Villanova would give the Wildcats a two-game edge over the Mountaineers in the race for the league's No. 2 spot. The teams will rematch in Philadelphia in the season-finale for both.

Team on the Brink: Connecticut – Last week's "Team on the Brink" remains teetering on the edge. Following a 1-1 record last week (a loss at Louisville and the requisite win vs. DePaul) the Huskies will need five wins in their final eight games to reach a .500 conference mark and likely selection (given the program's pedigree) to the Field of 64.

UConn must travel to Syracuse before entertaining a physical Cincinnati team on Saturday. Cincinnati upset Connecticut in the conference opener in late December.

Upset Alert: Georgetown at Providence

Current Big East Standings (as of February 8)

  1. Syracuse: 10-1 (23-1)
  2. Villanova: 9-1 (20-2)
  3. West Virginia: 8-2 (19-3)
  4. Georgetown 7-4 (17-5)
  5. Pittsburgh: 7-4 (16-5)
  6. Louisville: 6-4 (15-8)
  7. Notre Dame: 6-5 (17-7)
  8. Marquette: 6-5 (15-8)
  9. South Florida: 5-6 (15-8)
  10. Cincinnati: 5-6 (14-9)
  11. Connecticut: 4-6 (14-9)
  12. Providence: 4-7 (12-11)
  13. Seton Hall: 3-7 (12-9)
  14. St. John's: 2-8 (12-10)
  15. Rutgers: 2-9 (11-12)
  16. DePaul: 1-10 (8-15)

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