Teams with postseason aspirations can impress the NCAA Basketball Committee with quality wins on the road. It's not easy to do in BIG EAST play, but Syracuse, Notre Dame and Cincinnati have managed to post winning records in their road uniforms. Syracuse's 5-1 road mark in conference play leads the league. The Orange have defeated DePaul, Providence, Villanova, Cincinnati and St. John's. Notre Dame and Cincinnati are 4-2. Both won last night with the Irish winning 55-51 at West Virginia and Cincinnati beating St. John's 76-54 at Madison Square Garden. The Irish also have wins at Louisville, Seton Hall and Connecticut. The Bearcats have been victorious at Pittsburgh, Georgetown and UConn. No other BIG EAST team has a winning road record in conference play.
The USF Bulls Keep Charging
If there are skeptics waiting for the surprising USF Bulls to fall in the BIG EAST standings, they are still waiting. After Wednesday's win over Pittsburgh, USF is 7-4 in BIG EAST play, the first time in its seven seasons in the league that the Bulls are three-games over .500. Despite being forced off-campus while the Sun Dome is being renovated, the Bulls are 12-1 at home, mostly at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. USF was picked 14th in the preseason coaches' poll.
No One Is Keeping Up With West Virginia's Jones
Senior forward Kevin Jones has been at the top of the conference scoring and rebounding lists most of the season. Currently, he leads the BIG EAST in scoring in all games with a 20.6 average and is first in rebounding with an 11.2 mark. He has posted double-doubles in 16 of 25 games. If Jones can finish the season at the top of both lists, he will be only the third player in the history of the BIG EAST to accomplish the feat. Walter Berry of St. John's in 1985-86 and Troy Murphy of Notre Dame in 1999-00 are the others to do it.
Saturday And Sunday Matinees
A total of seven BIG EAST games are slated for Saturday and Sunday and all are afternoon contests. The BIG EAST Network Game of the Week starts both days at noon ET. On Saturday, the BIG EAST Game of the Week is DePaul at Notre Dame. Also at noon, ESPN has Louisville at West Virginia. At 1 p.m., CBS Sports will carry Connecticut versus Syracuse from the Carrier Dome. At 3 p.m., Cincinnati visits Marquette on ESPNU. At 4 p.m., USF travels to Providence. At noon on Sunday, the BIG EAST Game of the Week has Pittsburgh at Seton Hall. ESPN will telecast St. John's at Georgetown at 1 p.m.