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Big East Regular Season Finale Primer

VUSports previews Saturday - the final day of the 2017 Big East regular season ...

Villanova @ Georgetown (Noon, TV: Fox)

See the full VUSports preview here

Providence @ St. John’s (Noon, FS2)

St. John’s is locked in for the 8/9 game on Wednesday at the B.E.T. and the Friars are looking to  stay on the right side of the NCAA Tournament bubble.  Right now, Providence is a projected 11 Seed and doesn’t have much margin for error.  A win would be the 10th in Big East play for the Friars - a loss would drop them to .500 for the season at 9-9.

This is no easy game for Providence.  

St. John’s beat Providence 91-86 at “The Dunk” by shooting 47.6% from three, out-rebounding the Friars (including 10 O-boards) and forcing 19 turnovers.  Providence needs to defend and rebound with more ferocity and take better care of the ball - both Kyron Cartwright (6 TOs) and Rodney Bullock (4) were too loose with the ball.  Marcus Lovett (26 points) and Shamorie Ponds (22) led the scoring surge for the Red Storm.

Kenpom has this as a one point game going in favor of St. John’s.  How badly do the Friars want to dance?

Xavier @ DePaul (2:00 p.m., FSN)

The Musketeers have been reeling with six straight losses.  They plummeted from a project 5 Seed down to a 10 in a matter of a handful of games.  Xavier sits at 8-9 in conference play and desperately needs a win at doormat, DePaul.  Simply a must win for X.  Even with the win and a win over Depaul in the 7/10 game next Wednesday at MSG, it will be interesting to see how the committee will treat a team with a likely resume that includes “3-7 over the last 10 games with all three wins coming against DePaul”.  And that seems to be the optimistic finish for the Musketeers at this point.  Drop one of the two games to DePaul and there may be no bid to the Tournament for Xavier.  Xavier did beat DePaul by 11 in the first meeting this season.  Trevon Bluiett led the way with 20 points and X dominated the glass.

Butler vs. Seton Hall (2:30 p.m., Fox)

The Pirates lost at home 61-54 against Butler in January.  Seton Hall was a paltry 4-24 (16.7%) from beyond the arc and missed 10 FTs.  The win would have been easier for the Bulldogs had they shot close to their normal percentage from the free-throw line instead of missing 12 FTs.  Both teams got scoring from their usual suspects.  Kenpom predicts Butler winning this game by 10.  With Seton Hall already having clinched a .500 record in the league, the Pirates don’t have to view this as a must win.  However, when you are currently projected as an 11 Seed, you will take every quality win you can grab. Butler is predicted to be a 3 Seed right now and though they can’t move up or down the standings in the Big East nor improve their BET seed at this point, they certainly have a vested interest in maintaining that 3 Seed or even improving it.

Creighton @ Marquette (2:30 p.m., FS2)

Marquette has been one of the hotter teams in the league and could move all the way to 3rd in the Big East standings with a win (and other happenings in the league).  They go for the season sweep against Creighton in this one and, amazingly, their 8th Top 50 RPI win.   That would be an impressive total for a team projected as a 10 Seed.  The first game was an absolute shootout that ended 102-94 in favor of the Golden Eagles.  Marquette had seven players in double-figures.  Creighton, playing without Mo Watson at that time too, got 30 points from Marcus Foster but got out-rebounded.  The 2:30 games should both be fun - a great way to cap off what has been a very interesting Big East season … and one that could very well end with seven teams earning bids to the NCAA Tournament.


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