The Big East still has three unbeaten teams – the most of any conference -- going into Thursday night's action. There are only 15 undefeated teams in the nation. Pittsburgh is 9-0 after last night's 77-51 triumph over Coppin State. The Panthers have started 9-0 for the fourth season in a row and jumped into the USA Today poll this week at No. 25. Connecticut is 8-0 and ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press and USA Today polls. Villanova is 7-0 and ranked third in both polls. The Wildcats defeated previously unbeaten La Salle on Thursday night.
Five Big East Schools Get High Grades On NCAA's Graduation Formula
This week, the NCAA released its first-year data from its new Graduation Success Rate formula that showed three-fourths of Division I student-athletes are succeeding and earning their degrees. The national GSR rate for men's basketball was 58 percent. Five Big East schools achieved rates of 75 percent or higher: Villanova 100%, Notre Dame 90%, Marquette 86%, St. John's 86% and Syracuse 75%.
Another Top Ten Victim
West Virginia crushed number seven Oklahoma 92-68 on Thursday eveing at the O'Reilly All-College Classic in Oklahoma City. The Mountaineers have already faced non-conference foes Texas, Kentucky and LSU, and still have UCLA left on the out of conference slate.
Not All The Stars Are On The Teams With The Best Records
It comes as no surprise that the ranked Big East teams are led by high profile standouts. However, there are other players who are enjoying excellent seasons as well. Four league players are ranked in the top 10 nationally in four different categories in this week's NCAA statistics. Providence sophomore center Randall Hanke is first in the nation in field goal shooting, hitting at a 76.3 clip. USF senior center Solomon Jones is fourth in blocked shots with a 4.3 average. Providence senior guard Donnie McGrath is tied for fourth in free throw shooting at 95.7 percent and West Virginia senior guard Joe Herber is seventh in assists with a 6.4 average.
A Lot Of Shopping For Iverson, Wade
Shopping for NBA jerseys is a favorite holiday pastime for basketball fans. It was recently reported that the two most popular NBA jerseys sold in retail outlets are those of Allen Iverson of the Philadelphia 76ers and Dwyane Wade of the Miami Heat. Iverson played his college ball at Georgetown while Wade went to Marquette.