Big East Basketball Report

Big games with NCAA tournament implications are on tap for this weekend.

Marquette-Georgetown Showdown Set For Saturday

The two hottest teams in the BIG EAST -- Marquette and Georgetown -- will meet on Saturday at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. ESPN cameras will be there to catch the action at noon ET. Marquette has won eight in a row, which includes four BIG EAST road victories. This week, the Golden Eagles are ranked 11th by Associated Press and 12th by ESPN/USA Today. MU is a half-game ahead of the Hoyas in the league standings. The Golden Eagles are in second place behind Pittsburgh with an 8-2 mark, while GU is 7-2. Georgetown has taken its last six contests by an average of 15.2 points. The Hoyas are ranked 22nd by AP and 23rd by ESPN/USA Today. Surrounding the game will be Georgetown celebrating its 100th year anniversary of basketball.

More Action On The National Networks

In addition to the Marquette-Georgetown tilt, CBS will televise a battle between West Virginia and UCLA from Morgantown, W.Va. on Saturday at 1 p.m. ET. ESPN's second BIG EAST game on Saturday is Providence at Pittsburgh at 6 p.m. On Sunday, it's back to CBS with Connecticut meeting Georgia Tech in the Georgia Dome at 1 p.m. The game will evoke memories of the 2004 NCAA title game when the Huskies beat the Yellow Jackets 82-73. You can get primed for the weekend viewing by catching Notre Dame at DePaul on Thursday night on ESPN at 7 p.m.

The Debate Is Already On; Who's In? Who's Out?

Like Presidential elections, it seems debate about the field for the NCAA Tournament starts earlier and earlier. Whether it's talk around the water cooler or on the television studio set, everyone has an opinion. Last year, the BIG EAST set a record with eight NCAA berths. This year, the league can boast of 10 teams with 15 wins or more. Four teams are ranked in the national polls this week – Pittsburgh, Marquette, Georgetown and Notre Dame -- and West Virginia, Louisville and Providence all have winning records in the league. The BIG EAST has seven teams in the top 50 of this week's RPI Report: Pittsburgh, Marquette, Villanova, Georgetown, West Virginia, Notre Dame and Providence.

BIG EAST Has Three Nominated For Lowe's CLASS Award

Three BIG EAST standouts are among the 30 nominees for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award. The award is presented annually to an NCAA Division I senior player who excels both on and off the court. The BIG EAST nominees are: DePaul guard Sammy Mejia, Pittsburgh center Aaron Gray and Villanova forward Curtis Sumpter. An acronym for Celebrating Loyalty and Achievement for Staying in School, the award honors college basketball seniors who remain committed to their university and pursue the many rewards that a senior season can bring.

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