Big East Basketball Report

The BIG EAST race is heating up as conference play moves into its final two weeks.

Hot Hoyas

One of the nation's hottest teams, Georgetown, is on an eight-game winning streak. After falling out of the national polls in December, the Hoyas are back in the rankings for a second week in a row. This week, GU is ranked 14th by Associated Press and 16th by ESPN/USA Today. During the winning streak, the average margin of victory is an amazing 17.1 points and the Hoyas' closest game was a 14-point victory. Coached by John Thompson III, Georgetown is getting it done at both ends of the floor. The Hoyas are second nationally in field goal percentage, making 52.6 percent of their shots, and sixth in scoring defense, giving up only 56.3 points per game. Over the eight-game stretch, the Hoyas have won four at home and four on the road.


More Showdowns This Weekend

The nation can follow some more Saturday showdowns in the BIG EAST on television. The aforementioned Georgetown Hoyas put their eight-game winning streak on the line versus Villanova at the Wachovia Center on ESPN at noon Eastern time. Villanova is the league's second hottest team with a four-game winning streak and an 18-7 record. At 2 p.m., Pittsburgh hosts formidable Pac-10 foe Washington (16-9), also on ESPN. At 3:30 p.m., ABC has Connecticut at Syracuse, one of the league's top rivalries, at the Carrier Dome. At 9 p.m., Louisville, fresh off its eye-opening win at Pittsburgh, travels to Marquette where the Golden Eagles will be anxious to stop a two-game losing streak. Louisville and Marquette are both 8-4 in the BIG EAST.


Looking For Signatures

As college basketball teams try to bolster their resumes for the NCAA Championship, the term "signature win" is often invoked to help a team's chances. Just in the last week, a number of BIG EAST teams recorded some noteworthy victories, though often it came at the expense of a league opponent. Last Saturday, West Virginia got the nation's attention with a 70-65 win over No. 2 UCLA. The Mountaineers are 19-6 and have won five of their last seven games with the losses coming against nationally-ranked Pittsburgh and Georgetown. On Monday, Louisville moved to 18-8 overall and 8-4 in the league after winning at first-place Pittsburgh 66-53. Georgetown's last two victories were against nationally-ranked Marquette and West Virginia. The Hoyas are 19-5 overall and 9-2 in BIG EAST play. DePaul's last two games were wins against ranked opponents – Notre Dame and Marquette. The Blue Demons are 15-11 overall and 6-6 in the league.


James, Fields Are Finalists For Cousy Award

Two BIG EAST backcourt aces are among 17 finalists for the Bob Cousy Award, which is given to the nation's top point guard. Marquette's Dominic James and Pittsburgh's Levance Fields are representing the BIG EAST. Both are sophomores who have guided their teams to national recognition.


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