Wednesday night was the busiest weeknight of the season with six BIG EAST games on the schedule. The results showed the strength of some of the league's top teams, but, as usual, there were some results that were considered surprises.
Connecticut, ranked No. 2 in both national polls this week, showed its power by winning 71-49 at DePaul. The Huskies have won eight in a row. Louisville, ranked seventh in both polls, also has an eight-game winning streak after defeating USF 80-54. The Cardinals share first place in the BIG EAST with eighth-ranked Marquette. Both teams are 7-0. It's the first time the league has had two teams start 7-0 since 2004-05.
Villanova gave No. 3 Pittsburgh only its second loss of the season 67-57. West Virginia defeated St. John's 75-52. Providence continued its success in league play by outscoring Syracuse 100-94 to improve to 6-2 in BIG EAST play. Cincinnati surpassed last year's win total for the season after knocking off Georgetown 65-57. The Bearcats are 14-7 overall.
Providence Turning Some Heads
Picked 10th in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches' Poll, the Providence Friars might be the league's biggest surprise so far. After its 100-94 win over Syracuse, PC is tied for fourth place with Pittsburgh with a 6-2 BIG EAST mark. Guard Sharaud Curry led six players in double figures with 22 points against Syracuse. He is the biggest change for the Friars on the court since he missed last season with a knee injury. The other obvious change is new coach Keno Davis who has directed PC to its best start in league play since 2000-01.
BIG EAST Teams Are Scoring And Scoring
Sometimes the BIG EAST is categorized as a league of rugged teams that are more gritty than graceful. However, many league squads certainly know how to light up the scoreboards. In this week's NCAA statistics, seven BIG EAST teams are among the top 50 nationally in scoring offense. The group includes: Marquette (81.5 ppg,--10th), Notre Dame (80.1—17th), Providence (79.6—21st), Syracuse (79.3—25th), Connecticut (78.7—31st), Pittsburgh (77.3—42nd) and Seton Hall (76.4—50th).
Louisville's Scott Accepted At Oxford
Louisville senior guard Will Scott has been accepted to study at Oxford University in Oxford, England. He will be pursuing a master's degree in Modern Chinese Studies, a program that will prepare him for a career in diplomacy or business relations with China. Only 15 people in the world are accepted into the program each year. On the court, Scott has appeared in 11 games and has made 42.1 percent of his 3-point shots.