Jan. 23, 2017
Jan. 16th Big East Marathon Preview
Monday, January 16th marks the 2017 Big East Marathon on Fox Sports 1. Here is what to watch for from all five games on Martin Luther King Jr. Day:
Noon ET - Marquette Golden Eagles (12-5, 3-2) at Butler Bulldogs (15-3, 4-2): The Golden Eagles are playing the best basketball of the Steve Wojciechowski era to date. The Bulldogs have already defeated five ranked opponents this season and may be the surprise of the nation. This would be the type of signature road win Marquette needs for their NCAA Tournament resume (MU hasn't been to the Big Dance since 2013), but I see Butler winning at home.
Player to Watch: Kelan Martin, Butler
2:00 ET - Creighton Bluejays (17-1, 4-1) at Xavier Musketeers (13-4, 3-2): The Musketeers are at the tail end of a brutal three game stretch that has already delivered consecutive road losses to Villanova and Butler. Xavier is known for their defense, but they will have a tough task at home trying to contain the Bluejays. Led by do-everything point guard Maurice Watson Jr, the Jays are averaging a whopping 87.6 points per game this year. Look for Creighton to steal a close game in Cincy.
Player to Watch: Justin Patton, Creighton
4:30 ET - DePaul Blue Demons (8-10, 1-4) at St. John's Red Storm (8-11, 2-4): The Blue Demons are going to have a tough time winning a Big East road game this season, but they have a chance in Queens. The Red Storm looked impressive in spurts during their 70-57 loss to Villanova at Madison Square Garden on Saturday. Look for St. John's to build off of that effort and pick up their third conference win.
Player to Watch: Marcus LoVett, St. John's
6:30 ET - Seton Hall Pirates (12-5, 2-3) at Villanova Wildcats (17-1, 5-1): The Pirates have lost two straight on the road. Kevin Willard was none too pleased with the effort he saw on Saturday and debated stranding his team in Providence. SHU will need a much better effort (understatement of the year) against the Wildcats, but even that won't assure them their first win at Villanova since 1994.
Player to Watch: Jalen Brunson, Villanova
9:00 ET - Providence Friars (12-7, 2-4) at Georgetown Hoyas (10-8, 1-4): The Friars won the first matchup in Rhode Island and I expect them to complete the sweep of the Hoyas tonight. Georgetown is coming off a comeback "old" Big East home win over UConn, but they're too inconsistent for my liking.
Player to Watch: Kyron Cartwright, Providence