Ya Blew It!

Player of the Week

Trevon Bluiett, G, Senior, Xavier Musketeers

Trevon BluiettTrevon BluiettWhat a last week and a half for Xavier. With Villanova losing two of their last three conference games, the Musketeers (24-3, 12-2) have now jumped the Wildcats with a 1.5 game lead in the Big East for first place. Xavier, who has won nine games in a row, has been paced all season long by their star guard Trevon Bluiett. Bluiett is one of the best slashers, scorers and facilitators in the Big East, is averaging better numbers all around this season. The senior is averaging 19.6 points on 46% shooting, 5.7 rebounds and 2.7 assists.

Bluiett has been doing his thing as of recently, especially in their last game against Seton Hall Wednesday. Against one of the premier Big East teams, Bluiett poured in a season high 37 points on eight three pointers and 13-13 free throws in their 102-90 win. Bluiett was unconscious in his attacking and ability to create points. He now has Xavier absolutely rolling with the end of the regular season nearing in and their chances of gaining a top seed in the NCAA Tournament are very high.

Who’s Hot

Rodney Bullock, F, Senior, Providence Friars

Boy, the Friars boosted their chances of making the Big Dance tremendously by taking down top Big East and third ranked Villanova Wildcats on Wednesday at home.

One of the biggest reasons for their win was Bullock, who had one of his best games of the season. His stats don’t jump off the page for the game. He finished with just 14 points and six rebounds, right around his 14.6 points per game and 5.8 rebounds per game average.

However, this doesn’t paint the picture of the game. Bullock for a large stretch of the second half, got whatever he wanted on offense. He went on a key scoring stretch, from outside and inside, and his defense stifled the Wildcats. His defense was key in holding the top shooting Villanova team to just 3-20 shooting from beyond the arc. Bullock has had his ups and downs all season, never totally been a scoring factor all the time, but he fits Ed Cooley’s scheme very well. No player takes on a brunt of scoring for Providence, but Bullock does his part and thanks to his great effort against the Wildcats, the Friars are doing great things to boost their resume and get into the Big Dance.

Who’s Not

Jalen Brunson, G, Junior, Villanova Wildcats

It’s been a tough week and a half for Brunson, one of the top players in the country and probably the favorite for Big East Player of the Year. He has a nice game against St. John’s in their loss, putting in 28 points on average shooting. Against Providence, however, he was certainly off.

In Providence, Brunson only scored 14 points, a good six points off his average, shot a poor 5-11 shooting and 0-3 from 3, only his third game of the season failing to record a triple. He and the rest of Jay Wright’s squad were taking quick, low percentage shots that plagued them. Brunson did all he could, but he never got his shot or established a rhythm or took over. It’s tough sledding right now for Jay Wright, Brunson and his team and they need to get back on track before the conference tournament begins so they can keep their high standing in the NCAA Tournament.

Top Big East NCAA Tournament Projected Seeds

1. Villanova Wildcats - #1

Even with the two losses as of recently, the Wildcats still have a clear path to gain a number one seed. Barring any big upsets down the stretch in their last five games, and if they can win on the road against Xavier on Saturday, this should be their top seed to lose.

2. Xavier Musketeers - #1/2

Xavier shouldn’t fall past a two seed, with a great chance now sitting in first in the Big East to secure a top seed in the Big Dance. They need to stay undefeated, outside of a potential loss to Villanova which wouldn’t be too bad a loss. If they can get to the end of the conference tournament, all looks well to push a number one seed but number two is definitely real.

3. Creighton Bluejays - #3/4

The Bluejays have done a great job to stay in the tops of the Big East this season and they have shown no signs of slowing down. If they run their schedule and win some games in the conference tourney, they should be in contention for the three seed. All they need to do is play like they have all season. If they slip up considerably, it’s very possible they could fall further than the four seed, but it seems their floor is likely four.

4. Providence Friars - #6/7

They are hot right now, rolling and should carry their momentum down the line. If that happens and they win 1 or two games in the conference tournament, they are all set to make the Big Dance.

5. Butler Bulldogs and Seton Hall Pirates - #9-11

This one is a toss-up, either one could slip in to this spot and there’s a good chance the other team on the outside doesn’t make the NCAA Tournament. Whoever gets hot, wins some games late down the stretch, and can rattle off some wins in the conference tournament will find themselves in here.

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