Player of the Week
Dawson Garcia (Marquette)
I don’t know who deserves the Big East freshman of the year award more than Dawson Garcia. He leads Marquette in scoring at 13.2 points per game, outstanding for a freshman who is on a team that is right around .500. He has been key for the Golden Eagles, especially in their big win over UNC. He had 24 points and 11 rebounds in this matchup. Marquette’s future is bright if he decides to play another year alongside young talents in Justin Lewis and DJ Carton.
The Hoyas are getting it done when it matters. Now with a big win over Xavier, they move to 7th overall in the Big East. They have won four of their last five with the loss coming against UConn. This win over Xavier was impressive considering what was on the line for the Musketeers. The Big East better watch out because Patrick Ewing’s team is sneaky good.
Who would have guessed that Butler who be able to add two top ten victories to their resume? They are coming off a big win over No. 8 Villanova and over Seton Hall. Their defense has been excellent the past three games holding opponents to 59 points per game. One of the Bulldog’s leaders, Aaron Thompson, was out in this matchup but that did not seem to matter. Chuck Harris led the way scoring 20 points hitting 4 shots from beyond the arc.
2/27 from the three-point line, that’s all that needs to be said. This was the worst shooting performance from Villanova all season. Jeremiah Robinson-Earl still had a solid game with 16 points and 16 rebounds. They still remain first overall in the Big East but will end their season with two tough games against Creighton and Providence.
Ending their season on a three-game losing streak, DePaul will finish last in the Big East. They gave Marquette and Georgetown close games, but they just didn’t have the talent to come out with wins in those matchups. Charlie Moore has been playing well for DePaul recently ending the season averaging 14.4 points per game. He had a big 22-point performance against Georgetown.
Top 5 teams with chances to make a splash during March Madness
#5 Seton Hall
It’d be disappointing to see the Pirates miss out on March Madness after a strong midseason performance. Their leader Sandro Mamukelashvili is a sensation to watch and I think this team deserves to make it, even with their struggles recently. They lost to several solid teams at the start of the season against Louisville, Oregon and URI. A win against two of these teams who have been huge. Just like UConn they do not have any wins against ranked opponents.
UConn may be the biggest sleeper in the Big East. James Bouknight is back in the lineup, making them three and one in their last four. Their loss in that four-game stretch came against Villanova in a close battle. The main reason why UConn is not ahead of Xavier is because they don’t have any ranked wins. I think they are the more talented team than Xavier, which they’ll have to prove in the Big East tournament. Let’s hope they make march madness because we could see a run from UConn like we did back in 2014 with Shabazz Napier when they were a No. 7 seed.
Another team who has had to fight through adversary this season. From a COVID-19 pause to losing senior Nate Johnson, they have been through it all. They had a strong start to their season with their out of conference games. Their biggest win was against No. 13 Creighton. Their loss to Georgetown Tuesday night was detrimental to their March Madness hopes, but they have a solid record and the Big East tournament to make a statement.
It’s hard to imagine a March Madness without Jay Wright and the Villanova Wildcats making a run, considering the success they’ve had in the tournament the past five years. Villanova has not played a lot of games, having struggled with multiple COVID-19 issues throughout the season. And now with the knee injury to Collin Gillespie, likely sidelining him for the rest of the season, it will be a challenge for Villanova to achieve the same success.
The Blue Jays just lost to Villanova and lack consistency. When they approach games with focus then they can be a great team. We saw this when they beat Villanova by 15 at home. They also almost beat No. 5 Kansas at the beginning of the season. They were just beaten by Villanova by 12. However, they have health on their side and therefore elevate over Villanova.