Player of the Week

Kam Jones (Marquette)

Kam Jones has been nothing short of impressive over his last three games. The junior guard scored back-to-back 34-point games in which he displayed an impressive showing from deep. In a recent game against DePaul, Jones went a superb 8-for-10 from 3-point range while shooting 80 percent from the field. Then against Xavier, he added six 3-pointers on 64.7 percent shooting. Jones may have fallen short of his 30-point performances against Providence, but still managed a solid showing with 17 points and followed that up with 23 against Creighton. Jones has been a key factor in the Golden Eagles dominant stretch and will look to continue making a name for himself come tournament time.

Who’s Hot

Eric Dixon (Villanova)

While Villanova continues its late-season push for a spot in the NCAA Tournament, Eric Dixon is doing his part as a senior leader of the team. Dixon has scored at least 20 points over his last three games despite some shooting woes. Against UConn, Dixon added 20 points and eight rebounds for the Wildcats. In the dominant victory over Georgetown, the forward scored 22 points and grabbed six rebounds of 7-of-11 shooting from the field. The Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, native is averaging a productive 16.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 1.8 assists on 47.2 percent shooting on the year. Dixon will need to continue being a factory if this Villanova team wants to make a run in March.

Quincy Olivari (Xavier)

It was another big-time performance for Xavier guard Quincy Olivari this week. Against DePaul, Olivari dropped 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting including six 3-pointers to help snap the Musketeers four-game losing streak. Olivari, a top-50 scorer in the nation, is averaging 19.4 points, 5.3 rebounds and 2 assists on the year. As it looks, Xaviers only chance of an NCAA Tournament berth would have to come by winning the Big East Tournament, which would require a lot of help from Olivari and a little bit of March magic.

Who’s Not

Butler Bulldogs

After starting the season 10-2, Butler hasn’t been able to sustain its success throughout the season. Since that hot start, they are 6-11 and don’t appear to be heading to the NCAA Tournament. The Bulldogs plummeted to a 16-13 record and sit at ninth in the conference standings with just two games remaining. Butler is 7-11 in Big East play and to make matters worse, it has lost its last five games in a row. While the five-game stretch wasn’t an easy one, the Bulldogs losing all of them essentially ended their season and tournament hopes. With matchups against DePaul and Xavier upcoming, Butler will look to end its losing streak and claim a spot in the NIT Tournament depending on its success in the Big East Tournament.

Chico Carter Jr. (DePaul)

To put it nicely, it’s been a disastrous season for DePaul and Chico Carter Jr. hasn’t done much to help change that. In his last two outings, Carter Jr. combined for nine points, just shy of his season average of 10.9. The starting guard had four points on 2-of-8 shooting against Georgetown, followed by five points and three turnovers on 1-of-7 shooting against Xavier. The Columbia, South Carolina, native and former Gamecock hasn’t been able to find a consistent rhythm with his new squad all year and has been a part of one of the worst seasons in the history of college basketball, as the Blue Demons are an embarrassing 3-25 on the season.

Top  Remaining Games

UConn vs. Marquette – March 6

Depending on how the polls turn out, this could be a potential top-5 ranked matchup. Marquette will be looking for revenge after getting dominated by the Huskies on Feb. 17.

Creighton vs. Villanova – March 9

With Villanova pushing for a NCAA Tournament bid, this could be the matchup that potentially makes or breaks it. According to Joe Lunardi, the Wildcats need to win two of their last three games for a good chance at a spot, and it could come down to this game.

UConn vs. Providence – March 9

This final game of the regular season matchup will have meaning for both squads. UConn will be looking to lock up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and Providence will be looking for a huge resume building win to notch a spot in the tournament.

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