2019-2020 Big East Conference Basketball Power Rankings 5.0

Collin Gillespie, Villanova Wildcats. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
Collin Gillespie, Villanova Wildcats. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Big East
Myles Powell, Seton Hall Pirates. (Photo by Quinn Harris/Getty Images) /

3. Seton Hall Pirates (8-1, 16-5)

Seton Hall had an up and down week. They knocked off DePaul on Wednesday, before falling to Xavier Sunday, their first home loss of 2019-20. The Pirates dodged a bullet with news that guard Quincy McKnight is day-to-day, when the MRI on his knee came back negative for structural damage, per Jerry Carino of the Asbury Park Press.

This is nothing new for Kevin Willard. The veteran coach just got back forward Sandro Mamukelashvili, who currently ranks third on the team in scoring with 9.9 ppg and 4.1 rebounds. If Seton Hall lays another egg and suffers another loss or two, Powell might lose the coveted Big East Player of the Year to Markus Howard.

2. Villanova Wildcats (7-2, 17-4)

Yes, the Wildcats were upset by Creighton at home snapping their seven-game win streak, yet Jay Wright’s squad may have needed that loss to inspire his team. The Big East season is a marathon, not a sprint.

It’s no surprise that Villanova is once again flanked by talented players, however, everyone keeps talking about their youth and lack of experience. Villanova’s starting five are all scoring in double-figures. Collin Gillespie has been an outstanding free throw shooter, with 84 percent on the season.

The Wildcats have 10 games left, including a non-conference showdown with fellow Philly rival Temple. Back-to-back contests against No. 19 Butler and No. 12 Seton Hall will propel this team further into National Championship contention.

1. Marquette Golden Eagles (6-4, 16-6)

The Golden Eagles are on fire, with the NCAA Division-1 leading scorer Markus Howard, who leads the nation with 27.9 ppg and 86 three-pointers made. With nearly a week off, Marquette should be well-rested as they begin a three-game stretch against No. 19 Butler, No. Villanova and No. 21 Creighton.

My biggest critique of Steve Wojciechowski‘s squad is that they certainly need to tighten up on the defensive side of the ball. In their last three games, the Golden Eagles have been to overtime twice, going 1-1 in that stretch, and narrowly defeated DePaul 76-72 in the other.

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Check back next week for our Big East Power Rankings as we get closer to March Madness.