3. Marquette Golden Eagles (7-4, 17-6)
Marquette only played one game last week. A dominating performance at the Fiserv Forum where the Golden Eagles rolled past Butler 76-57. The victory led to their first AP Poll ranking of the season, coming in at No. 18. It was a pretty quiet night for potential Big East Player of the Year Markus Howard.
Despite scoring 17 points, it was really Koby McEwen and Brendan Bailey who shined. The duo combined for 32 points (16 points apiece) and 10 rebounds. Wednesday, Marquette will have the tough task of knocking off Villanova, who’ll look to snap their three-game losing streak, on the road.
2. Xavier Musketeers (5-6, 16-8)
Make that three wins in a row for the X-Men. Travis Steele’s squad is clicking at the right time. With an eight-point win over DePaul and a six-point win over Providence, the Musketeers are looking like the team they were projected to be: A NCAA Tournament team.
Xavier has a 44 NET ranking at this point. Going by how the NCAA Selection Committee judges postseason play, the Musketeers are certainly poised to continue their success through March. But it won’t be an easy road. Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones, who is tied for third in the nation with 16 double-doubles, will have to face Butler and Georgetown twice to close out the regular season.
1. Seton Hall (10-1, 18-5)
Kevin Willard accomplished something the Pirates haven’t been able to do since 1994, win at Villanova. With No. 12 Seton Hall taking on the 10th-ranked Wildcats at Finneran Pavilion, the Pirates held off a last-minute run by Nova to capture a 70-64 win. The New York Post’s Zach Braziller believes the Pirates have the makings of a Final Four team. I for one agree.
"Everything has fallen into place for Seton Hall this year. Powell, a National Player of the Year candidate, flirted with the NBA and returned. Several key players have improved. There are no great teams in college basketball, nobody Seton Hall should fear. The road to the Final Four could be a local one: Albany followed by the Garden."
The now No. 10 Pirates certainly won’t have an easy route to the Big East Tournament’s top seed. Five of their last seven games are against ranked opponents, so Willard has his work cut out for him. But with a deep roster of experienced players and an astounding 10-1 mark in conference play, Seton Hall shouldn’t have to worry.
We are down to the final few weeks of the college basketball season. Check back with us next week to see how Big East teams stack up in our power rankings.