NEW YORK – (Staff Report from Official News Release) – In this week’s national polls, Villanova and Xavier are ranked among the top teams in the nation. The Wildcats are No. 3 in the Associated Press poll and No. 2 in USA Today. Xavier is fourth in both polls, the highest ranking for the Musketeers in school history. The two teams meet on Saturday at the Cintas Center at 4 p.m. ET.
Creighton is ranked again in the USA Today poll at No. 25 and is receiving votes in the AP. Butler is receiving votes in both polls. Seton Hall is getting votes in USA Today.
BIG EAST play resumes on Tuesday with Georgetown traveling to Butler at 6:30 p.m. ET on CBS Sports Network. The two squads met in the conference opener on Dec. 27 when Butler overcame a 20-point deficit and won 91-89 in double overtime. The Bulldogs have taken four of the last five meetings, but the Hoyas won 85-81 last year in Hinkle. This season, Kelan Martin is first in the BIG EAST in scoring in league games with a 23.5 average.
In the other game on Tuesday, BIG EAST non-conference play concludes when Creighton hosts Bemidji State at 8 p.m. on FS2. Going into the contest, the BIG EAST owns a 102-23 (.816) non-league record. The winning percentage is the best in the conference’s current 10-team alignment and the best since the decade of the 1980s when the non-league record surpassed 80 percent three times: 1984-85 (.836), 1986-87 (.811), and 1988-89 (.831). In each of those seasons, a BIG EAST team played in the national championship game.
The Bluejays’ Marcus Foster is fourth in the BIG EAST in scoring with a 20.6 average. Creighton is coming off a 1-1 week with both games decided by one point.