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Finally, A Sport Rutgers Doesn't Dominate

Thought it might be a good idea to check in with the state of Big East Basketball. And so we shall.

Team:
Rutgers
Record:
1-5
Key wins:
St Thomas Aquinas (isn't that a high school???)
Key losses:
All of them? None of them? Does it matter?
Next big test:
December 9th vs. Princeton
Thoughts:
Rutgers seems to have missed its window of opportunity for now on the basketball side. Temple's dismantling of the Knights is one for the football program.

Team:
DePaul
Record:
2-4
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
81-87 to Kentucky, 73-81 to Purdue
Next big test:
Saturday, December 2nd vs. #5 Kansas
Thoughts:
The Blue Demons did themselves no favors with a tough non-conference schedule but hopefully for them it'll make them all the more frisky come tournament time...if they make it.

Team:
Louisville
Record:
1-1
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
64-68 to Dayton
Next big test: Tuesday, December 5th vs. Arizona
Thoughts:
Are they so enamoured with the football team in Louisville that they're delaying the start of the basketball season? The Cardinals aren't off to a great start and they could find themselves in a big whole quickly, especially without guard Andre McGee for 4-6 weeks.

Team:
St. Johns
Record:
3-3
Key wins:
64-46 over Long Island (take that, B&T crowd!)
Key losses:
76-77 to Texas, 60-92 to Maryland
Next big test:
Wednesday January 3rd vs. DePaul
Thoughts:
How can you not feel sorry for the Johnnies? Once such a proud program, now a shadow of their former glory. Nice game against Texas showed they're not laying down. Still, the Empire State Building has been lit up for Rutgers more times than St Johns in the last few years...that's saying something.

Team:
Seton Hall
Record:
3-1
Key wins: none
Key losses:
71-76 to FDU
Next big test:
Saturday, December 23rd at BYU
Thoughts:
Seton Hall is running a vengeful swath through the state of New Jersey, leaving no Division 1-A team unchallenged. It'd be nice if they could beat them all though. Regardless, I think the Hall might have a very favorable record come Big East play.

Team:
Providence
Record:
4-1
Key wins:
73-64 over Boston College, 86-67 over George Washington
Key losses:
41-51 to Brown
Next big test:
Wednesday, December 6th at #4 Florida
Thoughts:
One side of the coin shows the Friars turning the corner (win over BC), the other side of the coin has them losing from freakin' Brown! All bets are off for Providence right now. I wouldn't be shocked if they beat Florida, I wouldn't be shocked if they lost by 40.

Team:
Villanova
Record:
4-1
Key wins: none
Key losses:
67-71 to Xavier
Next big test:
Wednesday, December 6th at Oklahoma
Thoughts: According to Yahoo!, on November 11th the Wildcats played
no one and still gave up 60 points. Disconcerting. That said, I think Nova should look solid going into BE play. Very favorable schedule.

Team:
Cincinnati
Record:
5-1
Key wins: none

Key losses:
90-91 Wofford
Next
big test: Saturday December 9th at Temple
Thoughts:
Tough schedule, the Bearcats did themselves no small favors losing to Wofford (who's actually better than you think). Tough road includes Temple, Xavier, Ohio State, NC State and Memphis. Will be better than their record come BE play.

Team:
West Virginia
Record:
5-1
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
64-71 to Arkansas
Next big test:
Saturday December 30th vs. UConn
Thoughts:
Pittsnoggled by the loss of seniors, not much is expected of the Mountaineers. But if Georgetown has been overrated, I think WVU may have been underrated. Easy road before BE play, big measuring stick against UConn.

Team:
Notre Dame
Record:
5-1
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
69-71 to Butler
Next big test:
Sunday December 3rd at Maryland
Thoughts: Loss to Butler nothing to sneeze at but its gonna take more than wins against IPFW (whatever the hell textile women's college that is). Huge tests in the next week against Maryland and Alabama.


Team: South Florida
Record:
4-0
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
none
Next big test:
Wednesday December 27th at UAB
Thoughts:
The best kept secret in Big East football is starting to look like the same for basketball. But looks are deceiving. They're a Big East team playing a SWAC schedule. Don't believe the hype when they're 10-1 heading into that UAB game.

Team:
Georgetown (#18)
Record:
4-2
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
62-75 to Old Dominion, 50-57 to Oregon
Next big test:
Saturday December 2nd at Duke
Thoughts:
Yikes. Both those losses at home...things are fuzzy for the Hoyas to say the least. We'll know exactly where they stand after the Duke game. I wonder who Dick Vitale will predict to win that one.

Team:
UConn (#20)
Record:
6-0
Key wins:
77-59 over Ole Miss
Key losses:
none
Next big test:
Saturday December 30th vs. West Virginia
Thoughts:
Challenging Syracuse for the honor of most creampuffy November/December schedule in the country. No reason they shouldn't be 13-0 going into the January 6th game against LSU. Unless maybe one of their players steals a computer or something (ba-zing!).

Team:
Syracuse (#15)
Record:
7-0
Key wins:
79-67 over Charlotte
Key losses:
none
Next big test:
Saturday December 2nd vs. Wichita State
Thoughts:
Syracuse being undefeated in November is kinda like Dick Vitale predicting Duke will win the National Championship. Anything else is a shock. After a string of unimpressive wins over unimpressive opponents, we'll know what Cuse is made out after Wichita State and Oklahoma State come a-callin. After that its creampuffery again until Pittsburgh.

Team:
Pittsburgh (#2)
Record:
6-0
Key wins:
none
Key losses:
none
Next big test:
Saturday December 12th at Wisconsin
Thoughts:
Pittsburgh's getting by on perception right now, dispatching with a fairly creampuffy schedule. Things get more interesting when they play at Wisconsin and at Oklahoma State back-to-back before a showdown with Syracuse.

Team:
Marquette (#8)
Record:
7-0
Key wins:
73-62 at #9 Duke
Key losses:
none
Next big test:
Saturday December 9th vs. Wisconsin
Thoughts:
Ha-yuge win over Duke sets the tone for what's going to be a great year for the Golden Warri-um-Eagles. Battle for Wisconsin coming up, but after that they're in the driver seat and the Big East is ripe for the taking. I'm sure they'd love to get back to the Final Four and get the taste of that Kansas debacle from 2003 out of their mouths.