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Big East Postseason Power Rankings 1.13

(Credit: Reddit.com)

(Credit: Reddit.com)

The Big East Tournament is upon us at last! The final year of this version’s Big East should be a memorable one, as three teams tied for first and three more teams were within three games of the top spot.

Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 4 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 7 | Week 8 |
Week 9 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13

Postseason, Week 1

1. Louisville (14-4, No. 2) | Last week: 2: Stop us if you’ve heard this before: The Cardinals come to New York City red-hot, and are the favorites to cut down the nets on Satur  day. Rick Pitino’s bunch has won seven straight and, despite being the No. 2 seed, has the depth, experience and game plan (zone and press) to win the tournament for a second straight year.

2. Georgetown (14-4, No. 1) | Last week: 1: The Hoyas missed a chance to win the Big East outright, falling at Villanova before dominating Syracuse to close out the regular season. We took them out of the top spot because of Louisville’s recent run, but good luck betting against Otto Porter in the Big East Tournament this year. The Hoyas should be playing come Saturday.

3. Marquette (14-4, No. 3) | Last week: 3: The Golden Eagles almost saw their first ever Big East title slip away by losing a nine-point leading in the closing minutes against St. John’s on Saturday. But they rebounded in overtime, and will now look to improve their standing in the NCAA Tournament with a pair of wins over (potentially) Notre Dame and Louisville.

4. Pittsburgh (12-6, No. 4) | Last week: 5: The Panthers’ last trip to Madison Square Garden could be a memorable one, but they’ll have to slip by Georgetown on Friday to make it so. Jamie Dixon’s team could use a boost in RPI before Selection Sunday, but it was huge for them to win four straight to close the year and earn a double-bye.

5. Notre Dame (11-7, No. 6) | Last week: 4: The Irish had a chance to earn a double-bye if they topped Louisville, but it didn’t happen. Now All-Big East first teamer Jack Cooley will likely have a matchup against Marquette, a team he played just three minutes against earlier this month because of a stomach virus.

6. Syracuse (11-7, No. 5) | Last week: 6: Things have hit rock bottom for the Orange, so there’s no better place for them to be than New York City. After disposing of Rutgers or Seton Hall on Wednesday, the “home team” will be a favorite to upset Pittsburgh on Thursday. Jim Boeheim’s group has lost six of 10, but don’t be shocked if they are playing on Friday or even Saturday.

7. Villanova (10-8, No. 7) | Last week: 9: The Wildcats are all but in the NCAA Tournament at this point, and a win over St. John’s on Wednesday would likely seal the deal. But more important, this is a team capable of making a run late into the week if the interior defense is strong and the bigs draw fouls on offense. Don’t sleep on Jay Wright’s group.

8. Cincinnati (9-9, No. 9) | Last week: 7: It’s incredible to think that, this late in the season, the Bearcats still have work to do. At this point they are likely in, but they’ll be sweating on Selection Sunday if they can’t get past Providence on Wednesday. The offense needs to wake up. Fast.

9. Providence (9-9, No. 8) | Last week: 8: The team with the most to gain this week is the Friars, who will have the chance to knock off Cincinnati and Georgetown and, in the process, lock up an NCAA Tournament bid. All-Big East first teamer Bryce Cotton will need to put on a show in order for that to happen, but someone does every year at the Garden. Why not him?

10. St. John’s (8-10, No. 10) | Last week: 11: Sir’Dominic Pointer will be back, but the loss of D’Angelo Harrison makes it near impossible for the Red Storm to make a run on their home court this week. A win over Villanova could happen, but there’s no way they get past a rested Louisville squad. They look NIT-bound at the moment.

11. Rutgers (5-13, No. 11) | Last week: 14: The Scarlet Knights couldn’t play spoiler against Marquette last week, losing a double-digit second half lead. Now they’ll play DePaul tomorrow and, should they win that, match up against Notre Dame. If they somehow won that, they’d have another shot at Marquette. Our guess is they don’t get close.

12. Seton Hall (3-15, No. 12) | Last week: 12: There are always snubs on the All-Big East rosters, but perhaps the biggest this season was Fuquan Edwin only being named an honorable mention. Three wins in conference didn’t help his cause, but Edwin deserved to be a second team member, at least. The voters missed that one badly.

13. South Florida (3-15, No. 13) | Last week: 13: It’s almost over, Stan Heath. The biggest disappointment in the Big East this season will end their 2012-’13 campaign sometime this week, and it’ll be back to the drawing board to figure out what went wrong. A lot went wrong.

14. DePaul (2-16, No. 14) | Last week: 14: A horrid end of the season placed the Blue Demons in last place again, but with West Virginia gone and Connecticut ineligible, they are the No. 14 seed in the Big East Tournament for the first time in a while. A win over Rutgers would be a nice cap to the season before Notre Dame likely ends their season on Wednesday. They have to hope juniors Cleveland Melvin and Brandon Young stick around.

(Connecticut is banned from postseason play, so they’re off the power rankings until the end of the season. They finished 20-10, 10-8 in conference.)

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