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Top Big East Games To Watch

With every Big East team’s schedule announced, which games should you circle on your calendar?

Tulane Announces Move To Big East Conference Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images

The Big East was the sixth conference to have every team announce their schedule.

With that, let’s list some of the best regular season games involving Big East teams in 2017.

We’ll start with listing some nonconference games to watch.

FEBRUARY

Boston University @ Providence (February 4) (That’s tomorrow)

Air Force @ Denver (February 11)

Duke @ Denver (February 18)

Providence @ Bryant (February 18)

Georgetown vs. Notre Dame (in Frisco, Texas) (February 18)

Yale @ Villanova (February 18)

Stony Brook @ St. John’s (February 19)

Towson @ Georgetown (February 25)

Marquette @ Richmond (February 25)

Vermont @ Providence (February 25)

Penn State @ Villanova (February 25)

MARCH

St. Joe’s @ St. John’s (March 1)

Ohio State vs. Marquette (March 3)

North Carolina @ Denver (March 4)

Hofstra @ Georgetown (March 4)

St. John’s @ Siena (March 4)

Villanova @ Brown (March 7)

Notre Dame @ Denver (March 11)

Georgetown @ Hobart (March 11)

High Point @ Providence (March 11)

Bucknell @ Villanova (March 14)

Duke @ Georgetown (March 18)

Providence @ Hofstra (March 18)

Drexel @ St. John’s (March 18)

Villanova @ Maryland (March 18)

Georgetown @ Loyola (March 22)

Denver @ Towson (March 25)

Villanova @ Fairfield (March 25)

Air Force @ Marquette (March 28)

APRIL

Marquette @ Notre Dame (April 11)

Brown @ Providence (April 18)

Duke @ Marquette (April 22)

TOP GAME: It’s weird that Denver is in the Big East. Because Denver is out west. It’s not weird that Duke-Denver would be a really good nonconference game. Denver usually dominates Duke, and with a depleted Blue Devil midfield, Denver should beat Duke yet again in this early season matchup. The Pios looked really beatable late in the season, and they’ve also lost Zach Miller. How will they look against the Blue Devils?

TOP MATCHUP: It’ll be the second straight year that Villanova’s Jake Froccaro takes on Brown’s Dylan Molloy in a battle of offensive weapons. He was one of the hottest players early last season before cooling off near the latter end of 2016. Molloy won the Tewaaraton Award and helped Bruno to an appearance in Championship Weekend, even with an injury. Expect fireworks.

UNDER-THE-RADAR GAME: How about we show love to Marquette-Richmond. That’s the definition of an under-the-radar game. Marquette won the Big East last year and played North Carolina strong in the First Round, while Richmond fell to Air Force in 2OT in the SoCon Championship. Both are new teams that are also very good for the amount of time they’ve been in Division I.

From the nonconference games to the conference games, here’s my Top 5.

  1. Villanova @ Denver (April 9) - With Marquette suffering with many notable losses in 2017, I think Villanova becomes the second-best team in the conference. But I don’t think they’re good enough yet to take down Denver. We could see otherwise, but the Pios still have Tyler Pace and freshman stud Ethan Walker to power their offense.
  2. Marquette @ Villanova (April 1) - Marquette was Villanova’s kryptonite last season, as the Golden Eagles defeated the Wildcats in both of their meetings. In pretty much every preseason poll out there, Marquette is ranked in the bottom quarter of the top 20, while Villanova earned some votes as well. The Big East opener for both teams will be big indeed.
  3. Denver @ Marquette (April 29) - It’s a rematch of the Big East title game from last season, which the Golden Eagles took in a big upset. Even though guys such as Conor Gately and Jacob Richard are gone, Joe Amplo’s squad still has leading scorer Ryan McNamara, as well as Andy DeMichiei and goaltender Cole Blazer. Are we getting ahead of ourselves on predicting Marquette’s demise?
  4. Georgetown @ Providence (April 8) - Providence made the Big East tournament as the fourth and final seed last year, although they won one Big East conference game against St. John’s. They lost to the Hoyas by three goals in their meeting last season, and Georgetown had very high expectations in 2016. Providence could be a darkhorse in the Big East.
  5. Marquette @ Providence (April 15) - Last year, Marquette edged Providence, 8-7, in Milwaukee. The game shifts to Rhode Island this year, and it could be the site of a possible upset, which could play a part in how the final Big East standings play out. Sophomore attackman Brendan Kearns and goaltender Tate Boyce will lead the Friars to what they hope is a promising 2017.