Just hours after seeing they were the new #4 team in the nation, Villanova was embarrassed at home in a 96-68 Big East showdown on Monday against Creighton. This game had huge implications on the future of the Big East but, with such an impressive showing by Creighton, we could also be looking at a shakeup in the national rankings as well.
Creighton hit a Big East-record 21 3-pointers on Monday. Five of those 3-pointers came from Doug McDermott, the All-American who finished with 23 points and five rebounds. McDermott was outscored by his teammate Ethan Wragge, who went for 27 points in the same amount of minutes. The Bluejays also got 19 points from Jahenns Manigat and an additional 22 points from their bench players. As a team, Creighton shot 56.9% from the field and 60% from behind the arc.
The Wildcats struggled all night, shooting just 39.7% from the field. James Hill had 19 points to pace Villanova, while JayVaugh Pinkston and Darrun Hilliard II had 11 and 10, respectively. Overall, it wasn’t one of Villanova’s finest efforts, especially coming from a team that has put up 70-points or more in their last five games and 11 of their last 12.
Big East fans will certainly be wondering what the impact of this game will mean on how rankings shake out next week. With a loss so early in the week, there is still plenty of things that could happen before Week 13 rankings are released. However, with the win, Creighton moves to 16-3 overall and 6-1 in the Big East. That record is just one loss worse than Villanova, who sits at 16-2 overall and 5-1 in conference play, and they were thought highly enough to be ranked in the top five in the nation. Not only did Creighton get a win on Monday, but they got it in convincing fashion with a 28-point margin.
This win could be huge momentum for Creighton and make them a good team to bet on in the next few weeks. After their win over Nova, they won’t play another ranked team for five games, until they have their rematch on their own home court against the Wildcats. In the meantime, they’ll play Georgetown (11-6, 3-3), DePaul (10-10. 2-5) and Saint John’s (10-8, 5-5) on two occasions. If the Bluejays can continue to hit threes like they did on Monday, they will be tough to beat for the remainder of Big East play.
It’s unlikely that this loss will unravel Villanova. And in reality, they may still be a top-10 team come next week and they’ll likely still be ahead of Creighton. However, this game certainly opened some eyes and for Big East fans.
Picking either of these teams for their next few games could mean huge wins. Which will surely make the rematch on February 16th even more exciting.