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NCAA Basketball Big East BasketballCincinnati BearcatsConnecticut HuskiesDePaul Blue DemonsGeorgetown HoyasLouisville CardinalsMarquette Golden EaglesNotre Dame Fighting IrishPittsburgh PanthersProvidence FriarsRutgers Scarlet KnightsSeton Hall PiratesSouth Florida BullsSt. John's Red StormSyracuse OrangeVillanova Wildcats

College Basketball Week 4: Big East Power Rankings

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College Basketball Week 4: Big East Power Rankings

Big East Rankings
Jason O. Watson-USA TODAY Sports

Big East basketball as we know it only has one season left before the ACC completely dismantles it. Luckily for us that does leave us with a few more months of one of the premiere college hoops leagues in all the land. While the conference schedule has not gotten under way yet, the schools have had some interesting games. Some long-term injuries have unfortunately started to rear its ugly head as well, leaving some schools in desperate need of a doctor. That, along with team's play, have a factor on what kind of season they're all hoping to have.

Still, plenty of the members of the Big East have lined their schedule up with an assorted variety of cupcakes. Thankfully for them, most of the programs have taken advantage of weak opponents.

However, few members of the conference have actually played teams of significance. Leaving us with a better idea of what kind of team they may or may not be come March. So while the sample size isn't big enough to define any of these teams, it is big enough to start getting a general idea.

Another week has gone by in our Big East Power Rankings and, for the most part, every team enjoyed some form of success. Alas, even in victories, certain teams showed significant flaws that will have to be addressed to curry favor in our ranking system.

I hope you're wearing your favorite slacks and packed your luggage as we go on another journey together ranking the Big East Conference for the fourth week.

Joe covers the Big East for Rant Sports(HERE) and dabbles in the NBA(HERE). Follow Joe on the Twitter machine if you got the guts @JosephNardone

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15) DePaul Blue Demons - Last Week 15 (4-3

DePaul
John Reed-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons seem to be righting the ship. As usual the Blue Demons are still relying heavily on Cleveland Melvin. While that might add up to some victories against non-conference opponents, when Big East play begins more coaches will be familiar with Melvin's work and have a strategy to shut him down. But you can't knock DePaul for starting to win games they're supposed to. I can see them out of the bottom slot in our rankings as early as next week.

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14) Rutgers Scarlet Knights - Last Week 12 (4-2)

RSK
Jim O'Connor-USA TODAY Sports

I'd be called a liar if I told you I watched a ton of the Rutgers Scarlet Knights recently. I don't want you to think I'd lie to you, so I'm going to be honest. Rutgers has played only one team worth mentioning and as a result lost that game. They won't even face another team worth mentioning until January so don't expect them to move up in the rankings no matter how many victories they might get.

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13) Villanova Wildcats - Last Week 13 (4-3)

Nova
Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

How the mighty have fallen and how they seemingly have little hope to get back up. The Villanova Wildcats are in a desperate need for one of those fancy winning streaks. Based off of their track record I just find it hard to believe they will be cellar dwellers are year long. But for now Nova is keeping the whine in your basement under close watch.

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12) Providence Friars - Last Week 14 (6-2)

Friars
Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports

Man, I love me some cupcakes. Oddly enough so does the Providence Friars. They've been stacking up the wins playing an assorted variety of tasty bad teams from all across the land. Can't hate on them for doing what everyone else does though, so good for them.

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11) Seton Hall Pirates - Last Week 10 (5-2)

SH
Tim Farrell/THE STAR-LEDGER via USA TODAY Sports

The only reason the Seton Hall Pirates are ranked in the eleven spot is thanks to other team's ineptitude and their injuries. I'm not a fortune teller but I can see a future where this team is at the bottom of the rankings. Not next week though, more cupcakes up for the Pirates.

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10) South Florida Bulls - Last Week 11 (5-2)

USF
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The South Florida Bulls started the season off slow making everyone question the hype that surrounded the team. I've never been on their bandwagon but I do like some of the stuff they're keeping under the canopy. I don't think a fair assessment of this team can be made until conference play begins. Luckily for the Bulls they have a few more games to correct any problems.

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9) St. John's Red Storm - Last Week 9 (6-2)

Johnnies
Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about an exciting team to watch. The St. John's Red Storm doesn't have any impressive victories but are starting to show signs of life. This is an incredibly young team who needs the early season success to help build momentum and confidence. With four more games where they'll be favored, the Red Storm must take advantage of their non-conference schedule before their players hit a growth spurt wall.

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8) Marquette Golden Eagles - Last Week 7 (5-2)

GE
Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Not only did the Marquette Golden Eagles lose this past week but they got trampled upon. Marquette looked completely overwhelmed against the Florida Gators and lost by 33 points. I don't think that outcome was any indication of what kind of team they are but it does scare the living Sam Cassells out of Golden Eagle fans.

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7) Georgetown Hoyas - Last Week 4 (5-1)

Hoya
Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

I'm sorry, scoring 37 points doesn't impress me even though it was done in a victory. The Georgetown Hoyas need to find ways to put the ball in the bucket more or they could be knee-deep in trouble come conference play. Oh, did I mention in their last game they ONLY scored 37 points? I did, good. I just want that to sink in your brain for a little bit.

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6) Connecticut Huskies - Last Week 8 (6-1)

UCOnn
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Does Connecticut Huskies head coach Kevin Ollie want to keep his job or what. I keep waiting for this team to run itself out of games due to lack of depth but they haven't. This is a pretty good story so far, being the ever cynic that I am, I just don't know how long UConn can keep winning.

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5) Notre Dame Fighting Irish - Last Week 6 (7-1)

Irish
Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

It's a pretty good time to be a Notre Dame Fighting Irish fan. While the football team will play for a National Title sometime after Ghostbusters 3 premiers in movie theaters, the basketball team continues to impress. The Irish have a schedule where a 12-1 start looks likely.

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4) Pittsburgh Panthers - Last Week 5 (7-1)

Hey
Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

I'm not as sold on the Pittsburgh Panthers as I was to begin the season. Some of their younger players are not performing as advertised. However their record tells me they're at least beating teams they are supposed to.

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3) Cincinnati Bearcats - Last Week 3 (7-0)

Cincy
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Some guy on ESPN told me that they all play to win the games. Well the Cincinnati Bearcats keep on winning and have played one of the harder non-conference schedules among their Big East brethren. As it applies to all the teams we've ranked, we will know more when conference play begins. On a side note, Sean Kilpatrick is becoming an early front-runner for the Naismith Award.

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2) Louisville Cardinals - Last Week 1 (6-1)

Drop
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

The Louisville Cardinals are dropping due to looking out of sorts against something called the Illinois State Red Birds. Listen, if you can't beat up on the Red Birds you just don't deserve the top spot.

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1) Syracuse Orange - Last Week 2 (6-0)

SU
Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the top of the rankings Syracuse Orange. I hate putting you here more than you hate leaving the state before conference play begins. With Louisville having a loss and struggling in their last outing, I had no choice but to put the Orange on top. Also, if you haven't had the opportunity to watch them play I suggest you do. This is team is fun to watch and starting to become one of the best in the whole country.