Big East Hoops: Notre Dame Can't Afford Hiccup Against St. John's

By chrismolicki

The Louisville Cardinals survived a tough road test last night against Connecticut, so it’s pretty clear that they’re the top team in the Big East. But who’s number two? It could be Notre Dame, but they still have something to prove.

Unlike the Cardinals, the Fighting Irish lost to the Huskies, and on their home floor. Now, Notre Dame has to bounce back strong in a road tilt with St. John’s. The Red Storm are not a bunch of pushovers, Cincinnati can attest for that, but this is a game that Notre Dame should win handily and prove their dominance.

Jack Cooley and Eric Atkins have been spectacular this year, and Jerian Grant and Scott Martin have been reliable third and fourth options. This team has a lot of experience and is very well coached. But do they have what it takes to be better than Syracuse? The Orange are an incredibly talented and deep bunch. However, they don’t have as much experience as the Irish, something that may come into play down the road.

Right now, I think it’s clear in everyone’s minds that the Big East pecking order goes like this: Louisville, Syracuse, Notre Dame. I also think it’s clear that the Cardinals aren’t going to be knocked off their perch any time soon. However, we could find out later on in the season that the Irish are the better team. For now, they need to focus on the Johnnies, a game that they have no business losing.

For more on college basketball and the Big East, follow Chris on Twitter.

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