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College Basketball Week 12: Big East Power Rankings

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Big East Power Rankings

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sport

The Big East Conference is currently in a traffic jam. Outside the top two teams the rest of the league is within five and a half games of each other while the top 11 are even tighter, being only 2 and a half games apart. I don't know if this is parody or if the bottom half of the Big East is just so mediocre that nobody could separate themselves from the pack. Either way it should make for an interesting last few weeks of conference play before the tournament begins.

While a few teams are really starting to assert themselves(More on that during the slideshow) others are beginning to become an embarrassment. With conference realignment having the Big East looking nothing like it does this year, the only thing that could possibly rival the teams movements will be the coaches getting fired. Even if a coach has been mildly successful, an athletic director will now have the excuse of starting anew. New conference(For almost every one), new year, new expectations, so the old coach has to go.

But we shouldn't worry about next year, or whether or not Mike Aresco is competent at his job(The answer is quickly becoming a no). The Big East is still fun to watch and we should enjoy this version of the conference as long as we could.

It's now week 12 of our power rankings, and unlike last week, the movement of teams in this week's entry isn't as vast. A few teams only played one game, some played none, and only a few showed enough to move up in the rankings. However, a few teams are going down for their ability to blatantly show how bad they are.

Joe covers the Catholic Seven for Rant Sports. For the love of Sam Cassell, follow Joe on the Twitter Machine @JosephNardone. Or hey, now you can keep up with all his shenanigans over there at the Google Plus Device.

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15- DePaul Blue Demons (Previous 15) 10-9

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The DePaul Blue Demons have not won a game since January 5th. That's right, the same fifth of January that saw such amazing things like, well the Blue Demons winning a basketball game. My mother always told me that if I had nothing nice to say, don't say anything at all.

To bad for DePaul, it's my job to talk about them. They stink. Any sane Blue Demons fan would tell you, Oliver Purnell is in a gots to go situation.

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14- South Florida Bulls (14) 10-10

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The battle of ineptitude has been far more interesting than who is the best team in the Big East. People honestly thought that the South Florida Bulls would be major players in the conference this year, and they were wrong. With the Bulls riding a three game losing streak, I think it's safe to assume they're shot to be a dangerous team in the Big East is over.

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13- Providence Friars (11) 10-10

Not a Priest but a Friar
Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

The Providence Friar player who swung at that bat, but missed, sums up the entire season for the Friars. They can't hit anything, not a shot, not a bat with their fist, nothing. The only thing they've done well this year is get hit by the injury bug and lose key players for large amounts of the season.

But no need to worry, even though this season is a train-wreck, many expect the Friars to be much better next season. Seriously!

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12- Seton Hall Pirates (13) 13-7

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Seton Hall Pirates are one of the teams bunched up in the middle of the Big East. While nobody actually thinks they're as good as some of the teams coming ahead of them in the rankings, at least we all can agree they are better than DePaul. And for that, you should be thankful.

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11- Rutgers Scarlet Knights (9) 12-7

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

Do I sometimes give generic overviews of teams? Yes, yes I do. That's only because of teams like the Rutgers Scarlet Knights. What in the world would you like me to say about them? That Mike Rice was supposed to be this world renown recruiter who was going to turn the program around. Or that, for a short time this season, Rutgers actually felt like they had a chance to be players.

I could have said any of those things, although I fear it might just feel like I'm rubbing it in their faces that they've lived up to nobodies expectations, including their own.

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10- Villanova Wildcats (12) 13-7

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Did Nova beat two of the top five teams in the country this week, yes. Do I trust them with even the slightest amount of my mortgage payment, no. While this past week was really impressive, please don't forget about the week they had prior when they lost to Providence.

I never imagined the Wildcats were going to be as bad as they were early in the season. However, nor do I think they are as good as they played this week. But there is still plenty of time to prove me wrong.

Your move Jay Wright.

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9- St. John's Red Storm (11) 13-7

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Young, full of talent, playing isolation hoops like Joe Johnson was their coach, the St. John's Red Storm have finally seemed to get it all together. The Johnnies are currently in the midst of a four game winning streak, and with DePaul on the horizon, I expect much of the same this week.

Also, D'Angelo Harrison has thrust himself into the conversation for Big East Player of the Year and JaKarr Sampson is doing his best to stake claim as the conference's best freshman.

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8- Connecticut Huskies (8) 13-5

David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

UConn only played one game this week and beat Rutgers. So that was really awesome I guess. The only thing really interesting for the Huskies going forward is that they have a bunch of games they should win coming up.

Other than that, Ray Allen. Why do I say Ray Allen? Because he is one of my favorite college basketball players of all-time. And well, because I can.

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7- Pittsburgh Panthers (7) 17-5

Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

Why is Jamie Dixon so mad in that picture above? Why do the Panthers always feel like they are on the verge of something special, only to take a few steps back? Why do we all continue to talk about them even though we know they won't make it past the first found of the NCAA Tournament?

Those are some of the questions for the Panthers, it's a shame Steven Adams was supposed to have those answers.

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6- Georgetown Hoyas (6) 14-4

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The Hoyas only played one game this week but it was a good one, as Georgetown edged out Louisville. I'm still pretty confused about this Hoya team. They are so, I don't know, a strange basketball team. For a team who has beaten a lot of other good teams this year, I don't know if Georgetown actually as an identity yet. But who needs an identity when your clearly one of the best teams in the conference.

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5- Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5) 16-4

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

Honestly, Georgetown should really be placed ahead of Notre Dame here. I wonder if they stay at number five for pity purposes. Nope, this must all be a hoax.

Okay, is the catfish story over yet? Can we move on? I have no funny jokes left(Don't know if I had any) involving a lady who got in a car accident, died from cancer, came back form the dead, turned out to be fake, only to find out it was perpetrated by the lead singer of a religious rock band, and made me watch a show called Katie.

On a side note, stop benching Jack Cooley.

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4- Marquette Golden Eagles (4) 15-4

Jeff Hanisch-USA TODAY Sports

Buzz Williams needs to get more national buzz for how awesome of a coach he is(Plus look at him up there, Awesome!). Nobody outside Big East wackos can name a single player on the Golden Eagles roster, but they continue to win and win a lot.

Marquette has a game against Louisville later this week which will surely tell us a lot about both teams.

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3- Cincinnati Bearcats (3) 16-4

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, I'm all in with the Cincinnati Bearcats. Not just as one of the best Big East teams but as one of the best squads in the country. Anyone that has a player of Sean Kilpatrick's talent has to be considered the real deal. No more flip-flopping for me with these guys, I'm all in.

So obviously expect them to falter a few times this week and vanish from the national spotlight.

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2- Louisville Cardinals (2) 17-4

Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports

Okay, the Cardinals had a really rough week and are in danger of falling in the rankings next week. Bluh, bluh, bluh. Now on to the important stuff. I don't know how I missed this, but I've been informed, no enlightened to the fact that Rick Pitino named his horse after Russ Smith, calling it Russdiculous. No really, I can't make something like that up. If you already knew about this Russdiculously awesome story, I apologize for talking about it as I just found out about the horse.

Smith is Louisville's best player and his coach named a horse after him. I'm at a loss for words.

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1- Syracuse Orange (1) 18-2

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

So Syracuse lost a game to Villanova in overtime this week. They are allowed to lose a game, it's really no big deal. But way more importantly than that, did you hear about Rick Pitino naming his horse Russdiculous after Russ Smith?

Does Russdiculous have a Twitter handle yet?