World-Herald staff writer Steven Pivovar ranks the Big East conference basketball teams as published in The World-Herald Feb. 12.

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1. Villanova (21-3, 11-1, 3rd)

This week: St. John’s, at Temple.

Josh Hart making transition that could take him from sixth man of year to league MVP in the Big East.

2. Xavier (21-3, 9-3, 8th)

This week: at Butler, at Providence.

Musketeers hope facing arguably toughest stretch run of any Big East team will prepare them for the rigors of March.

3. Seton Hall (17-7, 7-5, 53rd)

This week: at Georgetown.

Guard Isaiah Whitehead hiking his level of play against conference opponents as he’s averaging 18.4 points and 5.7 assists in Big East play.

4. Creighton (16-9, 7-5, 85th)

This week: at Marquette, at Butler.

Maurice Watson’s 370 points ties Rodney Buford for the most scored by a Creighton newcomer in his first 25 games.

5. Providence (18-7, 6-6, 36th)

This week: Georgetown, at Xavier.

Slippage on defense cutting into margin for error for team that lacks consistency on offense outside of Ben Bentil and Kris Dunn.

6. Georgetown (14-11, 7-5, 74th)

This week: at Providence, Seton Hall.

Hoyas got a much-needed win over St. John’s, but now it’s back to the grind for a team that’s been inconsistent all season.

7. Butler (17-7, 6-6, 58th)

This week: Xavier, Creighton.

Emergence of sophomore forward Kelan Martin over past eight games has taken some pressure off Kellen Dunham and Roosevelt Jones.

8. Marquette (16-9, 5-7, 95th)

This week: Creighton.

How has prized freshman Henry Ellenson handled expectations? He leads the league in rebounding (10.1) and is tied for fourth in scoring (16.6).

9. DePaul (8-16, 2-10, 149th)

This week: St. John’s.

High-caliber performances from Myke Henry, inconsistency from most other players leaves Blue Demons’ bid for a turnaround season stuck in neutral.

10. St. John’s (7-18, 0-12, 209th)

This week: at Villanova, DePaul.

Red Storm’s inability to slow opposing teams — allowing 82 points in conference play — is major factor in losing streak now at 15.

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