The Big East has five of the top ten teams in this weeks’ ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll (and AP) and seven in the top 25 (six in the AP.) Two other Big East schools received votes in the ESPN poll. After today’s championship game in The Holiday Festival, St. John’s is starting their Big East slate at West Virginia (one of the schools which received votes this week) on December 29. This is the kind of competition St. John’s can expect as it enters that portion of its schedule. A win in the festival’s championship will go a long way towards building some confidence heading into conference play, especially considering unbeaten Northwestern is a possible tournament team, and another team on the top 25 fringe (and number 28 in the RPI.) Come selection Sunday wins over teams you may be fighting to make it into the bracket loom large.