The College Basketball season has begun. Pre-season polls and the first Top 25 rankings are out. The numerous corporate sponsored tournaments are on their way. As a college basketball fan, a Big East basketball fan specifically, I have determined one thing. I am going to be watching a lot of Fox Sports 1.
When the new 10 team Big East basketball conference was formed, the league aligned with the new sports network. Fox Sports 1, which launched on August 17th, secured programming by signing a multi year contract with the Big East. Fox Sports 1 will broadcast 157 games featuring Big East teams and the conference tournament at Madison Square Garden.
The Network has given viewers a taste of what to expect this year. It broadcast a two hour Tip Off Show, which featured live looks ins at each campus on the opening night of practice. The show also premiered its studio show, hosted by Rob Stone. We also were given a healthy dose of Bill Raftery, who will partner with Gus Johnson, as the network's top announcing team.
Bill Raftery was also featured in the network's second show: Bill Raftery's Big East Preview. This show introduced some more of the network's talent and had a good feature on the three new conference teams, Butler, Xavier and Creighton. The panel of experts went over the coaches Pre-Season poll and Player of the Year candidates. Raft had a feature with Villanova's Jay Wright, Georgetown's John Thompson III and Creighton's Greg McDermott.
The first weekend of games broadcast were Boston College at Providence and Lafayette at Villanova. BC at Providence was a very good game. A former Big East rivalry, it will always be a passionate game to New Englanders, no matter what the sport. Lafayette and Villanova looked like an early season cupcake game for the Cats. Lafayette played well and gave Villanova a battle for almost 30 minutes.
Conference play tips off with a full slate on December 31.(All games on Fox Sports 1)
St. John's at Xavier- noon
Seton Hall at Providence- 2:30
DePaul at Georgetown- 5pm
Villanova at Butler- 7:30
Marquette at Creighton- 10pm
The Fox Sports 1 executives and The Big East are promoting their TV package for basketball junkies. I have heard at least three coaches use this term in either of the pre- season shows. I will safely assume they are speaking to people like me. I hope my wife makes plans on New Year's Eve that begin at 9:30, after the Villanova/Butler game. Wherever we go, I hope the Marquette/Creighton game is on.