The Big East and Big Ten conferences made it official today, announcing slate of eight men's basketball games that will take place from November 17th through 20th. Dubbed The Gavitt Tipoff Games, these match-ups are the first set of an annual early-season "challenge" series that will be played between members of the two leagues.
The Villanova Wildcats are scheduled to host the Nebraska Cornhuskers -- likely at the Pavilion -- on Tuesday, November 17th; the first day of the event. The Wildcats haven't played the Huskers since the 1998-99 season.
Possibly the most interesting match-up of the series, however, will be a rare trip by the Georgetown Hoyas to College Park, where they will meet the Maryland Terrapins for the first time since the 2008-09 season. These two Washington, D.C.-area schools haven't actively scheduled each other in basketball in recent years due to disputes between their athletic departments, and this game might not have been scheduled if it weren't for the Gavitt event.
Big East home games will air on Fox Sports 1, while the Big Ten home games will appear on either ESPN or the Big Ten Network (to be announced, with game times, at a later date). The conferences have agreed to hold the event annually through 2022 (eight years), to be played on four consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season.
The full list of match-ups is as follows:
|Tuesday, November 17, 2015||Nebraska Cornhuskers at Villanova Wildcats||First meeting since 1998-99|
|Tuesday, November 17, 2015||DePaul Blue Demons at Penn State Nittany Lions||First meeting since 1984-85|
|Tuesday, November 17, 2015||Georgetown Hoyas at Maryland Terrapins||First meeting since 2008-09|
|Wednesday, November 18, 2015||Illinois Fighting Illini at Providence Friars||First meeting since 2003-04|
|Thursday, November 19, 2015||Creighton Bluejays at Indiana Hoosiers||First meeting since 1974-75|
|Thursday, November 19, 2015||Iowa Hawkeyes at Marquette Golden Eagles||First meeting since 1982-83|
|Thursday, November 19, 2015||Rutgers Scarlet Knights at St. John's Red Storm||First meeting since 2012-13|
|Friday, November 20, 2015||Xavier Musketeers at Michigan Wolverines||First meeting since 1988-89|
Each Big East school will participate a minimum of six times in the series, and each Big Ten school will play at least four times over the eight-year span.
The event was named in honor of the late Dave Gavitt, a founder of the original Big East and a member of the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.
"Our family is excited about the Big Ten and BIG EAST launching this new series, which honors the memory of Dave Gavitt and his passion for college basketball," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Vice President of Men's Basketball Championships. "He would be most pleased that the student-athletes, coaches and supporters of these historic college basketball programs can look forward to annual competition at the highest level to help open the college season with a bang. We are thankful to the two great conferences for recognizing the Gavitt legacy with the intra-conference games featuring new and old rivalries and intriguing match-ups."