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Big East - Big Ten Basketball Series To Commence In 2015

Mitchell Layton

According to reports, the Big East and Big Ten will announce the "Dave Gavitt Tipoff" today.

On Monday, the Big East and Big Ten will announce the formation of the Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games, a four-day, eight-game season-opening challenge between the conferences beginning in 2015-16. The event will take place each November from Tuesday through Friday of the first full week of the season.

The parties will announce an eight-year deal at a news conference in New York. ESPN and the Big Ten Network and Fox Sports 1, the Big East's partner, will televise games at the respective league's home venues. Each will host four games.
"We wanted to do something to pay tribute to Dave. The geographic affinity between our two conferences made it a natural to synch up," said Big East commissioner Val Ackerman. "These [conference] challenges are not uncommon. We want to do something unique, by launching the season with a challenge."

The new Big East, which launched last fall with seven defectors from the existing league (now the American Athletic Conference) plus newcomers Xavier, Creighton and Butler, overlapped significantly with the Big Ten even before that conference's pending addition of Rutgers and Maryland. Seven of the 10 schools reside in the same state as a Big Ten member, and Georgetown and Maryland are virtual neighbors. Some, like Wisconsin-Marquette and Creighton-Nebraska, already play each other annually.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games could include more potential in-state matchups like Ohio State-Xavier or Indiana-Butler, but much like the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, games will be determined primarily by the strength of the teams.

Some potential juicy matchups (assuming they don't screw it up) are below:

Georgetown vs Maryland
Marquette vs Wisconsin
DePaul vs Northwestern
Creighton vs Nebraska
Butler vs Indiana
Xavier vs Ohio State
Seton Hall vs Rutgers
Villanova vs Penn State
St John's vs Michigan
Providence vs Michigan State

While many of us are excited about the possibility of a Hoyas-Terps matchup, the rest of the world is undoubtedly salivating over the possibility that Seton Hall and Rutgers can rekindle what was most certainly one of the greatest rivalries in the Big East.