Here are some links on the Big East schedule and more:
Turns out the Bulldogs will have adequate time for travel [after Florida] and preparation before playing Georgetown on Jan. 2 at Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler also opened against Georgetown last year, winning 91-89 in double overtime at Washington, D.C. ...
>> For the second time in its six-season Big East history, the Bulldogs must play three straight on the road (Jan. 9-16 at Seton Hall, Xavier and DePaul). They also had three in a row in 2014.
>> Butler’s two most attractive home games, Villanova (Jan. 22) and Xavier (March 5), are both on Tuesday nights.
>> Butler has only six Saturday home games.
The Wildcats’ home schedule includes four games at the Wells Fargo Center: Jan. 18 against Xavier, Jan. 27 vs. Seton Hall, Feb. 3 vs. Georgetown, and March 2 vs. Butler.
Other games at the Finneran Pavilion, which was closed for the entire 2017-18 season while a $60 million renovation was taking place, include St. John’s on Jan. 8, Creighton on Feb. 6, Providence on Feb. 13, and Marquette on Feb. 27...
A quirk in the schedule this season has Villanova playing only four Big East games on Saturdays and just one of them, Butler at the Wells Fargo Center, at home.
During the Big East calendar, which begins Jan. 1 at St. John’s, Marquette will have to navigate several rocky stretches. From late January through early February, Marquette has to run through road contests at Xavier and Butler, followed by home games with St. John’s and Villanova. All four teams could be dancing come March. And then after a one-game respite at DePaul (where MU actually lost last year), the Golden Eagles hop back on the grind with a trio of games against Butler, at Providence and at Villanova to close out February. The middle of MU’s Big East schedule is loaded; if Marquette loads up on wins in the first and last portions of the season, and then goes .500 during the middle, the Golden Eagles will be just fine come tourney time.
Providence beat Villanova at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center last season, before losing to the Wildcats in the Big East Championship.
PC’s first conference road game will take place on Saturday, January 12 when they visit Georgetown, before returning home to take on Seton Hall.
Providence’s toughest stretch of the conference season is from January 20 to February 13.
During that stretch, PC will play eight games, six of which will be on the road.
The Hall plays Villanova and St. John’s in their big arenas, which is preferable to their campus gyms.
Three games are booked for Fox’s flagship network: Louisville, Kentucky and at Villanova. That’s quality exposure for the program.
From Dec. 30 to Jan. 19, the Pirates host just one game over 21 days.
Five of the eight finalized conference home times start at 8 p.m. or later. Three of those are Saturdays when the Devils have afternoon puck drops. There are no daytime Big East home games, which is highly unusual.
TRAVIS STEELE ON THE SCHEDULE: ‘You better be ready night in and night out for the 18-game BIG EAST schedule. The last four years the 10-team BIG EAST has averaged six teams in the NCAA Tournament field. That speaks for itself. There are no nights off. We have to challenge our guys and get better in the non-conference so we are ready for the challenge of the BIG EAST Conference.’
The conference is one of just two high-major leagues that still plays a proper round-robin schedule ...
Villanova should once against be the best team in the league, and while they look to be the only real national title contender, the conference does have a handful of entertaining, talented teams with a chance to get to the second weekend of the tournament.
Here are the six games in Big East play that you absolutely have to see this season:
Villanova at Providence, Sat. January 5
Villanova at Creighton, Sun., January 13
Providence at Marquette, Sun. January 20
Villanova at Marquette, Sat. February 9
Marquette at Providence, Sat. February 23
Creighton at Marquette, Sun. March 3
Jahvon Blair, So., G, Georgetown: The Hoyas have a real shot to be a Big East contender. Blair could be a difference maker if he can produce — especially if he gets more touches in the starting lineup. He had one of his more impactful moments with 15 in a win over St. John’s. Even in the losses, he had his moments, scoring 17 points and making 11 of 12 free throws in a double overtime loss to Butler and then scoring 21 points in a loss at Creighton the following month.
Freshmen Fundamentals will be held in New York City on Sept. 15-16. All scholarship and walk-on freshmen from the league’s 10 schools are invited to attend. Thirty-two student-athletes are expected to participate.
The Freshmen Fundamentals schedule for Sept. 15 will include a panel of former BIG EAST players, including former Creighton star Doug McDermott, instruction from nationally acclaimed experts in media training, a presentation on relationship management and safety along with a presentation on student-athlete mental health. The freshmen also will hear from former NBA general manager Billy King, who will offer his insights on careers in professional basketball.
Power-conference schools largely refusing to give mid-majors a level playing field makes getting an at-large bid from any conference other than the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big East or American difficult bordering on impossible (for just about everybody except Gonzaga). For instance, last season, only three schools from outside of a top-seven league received at-large bids. The other 33 went to programs from either the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12, SEC, Big East or American.
In the mid-90s, Nike doubled down on the concept, as it not only found other schools with ’rebel-type programs — signing Michigan, the University of Miami’s football program and Georgetown’s basketball program all within a few years of each other — they also went out of their way to sponsor athletes with that attitude and reputation, like brash, future Hall of Famer Deion Sanders, for instance.