When the initial Big East schedule came out, Georgetown looked to have a rather tough go of things with perennial league favorite Villanova and an on-the-rise Connecticut team back in the fold to kick things off.
Now what if I told you it’s possible things could get even more difficult? Well, that path has opened up.
While going up against one of the best teams in the country twice in the span of 48 hours might not be the most ideal opening to conference play for Patrick Ewing’s Hoyas, it makes a ton of sense for the teams predicted to finish as far apart from each other as possible to open up with more of an NBA style back-to-back.
Here’s how we got to this point:
Before lunchtime on Tuesday the Big East announced that Friday games including both DePaul and UConn would be postponed while their opponents - Seton Hall and St. John’s - would instead play each other.
The #BIGEAST has announced schedule changes for @BIGEASTmbb openers on Fridayhttps://t.co/8D0PXO7sP1— BIG EAST Conference (@BIGEAST) December 8, 2020
This change also resulted in Georgetown’s originally scheduled game with Villanova on Friday Dec. 11 to get pushed back from 5 pm to 7 pm while staying on FS1.
Then during lunch DePaul - which has yet to play one minute of basketball this season - announced that in addition to missing their conference opener against Seton Hall they would have to also postpone their game at Villanova on Monday Dec. 14.
.@DePaulHoops to pause all team activities this week and postpone first two @BIGEASTMBB games against Seton Hall and Villanova.— DePaul Athletics (@DePaulAthletics) December 8, 2020
So after playing the Hoyas on Friday, Villanova won’t have a scheduled game until Wed Dec. 16 when Butler visits the Pavilion.
Georgetown’s opponent for Sunday Dec. 13 - Connecticut - has been on a pause since this past weekend after a positive covid test.
Today on a zoom call with media, UConn AD Dave Benedict wasn’t exactly optimistic that his Huskies would be kicking off their Big East Return Tour with a Sunday night contest against the Hoyas at McDonough.
UConn at GTown Sunday? ``We're still in the midst of gathering information. I don't have any specific comments about that." - AD Dave Benedict— Kevin McNamara (@KevinMcNamara33) December 8, 2020
EDITED: Here’s more on UConn and Georgetown from coach Dan Hurley. It’s not warm and fuzzy regarding the game happening as scheduled on Sunday Dec. 13.
"If you’re a senior, it’s a pretty crappy way for your career to end." @dhurley15 on the guys playing this season after the NCAA Tournament was canceled.— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) December 8, 2020
Also said "that's a pretty tough timeline" on possibly playing Sunday vs. @GeorgetownHoops https://t.co/6T8YVOCBP9
So if Connecticut is unable to play on Sunday night, it would leave Georgetown and Villanova as the only two active schools in the Big East - ie not on a covid pause - to be without a scheduled game on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday.
Georgetown goes from Sunday Dec. 13 to Sunday Dec. 20 without a game which is most likely based off a request due to it being final exam week.
So without juggling a bunch of other Big East games it really looks like there are two easy fixes to the missed games caused by both DePaul and UConn being on a covid pause.
The first option involves Georgetown getting on a bus and playing at Villanova on Sunday night during the same time frame that FS1 was expecting to broadcast Hoyas - Huskies. While not exactly ideal for an inexperienced Georgetown team, the goal of this season is to just in fact, have a season. This second game of the back-to-back could also be on Monday night but I think Georgetown wants the entire week off for academic reasons.
Keep in mind that the Patriot League is basically having an entire season of back-to-backs so this isn’t exactly unprecedented for college basketball in 20-21.
The second option isn’t as fun for a Hoyas follower because it would have Providence going to Villanova to take the place of DePaul on Monday night. The Friars currently play on Saturday Dec. 12 and then are off until Thursday Dec. 17 although that game could be in jeopardy because it’s against - guess who - UConn.
This second option would potentially leave Georgetown without a game from Friday Dec. 11 until Sunday Dec. 20 when they are set to play their first road game of the season at St. John’s.
It seems as if the fun is just beginning with regards to Big East scheduling uncertainty and we haven’t even moved into the January-February portion of the program, which as you know, has yet to be determined.
Stay tuned and stay safe folks!