The next move in Jim Delany's master plan to expand the Big Ten brand into the Northeast is now public. Beginning in the 2015-16 basketball season, the Big Ten will play a four-day, eight-game slate against teams from the Big East (its members, for those who lost track somewhere along the way, are Providence, St. John's, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, Buter, DePaul, Marquette, and Creighton). Get the full report from Sports Illustrated here.
I love most inter-conference challenges. This is no exception. Count me as being totally in favor of anything that makes the beginning of basketball season more fun, and this should be a nice mid-week diversion in between beautiful football Saturdays in the Midwest. The fact that we get a chance to stick it to a couple of the "little brother" basketball schools in our newly-expanded geographic footprint is just icing on the cake.
As a business move, this obviously makes sense as well. More inventory for the Big Ten Network (which, according to SI, will be televising some of the games played in B1G arenas), greater visibility in the Northeast... you get the idea.
Bring on the Musketeers!
(That's Xavier's mascot, right?)