Our long national nightmare is over! Per Jon Rothstein, we've got the full lineup of the 2017 Big Ten-Big East Gavitt Tipoff Games.
But that's less fun. Let's rank these games in terms of watchability:
8. Nebraska Cornhuskers at Saint John's Red Storm
...why? I guess in terms of competitiveness, this is adequate, but with Penn State and Ohio State out that way and a John's home game, is this the best matchup?
Give me Northwestern in New York if you're going to see a Big Ten also-ran head east.
If these teams were better, I'd be really curious to see how this one goes. Unless the constant DePaul rebuilding project is over, though, given that this game is exiled downstate (would've been a great home game for DePaul downtown), you'll have trouble convincing me two also-rans in the Land of Lincoln are worth watching.
Creighton, competitively, is a semi-engaging matchup for the 'Cats, bringing shot-hero Marcus Foster back but are generally reloading. I expect this one to be a typical B1G-BE matchup, as the loss of Justin Patton leaves a hole to fill inside that Dererk Pardon could exploit. This'll be fun on the wings, though.
This is ranked where it is, though, because it's buried among 3 games on the 15th, and it's not appointment viewing outside the I-80 belt.
Another of the 11/15 matchups, this one features a rebuilding Indiana and... I guess a Seton Hall team that's definitely a returning NCAA Tournament team with Khadeen Carrington but lost Angel Delgado.
As for Indiana...we'll see how quickly Archie Miller returns them to prominence. I'm not wild on this general matchup and location. Give me IU at G'town...now that'd be fun!
This one will kick off the proceedings, and...if the Gophers can establish themselves as a Top 15 contender, this will be a fun trip to face the Fightin' Cooleys.
Kyron Cartwright should have a day for the Friars, but Prov lacks the size inside to really hold off Foulin' Reggie Lynch and Bakary Kona—hahahahahaha I can't say that second part.
But seriously, could be a fun showdown and should see a good showdown between two teams who rely on tough defense and streaky shooting.
3. Xavier Musketeers at wisconsin badgers
This would've been a great spot for Butler. What a waste.
Still, with X coming off an NCAA Tournament appearance and the badgers continuing to suck the life out of everything they touch, this will get some decent press. Then wisconsin will win 52-47 and ESPN will wonder why they put this shit in primetime AGAIN.
"Weren't we just here?" Purdue fans will ask.
Yes. But now you're playing a Marquette club with guards like Markus Howard and Andrew Rousey who can pour it in from outside, to go with long wings like Sam Hauser.
Caleb Swanigan should make his hay inside, but the Boilers will be tested in Milwaukee by a team under Steve Snuffleupagus looking to punch a return ticket to the NCAAs. Add a raucous Marquette crowd and this will be a good one.
In the absence of Villanova and Georgetown, Butler has, I would wager, been the water-carrier for the Big East brand. Bringing their fundamentally-sound, lunch pail-toting, gym-ratty tendencies to College Park could turn out a fun one that gets a little excitement going in a very, very bland Gavitt Games.
If you haven't fallen asleep reading these matchups, vote in the polls and give us your thoughts in the comments!
Grade the 2017 Gavitt Games slate.
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Most exciting 2017 matchup?
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