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Ranking the 2017 Gavitt Games Matchups

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All the info you need for the 2017 Big Ten-Big East challenge.

NCAA Basketball: Villanova at Purdue Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY Sports

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

November 16

...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.

7. DePaul Blue Demons at Illinois Fighting Illini

November 17

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.

6. Creighton Bluejays at Northwestern Wildcats

November 15

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.

5. Indiana Hoosiers at Seton Hall Pirates

November 15

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' that'd be fun!

4. Minnesota Golden Gophers at Providence Friars

November 13

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

November 16

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.

2. Purdue Boilermakers at Marquette Golden Eagles

November 14

"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.

(1) Butler Bulldogs at Maryland Terrapins

November 15

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.

This poll is closed

  • 7%
    (9 votes)
  • 28%
    (36 votes)
  • 44%
    (57 votes)
  • 13%
    (17 votes)
  • 7%
    (9 votes)
128 votes total Vote Now


Most exciting 2017 matchup?

This poll is closed

  • 4%
    Nebraska-St. John's
    (9 votes)
  • 3%
    (6 votes)
  • 6%
    (12 votes)
  • 4%
    Indiana-Seton Hall
    (8 votes)
  • 10%
    (19 votes)
  • 18%
    (35 votes)
  • 23%
    (44 votes)
  • 28%
    (54 votes)
187 votes total Vote Now