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Gavitt Games Previews, Midweek Hoops Open Thread: Big Ten, Big East try to avoid a fourth straight tie

Grab your sister and pucker up, if history is any indication—we’ve got the schedule, times, TV information and betting odds for all the Gavitt Games.

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Wisconsin Mary Langenfeld-USA TODAY Sports

Lots of hoops to get to this week: Gavitt Games and general non-conference shenanigans follow, including the first two non-conference tournaments of the Big Ten slate. Let’s hit it:

Gavitt Games

In case you’ve been living under a rock, the Gavitt Tipoff Games are the now-yearly (and scheduled through something like 2022?) challenge series between the Big Ten and Big East in honor of the first Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt. The Big East and Big Ten have played it since 2015, tying all three times. Here’s how your teams have done:

Wikipedia, probably


Wisconsin Badgers (1-0, KP 19) at Xavier Musketeers (2-0, KP 64)

5:30pm | FS1 | wisc -1.5 | O/U 145

beezer07: Wisconsin got kill’t by Xavier in this same game last year (or was it a non-Gavitt Game? Dunno, not researching). The Badgers kept it pretty close until—as would become 2017-18 Wisconsin M.O.—the last 20% of the game, when Xavier and its collection of pretty good players poured it on against Wisconsin’s very, very inexperienced and unable-to-deal-with-pressure players.

From what I understand, basically all of that Xavier team is gone, while basically all of Wisconsin’s team is back. What does that mean for the game? No idea, but I’m hopeful Wisconsin can pull one out against a team that everyone will think is a marquee OOC win, but I’ve already picked Wisconsin to lose this game.


Wait, how is wisconsin road favorites in this one?

This poll is closed

  • 39%
    I dunno, but they win it.
    (13 votes)
  • 60%
    Xavier with the upset.
    (20 votes)
33 votes total Vote Now

Georgetown Hoyas (2-0, KP 68) at Illinois Fighting Illini (1-0, KP 74)

7:30pm | FS1 | Ill -6.5 | O/U 155.5

Thumpasaurus: Georgetown has a pro prospect at center and not much else. This game will tell us a lot about how effective Illinois can be in the Big Ten. If they can’t manage a big offensive game, it bodes poorly for their conference prospects; if the offense generates open looks all game and really takes control, Illinois will so better than everyone expected in league play.

I’ll say Illinois splits the difference and loses an average scoring game by 2.


Will we have to listen to morose Thump tomorrow?

This poll is closed

  • 36%
    (14 votes)
  • 63%
    Only about football.
    (24 votes)
38 votes total Vote Now


[18] Michigan Wolverines (2-0, KP 26) at [8] Villanova Wildcats (2-0, KP 6)

5:30pm | FS1

MNW: Michigan has two big, yet mostly uncomfortable 19-point wins in non-conference play, and while the Wolverines’ glacial pace usually endears them to Kenpom, they’re shooting just 36% from the field and 20% from deep. Instead, it’s been John Beilein’s newfound commitment to something called defense (6th in AdjD) and rebounding (55th in DReb) that’s paced the Wolverines.

Can that hold up against a ‘Nova team that remains near the top of the rankings despite losing Mikal Bridges, Jalen Brunson, and that little white dude? Guard Phil Booth has basically doubled his output from 2017-18 through two games this season (20 ppg on double the shots, 4.5 ast), and senior F Eric Paschall both gets to the free throw line and patrols the paint with the consistency he did last year. Fabulous freshmen forwards Saddiq Bey and Jermaine Samuels round out the front court for the Wildcats, who will have their hands full nonetheless with the size Michigan can match between their own freshman forwards, Ignas Brazdeikis and Isaiah Livers.

For me, this comes down to if Villanova can use home-court and tempo to draw the Wolverines out of their game—the inside size of Jon Teske will be a liability on the defensive end, and Charles Matthews needs to find his stroke from deep. I’ll take ‘Nova by 10, and I’m not sure it won’t just be a redux of the national title game.


National title rematch! Any changes?

This poll is closed

  • 84%
    (79 votes)
  • 15%
    Michigan with the stunner!
    (15 votes)
94 votes total Vote Now

Seton Hall Pirates (1-0, KP 40) at Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-0, KP 33)

6:30pm | BTN

Jesse Collins: Nebraska has as good a Top 5 as anyone in the Big Ten on paper and they are destroying bad competition with two 50+ point wins already. The question is if they can do it on a bigger stage.

SHU definitely isn’t the same team as last year but they’re still a high major that presents the first test of the prove it year. Can James Palmer keep scoring? Can Glynn Watson score at all? Is Isaiah Roby a lottery pick?

Lots of questions, and they should start to get answered here.


Are we taking Nebraska seriously yet?

This poll is closed

  • 20%
    Nah, Seton Hall leaves Lincoln with the win.
    (18 votes)
  • 79%
    Yup! Huskers get the W at home.
    (69 votes)
87 votes total Vote Now

[24] Marquette Golden Eagles (2-0, KP 28) at Indiana Hoosiers (2-0 KP 24)

7:30pm | FS1

Candystripes for Breakfast: Ah, the Tom Crean Memorial Gavitt Game.

I’ll be perfectly honest, I have no idea how good Marquette is supposed to be this year, but I would be disappointed if we didn’t at least win this game. Don’t have to win big, but this is a home game, and winning those is always important.

MNW: Ah, did someone ask for a Marquette preview?! Well too bad, you’re getting one anyway. Like my distinguished Northwestern colleague, I too have a Big East rooting interest, and it’s the best basketball team in the state of wisconsin. MY Marquette Golden Eagles struggled through a rough opener with UMBC, clanging something like 30 threes in a bad shooting game all around, but then goddamn did they find their stroke against Bethune-Cookman, making half their threes.

Markus Howard is the guy for MU—the junior (who will only turn 20 this season) plays wise beyond his years, and despite transitioning to the 2-spot this year is still dishing out assists as Joseph Chartouny settles into D-1 basketball. He dropped 37 on B-C and will do a lot of shooting night-in, night-out. Sam Hauser plays a nice swing role and will gun from deep, while his little brother, blue-chipper Joey Hauser, is even taller and (potentially) even better.

My favorite part of this MU team, though, is the brute Theo John patrolling the paint. He’s rough around the edges and can be neutralized by a talented or mobile big man, but he’ll throw down a couple dunks and blocks that get you out of your seat. Former Nebraska big man Ed Morrow is here, too, just for some Big Ten color.

This has been MNW’s Marquette preview. Golden Eagles by 9.


TOM CREAM MEMORIAL! Who leaves happy?

This poll is closed

  • 44%
    Stripey Tom Cream, tucking his shirt weirdly into his pants.
    (35 votes)
  • 55%
    The Tom Cream that got to coach D-Wade, somehow.
    (44 votes)
79 votes total Vote Now


Ohio State Buckeyes (2-0, KP 32) at Creighton Bluejays (2-0, KP 37)

6pm | FS1

James Snyder: We have Michigan in two weeks, who cares? That being said, the Bucks looked good on defense against Cincinnati, so I am optimistic for the season. Creighton is also a bit of an unknown, so this game should be fun, but not putting a lot of water into it.



This poll is closed

  • 57%
    Ohio State
    (51 votes)
  • 42%
    (37 votes)
88 votes total Vote Now

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0, KP 35) at DePaul Blue Demons (2-0, KP 72)

8pm | FS1

LincolnParkWildcat: DePaul basketball makes me drink. Fire Jean Lenti-Ponsetto!


Jeez. This game, huh? Do, we have to?

This poll is closed

  • 72%
    Penn State
    (67 votes)
  • 27%
    (25 votes)
92 votes total Vote Now


St. John’s Red Storm (2-0, KP 41) at Rutgers Scarlet Knights (2-0, KP 118)

6pm | BTN


In the Very Serious Battle for New York*, who you got?

This poll is closed

  • 62%
    St. John’s
    (78 votes)
  • 37%
    (46 votes)
124 votes total Vote Now

Other Games

[11] Michigan State Spartans (1-1, KP 13) vs. ULM Warhawks (2-1, KP 232)

Wednesday, 6pm | BTN+

ULM, until 2006, went by “Indians.” We all know, of course, that such a nickname wouldn’t stick around after the NCAA banned hostile Native American imagery from mascots and nicknames.

But man, ULM kinda blew the replacement. Let’s plagiarize head to Wiki:

An online poll, available to students, faculty, staff, alumni, donors and the public, yielded three semifinalists: “Warhawks,” “Bayou Gators” and “Bayou Hawks.”[6] The school’s mascot committee passed a single recommendation to the university president, who made the final decision. Warhawks was announced as ULM’s new mascot on April 5, 2006 and implemented on June 26, 2006.[2]


The new nickname honors Maj. Gen. Claire Lee Chennault, an LSU alumnus, and his Air Force unit from World War II, which utilized the Curtiss P-40 Warhawk in battle, although the logos primarily use bird imagery.

...oh. Well, I mean, I guess that seems cool? I don’t get the ULM mascot being an homage to an LSU alumnus, but do you, I suppose.

[23] Purdue Boilermakers (2-0, KP 15) vs. Appalachian State Mountaineers (1-1, KP 175)

Charleston Classic, TD Arena, Charleston, SC
Thursday, 4pm | ESPN2

We’ll have a tournament preview forthcoming for this one. Stay tuned!

Iowa Hawkeyes (2-0, KP 38) vs. [13] Oregon Ducks (2-0, KP 17)

2K Classic, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY
Thursday, 8:15pm | ESPN2

See above. Wednesday or Thursday!

Northwestern Wildcats (2-0, KP 50) vs. Binghamton Bearcats (1-2, KP 292)

Friday, 6pm | ESPNews

You should already note how insufferable this game is going to be—Pardon the Interruption hosts Tony Kornheiser and Michael Wilbon are alumni of these two schools and hosting PTI live from Welsh-Ryan before the game. Good? Let’s check in on the Bearcats—


But seriously, the Bearcats lost both their D-1 games in the prestigious Central New York Hoops Classic (to Cornell and NJIT) and play a four-out, one-in lineup with a 6’9”, 200# center and the next tallest player at 6’4”. NU by 20.

Maryland Terrapins (3-0, KP 34) vs. Hofstra Pride (1-1, KP 152)

6pm | BTN+

That’s my time; they’re giving me the light.

Here’s your basketball Open Thread for the week. Vote in the poll, try not to burn the place down.


How does the Big Ten fare in the Gavitt Games?

This poll is closed

  • 25%
    (27 votes)
  • 36%
    (39 votes)
  • 31%
    4-4, another tie
    (34 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    (4 votes)
108 votes total Vote Now