Over the last few days, matchups have been leaking out for next year's Gavitt Games between the Big Ten and Big East. This fall marks the second year of what is set to be a tremendous event featuring two of the nation's best and most prestigious conferences.
Last year's Gavitt Games were split 4-4 between the two conferences with neither conference delivering anything close to a dominating performance. Perhaps the most memorable game was the showdown between Georgetown and Maryland in College Park where the Terps got a 75-51 win.
Given last year's great success, this year's event looks even more exciting with different Big Ten teams involved that weren't last year. Jon Rothstein of CBSSports has been reporting the schedule, so here are the matchups.
2016 Gavitt Games Schedule:
- Maryland Terrapins at Georgetown Hoyas
- Northwestern Wildcats at Butler Bulldogs
- Providence Friars at Ohio State Buckeyes
- Rutgers Scarlet Knights at DePaul Blue Demons
- Seton Hall Pirates at Iowa Hawkeyes
- St. John's Red Storm at Minnesota Golden Gophers
- Villanova Wildcats at Purdue Boilermakers
- Wisconsin Badgers at Creighton Bluejays
Let's start with the obvious. This is a much better slate than last year's games. This isn't surprising given the short turnaround in scheduling last year's games, but this looks like a really intriguing set of games virtually from top to bottom. Most of these teams made the NCAA Tournament and several made deep runs and unlike last year where there were matchups like Nebraska and Villanova, these look a lot more equal.
The top game has to be Villanova traveling to Purdue. After all, when a national champion goes on the road for a non-conference game, it's notable. The Boilermakers still have to sort out some NBA decisions this offseason, but that just has the feel of a huge game and could be huge for Purdue's RPI.
Along with that game, Maryland's return trip to Georgetown should be a thriller and Wisconsin's trip to Creighton looks like a great game. It's not hard to see both of those games having some serious NCAA Tournament seeding implications by year's end. Providence at Ohio State also looks like a sneaky good game.
Of course, the one game that stands out on the other end is the Rutgers and DePaul matchup. Both teams should be in rough shape and it's hard to get too excited about this game. Maybe it serves as a harbinger for who can get out of the college basketball cellar first, but otherwise, it shouldn't turn a lot of heads.
Overall, it looks like a great set of games and another showdown in what is quickly becoming one of the best college basketball events.