Big Ten, Big East Team Up to Form Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games

By Kyle Rowland on May 5, 2014 at 11:30a
16 Comments

Beginning in 2015, the Big Ten and Big East will start the basketball season in style with a four-day, eight-game event, the conference’s announced Monday at Madison Square Garden. The Dave Gavitt Tipoff Games, a nod to the Big East founder and basketball hall of Famer, will take place the first week of the college basketball season each November at home sites.

ESPN, Big Ten Network and Fox Sports 1 will be the television partners. The network will be controlled by the conference of the home team. 

Providence, St. John’s, Seton Hall, Villanova, Georgetown, Xavier, Butler, DePaul, Marquette and Creighton form the Big East after a mass exodus during conference realignment. It’s possible fans could see rivalries renewed or begun all together. Ohio State-Xavier, Butler-Indiana, Maryland-Georgetown, Villanova-Penn State, Wisconsin-Marquette and DePaul-Illinois are all possible matchups.

“We are excited to honor Dave Gavitt and his contributions to the sport of basketball through the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games,” Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany said in a statement. “Dave was a friend and a mentor to me and often mentioned that college basketball should do a better job of tipping off the season, similar to opening day in baseball.  I think he would approve of our effort to start a new tipoff tradition, grow the game and serve the best interests of the student-athletes and coaches in these two great conferences.”

Games will be determined with competitive balance in mind, similar to the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Each conference will have four home games on an annual basis from 2015 through 2022. Two games will be played on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the first full week of each season. Each Big Ten team will participate a minimum of four times over the eight-year period, while Big East teams will participate six times. 

The 16-year event with the ACC will not be affected. College basketball fans have voiced complaints in recent years about declining strength of schedule. Only a handful of blue-blood programs play difficult non-conference schedules each season. But the combination of events with the Big East and ACC should lessen that problem among Big Ten schools, especially Ohio State.  

The Big Ten and Big East overlap geographically. Many of the Big East’s members are located in the Midwest and the inclusion of Maryland and Rutgers in the 14-team Big Ten gives the conference a footprint on the East Coast. Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany is determined to increase the league’s visibility throughout the Northeast.

Along with the addition of Maryland and Rutgers, the conference is opening an office in Midtown Manhattan, a satellite office Washington, beginning a partnership with the Pinstripe Bowl, advertising inside Yankee Stadium during all events played at the historic venue and adding Johns Hopkins as a member of its budding lacrosse conference.

Gavitt was a major proponent of the Final Four, but he long advocated for a similar event to mark the college basketball season’s arrival. Along with being known as the Big East’s founder, which created a basketball power conference, Gavitt also served as the president of USA Basketball from 1988 to 1992 during which he contributed to the formation of the Dream Team. 

16 Comments

Comments

BGBOY's picture

This is a great idea. Would love to see a Buckeye vs. Xavier or even a  Butler matchup.

You can tune a piano but you can't tuna fish.

+2 HS
BierStube's picture

Quite frankly, I would rather see more of these type of arrangements than playing a soft pre-B1G season.  Why not add  Pac 12 vs B1G, Big 12 (or whatever they call themselves) vs B1G, SEC vs B1G ..etc.

"No matter where you go, there you are." B. Banzai

MikeNugents BigToe's picture

I agree with you, I think the B1G should eventually start expanding more westward for more national coverage. This would allow for more exciting match ups with middle of the country and west coast teams in all major sports. However, I think the B1G conference is doing the right thing with expanding and building up there reach to the entire east coast with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland. The addition of the NJ, MD and NY market is HUGE for sponsorship. Were talking Gene Smith type of mula $$$$

"Remember that 55 yarder against Marshall?" -Not Mike Nugent

TheShookster's picture

If Dayton can ever get into the Big East (they want to badly) then we could get a rematch. God knows I want a rematch when we have a team that has at least one person who can score. By my count by 2015 if we avoid one and dones there should be quite a few.

+1 HS
Unky Buck's picture

This is fantastic news. The early games have become so unbearable and difficult to watch. This at least provides us with, in the very least, interesting matchups. Add this with the UNC, UK, UCLA, and OSU set of games over several years, it looks like OSU's OOC strength of schedule is going to see a huge uptick.

...

+1 HS
gumtape's picture

Jim Delany is an evil genius

 

High and tight boo boo

+1 HS
Maffro's picture

I think I speak for all Maryland natives when I say G'Town and UMD better not continue to go out of their way to avoid each other (although I'm sure they will).
 

+2 HS
703Buckeye's picture

It astounds me that for being only 10 miles apart that these two go out of their way to avoid each other. Do you know why G-Town and Maryland don't play one another?

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Maffro's picture

I can't remember exactly why they don't, but as far as I can recall, it's for some completely petty reason that a bunch of adults should be able to get over. Recently, I think UMD announced that they won't play G'Town in ANY sports (unless they're forced to) until they play in men's basketball. It's completely childish and stupid, given how prestigious both programs are and how much basketball talent the area produces.

+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

I'm going to try and find out. I have a former professor who was the HC of the G'Town men's basketball team and I will be interning at the UMD athletic department this summer.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

Scarlet_Lutefisk's picture

That's gotta be Esherick as he's been the only coach not named John Thompson over the past 40 years.
 

+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

S_L, you would be correct.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter

+1 HS
Michael Citro's picture

I'll pony up 50 bucks of my own hard-earned coin if they'll change the name to something that sounds even remotely exciting.

BHT's picture

If only I could upvote your comment...

+1 HS
bucknasty13's picture

Villanova vs.Penn State...ouch

+1 HS
703Buckeye's picture

Ouch? Only for Penn State... I'm going to enjoy watching Villanova wipe the floor with them.

"Attack the Strong, Trample the Weak, Hurdle the Dead!"
-Former OSU S&C Coach Lichter