Last year the Big East and Big Ten announced dueling tournaments in New York City, and they also announced a partnership to honor the greatness of visionary former Big East commissioner Dave Gavitt.
Get ready for the annual Gavitt Tipoff Games!
There could be some potentially great matchups in the mix and with that knowledge many were eager to see what the inaugural event would look like.
So, as Wednesday rolled around and the two conferences finally gave fans a glimpse of what this event is going to look like, did it live up to potential?
In one word — NO.
Here is a look at the games that will be played over the course of three days in mid-November this upcoming season.
Tuesday, Nov. 17
Georgetown at Maryland: First meeting since 2008-09 season
DePaul at Penn State: First meeting since 1984-85 season
Nebraska at Villanova: First meeting since 1998-99 season
Wednesday, Nov. 18
Illinois at Providence: First meeting since 2003-04 season
Thursday, Nov. 19
Creighton at Indiana: First meeting since 1974-75 season
Iowa at Marquette: First meeting since 1982-83 season
Rutgers at St. John’s: First meeting since 2012-13 season
Friday, Nov. 20
Xavier at Michigan: First meeting since 1988-89 season
Now do you see why this slate is wholly and rightfully being panned by fans and pundits alike?
There is no doubt some major national intrigue in matchups like Creighton at Indiana, Iowa at Marquette and Georgetown at Maryland.
However, the other matchups mean very little outside of regional rivalries. Rutgers at St. John’s? Sorry, there’s got to be something better on my television than that. Nebraska at Villanova would’ve been amazing two years ago.
Then there is the awful DePaul trip to Happy Valley and Illinois is clearly head and shoulders above Providence, on paper of course.
About the only other option for a good game comes from the Xavier at Michigan contest to cap off the event.
While I get that marquee matchups are usually saved for the Big Ten/ACC Challenge or other big time non-conference tournaments, it’s had to really get excited about how these matchups have been thought up in year one.
If you want anyone outside of those who care about the two teams to enter the fray then it better be back to the drawing board for the 2016 version of this challenge.
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