Considering that everybody's only playing one game, I'd have to say that getting three games against power conference teams and two games between two 2013 NCAA tournament teams is a pretty great haul! So let's take our first swing of the season at highlighting the five best games involving Big East teams this week!
Friday, November 8: Boston College at Providence (5pm Central, Fox Sports 1) - Ok, this is slightly less exciting now that Providence freshmen Brandon Austin and Rodney Bullock have been suspended indefinitely for "not upholding their responsibilities as student-athletes." But it's still the first Big East game airing on Fox Sports 1, and Boston College is projected as a middle of the pack ACC team. With Duke, North Carolina, Syracuse, Notre Dame, and Pitt in that league, that's still not too shabby.
Friday, November 8: #19/#18 Oregon vs Georgetown (6pm Central, ESPN) - This game matches up two 2013 NCAA tournament teams, so that's worth highlighting on it's own. In addition, it's the 2013 Armed Forces Classic, so it's taking place at Camp Humphreys in South Korea. While it's in prime time on Friday for us, it'll be taking place at 10 am on Saturday local time. Like the BC-PC game, this one has had a little bit of a shine taken off of it by Oregon suspending Dominic Artis and Ben Carter indefinitely as the school investigates reports of the two players selling their custom Nike shoes.
Friday, November 8: #20/#21 Wisconsin vs St. John's (7pm Central, Big Ten Network) - This is a neutral site game that's inexplicably being played at the brand new Sanford Pentagon in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. I wonder if Mrs. Lavin is making the trip. Also: Go Red Storm.
Friday, November 8: Southern at #17/#17 Marquette (7pm Central, Fox Sports Wisconsin) - And that brings us to the non-power conference matchup between two 2013 NCAA tournament teams. I know, I know, I'm slightly reaching, as the Jaguars are ranked #286 in KenPom to start the season, and they lost three of their top four scorers from last year's team that won the SWAC and they're only picked to finish second this season. They were still tied with four minutes to play against #1 seed Gonzaga in the tournament last year. I'm guessing their returning guys aren't super pleased about how that ended.
Saturday, November 9: Niagara at Seton Hall (5pm Central, Fox Sports 2) - As is tradition for the Big Five, if I need to break a tie on what to make the fifth game of the week, we turn to the KenPom rankings. Niagara is the best opponent left out of the other six games at #176 in the rankings, so this game wins. The Purple Eagles are the defending regular season MAAC champions, although they were picked to finish eighth this season.