Over the past few years, we’ve had a weekly feature during basketball season called “Big East Big Five.” We highlighted the five best games of the week involving teams in the league, and gave you a little preview of them. When the league shifted to its current 10 team configuration, we changed things up a little bit.
The Big Five continued unchanged during the non-conference portion of the schedule, but during league play, we identified the three best men’s games, the best women’s game, and the worst American Athletic Conference game of the week.
The fact of the matter is that there’s only so many times that a person can make fun of East Carolina and their terrible arena, and so, the jokes are getting repetitive and dull to write. There’s just not enough Big East men’s basketball every week with just 10 teams playing, so there’s not enough of a mix of teams in action to make a 4/1 men’s/women’s split make sense, so we’re bringing an end to the Big Five.
Replacing it will be a weekly What To Watch. We’ll give you the FULL Big East men’s basketball schedule every week, including times and TV, and if there’s games worth pointing out as significant highlights on the slate, we’ll do that. This will also give us a chance to point out second and third round matchups in the various holiday multi-team events that the Big East participates in, as we’ve had to leave those out of the Big Five. There was no point in burning a spot in the Five if we didn’t know what the game was going to be, y’know?
We’ll keep an eye on women’s hoops throughout the season as well. As you may have heard by now, Marquette’s women’s team is starting the year ranked #17 in the AP poll and will tangle with three teams in the preseason top 25 just in non-conference play alone. There’s going to be some big games in the league, and that’s only taking the Golden Eagles into account.
Here’s the big games for this abbreviated first week of hoops.
Friday, November 10: Yale at Creighton (8pm Central, Fox Sports Regional) - The Bluejays kick off the season with a home date against the Bulldogs, who are in an interesting position. Harvard is the official favorite to with the Ivy League, picking up six of the first place votes in the media poll. However, Yale got eight of the first place votes and Yale (preseason #84) is the predicted favorite on KenPom. Maybe they put it together, maybe they don’t. Either, way, this game, which is part of the Hall of Fame Classic, should go a long way towards being a quality contest for the Jays.
Saturday, November 11: #14 Notre Dame at DePaul (3pm Central, FS1) - Welcome to Wintrust Arena, DePaul. I hope you survive the experience. Look, I get that the Blue Demons are opening up their brand new fancy time arena here, and I get that they wanted to have a big time opponent for the very first game. Scheduling Notre Dame was a mistake. You can not pick the big time famous school that’s just 90 miles down the road. There’s way too many Notre Dame fans in Chicago. I really really really hope for DePaul’s sake that they figured out a way to make sure that the tickets ended up in the hands of people who are going to cheer for DePaul. Because let’s face it: Given how good ND is supposed to be this season, this could turn into an Irish home game VERY quickly.
Sunday, November 12: Princeton at Butler (5pm Central, CBS Sports Network) - ALL IVY, ALL THE TIME! Ok, so it’s just luck of the draw that two Big East teams are playing two top end Ivy League teams in the first three days of the season. Princeton got the three first place votes that Yale and Harvard did not get, so there’s clearly a top three in that league this season, especially with the Tigers predicted to finish tied for second with Harvard by KenPom. This will be a pretty quick turnaround for the Bulldogs after hosting Kennesaw State on Friday night, while it will be the season opener for Princeton. Fresh opponent legs, plus fired up opponent for opening night, plus new Butler head coach LaVall Jordan ...... there’s a lot of variables there, and hopefully the Bulldogs can pull off the W.
Here’s your full schedule for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday:
2017-18 Big East Men’s Basketball Week One
|Date||Game||Time (CT)||TV Network|
|Date||Game||Time (CT)||TV Network|
|Fri., Nov. 10||Fairleigh Dickinson at #23 Seton Hall||5:30 PM||FS2|
|Morehead State at #17 Xavier||6:00 PM||FSN|
|Houston Baptist at Providence||6:00 PM||FSN|
|Kennesaw State at Butler||6:00 PM||Fox College Sports|
|New Orleans at St. John's||6:00 PM||Fox College Sports|
|Columbia at #6 Villanova||7:30 PM||FS2|
|Mount St. Mary's at Marquette||8:00 PM||FSN|
|Yale at Creighton||8:00 PM||FSN|
|Sat., Nov. 11||#14 Notre Dame at DePaul||3:00 PM||FS1|
|Sun., Nov. 12||Jacksonville at Georgetown||11:00 AM||FSN|
|Monmouth at #23 Seton Hall||12:30 PM||FS1|
|Princeton at Butler||5:00 PM||CBS Sports Network|
|Alcorn State at Creighton||7:00 PM||FS1|