With just nine days and four games left in the announced men’s basketball schedule for Marquette’s Big East slate, the league office has officially announced the dates for the remaining 16 games of the 2020-21 schedule for the Golden Eagles. This is still very clearly a work in progress, as there are no tip off times attached to any of these, nor are there television assignments. It shouldn’t be a surprise to you that it is a work in progress, as the start of league play over the last week has been marred with COVID-19 postponements and rescheduling. Even as associate commissioner Stu Jackson’s office moved close to issuing the remaining schedule, things were thrown back up into the air by suddenly flip flopping games in the immediate term.
For now, though, we know when Marquette will play again following what was the final scheduled game before Christmas on December 23rd against Villanova. MU will pick back up after the start of 2021, which gives the Golden Eagles a longer layoff than some other teams in the Big East. December 23rd was the last day for anyone to play in the league, and there will not be another game played until DePaul is scheduled to visit Connecticut on December 30th. MU’s first game back at it will come three days later with a trip to Washington, D.C., to see Georgetown.
MU’s first home game after the first of the year will be three days later, and it will be a fairly momentous game. It will, as you can guess by inference there, be against Connecticut, marking the first time that Marquette has tangled with the Huskies since The Reformation booted UConn out into the American Athletic Conference.
For the month of January, the schedule mostly looks like you would expect it to, with the Golden Eagles playing twice a week. Things change as we shift into February. There is a road trip to Providence on Wednesday, January 27th, and then MU is off again until they host Butler on Tuesday, February 2nd, nearly a week later. Creighton comes to town on Saturday, February 6th....... and then Marquette is off until the 14th. That’s a trip to Seton Hall, and then there are two more games that week, Wednesday at Butler and Saturday at home against St. John’s.
That game against the Johnnies is on February 20th, and then there’s not another game slated until Marquette goes to Storrs on Saturday, February 27, a week later, to visit Connecticut for the first time since the Huskies rejoined the league. After that, it’s a “normal” end to the season with two games on the board for the final week of the year.
The gaps in the schedule in February are on purpose, more so than the bye weeks that the league has installed in years past. Since the league is getting games in during December, they have the luxury of keeping those bye weeks in there to afford the ability to reschedule games for COVID-19 reasons down the road. There’s already several games that needed rescheduling, although as mentioned earlier, that was solved by way of flip flopping.
If we presume that Marquette will maintain their regular schedule of events during the Big East calendar, then we can easily point to Saturday, March 6th as Senior Day for Jamal Cain, Theo John, and Koby McEwen. Moving backwards, Saturday, February 20th would be the first weekend home game and thus the obvious spot for National Marquette Day.... but that’s the day St. John’s comes to town, and that’s usually reserved for Al’s Night to celebrate MU coaching legend and SJU alum Al McGuire. Saturday, February 6th is on the board then for National Marquette Day, as that’s a home game against Creighton, as is Saturday, January 23rd when DePaul Blue Demons comes to town.
Of course, the flip side of all of this is that there is a very real argument to be made that Marquette as an institution should just not do any of this. After all, vaccine rollout or not, we’re still in the middle of a pandemic until sometimes towards the end of the season if not longer. Marquette engaging with their alumni to gather in groups to watch a game in February would probably be the single stupidest thing I can possibly think of doing in terms of continuing to operate a basketball season.
I guess we’ll see what happens?
I think I’ve run through most of the games on accident in the preceding paragraphs, but here’s what the game-by-game slate looks like:
Saturday, January 2: at Georgetown
Tuesday, January 5: vs Connecticut
Friday, January 8: at Villanova
Tuesday, January 12: vs Providence
Saturday, January 16: at St. John’s
Wednesday, January 20: vs Georgetown
Saturday, January 23: vs DePaul
Wednesday, January 27: at Providence
Tuesday, February 2: vs Butler
Saturday, February 6: vs Creighton
Sunday, February 14: at Seton Hall
Wednesday, February 17: at Butler
Saturday, February 20: vs St. John’s
Saturday, February 27: at Connecticut
Tuesday, March 2: at DePaul
Saturday, March 6: vs Xavier