The What To Watch is back, y’all! College basketball is back, y’all!
We start off the look at the week ahead with what amounts to a programming note that actually does not affect Marquette fans all that much.....
Tuesday, November 9: Big East Opening Night Tip-Off (5:30pm Central, FS1) - I’m going out of my way to highlight this in an effort to make sure that everyone understands what’s happening tonight. There are eight Big East games scheduled for today. One of them — Villanova vs Mount St. Mary’s — airs by itself on FS1 at 3:30pm CT. Another — Marquette vs SIUE — is on FS2 by itself at 7:30pm CT. The other six games — featuring Connecticut, Butler, Providence, Xavier, St. John’s, and Creighton — will not air on a standard cable television channel in their entirety. FS1 will be zipping between those six staggered start games and the MU game all night long, much like NFL Red Zone coverage. If you want to watch the entirety of one of those six games, you have to use the Fox Sports app or FoxSports.com/live to see them uninterrupted.
Wednesday, November 10: Butler Bulldogs vs #8 Indiana Hoosiers (6pm Central, FloHoops) - This one is a women’s basketball game, and it’s one of two contests this week where a Big East squad is tangling with a top 10 team right out of the gate. This is the more interesting one of the pair, as this is #8 Indiana going to Hinkle Fieldhouse. Butler isn’t expected to be a challenger in the Big East much less for an NCAA tournament bid, so crossing your fingers for an upset isn’t a good plan... but weirder things have happened when top 10 teams decide to start their season off with a road game against a local rival.
Friday, November 12: Xavier Musketeers vs Kent State Golden Flashes (5:30pm Central, FS1) - This is the first game of the entire season where a Big East team will play a squad that starts the year better than #200 in the ol’ KenPom.com rankings. Kent State kicks it off at #143, which means they’re projected to be a pretty good squad even though that means they’re slotted in for 7th place in the MAC. This will be the opener for Kent State, but Xavier will have already dealt with Niagara on Tuesday night.
Friday, November 12: Villanova Wildcats at #4 Maryland Terrapins (6pm Central, Big Ten Network Plus) - This is the other women’s game against a top 10 team this week, and with Villanova visiting College Park, it seems even less likely of an upset chance than Butler’s game with Indiana. Still, if you’re in the game, you have a chance. Villanova’s a better team than Butler, but the Terrapins are the favorite in the Big Ten this season.
Friday, November 12: #4 Villanova Wildcats at #2 UCLA Bruins (10:30pm Central, ESPN2) - Well, nearly straight into the fire for Jay Wright and his Wildcats, huh? This shapes up to be one of the best games of the opening week of the season in the country, much less the Big East. Two top five Associated Press poll teams, two KenPom top 10 teams, two preseason favorites in their respective leagues, and two squads with reasonable national title aspirations as the season gets started. I suspect this game will get a lot of viewing in the McGuire Center over the next few months as Marquette will play both of these teams.
Saturday, November 13: Georgetown Hoyas vs Dartmouth Big Green (1pm Central, FS2) - This one comes at your eyeballs as a Big East quintuple-header on FS2 as Fox Sports presumable counterprograms their own college football schedule on broadcast Fox and FS1. I don’t have anything interesting to say about this one other than to point out that this is Georgetown’s first game of the season. No, I don’t know why they’re letting four days of the season go by without playing, and neither do you. Marquette will have two games under their belt by the time this tips off.
Saturday, November 13: St. John’s Red Storm vs Saint Peter’s Peacocks (3pm Central, FS2) - Saint Peter’s is a top 180 KenPom team to start the year and they are projected to challenge Iona for the title in the MAAC with both teams having a predicted finish of 13-7 in the conference. That’s three games better than anyone else in that league, so by the end of the season, this could turn into a valuable non-conference marker for the Johnnies..... if they hold up their end of the bargain, of course.
Sunday, November 14: Seton Hall Pirates vs Yale Bulldogs (11am Central, FS1) - It’s the only Big East game of the day on Sunday, but it’s a pretty big one at least relative to most of the other 22 games on the docket this week. Yale is KenPom’s preseason favorite in the Ivy League, and they’ll be coming in with a full head of steam with two games already under their belts. That includes a home coin toss with UMass on Friday night. They’ll likely be up to fighting speed already, and it’ll be up to head coach Kevin Willard to have the Pirates ready for the challenge.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East Men’s Basketball Week 1 Schedule
|Tuesday, November 9||#4 Villanova vs Mount St. Mary's||3:30 PM||FS1|
|#24 Connecticut vs Central Connecticut||5:30 PM||FS1-ish|
|Butler vs IUPUI||5:45 PM||FS1-ish|
|Providence vs Fairfield||6:00 PM||FS1-ish|
|Xavier vs Niagara||6:30 PM||FS1-ish|
|St. John's vs Mississippi Valley State||6:45 PM||FS1-ish|
|Creighton vs Arkansas Pine Bluff||7:00 PM||FS1-ish|
|Marquette vs SIUE||7:30 PM||FS2|
|Wednesday, November 10||Seton Hall vs Fairleigh Dickinson||Noon||FS1|
|DePaul vs Coppin State||8:00 PM||FS1|
|Thursday, November 11||Providence vs Sacred Heart||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Creighton vs Kennesaw State||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Friday, November 12||Xavier vs Kent State||5:30 PM||FS1|
|Butler vs Central Arkansas||5:30 PM||FS2|
|Marquette vs New Hampshire||7:30 PM||FS2|
|#4 Villanova at #2 UCLA||10:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Saturday, November 13||#24 Connecticut vs Coppin State||11:00 AM||FS2|
|Georgetown vs Dartmouth||1:00 PM||FS2|
|St. John's vs Saint Peter's||3:00 PM||FS2|
|DePaul vs Central Michigan||5:00 PM||FS2|
|Butler vs Troy||7:00 PM||FS2|
|Sunday, November 14||Seton Hall vs Yale||11:00 AM||FS1|