It’s here! It’s really here!
With the college basketball season starting on Monday, we need to give you the first Big East What To Watch of the 2023-24 season! A big AE shoutout goes to the women’s side of the league, as they are clearly giving us a lot more highlights than the men’s side is for this first week of the season. No worries though, that will balance out next week when the Gavitt Tipoff Games get rolling along, but for now, let’s get into what you need to know for the week ahead across the conference.
Monday, November 6: Butler Bulldogs at RV Iowa State Cyclones (11am Central, ESPN+) — Double whammy straight out of the gate, as 1) this is the very first Big East basketball game of any kind for the season and 2) Iowa State might be good and thus worth mentioning no matter when the game was being played. The Cyclones finished last season at #11 in the Her Hoop Stats rankings and they start off the year earning votes in the AP poll.
Monday, November 6: #6 Connecticut Huskies vs Northern Arizona Lumberjacks (5:30pm Central, FS1 Whiparound/Fox Sports app) — I’m not putting this on the highlights for the day other than to point out that 1) everyone conspired to get the reigning men’s basketball national champions as the first game in the entire league for the season and 2) FS1 Whiparound coverage returns for men’s basketball opening night once again. This game will have FS1 to themselves until 6pm CT when Providence/Columbia tips off. From there, FS1 will kick from game to game as the seven opening night games play themselves out. Marquette/Northern Illinois is the last game to start at 7:30pm Central, so in theory, that will be the last game standing at the end of the night. If you want to watch any of these seven games in their entirety, then you need to make use of the Fox Sports app.
Tuesday, November 7 & Friday, November 10: Georgetown Hoyas vs Le Moyne Dolphins & #22 Villanova Wildcats vs Le Moyne Dolphins (6pm Central on FS2 and 5:30pm Central on FS1) — These two games are on here because they are both against Le Moyne and also because Le Moyne is, at #356 per BartTorvik.com, the worst projected team on the entire Big East men’s basketball slate for the week. Fun.
Wednesday, November 8: #2 Connecticut Huskies vs Dayton Flyers (6pm Central, SNY) — It’s the season opener for the Huskies, which means it’s our first chance to watch Paige Bueckers in a game that counts since March of 2021. Kind of a whole thing, eh?
Friday, November 10 & Sunday, November 12: RV Villanova Wildcats at Portland Pilots & Oregon State Beavers (8pm Central & 4pm Central, Pac-12 Network) — Villanova’s playing their first games in years without Maddy Siegrist by going to the other side of the country to play a Portland team coming off an NCAA tournament appearance and an Oregon State team that’s probably still in a bad mood about missing the NCAA tournament for a second straight season last year. That’s a bold choice, Cotton, let’s see how it plays out for them.
Saturday, November 11: Marquette Golden Eagles vs #23 Illinois Fighting Illini (2pm Central, FloHoops) — After opening the season on Monday afternoon against UT Martin, Megan Duffy and the Golden Eagles ramp it up in a hurry with Illinois coming to the McGuire Center on Saturday afternoon. The Illini are coming off an NCAA tournament bid last year and are in the preseason AP top 25, so this is a big time early test for both sides.
Saturday, November 11: DePaul Blue Demons vs Long Beach State (9pm Central, FS2) — This game is on here as a highlight because Long Beach State is, at #112 per BartTorvik.com, the best projected team on the entire Big East men’s basketball slate for the entire week. FUN FACT: T-Rank has the Blue Demons favored by just 3.6 points. #BigEastAfterDark
Sunday, November 12: DePaul Blue Demons at #17 Louisville Cardinals (1pm Central, ACC Network) — Doug Bruno’s Blue Demons went through a massive roster overhaul over the offseason, and the Cardinals are still the Cardinals, although Hailey Van Lith is wearing purple and gold down in the Bayou now instead of causing problems for DePaul here. Is DePaul up for a challenge against a ranked foe this early in the year?
Sunday, November 12: #2 Connecticut Huskies at NC State Wolfpack (2pm Central, ABC) — And so the UConn Experience goes on the road against a NC State team that was good but not great last season following three straight Sweet 16 appearances and an Elite Eight on top of that in 2022. Geno Auriemma’s not afraid of anything or anyone, to say the least.
Sunday, November 12: Butler Bulldogs vs Detroit Mercy Titans (4pm Central, FloHoops) — The Butler women are playing the first and last game of the week, or at least the game tied for last, as the VU/OSU game is scheduled for the same time. They’re not playing a third game in between, and so I’m being impressed by Butler scheduling, by Her Hoop Stats’ rankings from last season at least, the best and worst team on the entire women’s basketball schedule for the week.
Here’s the full men’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East MBB Schedule: Week 1
|Monday, November 6||#6 Connecticut vs Northern Arizona||5:30 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|Providence vs Columbia||6:00 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|Seton Hall vs Saint Peter's||6:30 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|#22 Villanova vs American||6:30 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|RV Xavier vs Robert Morris||7:00 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|Butler vs Eastern Michigan||7:00 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|#5 Marquette vs Northern Illinois||7:30 PM||FS1 WhipAround/Fox Sports app|
|Tuesday, November 7||RV St. John's vs Stony Brook||6:00 PM||FS1|
|Georgetown vs Le Moyne||6:00 PM||FS2|
|#8 Creighton vs Florida A&M||8:00 PM||FS1|
|DePaul vs Purdue Fort Wayne||8:00 PM||FS2|
|Friday, November 10||#22 Villanova vs Le Moyne||5:30 PM||FS1|
|RV Xavier vs Jacksonville||5:30 PM||FS2|
|#5 Marquette vs Rider||7:30 PM||FS1|
|Butler vs Southeast Missouri State||7:30 PM||FS2|
|Saturday, November 11||#6 Connecticut vs Stonehill||11:00 AM||FS2|
|#8 Creighton vs North Dakota State||1:00 PM||FS2|
|Seton Hall vs Fairleigh Dickinson||3:00 PM||FS2|
|Providence vs Milwaukee||5:00 PM||FS2|
|Georgetown vs Holy Cross||7:00 PM||FS2|
|DePaul vs Long Beach State||9:00 PM||FS2|
And here’s the full women’s basketball schedule for the week!
Big East WBB Schedule: Week 1
|Monday, November 6||Butler at RV Iowa State||11:00 AM||ESPN+|
|Marquette vs UT Martin||Noon||FloHoops|
|#22 Creighton vs North Dakota State (at Sanford Pentagon)||6:00 PM||Sanford Sports|
|St. John's vs LIU||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Georgetown vs Maryland Eastern Shore||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|DePaul vs Western Michigan||7:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Tuesday, November 7||Providence vs Hampton||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Seton Hall vs Iona||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Wednesday, November 8||Xavier at Youngstown State||5:30 PM||ESPN+|
|#2 Connecticut vs Dayton||6:00 PM||SNY|
|Thursday, November 9||Georgetown at Temple||6:00 PM||ESPN+|
|DePaul vs Stonehill||7:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Friday, November 10||#22 Creighton vs South Dakota||11:30 AM||FloHoops|
|St. John's at Monmouth||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Providence vs Vermont||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Seton Hall at Columbia||6:00 PM|
|Villanova at Portland||8:00 PM|
|Saturday, November 11||Marquette vs #23 Illinois||2:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Xavier vs James Madison||6:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Sunday, November 12||Seton Hall vs Bryant||Noon||FloHoops|
|Georgetown vs Brown||1:00 PM||FloHoops|
|DePaul at #17 Louisville||1:00 PM||ACC Network|
|#2 Connecticut at RV NC State||2:00 PM||ABC|
|Butler vs Detroit Mercy||4:00 PM||FloHoops|
|Villanova at Oregon State||4:00 PM||Pac-12 Network|