They're finally here! Since the announcement a couple years back, Big East and Big Ten fans have both been long looking forward to the beginning of the Gavitt Games.
In the opening matchup, DePaul will travel to State College to face the Penn State Nittany Lions.
Here are three things you need to know about this contest.
Starting Off on the Right Foot
Coming into the Gavitt Games, the Big East certainly would be considered an underdog of sorts. After all, the Big Ten has had a team in the Final Four in back-to-back seasons, and has been a deeper conference top to bottom than the Big East.
With that being said, DePaul could really get these games off on the right foot with a victory in the Bryce Jordan Center on ESPN2.
Billy Garrett, Jr. is the best player on either team in this game, so DePaul has an advantage in that regard, if nothing else.
Billy Garrett, Jr. Needs to Thrive
That's called a segue. As I stated, Garrett is the best all-around player on the court on either side, and DePaul needs him to play as such.
In the Blue Demons' season opening win against Western Michigan, Garrett led all DePaul scorers with 18 points, but was 4-13 from the field. He needs his shot to fall consistently and efficiently against the Nittany Lions.
Not Penn State of Years Past
Aside from a Sweet Sixteen appearance in 2001, the past 50 years for Penn State basketball have been pretty unmemorable. That's all starting to change, as Pat Chambers has gotten the program to respectability, going 34-34 in the past two season.
While last year's leading scorer, DJ Newbill, is now playing overseas, the Nittany Lions are trending upwards under Chambers. They brought in a solid recruiting class, and sophomore guard Shep Garner (15 points, 4-6 3PT in Penn State's season opening win over VMI) looks ready to pick up right where Newbill left off.