The Big East schedule was dropped on Tuesday afternoon. Why waste time in analyzing things when you can make hasty overreactions? Let’s make a few right now, shall we?
1. The National TV schedule is LOADED: One quick glance at the national broadcasts featuring Big East teams this year generates quite a lot of excitement. In total, 15 games will be televised on big FOX and CBS, with 13 confirmed games on the former and two games on the latter.
The CBS games are pretty terrific as Notre Dame and Villanova will have a December 10 encounter in Newark, and then a month later, Georgetown will travel to Cincinnati to take on the Xavier Musketeers on the network as well.
Meanwhile, on FOX, 10 games are currently set in stone. From the nonconference portion, Utah will face Xavier on December 10 and old Big East rivals will meet again as UConn travels to D.C. to take on the Georgetown Hoyas on January 14. Then, two weeks later, Virginia and Villanova tangle in Philadelphia on a Sunday afternoon affair.
As far as in-conference games go, you could hardly do better. Villanova-Xavier, Xavier-Creighton, Villanova-Seton Hall and Creighton-Villanova are just some of the terrific matchups to be featured on big FOX. Currently, there are two flex spots open for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader on March 4, 2017, likely waiting to see how the Big East standings play out. So expect some impactful matchups to occur that day. And, of course, like last year the Big East Tournament Championship Game will be televised on FOX on March 11 from Madison Square Garden.
2. Villanova’s Wells Fargo Center slate leaves a bit to be desired: In recent years, some of Villanova’s biggest matchups have been held inside the WFC. This season, the slate there is somewhat underwhelming on the outside looking in. While their premier nonconference matchup against Virginia will take place at the venue, the others are a bit weak. IUPUI, Marquette, Providence and St. John’s are the other tilts at the WFC as most of Villanova’s big conference games will instead be played at The Pavilion on campus. This certainly does benefit the students on campus quite a bit, but it is a bit disappointing. Who knows? Perhaps the games will wind up bringing the heat anyway.
3. The end to Butler’s schedule will be rigorous: The Bulldogs weren’t granted any favors by the schedule makers especially so at the end of the year. To finish the season, Butler will have to travel to Villanova and Xavier back to back and will finish off the year by welcoming a tough Seton Hall team to Hinkle Fieldhouse. It will likely be imperative for Butler to rack up wins early and often because they will only make it tougher on themselves if they need a late run to make a move.
4. The beginning to Creighton’s Big East schedule plays to their favor: The Bluejays on the other hand were granted a bit of a favor by the schedule makers. Three of the first five games for the Bluejays in Big East play will be taking place in Omaha. Creighton will welcome Seton Hall, Villanova and Butler to CenturyLink Center Omaha, a notoriously tough venue to play in for any visiting team. Their road games meanwhile will take place against St. John’s and Providence, two teams who are a bit of a mystery heading into 2016. Creighton will have the opportunity to take advantage of an advantageous situation. Time will tell to see if they do it.
5. Xavier will have to be road warriors in the opening of their conference slate: From December 31-January 29, the Xavier Musketeers will play five games on the road with four coming in conference play. It won’t be easy either as they will have to travel to Georgetown, Villanova, Butler and St. John’s at Madison Square Garden in attempt to grab victories in the early portion of their slate. Oh, and not to mention that the one nonconference game is against in-state rival Cincinnati in their house on January 26.
So, what do you think of the schedule? Did we miss anything here? Let us know in the comments below or feel free to interact with us on Twitter too!