The Friars will have their final tune up against Stonehill Tuesday before heading to Uncassville, CT for the Hall of Fame Tip Off tournament at Mohegan Sun. One out of conference event they won’t be participating in this year is the Gavitt Games. The Gavitt Games are the annual 8-game series between Big East and Big Ten schools, which started in 2015. Initially, it was an 8 year plan for the games with them set to expire after this season. However, with Covid canceling 2020’s games, next year will be the last year they are played, unless the conferences come together on a new deal.
With the Friars sitting this one out it’s a good time to check out how fellow Big East teams are faring. So without further ado here is the Gavitt Games preview.
DePaul at Minnesota 7pm BTN- The Blue Demons are off to a 2-0 start on the season. They’ve gotten a huge surprise with Javan Johnson leading them in points and OU transfer Umoja Gibson has been excellent. If DePaul can go on the road and beat a somewhat rebuilding Golden Gophers team we could start to think about entering #RankDePaul season.
Butler at Penn St 8:30pm FS1- The Bulldogs have a new look this year with Thad Matta back on the sidelines and they finally have a serious big man in Manny Bates. Bates in his first game with the Bulldogs had 25 points, 11 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Dogs have had a ton of time to prep for this one, having only played once this season.
Northwestern at Georgetown 6:30pm FS1- Northwestern returns their backcourt of Boo Buie and Chase Audige but lost stalwart Pete Nance, with him transferring to UNC. That leaves Robbie Beran (bless his heart) holding down the frontcourt for the Wildcats. This should be an intriguing matchup with the Hoyas holding the edge inside.
Marquette at Purdue 8:30pm FS1- The Golden Eagles are playing the disrespect card this year being picked so low in the preseason conference standings. So far they have been humming on offense, scoring 88 ppg (45th in the country), in year two under Shaka Smart. This game figures to be a big challenge for Marquette, as Purdue should be able to dominate the boards.
Iowa at Seton Hall 7:30pm FS1- Both of these teams have totally new looks this season. Out is Kevin Willard and in is Hall legend Shaheen Holloway. For the Hawkeyes, gone is Keegan Murray but is replaced by his brother Kris Murray, who has done an admirable job filling in (18 ppg 7rpg). This figures to be a really close game and an opportunity for Holloway to secure his first signature win at the helm.
Nebraska at St. John’s 6:30pm FS1- There might not be a seat hotter in the country than Fred Hoiberg’s at Nebraska, yet the Corn Huskers are out to a 2-0 start. Surely St. John’s won’t screw this up right???
#11 Indiana at Xavier 6pm FS1- Is Indiana back? Tough to tell after two games against poor competition but one thing we do know is Trayce Jackson-Davis is back with the Hoosiers. This could possibly be the best game of the 2022 Gavitt Games, with a lot of buzz also around this Xavier team with Sean Miller back at the helm. Expect an awesome environment and a fantastic game.
Villanova at Michigan St 8pm FS1- This game figured to be the marquee contest of the Gavitt Games but both programs are coming off a loss. Michigan State squandered a lead against Gonzaga on an aircraft carrier, while the Wildcats dropped a tight one to in-town rival Temple. It is way too early to say this is a must win game but both programs really need this one.