Big Ten, Big East arrange hoops series

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Jeff Potrykus, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Monday, May 5, 2014

MADISON—Big East officials, eager to improve the nonconference scheduling options of the league’s men’s basketball teams, have found a willing partner: the Big Ten.

A source confirmed Sunday the leagues are expected to begin playing an annual series in 2015-16, similar to the current ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Officials from the Big East and Big Ten are scheduled to discuss the agreement during a news conference at 11:30 a.m. today at Madison Square Garden in New York. The series will honor former Big East Commissioner Dave Gavitt.

The Big Ten recently opened an office in New York City and Commissioner Jim Delany has made it clear he wants to expand the Big Ten’s presence in the area.

One sticking point is that the leagues do not have the same number of schools.

The Big Ten will be at 14 schools with the addition of Rutgers and Maryland for the 2014-15 academic year.

The Big East has 10 teams: Marquette, Villanova, St. John’s, Georgetown, Providence, Seton Hall, DePaul, Xavier, Butler and Creighton.

To address that issue the leagues will play eight games, in the first week of the regular season. Four games will be at Big Ten sites and four at Big East sites.

Wisconsin went 2-0 against Big East teams last season. The Badgers opened the season with an 86-75 victory over St. John’s at a neutral site and defeated visiting Marquette, 70-64. Marquette also lost its other game against a Big Ten foe last season, falling at home to Ohio State, 52-35.

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