Big Ten, Big East announce basketball series

Big Ten, Big East announce basketball series

NEW YORK — The Big Ten and the Big East announced today an eight-game early season series of men's basketball games between teams from the two leagues beginning in 2015.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games, honoring Big East founder Dave Gavitt, will be played at campus sites and is initially set to run for eight seasons.

"We are excited to honor Dave Gavitt and his contributions to the sport of basketball through the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games," Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany said. "Dave was a friend and a mentor to me and often mentioned that college basketball should do a better job of tipping off the season, similar to opening day in baseball.  I think he would approve of our effort to start a new tipoff tradition, grow the game and serve the best interests of the student-athletes and coaches in these two great conferences."

The Gavitt Tipoff games will feature four games in the home arenas of Big Ten schools and four in the home arenas of Big East programs from 2015-22. They will be played on four consecutive nights during the first full week of the college basketball season.

Each Big Ten team will participate a minimum of four times during the eight-year run. Big East teams will get a minimum of six games. Big Ten homes games will be televised by BTN or ESPN. Big East home games will appear on Fox Sports 1.

Matchups, dates and times will be established in late spring of each year.

"We look forward to partnering with the Big Ten to stage a new series of basketball games among our schools and to pay homage to Dave Gavitt, the BIG EAST's founder, who was an inspiration to many of us and one of the most impactful contributors in the sport of basketball," said BIG EAST Commissioner Val Ackerman.  "We have natural connections with the Big Ten through our shared geographic regions, and these competitions promise some exciting new rivalries for our players, coaches and alumni.  With March Madness, college basketball always ends with a flourish, and the Gavitt Tipoff Games will allow us to open the season with a bang as well."