Gavitt Games to debut in 2015 for Big East, Big Ten
Monday, May 05, 2014
In effect, it will be a Big East-Big 10 Challenge. And it will be good for all teams hoping to build schedule strength in an effort to reach college basketball's post-season.
The Big East Conference and Big Ten Conference announced Monday the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual early-season series of eight men’s basketball games played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. Gavitt, a former coach and athletic director at Providence College as well as the founding Big East Commissioner, was inducted into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
The Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on four consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. The series begins at the start of the 2015-16 season and will span eight years (through 2022), with games played at home sites.
"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, with the series announcement made from Madison Square Garden in New York. "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."
“On behalf of the entire Gavitt family, we are humbled and grateful for this incredible honor in Dave’s memory from the Big Ten and Big East Conferences,” said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Vice President of Men’s Basketball Championships, son of Dave Gavitt and former Providence assistant coach. “My father would love the spirit of creativity and friendship that these games represent to tip off the college basketball season. He would be most excited about the competitive experience that the games offer to the players and coaches of two great conferences.”
“We are excited to honor Dave Gavitt and his contributions to the sport of basketball through the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. “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 home contests each for Big East and Big Ten schools on an annual basis from 2015 through 2022. Two games will be played on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in the first full week of each season. Each Big East team will participate a minimum of six times over the eight years, while Big Ten programs will participate a minimum of four times.
Television coverage of the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be controlled by the conference of the home team. Big East home games will be telecast by FOX Sports 1, while Big Ten home matchups will appear on ESPN or BTN. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue during the 2014-15 season. The full schedule of eight games will be announced in late spring of each year.