EXPANDED 18-GAME CONFERENCE SLATE HEADLINES MEN'S BASKETBALL OPPONENTS ANNOUNCEMENT :: 2007-08 season to be the first under new conference alignment in which every team plays each other at least once EXPANDED 18-GAME CONFERENCE SLATE HEADLINES MEN'S BASKETBALL OPPONENTS ANNOUNCEMENT

July 13, 2007

Official Media Release

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The upcoming 2007-08 BIG EAST men's basketball season figures to be very fan friendly.

In addition to the highly anticipated new ESPN contract that takes effect this season, which will allow fans to see every intra-conference game on one of ESPN's platforms (ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN Regional, ESPNClassic, ESPNU, ESPN360), the 2007-08 season marks the first in which every BIG EAST team will play each other at least once in an expanded 18-game slate under the current conference alignment.

Since the Conference officially expanded to 16 schools in July of 2005, 10 of the 16 BIG EAST men's basketball teams have qualified for the NCAA Tournament and 14 have qualified for postseason play. In addition, 15 teams have qualified for a Final Four at some point in their history. Considering the wealth of quality and tradition among the league's teams from top to bottom, producing an expanded schedule will not only allow for more balance and equality, but will ensure that fans get to watch traditional rivalries while new ones continue to take shape.

"The Conference's presidents, athletic directors, coaches and our fans have expressed their desire to see our schedule expanded to 18 games," Commissioner Michael Tranghese said. "We're confident that this change in format will help improve the competitive balance in an already very deep league, and will help so many teams as they look to qualify for selection into postseason play."

As it has been the previous two seasons, each team will play three other conference teams twice in a home-and-home series. These "mirrors" are determined by natural interest and geography, rivalries and television contractual obligations.

The BIG EAST has not played an 18-game conference schedule since 1998-99 when the league had 13 members. That season, Connecticut finished in first place with a 16-2 record and went on to win the national championship.

Georgetown won the 2006-07 BIG EAST regular season and tournament crowns and advanced to the Final Four. The Hoyas' repeat opponents for '07-08 are Louisville, St. John's and Syracuse.

The following is a list of some of the other notable home-and-home contests slated to take place during the 2007-08 season:

Syracuse vs. Villanova
Pittsburgh vs. West Virginia
Rutgers vs. Seton Hall
Providence vs. Connecticut
Marquette vs. Notre Dame
DePaul vs. Notre Dame
Villanova vs. Pittsburgh
Louisville vs. Marquette

Dates, times and television for the BIG EAST Conference men's basketball schedule will be announced in September.

Below is a comprehensive look at each team's conference opponents for the upcoming season:

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