Dec. 27, 2013
BIG EAST basketball fans are excited about the start of league play on Dec. 31. All 10 teams will be in action from noon to midnight on FOX Sports 1. But each team has one more game before the conference slate commences. For many teams, it will be the last non-conference game of the season.
Two teams play Friday night. Seton Hall hosts Lafayette on campus at Walsh Gym. FOX Sports 1 will televise at 8 p.m. ET. DePaul takes a short bus trip to Northwestern, a game that will be carried by the Big Ten Network at 9 p.m.
Seven teams are in action on Saturday. The game that will receive the most national attention will be a battle between two unbeaten teams, No. 8/11 Villanova at No. 2/2 Syracuse. Both clubs are 11-0. CBS Sports will televise the game from the Carrier Dome at 1 p.m. ET. The two teams split a pair of meetings last season with each squad winning at home.
Providence also takes to the road to face a ranked opponent. The 10-2 Friars play at No. 23/22 Massachusetts (10-1) at 6 p.m. on ESPNU. They have not played in Amherst since 2000. PC, led by senior guard Bryce Cotton, currently leads the nation in free throw shooting, making 81.6 percent. Cotton is shooting 91 percent from the line.
FOX Sports 1 has a BIG EAST tripleheader on tap Saturday. At noon, Georgetown hosts Florida International. The second game features St. John’s versus Columbia from the Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn at 2:30. Xavier hosts Wake Forest at 5 p.m. in the Skip Prosser Classic. The late Skip Prosser was the head coach at Xavier (1985-2001) and Wake Forest (2001-07).
Also in the afternoon, Butler takes on visiting NJIT on FOX Sports 2 at 1 p.m. and the FOX Sports Networks will show Marquette playing at home against Samford at 2 p.m.
Creighton plays in the only Sunday contest on the weekend schedule. The Bluejays host Chicago State at the CenturyLink Center at 5 p.m. on FOX Sports 1.
The Dec. 31 schedule on FOX Sports 1
St. John’s at Xavier – Noon
Seton Hall at Providence – 2:30
DePaul at Georgetown – 5:00
Villanova at Xavier – 7:30
Marquette at Creighton – 10:00