MEN'S BASKETBALL | Big East Schedule Announced
Published: Wednesday, September 5, 2012
Updated: Friday, September 7, 2012 00:09
The Big East conference released its master schedule Wednesday morning, setting the dates for all of Georgetown’s 18 league games. The Hoyas’ nonconference schedule was released in July.
Georgetown opens Big East play on Jan. 5 with a 2 p.m. game at Marquette, which finished 27-8 last season, losing to Florida in the Sweet 16. In their two games against the Blue and Gray last year, the Golden Eagles won, 83-69, at Bradley Center in March after having succumbed to a furious Georgetown rally in an early January date at Verizon Center.
The Hoyas return to Washington on Jan. 8, when they take on Pittsburgh in a 9 p.m. game that will be televised on ESPNU. The Panthers struggled amidst high expectations last season, finishing 22-17 and missing the NCAA tournament. They did, however, hang a 72-60 loss on the Hoyas in January, although Georgetown romped, 64-52, in their matchup in the Big East tournament.
St. John’s will welcome Georgetown to New York on Jan. 12 in a game that airs on ESPN. The Red Storm was 13-19 in 2011-12 and lost twice to the Hoyas, both by double-digit spreads. Head Coach Steve Lavin has landed a stellar recruiting class, though, and the Johnnies seem to be on the upswing.
Another league cellar dweller, Providence, will be next on Georgetown’s dance card, with the Friars heading to Washington on Jan. 16. Like St. John’s, Providence missed out on the postseason after finishing 15-17 last season. Georgetown won both of its games against Providence in 2011-12, with each turning into a low-scoring defensive battle.
On Jan. 19, Georgetown heads to Tampa, Fla., to take on South Florida. The Bulls, who finished 22-14 last year, boast the reigning Big East coach of the year in Stan Heath. The Hoyas thrashed USF, however, when the two teams met last February, notching a 75-45 win.
To complete their Martin Luther King Jr. Day weekend, the Hoyas will head from sunny Tampa to snowy South Bend, Ind. on Jan. 21 to play Notre Dame at 7:30 p.m. in an ESPN Big Monday game. The Irish finished 22-14 last season and dropped a 59-41 bruiser to the Hoyas in the teams’ lone meeting.
Louisville, last year’s national semifinalist and a squad tipped by many as the Big East’s best, will come to Verizon Center on Jan. 26, a Saturday, for a noon game on ESPN. The Cardinals won last year’s Big East tournament — as part of a late charge that included eight straight wins — before falling to eventual national champion Kentucky, 69-61, in the Final Four.
That is the first act of a three-game homestand for the Hoyas, who face Seton Hall on Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. and once again take on St. John’s on Feb. 2 at 4 p.m. The Pirates, who narrowly missed last season’s NCAA tournament, finished 21-13 in 2011-12 and lost in the second round of the NIT. They did, however, defeat the Hoyas, 73-55, in a late February matchup. The rematch with the Johnnies will air on CBS.
On Feb. 9, Georgetown heads north to Piscataway, N.J., where they take on Rutgers. After briefly improving two seasons ago, the Scarlet Knights returned to form last season, finishing 14-18 and losing, 52-50, to the Hoyas in a mid-January matchup.
JTIII and Company return to the District two days later, where they get a second crack at Marquette in a game that is set to air on ESPN. Then, on Feb. 15, Georgetown will rematch Cincinnati, the team that crushingly ousted it from last season’s Big East tournament when it travels to the Queen City for a 9 p.m. game, also to be carried by ESPN. The Bearcats, another Sweet 16 team, lost to Ohio State in their final game last season.
DePaul, the Big East’s worst team last season, is up next for Georgetown, with the Blue Demons slated for a 7 p.m. trip to Verizon Center on Feb. 20. DePaul, 3-15 in the league last year, lost, 83-75, in the teams’ sole meeting last season.
The end of Georgetown’s most storied rivalry begins on Feb. 23, when the Hoyas take on Syracuse at the Carrier Dome. That 4 p.m. game is the first of two meetings between the two teams and will be the last chance for the Syracuse faithful — except those that somehow always manage to fill the upper rings of Verizon Center — to see the rivalry that began when John Thompson Jr. declared Manley Field House “officially” closed. If Georgetown fans can’t make the trip to upstate New York, they can catch the game on CBS.
Another tough road game follows on Feb. 27, when Georgetown will travel to Connecticut. That 7 p.m. game, which will be shown on ESPN2, should give the Hoyas another chance to ding the Huskies, whom they pummeled, 58-44, on Feb. 1 last year.
The Blue and Gray close the regular season with three games during the school’s spring break. First up is a March 2 9 p.m. home rematch with Rutgers. Georgetown students who are away will be able to catch the game on ESPNU.
Georgetown travels to Villanova, a perennial foe for the Hoyas, for a 7 p.m. date on March 6. Georgetown swamped the Wildcats last year, winning, 67-46, in what was a down year for Head Coach Jay Wright’s team, which finished 13-19 on the season. The game will be carried on either ESPN or ESPN2.
Finally, as previously announced, Georgetown will conclude its regular season — and its conference rivalry with Syracuse — on March 9. That noon game, televised as part of ESPN’s College GameDay program, will mark the final renewal of the conference rivalry.
Although the game falls on the second Saturday of Georgetown’s spring break, a large crowd is still expected, and some students have already adjusted travel plans to account for the game.
Georgetown’s regular season begins Nov. 9 when the Hoyas play Florida in the Carrier Classic aboard the USS Bataan, a Navy ship anchored off the coast of Jacksonville, Fla.
CORRECTION: This article was revised Sept. 5 to correct an error relating to Georgetown's March 6 game against Villanova. That game will be in Philadelphia, not Washington.