Men's basketball to host DePaul in inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. -- The Penn State men's basketball team will host DePaul in the Bryce Jordan Center Tuesday, Nov. 17, in the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games, the Big Ten and Big East conferences offices jointly announced Wednesday. A full list of the eight matchups is below.

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, with games played at home sites. 

The unique series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Dave Gavitt, the founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. He had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball on the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels and was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

"Our family is excited about the Big Ten and BIG EAST launching this new series, which honors the memory of Dave Gavitt and his passion for college basketball," said Dan Gavitt, NCAA Vice President of Men's Basketball Championships. "He would be most pleased that the student-athletes, coaches and supporters of these historic college basketball programs can look forward to annual competition at the highest level to help open the college season with a bang. We are thankful to the two great conferences for recognizing the Gavitt legacy with the intra-conference games featuring new and old rivalries and intriguing match-ups."

Penn State is 0-6 all-time vs. DePaul in a series dating back to 1938. The last meeting between the teams was Dec. 12, 1984, with the Blue Demons taking a 78-61 decision in Rec Hall. That was the only home game in the series with three games being played in Chicago and two on neutral sites in the 1968 Quaker City Classic and 1977 Kodak Classic.

The Blue Demons completed the 2014-15 season with a 12-20 record and a 6-12 record in the Big East, finishing tied for seventh. Four starters and 11 overall letterwinners are slated to return, including three of last season's top four scorers. Dave Leito returned to DePaul in March as head coach after previously leading the Blue Demons in 2002-05.

DePaul marks the third officially-announced Penn State opponent of the 2015-16 season. The Nittany Lions will take on Drexel in the Palestra and George Washington in Washington, D.C., both in December. These games are each part of a two-game series that began last season.

Penn State went 12-1 through the non-conference slate in 2014, producing the most wins before league play in program history and racking up the longest win streak in nearly 20 years (10). The Nittany Lions finished last season with the best non-conference RPI in the Big Ten and No. 9 in Division I. 

Season tickets for the 2015-16 season are available now, for both renewal and new orders. Fans have until June 5 to renew tickets for 2015-16 with a cutoff of May 1 for renewals and new orders to be included in a special season ticket holder event June 24 with the Nittany Lions at the State College Spikes. Renewals can be done through the Penn State Athletics Account Manager, linked above, while new account orders should be made my calling 1-800-NITTANY. 

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 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. The full schedule of eight games will continue to be announced in late spring of each year.

Inaugural Gavitt Games Tipoff Matchups

Tuesday, Nov. 17
Georgetown at Maryland
DePaul at Penn State
Nebraska at Villanova

Wednesday, Nov. 18
Illinois at Providence

Thursday, Nov. 19
Creighton at Indiana
Iowa at Marquette
Rutgers at St. John's

Friday, Nov. 20
Xavier at Michigan

 

Last Updated April 23, 2015