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Big Ten, Big East to announce new men's basketball series

  • Blog Post by: Amelia Rayno
  • May 4, 2014 - 5:36 PM

Big Ten schedules -- perennially loaded as a whole -- are about to get a little more meat.

On Monday, the Big Ten and the Big East will announce a new annual basketball series between the power conferences starting in 2015-16, according to multiple news outlets. 

Per a Sunday press release, a joint press conference will be held on Monday at Madison Square Garden, where the Gavitt Tipoff games -- honoring former Providence coach and athletic director Dave Gavitt -- are expected to be announced.

The series will reportedly consists of eight games each season throughout the life of the eight-year deal, taking place during the first full week of the regular season. The Big Ten currently competes in a similar ongoing series -- the ACC- Big Ten Challenge -- around the start of December.

Individual matchups will be announced later.

The announcement comes as college basketball -- quickly creeping into the shadow of football -- tries to reckon with dipping interest, particularly early in the season.

"The din of football makes it hard to start the season with the appropriate fanfare," Big East commissioner Val Ackerman told ESPN. "This is a chance to herald to the world that the basketball season has started. That's good for the game and good for our conferences."

CBS basketball analyst Bill Raftery will act as master of ceremonies at Monday's announcement.

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