BIG EAST MEN'S BASKETBALL SCHEDULE
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – The 2006-07 BIG EAST men's basketball conference schedule includes the most telecasts on national networks in the history of the league. The BIG EAST also announced its schedule of non-conference games that will be on national networks.
ESPN will telecast 28 conference contests while ESPN2 will carry 10 games. CBS will telecast five and ABC will broadcast two. The total of 45 telecasts means over one-third of the 128 conference game schedule will be carried by the BIG EAST's national network television partners.
The total number of games on CBS, ABC, ESPN and ESPN2 involving BIG EAST teams – including all 11 conference tournament games and a record 25 non-conference contests – currently stands at 81. Additional nationally televised games will be on ESPNU.
The 2007-08 season will bring even more national exposure when the BIG EAST's new six-year agreement with ESPN begins. Every conference game will be carried on one of the ESPN platforms or CBS.
"We're very excited about our television exposure this year," said Commissioner Michael Tranghese. "This will be our second year with 16 teams. The excitement was incredible last year and the anticipation for 2006-07 is even greater."
The BIG EAST has always been considered a leader in television. Twelve of the 16 BIG EAST institutions are located in the top 34 media markets in the country, including seven in the top 12.
Some of the highlights of the 2006-07 schedule include:
- The league schedule kicks into high gear in early January. The first ESPN telecast is Jan. 4 when Pittsburgh travels to Syracuse in a rematch of the 2006 BIG EAST Championship title game that was won by the Orange, 65-61. The contest pulled in a 2.58 rating, which made it the highest rated ESPN tournament final in 2006.
- The BIG EAST will continue its weekly presence on ESPN's Big Monday with eight games at seven different venues. Seven teams will be featured. The first Big Monday is Villanova at Georgetown on Jan. 8. The final Monday matchup of the regular season is Georgetown at Syracuse on Feb. 26.
- The weekends will be loaded with national telecasts on ESPN, ESPN2, CBS and ABC. On the last two Saturdays of the regular season, the BIG EAST will have four games on each day. On Feb. 24, the schedule includes Syracuse at Providence (ESPN), Pittsburgh at Georgetown (CBS), Marquette at Notre Dame (ABC) and Rutgers at Villanova (ESPN). On March 3, the slate includes Connecticut at Georgetown (CBS), Syracuse at Villanova (ESPN), Notre Dame at Rutgers (ESPN) and Pittsburgh at Marquette (ESPN).
- For the 12th straight year, ESPN, Inc. will televise the entire BIG EAST Championship Presented by Aeropostale at Madison Square Garden in New York on March 7-10. For the first time this season, ESPN will carry every game. The 2007 Championship will be BIG EAST's 25th straight tourney in Madison Square Garden.
- CBS will televise 12 contests involving BIG EAST teams, including five league games. The CBS schedule begins on Dec. 16 when Kentucky plays at Louisville and Cincinnati meets Ohio State in the Wooden Tradition in Indianapolis. The first conference contest on CBS is Villanova at Syracuse on Jan. 13. The BIG EAST/CBS schedule concludes with Connecticut at Georgetown on Mar. 3.
- The BIG EAST will be featured in six games during ESPN's Rivalry Week (Feb. 5-11), the highest total of any conference. The Big Monday game kicks off the week when Syracuse plays at Connecticut.
- ESPN Regional again will produce a weekend Game of the Week package (13 games) that will be syndicated to BIG EAST markets and beyond. The BIG EAST Game of the Week reaches approximately 30 percent of the nation's homes and has a total household reach of more than 33 million.
- To date, eight games are currently scheduled for ESPNU, with two others slated for ESPN 360, ESPN's customized broadband service. Highlighting the ESPNU slate is a conference match-up between Louisville and Marquette scheduled for Feb. 17 in Milwaukee.
The BIG EAST is the largest and most diverse Division I conference in the country. It was formed in 1979 and represents the athletic interests of 16 member institutions including the University of Cincinnati, University of Connecticut, DePaul University, Georgetown University, University of Louisville, Marquette University, University of Notre Dame, University of Pittsburgh, Providence College, Rutgers University, St. John's University, Seton Hall University, University of South Florida, Syracuse University, Villanova University and West Virginia University. The BIG EAST Conference has captured 25 national championships in six different sports and is a founding member of the Bowl Championship Series. For more information on the Conference and its membership, please visit www.bigeast.org.