For the first time, the 16-team league will play an 18-game schedule (nine home and nine road) that features 12 opponents once and three teams twice. The Golden Eagles will face Louisville, Notre Dame and Seton Hall in home-and-home series this season, while meeting each of the remaining schools once.
The Golden Eagles and Cardinals have been meeting on the basketball court since the 1951-52 season and have met at least twice per year in nine of the last 10 campaigns. MU has claimed seven of the previous 12 matchups between the two programs, including four victories at Freedom Hall. The series between Marquette and the Fighting Irish dates back to 1919-20, with the Golden Eagles owning wins in six of the last nine games.
"We are very excited to have such a great home conference schedule of opponents for our fans and prospective fans," head coach Tom Crean said. "The challenge of the BIG EAST really hits home when the league schedule is released.
"College basketball fans in this city will have an opportunity to see some of the country's best programs on any given night at Bradley Center," Crean added.
The home portion of the BIG EAST schedule is arguably Marquette's most attractive slate in program history. Six of the nine teams to visit the Bradley Center competed in postseason play in 2006-07 and four of those programs concluded their campaigns ranked in the Associated Press Top 25.
2007 NCAA Final Four participant Georgetown highlights the home schedule and is joined by fellow league power Pittsburgh, which Marquette swept during the 2006-07 regular season. Louisville, Notre Dame, DePaul and Providence all represented the conference in the NCAA's or NIT last year and each squad is expected repeat that accomplishment in 2007-08.
In anticipation of the tremendous amount of interest generated by the announcement of the BIG EAST opponents, the Marquette Ticket Office will be open to accept season ticket orders until 9 p.m. on Friday, July 13 and will be open Saturday, July 14 from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Fans can order tickets in person (770 N. 12th Street) or by calling (414) 288-GOMU.
Ticket office hours during the week are 9 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Marquette, ranked among the national leaders in home attendance, is 13-3 at the Bradley Center in BIG EAST play the last two seasons. The win total is the second-best by any of the league programs during that time.
The Golden Eagles have yet to play at Cincinnati (in BIG EAST action) and Syracuse and have only faced St. John's at Madison Square Garden in the conference tournament. Marquette has visited all of the other road destinations on at least one occasion.
"Facing some of college basketball's most storied programs on any given night in this league is exciting," Crean said. "We hope the fans share in that excitement with us."
Dates and times for all games, including the non-conference portion of the schedule, will be announced in the coming weeks.