Xavier University and the BIG EAST Conference announced the entire 30-game 2015-16 regular-season schedule for men's basketball. Xavier plays 10 of its 18 league games against teams that made the 2015 NCAA Tournament field. The BIG EAST was the second-ranked league in the country last season based on RPI.
"You better be ready every night in the BIG EAST," said Xavier head coach Chris Mack, who led Xavier to the 2015 NCAA Tournament Sweet 16. "Our players and coaches have a very healthy respect for every team in our league. Villanova is the team to beat until someone beats those guys consistently but there are no nights off in our league."
Xavier opens the season against Miami (Ohio), the same team that helped XU christen a brand new Cintas Center 15 years ago in XU's 2000-01 season opener. Xavier opens its BIG EAST schedule at defending league champion Villanova on New Year's Eve. Xavier's nine-game home portion of its league slate begins on Saturday, Jan. 2 vs. Butler and ends with Creighton on Saturday, March 5.
The BIG EAST Conference and FOX have adjusted the start times for the weekday doubleheaders to more fan-friendly start times of 6:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.
The entire 30-game regular season schedule will be televised. Today's announced TV schedule includes at least 27 of Xavier's 30 games on national television, one on a regional network with the last two games at Michigan and at Wake Forest with TV to be announced at a later date. The TV schedule includes three games on the FOX national broadcast network, 17 games on FS1, one on FOX College Sports, two on a FOX regional network such as FOX Sports Ohio, two on the CBS Sports Network and at least three on the ESPN networks.
The three games on the FOX broadcast network, which includes FOX 19 in Cincinnati, is available to 116 million homes. The Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout from Cintas Center will be available to approximately 15 million more homes than any XU-UC game in series history. The conference road games at Georgetown and Butler will be seen on the FOX broadcast network as well.
Including the BIG EAST Conference schedule, Xavier has at least 12 confirmed games against 2015 NCAA Tournament teams. Four other 2015 NCAA Tournament teams are potential opponents in the Advocare Invitational over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
The non-conference road schedule includes a trip to Michigan on Nov. 20 for the first annual Gavitt Tipoff Games and restart of the Skip Prosser Classic at Wake Forest on Dec. 22. Xavier will spend the Thanksgiving weekend in Orlando, Fla., for the AdvoCare Invitational, which boasts a field that includes five 2015 NCAA Tournament teams: Xavier, Notre Dame, Wichita State, Dayton and Iowa. XU opens that tournament on Thanksgiving Day at noon on ESPN2 against Alabama, one of three Southeastern Conference teams on this year's schedule.
The home non-conference slate has a strong local flavor with the annual Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout against Cincinnati in addition to Miami (Ohio), Northern Kentucky and Wright State. Xavier hosts a pair of SEC teams, Missouri and Auburn, and Western Kentucky prior to the start of BIG EAST play.
Season tickets are now on sale and fans can visit GOXAVIER.COM/buytickets to join Xavier Men's Basketball as a season ticket holder today. The best way fans can guarantee seats to the Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout is by purchasing season tickets, which begin at just $13 per game. Public single-game sales are unlikely for that game. For more information, fans may also call the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at 513-745-3411 x7