As Labor Day sits in the rear-view, the college hoops season edges even closer with the release of Seton Hall’s full 2019-20 Big East schedule today.
Tacked onto what should be the toughest non-league gauntlet in decades, Seton Hall will rest for just over a week before they open league play on the road at DePaul on December 30th after hosting Prairie View A&M on December 22nd.
Showcased by a program record six nationally televised games and culminating in an already tantalizing Senior Night clash against Villanova, there’s plenty to say about Seton Hall’s favorable Big East schedule.88:30
Toughest three-game stretch
Opening February against Xavier, @Georgetown, and @Villanova in seven days is my vote. The Hall will already have seven league games — spoiler: perhaps their easiest stretch — under their belt by this time and they should be operating as a well-oiled machine. Georgetown projects to be much-improved and will fight Xavier and Marquette for the 3-5 spots in the conference.
Most favorable three-game stretch
Coincidentally, it’s the three games preceding the toughest stretch which look the easiest to me. A road game at the Garden is the most “quasi-home” away game Seton Hall will play against a weakened St. John’s team before hosting Providence and DePaul, who both project to finish in the bottom third of the league. Seton Hall will need to take care of business given the three games looming on the horizon.
Home weekend games
Marquette (Jan. 11), Xavier (Feb. 1), St. John’s (Feb. 23) and a trip to the Garden for St. John’s on Jan. 18 should also be noted. The opening home game against Georgetown is a rare Friday night tip, can we count that too?
St. John’s (Jan. 18), Xavier (Feb. 1), Villanova (Feb. 8), Marquette (Feb. 29), and Creighton (Mar. 7) mark a whopping five league games that will be broadcasted on FOX’s flagship station, in comparison to three league games last year (five total). Gus Johnson, Bill Raftery and a national audience — I’m ready. Seton Hall will also play on CBS when they host St. John’s, making a third of their Big East schedule on CBS or FOX; the Pirates will also feature heavily on ESPN when they play at the Battle 4 Atlantis. That’s a ton of national exposure.
Weeknight late tips
Seton Hall will play just two late tips at home on weekdays: Providence (8:30, Wednesday), and Villanova (8:30, Wednesday); the Georgetown opener is on a Friday. All things considered, that’s a really good thing for home fans and media alike. On the road, the Hall will tip at 8:30 ET or later three times: DePaul, Xavier, and Georgetown. Not as much coffee will be required this year.
There aren’t any this year. The Pirates play two road games in a row twice, but they are against Butler and St. John’s, then Georgetown and Villanova, the latter of which will be a pair of bus trips. No consecutive Marquette/DePaul/Butler/Creighton midwest excursions.
Book your tickets now
The Wednesday night Senior Night showdown with Villanova is a must-see for so many reasons. It’s Myles Powell’s Senior Night, it’s Villanova, the last home game of the year, and it could decide the Big East regular season title. You can bet your bottom dollar the curtain will be removed for this one; hell, the upper bowl might even be sold out.
Mark your calendar
Aside from Villanova, Marquette’s Saturday trip to the Rock in the second home game of Big East play is the second game that stands out for me. Last season really turned this into a budding rivalry and I’m sure the Golden Eagles (and Theo John) will have something to say about their semifinal loss to Seton Hall. Oh, and Powell-Markus Howard should live up to the hype this year.
Unless I’m missing something, this is certainly a favorable schedule. No true road trips, a ton of national exposure, minimal weeknight late tips, a three-game homestand and Senior Night against Villanova? The fans and the players both seem to win with this year’s slate. Less than two months are left on the clock.