The Maggie Dixon Classic will be held at Madison Square Garden, featuring two BIG EAST teams against two ranked opponents on Dec. 11. In the first game, St. John’s will take on No. 1/1 Baylor at 11 a.m. and No. 20/21 DePaul will play No. 7/8 Tennessee at 1 p.m. Both games will be televised on ESPNU. The doubleheader honors former Blue Demon assistant and Army head coach Maggie Dixon, who died on April 6, 2006 of an arrhythmia.
No. 8/7 Connecticut defeated No. 7/6 Texas A&M 81-51 on Dec. 6 at the XL Center as part of the Jimmy V Classic, televised on ESPN2.
No. 3/3 Notre Dame will play at No. 12/14 Purdue on Dec. 10 at noon in a game televised on the Big Ten Network and No. 7/8 Tennessee will travel to No. 11/11 Rutgers for a contest on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. That game will be televised on ESPN. BIG EAST teams have totaled eight wins over top-25 teams this year, including four over top-10 teams.
Conference Play Opens
Ten BIG EAST teams were in action on Dec. 7 as five early-season conference games were on the schedule. The three ranked teams in action won, including No. 3/3 Notre Dame, No. 19/20 Georgetown and No. 20/21 DePaul. The Irish beat Marquette, while the Hoyas topped Pittsburgh and DePaul beat St. John’s. In addition, West Virginia edged Syracuse 76-72 and Villanova won at Providence. On Dec. 9, Seton Hall will host No. 2/2 Connecticut and on Dec. 14 Cincinnati hosts No. 15/13 Louisville.
Winning Against the Opposition
This season, BIG EAST teams combine for a 96-37 record against nonconference competition for a .722 winning percentage. It is the sixth-straight year that the conference is headed toward a non-league record over .700.
With a win against Providence on Dec. 7, Villanova improved its road record to 5-1 and won its first conference opener in six years. The Wildcats have started the season 7-2 and will host St. Joseph’s on Dec. 10 at 2 p.m. Villanova was picked to finish 13th in the league’s Preseason Poll and totaled just four road wins last year.