INDIANAPOLIS, IN – The Butler Bulldogs will host the Northwestern Wildcats at Hinkle Fieldhouse on Wednesday, Nov. 16 in a Gavitt Tipoff Games match-up. The Big Ten and BIG EAST Conference announced the matchups for the second annual Gavitt Tipoff Games on Tuesday (May 3), with eight men’s basketball contests set for Nov. 14-18, 2016. Game times and television assignments will be announced at a later date.
“This is an outstanding event in honor of the late Dave Gavitt and we’re excited to be part of it,” said Butler coach Chris Holtmann. “These are two of the best conferences in college basketball and provides us with another great opportunity to compete on a national stage.”
The BIG EAST home games will be telecast on FS1, while Big Ten home games will air on BTN or an ESPN network.
The Bulldogs have won the last five meetings in the series, including a 65-56 decision Dec. 6, 2014 in the most recent contest between the two teams. Butler and Northwestern have met 26 times in series history, with the Wildcats holding a 16-10 advantage. Butler is 8-3 against Northwestern at Hinkle Fieldhouse as Northwestern made its first trip to Indianapolis during the 1937-38 season. The Bulldogs have won 27 consecutive games at Hinkle Fieldhouse against non-conference opponents.
Eight teams in this year’s event advanced to the NCAA Tournament last season. The eight NCAA teams are Butler, Villanova, Providence, Seton Hall, Purdue, Maryland, Wisconsin, and Iowa. Creighton and Ohio State played in the NIT.
The unique series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Gavitt, who founded the BIG EAST and had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball on the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.
Scheduled through 2022, the Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. The series will span eight years, with games played at home sites. Each BIG EAST team will participate a minimum of six times, while Big Ten programs will take part a minimum of four times. Teams from both conferences already meet in some traditional rivalry games, and those matchups will continue in the upcoming seasons.
Butler did not participate in the inaugural event in 2015.
The 2016 Gavitt Tipoff Games schedule:
Monday, Nov. 14
Villanova at Purdue
Tuesday, Nov. 15
Maryland at Georgetown
Wisconsin at Creighton
Wednesday, Nov. 16
Northwestern at Butler
Thursday, Nov. 17
Seton Hall at Iowa
Providence at Ohio State
Rutgers at DePaul
Friday, Nov. 18
St. John’s at Minnesota
Butler Head Coach Chris Holtmann enters his third season on the Butler sidelines after leading the Bulldogs to the second round of the NCAA Tournament in each of his first two seasons in Indianapolis. The 2016-17 Bulldogs return three starters from last season’s team, including current sophomore G Kelan Martin, who averaged 15.7 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while earning All-BIG EAST Second Team honors. The Bulldogs also add a recruiting class ranked in the Top 25 by several outlets. Butler finished the 2015-16 campaign with a 22-11 record and fourth-place finish in conference. The Bulldogs’ 79.9 points per game ranked in the Top 25 nationally.
Chris Fultz is a senior writer for the Indiana Sports Report and is recognized as an accredited member of the media by Butler Athletics and has full media access. Follow @CafultzISR and the @IndySportsRep on Twitter.