Juwan Howard, Michigan Wolverines, Big Ten basketball, Gavitt Games

The 2023 Gavitt Games were announced on Wednesday. As usual, it will feature some great games between the Big East and Big Ten teams.

Teams not participating:

  • DePaul
  • Indiana
  • Minnesota
  • Nebraska
  • Northwestern
  • Penn State
  • Ohio State
  • Seton Hall
  • UConn

8. Butler at Michigan State

If all goes well, Michigan State could be a top-ten team in the country next season. If all goes well, Butler might improve and be an NIT team. On paper, the Spartans are just too much of a better team than the Bulldogs.

7. Georgetown at Rutgers

Aside from being a good former Big East matchup between two northeast teams, there just isn’t much between Georgetown and Rutgers. Ed Cooley does have the Hoyas stock going up, but even in year one, I can’t see it being a major improvement. Rutgers may have the edge, but both teams likely won’t be NCAA Tournament teams.

6. Iowa at Creighton

Iowa could end up surprising me, but for this game to be at Creighton gives the Bluejays even more of a leg up. Despite some late transfer portal losses, and awaiting the NBA Draft decision of Trey Alexander, Creighton still has a top-notch team in the Big East. On paper, this seems like one of the more uneven Gavitt Games matchups. If Iowa is to keep it close, someone like Payton Sandfort or Tony Perkins will have to make big improvements in the offseason.

5. Wisconsin at Providence

Kim English has surprisingly kept together a pretty competent roster in Friartown. The Badgers have a slightly better starting five, but with this game being in Providence, it seems like a very even and enjoyable game to watch. There isn’t much animosity between both sides, but as far as a good matchup, it fits the bill.

4. Marquette at Illinois

On paper, Marquette looks like a top-five team in the country, especially if they can find a way to add an experienced transfer to the mix. After adding Quincy Guerrier from Oregon, Illinois also looks like a talented team. However, the Illini just aren’t at the same level. But taking into account this game being at the State Farm Center and both schools being relatively close to each other, and it should be a very fun contest to watch.

3. Maryland at Villanova

Whoever scheduled the Gavitt Games didn’t hold back, pitting former Seton Hall head coach Kevin Willard against an old frenemy. Willard’s Maryland Terapins will take on Kyle Neptune’s Villanova Wildcats in what should be a very entertaining game. Both teams have question marks heading into next season but also seem to have positive outlooks. This seems like a sleeper game to watch in the 2023 Gavitt Games

2. Michigan at St. John’s

Who wouldn’t want to see a Juwan Howard-coached team play at Madison Square Garden against Rick Pitino’s St. John’s Red Storm? The coaching matchup itself is worthwhile, and that’s without mentioning the quality of both teams at the location of the game being played at the Mecca of basketball.

1. Xavier at Purdue

Probably the best game on paper, Xavier and Purdue could both wind up being highly-ranked teams for this meeting. Of course, if Zach Edey returns, it makes this game even more watchable, with the prospect of the 7-footer matching up with Zach Freemantle.