PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The BIG EAST 2012-13 men's basketball conference schedule has two familiar traits. Every conference game will be televised and more than half - 56 percent -- will be seen on national television.
The schedule also is loaded with heavy duty matchups. Nearly 80 percent of the league contests will include at least one team that played in last season's NCAA Championship and 27 percent will feature two NCAA squads.
On the national television slate, ESPN & ESPN2 will carry 45 conference games. At least 24 league games will be televised on ESPNU, which reaches more than 73 million homes. CBS Sports has six BIG EAST contests, its highest number of conference games in 20 years, and one non-league game. ESPN will continue to televise The BIG EAST Championship presented by American Eagle Outfitters from Madison Square Garden in New York. The dates for the 2013 event are March 12-16. It will be the 31st BIG EAST tournament at MSG.
At least 75 of the 135 regular-season BIG EAST games will be on national television. One hundred seven of the 135 will include one team that played in the 2012 NCAA Championship. Thirty seven games will have two NCAA squads. BIG EAST teams will play, on average, 10 nationally televised games during their 18-game league schedules. The remaining conference games will be produced by ESPN Regional Television for the BIG EAST Network. All BIG EAST Network games will be available on ESPN3.
It is the sixth consecutive season that every league game will be televised.
The league also announced a partial schedule of non-conference games that will be televised on national networks. At least 34 intersectional games will receive national exposure.
"BIG EAST men's basketball and unparalleled national media exposure have always been synonymous," said BIG EAST Commissioner Mike Aresco. "The 2012-13 schedule is unmatched in its scope of telecasts nationally, regionally and locally. Our coaches and student-athletes are committed to excellence at the highest level. I know the upcoming season will be full of outstanding and exciting play."
The BIG EAST has always enjoyed a leadership position in college sports television. Eleven of the 15 BIG EAST teams reside in the top 35 media markets in the country.
ESPN and BIG EAST again will partner in the network's Big Monday format. The league also will make regular appearances on ESPN and ESPN2 on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Once again, there will be conference games played on every day of the week.
In addition, the BIG EAST and ESPN Regional Television will carry the BIG EAST Network Game of the Week on Saturdays and Sundays. The BIG EAST Network Game of the Week package will include over 40 affiliates reaching more than 43 million households which represent 37.6 percent of the U.S.
Some of the highlights of the 2012-13 schedule include:
Big Monday - The BIG EAST schedule on ESPN's Big Monday includes eight games over seven weeks. The series starts with Louisville at Connecticut, the league's most recent Final Four teams, on Jan. 14. A week later, there is the usual doubleheader on the Martin Luther King Day holiday. Cincinnati plays at Syracuse at 3:30 p.m. ET with Georgetown visiting Notre Dame at 7:30. Prior to the official Big Monday schedule, Notre Dame will play at Cincinnati on Monday, Jan. 7, on ESPN2. Four other conference games will be shown on Mondays on ESPNU.
Wednesdays - ESPN or ESPN2 will show seven Wednesday games involving BIG EAST teams during the 10-week conference season. The Wednesday schedule begins Jan. 9 with Louisville at Seton Hall on ESPN2. Ten BIG EAST teams will be featured on the Wednesday games.
Saturdays - ESPN or ESPN2 will telecast 14 BIG EAST games on Saturdays during the conference season. The Saturday schedule includes a doubleheader on the final day of the regular season, March 9, Syracuse visits Georgetown on ESPN and Marquette plays at St. John's on ESPN or ESPN2. The BIG EAST Network Game of the Week package continues on Saturdays and Sundays.
Sundays - ESPN will carry three league games on Sunday afternoons. On Feb. 3, Marquette plays at Louisville. St. John's visits Syracuse on Feb. 10. On Feb. 17, Louisville plays at USF.
CBS Sports -- The seven-game schedule on CBS Sports features eight BIG EAST squads. The first of six conference games will be St. John's at Georgetown on Feb. 2. On March 9, the final day of the regular season, Notre Dame plays at Louisville. The Cardinals will be featured on the only non-conference telecast when they host Kentucky Dec. 29. The BIG EAST and CBS Sports have been formal television partners since 1983-84, the longest relationship of any conference and national broadcast network.
ESPN College GameDay - The BIG EAST again will be the only conference scheduled to host ESPN's signature College GameDay series twice. On Feb. 9, The GameDay crew will on site for either Louisville at Notre Dame or Pittsburgh at Cincinnati. It is the first "Wild Card" situation ever in the GameDay series for two games in the same conference. The site will be determined as the season progresses. On March 9, GameDay visits Georgetown for the first time when the Hoyas will host Syracuse in the regular-season finale for both teams.
ESPN Rivalry Week - The BIG EAST will have 11 appearances on the network's Rivalry Week. The week begins on Feb. 11, with Marquette at Georgetown in a Big Monday battle. The week concludes with Rutgers at Villanova on ESPNU Feb. 18.
New Year's - The BIG EAST league schedule opens Dec. 31 with an afternoon contest between Cincinnati and Pittsburgh on ESPN2 at the Panthers' Petersen Events Center. On Jan. 1, Connecticut plays at Marquette on ESPNU. Four conference games are slated for Jan. 2, including St. John's at Villanova on ESPNU.
Jimmy V Classic - The BIG EAST often places teams in both games of prestigious Jimmy V Classic. This season, Georgetown battles Texas and Connecticut meets North Carolina State on Dec. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.
SEC-BIG EAST Challenge - The SEC-BIG EAST Challenge, which was previously announced, will match 12 teams from each conference over three nights, Nov. 29-Dec. 1. ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will provide exclusive coverage. All 12 games will played at home sites with each conference hosting six contests.
NBA All-Star Weekend Game - A BIG EAST game has become a regular part of the NBA All-Star Weekend. This season, Georgetown will play at Cincinnati on Feb. 15.
The BIG EAST Network local telecast schedules will be announced in the near future.
2012-13 BIG EAST CONFERENCE COMPOSITE MEN'S BASKETBALL CONFERENCE SCHEDULE
Wednesday, Jan. 2
St. John's at Villanova 8 p.m. ESPNU
Saturday, Jan. 5
St. John's at Cincinnati 4 p.m. ESPNU
Wednesday, Jan. 9
Rutgers at St. John's BIG EAST Network
Saturday, Jan. 12
Georgetown at St. John's 11 a.m. ESPN2
Tuesday, Jan. 15
Notre Dame at St. John's 7 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, Jan. 19
St. John's at DePaul BIG EAST Network
Wednesday, Jan. 23
St. John's at Rutgers BIG EAST Network
Sunday, Jan. 27
Seton Hall at St. John's BIG EAST Network
Wednesday, Jan. 30
DePaul at St. John's 9 p.m. ESPNU
Saturday, Feb. 2
St. John's at Georgetown 4 p.m. CBS
Wednesday, Feb. 6
Connecticut at St. John's 7 p.m. ESPNU
Sunday, Feb. 10
St. John's at Syracuse 1 p.m. ESPN
Thursday, Feb. 14
St. John's at Louisville 9 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
Wednesday, Feb. 20
USF at St. John's BIG EAST Network
Sunday, Feb. 24
Pittsburgh at St. John's BIG EAST Network
Saturday, March 2
St. John's at Providence BIG EAST Network
Tuesday, March 5
St. John's at Notre Dame 7 p.m. ESPN2
Saturday, March 9
Marquette at St. John's 2 p.m. ESPN/ESPN2
2012-13 BIG EAST CONFERENCE MEN'S BASKETBALL NONCONFERENCE GAMES ON CBS, ESPN, ESPN2, AND ESPNU
* partial schedule - more games to be announced
Tuesday, Nov. 13
Detroit at St. John's 2 p.m. ESPN ESPN Tip-Off Marathon
Thursday, Nov. 29
South Carolina at St. John's 7:30 p.m. ESPNU SEC-BIG EAST Challenge