The Big East conference released its schedules for all 10 men’s basketball teams on Tuesday. The Bluejays will play a home game and an away game against each of the other nine teams in the conference for a total 18 Big East conference games.
Undoubtedly the most anticipated game on the conference schedule is a New Year’s Eve match-up with Villanova, the reigning NCAA Division I national champion, at the CenturyLink Center in Omaha. Villanova is likely to open the season as heavy favorites to win its fourth-straight regular season Big East championship.
Another home game to keep an eye on is against Xavier on Feb. 4. Last season the Musketeers came to Omaha ranked No. 4 in the nation and left with a 70-56 upset defeat at the hands of the Bluejays. Xavier is also expected to be in the hunt for the Big East title.
Creighton hosts all five of the Big East representatives in last season’s NCAA Tournament, including: Seton Hall (Dec. 28), Villanova (Dec. 31), Butler (Jan. 11), Xavier (Feb. 4) and Providence (Feb. 22).
Creighton’s annual “Pink-Out” game benefitting breast cancer research will be held on Jan. 30 against Seton Hall. Senior Day will be held on Feb. 28 against St. John’s, the Bluejays’ last regular season home game of the year.
Creighton’s nonconference schedule is highlighted by an early season game against Wisconsin on Nov. 15. The Badgers, who made a run to the Sweet 16 last season, return their entire starting lineup and will be an incredibly tough test for the Jays.
Creighton faces another Big Ten opponent on Dec. 7, when the Jays head west on Highway 80 to try and defeat in-state rival Nebraska for the sixth straight year.
The Bluejays also make a trip to Tempe on Dec. 20, where they’ll take on Arizona State.
Creighton — who has been projected by many experts to be a top-25 team this upcoming season — returns four of five starters from last year’s 20-15 team.
The 2016-17 Bluejays squad is looking to become the first Creightont team to make the NCAA tournament since the 2013-14 season.
In addition, the Jays add highly-touted transfer guard Marcus Foster to their lineup this year. Foster had to sit out last season after transferring from Kansas State following the 2015 season.
The Bluejays took sixth in the Big East last season after finishing 9-9 in conference play.