Big East releases full conference schedule, St. John's draws Marquette on final weekend

USA TODAY Sports

The Big East released its full conference schedule, including game times and TV information, for the upcoming season on Thursday afternoon.  The conference will be embarking on its first year as the new-look, basketball-centric league in 2013-14.

The conference slate consists of 18 games for each team, made up of nine distinct home-and-home series.  Each of the ten teams will play each of the other nine opponents once at home and once on the road.  Before the league's contraction due to realignment, the 16-team conference did not allow for such a schedule setup.

As reported, St. John's will open its conference schedule on New Year's Eve, taking on the Xavier Musketeers on the road as part of a five-game Big East marathon to be televised on the brand new FOX Sports 1 Network.

The Red Storm's second Big East game will be a tough one, on the road at Georgetown on Saturday, January 4th at 1pm (FOX Sports 1).

The Johnnies' first league home game will be a week later, when they host Villanova at Madison Square Garden on January 11th (7 pm, FOX Sports 1) before going back out on the road three days later for a tilt with DePaul (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).

St. John's then returns home for a clash with the Providence Friars at Carnesecca Arena on January 16th (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).  The Johnnies will then host Seton Hall on Thursday, January 23rd on CBS Sports Network.  FOX Sports and CBS Sports have come to a sublicense agreement allowing CBS Sports to televise a select number of Big East games throughout the season.

On Saturday, January 25th, the Red Storm will begin a midwest swing by traveling to the historical Hinkle Fieldhouse to take on Big East new arrival Butler on FSN National before heading to Creighton three days later on the 28th (9 pm, FOX Sports 1).

The Red Storm will also be featured in a Super Saturday doubleheader on FOX Sports 1 in a 12:30pm matinee against Marquette at Madison Square Garden.  Held in the city the day before the Super Bowl to be played across the river at the Meadowlands, the doubleheader will also showcase a clash between Georgetown and Michigan State.

On Tuesday, February 4th, St. John's will travel to Providence for its second tilt with the Friars at the Dunkin Donuts Center (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).  The Storm will then host Creighton at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, February 9th (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).

The following week will feature games against familiar Big East foes - Thursday, February 13th at Seton Hall (9 pm, FOX Sports 1) and Sunday, February 16th against Georgetown at Madison Square Garden (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).  The Johnnies will then host Butler at the Garden two days later on the 18th (9 pm, FOX Sports 1).

The Storm will travel to Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia to play Villanova on Saturday, February 22nd (1:30 pm, FOX Sports 1) before coming back home to host Xavier at MSG on Tuesday, February 25th (7 pm, FOX Sports 1).

The second of two St. John's games to be televised on the CBS Sports Network will take place on March 2nd, when the Red Storm hosts DePaul at MSG (noon).

The Big East has also set up a rivalry weekend to be held during the final weekend of the regular season, in which each team has been matched with a 'protected' rival to gain interest as the season closes.  St. John's has been paired with Marquette, in a game to be played in Milwaukee on Saturday, March 8th at a time TBD.

The St. John's non-conference schedule comes with a road trip to an intimate venue in South Dakota to play the Wisconsin Badgers, a game in Madison Square Garden against former Big East foe Syracuse, a return game against San Francisco at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, the Holiday Festival vs. Fordham, and the two-game Barclays Center Classic against Penn State and either Georgia Tech or Mississippi.

Predictions as to where St. John's and the rest of the league will fare during the league's inaugural season are already widely ranged.  Some outlets, including the respected Sporting News preview, are picking the Johnnies to finish in the lower half of the league, while others are projecting much higher.

The Red Storm hope the core of JaKarr Sampson, D`Angelo Harrison, Sir`Dominic Pointer, and shot-blocking stalwart Chris Obekpa can move up the Big East table with help from Orlando Sanchez, Max Hooper, Rysheed Jordan and improvements from the other returnees such as Phil Greene IV and Jamal Branch.

The Big East Conference Tournament will be played at Madison Square Garden from March 12th to March 15th, with a Wednesday start and a traditional Saturday finish.  All Big East Tournament games will be televised on FOX Sports 1.

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