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Big East releases MLK Day marathon slate

St. John’s will host DePaul on MLK Day as a part of the Big East Marathon.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at DePaul Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

The annual Big East Marathon schedule has officially been released. Just as last season, all games will air on Fox Sports 1.

One new aspect this season is that it will be held on Martin Luther King Day, as opposed to New Year’s Eve. Hopefully, this can create a bigger buzz around what is a fantastic event. Students should be back on campus, and also the Big East won’t have to compete with the College Football Playoff.

All ten teams will partake in the event, which includes a slew of marquee contests.

The Big East Marathon commences at 12:00 PM, as the Marquette Golden Eagles invade Hinkle Fieldhouse. Last season Marquette showed promise, but failed to earn a postseason bid. On the other hand, Butler won 22 games last year, topping Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament Round of 64.

Two sturdy teams face off in game two of the Big East Marathon. Grossly underrated Creighton will travel to Cincinnati for a bout with Xavier. The Musketeers should be solid once again this season, but Creighton is the real story here. After finishing 20-15 last year, the Bluejays look to prove why they are a serious contender in the Big East. Coach Greg McDermott has an array of talent he can use to do what he knows best, push the ball.

St. John’s and DePaul will follow, as the Blue Demons are set to visit Queens. These two made up the Big East’s cellar last year. Coming into 2016-17, St. John’s should be able to improve on their last place finish, but shouldn’t be a whole deal better. Unsurprisingly, we can expect more struggles for DePaul.

Arguably the best game of the day, Kevin Willard’s new look Seton Hall Pirates visit reigning national champion, Villanova. Expect a tightly contested game in a Big East Championship rematch.

The Big East Marathon will conclude in the nation’s capital, as Ed Cooley and his Providence Friars square off with Georgetown. Providence lost two key contributors this offseason in Kris Dunn and Ben Bentil. How the Friars respond after a successful 2015-16 campaign is still unknown. Georgetown returns a slew of key producers and is expected to be an upper echelon Big East team.