Men’s Basketball Schedule Update: Highlights, Tough Matchups and Planning Ahead for Road Trips

FILE PHOTO: JULIA HENNRIKUS/THE HOYA Then-freshman forward L.J. Peak dunks the ball in Georgetown's sole victory over Villanova last season.

Then-freshman forward L.J. Peak leaping among a throng of Villanova players. Peak played 30 minutes, second-most on the team, in the Hoyas’ victory over the Wildcats on Jan. 19, 2015.

A little more than a week after releasing the dates and locations of its nonconference matchups, the Georgetown men’s basketball team revealed the entirety of its 2015-16 schedule on Tuesday. Below you can find all the information you need to know about the upcoming season of Hoya basketball.

What’s new?

Much of Georgetown’s schedule, such as a trip to Madison Square Garden this November for the 2K Classic benefitting Wounded Warriors Project, had been available for months. However, the update released on Tuesday included the times of the previously disclosed nonconference games as well as the order in which the Hoyas will complete in the double round-robin of Big East conference play, both of which will help Hoya fans start planning their road trips for the coming months.

D.C.-based Georgetown fans who hope to make the first round of the aforementioned 2K Sports Classic now know they will likely have to skip work or classes on Friday, Nov. 20, as the Hoyas tip off at 5 p.m. that day against Wisconsin in New York City.

Hoya fans can also plan for Georgetown’s conference schedule kick-off, which begins with a trip to Chicago to take on DePaul at 9 p.m. on Dec. 30. Picture the Hoyas struggling to generate intensity on the court while shaking off a post-holiday lassitude in front of a placid Allstate Arena.

New Year’s Eve Marathon No More?

For the past two years, the Big East began conference play with a five-game marathon on New Year’s Eve. This neat gimmick became more than a hassle for some last season as Hoya fans were forced to choose between spending the last evening of 2014 out on the town and spending it watching Georgetown take on — and fall to — Xavier as the clock ticked past midnight.

Although unacknowledged by the conference, the New Year’s Eve marathon would also have run smack into the semifinals of this year’s College Football Playoff for the second year in a row. The playoff is scheduled to take place on Dec. 31 and instead of pitting Big East basketball against college football once more, the conference instead scheduled its marathon for Saturday, Jan. 2. Georgetown will participate in the Big East basketball marathon by hosting Marquette at home at 5:30 p.m.

Hardest Stretch of Games

Projecting which section of a team’s schedule will turn into its most difficult is always a tricky task as teams often defy preseason expectations. What looks like a brutal three-game stretch in October can turn into a cakewalk for any team, and what seems like a surefire five-game winning streak can become a struggle to just win one.

That being said, the hardest portion of Georgetown’s Big East schedule, at the moment, appears to be a six-game stretch from Jan. 16 to Feb. 2. The run of games starts with Georgetown hosting Villanova at Verizon Center and continues with trips to Xavier and UConn, home games against Creighton and Providence and finishes with a road game at Butler.

During that five-game stretch, Georgetown can expect to face a Villanova team has won the last two Big East regular season championships, the Xavier and Butler squads that are expected to compete with the Hoyas and the Wildcats for spots at the top of the standings, and an old conference rival in UConn, a nonconference matchup that is unlikely to offer a reprise. On paper, Creighton at home should be a win, but Providence and junior point guard Kris Dunn will likely make first team All-American and as a result, the Friars will not be an easy victory.

Georgetown will likely be more than happy to go 4-2 over the course of those six games.

A True Regular Season Finale

A road game against Villanova finishing up the regular season jumps off the page upon examining the schedule. As mentioned above, the Wildcats have earned the No. 1 seed in the last two Big East Tournaments and are favorites to do so again this year.

Georgetown, however, has a realistic chance of regaining the top spot in the conference, and the meeting of the two rivals in Philadelphia on March 5 could easily come with a regular season championship on the line. Georgetown will hope that this year’s trip to the Wells Fargo Center will go better than it has in past seasons; by March, it will have been over five years since the Hoyas last won on the road against Villanova.

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