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Gavitt Games matchups announced, Northwestern not included

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The new Big East/Big Ten challenge only includes eight games, and Northwestern will be one of the six Big Ten teams not participating.

Andy Marlin-USA TODAY Sports

The matchups for the first ever Gavitt Tipoff Games, a new annual competition between the Big Ten and Big East, were officially announced Wednesday, and Northwestern was one of six Big Ten teams not selected.

The Wildcats join Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ohio State, Purdue and Minnesota on the non-participant list. Here is the full slate of games that will take place Tuesday through Friday during the first full week of the college basketball regular season:

Tuesday, Nov. 17

Maryland vs. Georgetown
DePaul vs. Penn State
Nebraska vs. Villanova

Wednesday, Nov. 18

Illinois vs. Providence

Thursday, Nov. 19

Creighton vs. Indiana
Marquette vs. Iowa
Rutgers
vs. St. John's

Friday, Nov. 20

Xavier vs. Michigan

The reasoning behind the scheduling is perplexing. Nobody really knows why the Big Ten selected the teams it did -- or whether it was even the Big Ten doing the choosing. But regardless, teams will rotate in and out of the field from year to year, so Northwestern should get its first Gavitt Game next year. It is guaranteed at least four games in the competition over the next eight seasons.

One quick thought about a potential 2016 matchup: Surely the conferences could give us a former Duke assistant coach showdown, Steve Wojciechowski and Marquette vs. Chris Collins and NU, right? Another enticing draw would be DePaul, with whom the Wildcats conclude a home-and-home series in 2015.