DePaul men’s basketball to play at Illinois next season



Illinois guards Jaylon Tate, left, and Aaron Jordan carry the Busch Braggin' Rights trophy, the spoils of a 69-63 win against Missouri on Wednesday, Dec. 23, 2015, at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis. Illinois won, 68-63. (Chris Lee/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/TNS)


For the first time in six decades, DePaul and Illinois men’s basketball will meet on the court.

The two schools were matched up in the 2017 Gavitt Tipoff Games, a series of games played every year between eight members of the Big East against eight members of the Big 10 in honor of the first commissioner of the Big East conference Dave Gavitt. The series started in 2015 and DePaul has played in both series, losing to Penn State in 2015 and then falling to Rutgers in 2016.

“This matchup is something that our fans and supporters have looked forward to for a long time,” DePaul head coach Dave Leitao said in a press release. “Along with our previously announced opener against Notre Dame at Wintrust Arena and the Wooden Legacy over Thanksgiving weekend, this road game at Illinois will provide a great challenge and atmosphere for our team as we prepare for the rigors of BIG EAST play. We’re looking forward to meeting the challenge and providing the Gavitt Tipoff Games a great conclusion in November.”

The game will be on Nov. 17 at the State Farm Center in Champaign, IL.

Illinois went 20-15 last season and will have a new head coach heading into 2017-18 under the helm of Brad Underwood. In the Gavitt Games they are 0-1 after losing to Providence in 2015.

The Blue Demons and Fighting Illini played nine times in eight straight seasons from 1950-1957 and have not played since then. Illinois leads the series 7-2.

The remainder of the Gavitt Games matchups are Northwestern hosting Creighton at Allstate Arena, Providence hosting Minnesota, St. John’s hosting Nebraska, Seton Hall hosting Indiana, Maryland hosting Butler and Wisconsin hosting Xavier.