NEW YORK -

The BIG EAST and Big Ten Conferences have announced the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games, an annual early-season series of eight men’s basketball games played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the BIG EAST and basketball visionary.

The Gavitt Tipoff Games will be played on four consecutive days in the first full week of the college basketball season. 

The series begins at the start of the 2015-16 season and will span eight years, with games played at home sites.

 The unique series between the two conferences is named to honor the late Gavitt, who had a profound and lasting influence on the sport of basketball on the collegiate, professional and Olympic levels. 

He was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006.

“We are excited to honor Dave Gavitt and his contributions to the sport of basketball through the establishment of the Gavitt Tipoff Games,” said Big Ten Commissioner James E. Delany. 

“Dave was a friend and a mentor to me and often mentioned that college basketball should do a better job of tipping off the season, similar to opening day in baseball.  I think he would approve of our effort to start a new tipoff tradition, grow the game and serve the best interests of the student-athletes and coaches in these two great conferences.”