For the first time since 2018, Nebraska men’s basketball program will host the annual intrastate matchup with Creighton, as the pairings for the 2021 Gavitt Tipoff Games were announced Thursday afternoon by the Big Ten and the Big East Conferences.
The 2021 meeting is set for Tuesday, Nov. 16, at Pinnacle Bank Arena, marking the earliest date of the Husker-Bluejay non-conference matchup in series history. Start time and television information will be announced at a later date, as all eight Gavitt Tipoff Games are televised nationally on either FS1 or BTN.
Creighton hosted the last two games in the non-conference series, as last year’s matchup was moved to Omaha because of COVID-19. The last time Nebraska hosted Creighton, the Huskers posted a 95-75 win on Dec. 8, 2018. The 2021 meeting will mark the first time since the 2008-09 season that the matchup has taken place in November.
Creighton went 22-9 and reached the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2021, but the Bluejays will replace all five starters from that team for Coach Greg McDermott.
Nebraska is 1-2 all-time in Gavitt Tipoff Games and have not played in the event since an 80-57 win over Seton Hall in 2018. That is the only other time NU has hosted a Gavitt Tipoff Games contest, as the Huskers traveled to Villanova (2015) and St. John’s (2017).
The Gavitt Tipoff Games are an annual early-season series played between the two conferences and named in honor of Dave Gavitt, founder of the Big East and basketball visionary. It is the sixth year of the event and is schedule until the 2022-23 season. The series did not take place in 2020. The 2021-22 season will mark the sixth time the event has been held with the Big Ten posting a 2-0-3 record in the conference challenge, posting 5-3 wins in both 2018 and 2019. The two conferences split the eight matchups in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Nebraska returns four starters (Trey McGowens, Dalano Banton, Lat Mayen and Derrick Walker) and five of its top six scorers from last season, although Banton declared for the NBA Draft and will have until early July to either return to school or stay in the draft. The Huskers also add a five-member recruiting class which is ranked as a high as 13th nationally by ESPN and features five-star recruit Bryce McGowens, Wilhelm Breidenbach, a top-100 recruit, and junior college All-American Keisei Tominaga. NU also adds a pair of former top-100 recruits in transfers CJ Wilcher and Keon Edwards.
The matchup with Creighton is the second non-conference home game announced, as NU had previously announced a three-year series with Kansas State with the first matchup taking place on Sunday, Dec. 19.