Good Morning, Illini Nation: Gavitt Games being renewed?

Sep. 1—Welcome to "Good Morning, Illini Nation," your daily dose of college basketball news from Illini beat writer and AP Top 25 voter Scott Richey. He'll offer up insights every morning on Brad Underwood's team:

This year's set of Gavitt Games matchups is, in theory, the last from the eight-year agreement between the Big Ten and Big East. Per CBS Sports' Jon Rothstein, however, the two conferences are at least in talks to extend that agreement and maybe even turn it into a season-opening event.

It's a win-win for both leagues. High-level games at campus sites during the nonconference portion of the schedule are what fans — and the Big Ten and Big East's TV partners — want to see. And unlike the now defunct Big Ten/ACC Challenge, the Gavitt Games could continue because FOX (with all its subsidiaries) is a partner to both leagues.

If this year's Gavitt Games is the end, Illinois will go out hosting what will likely be a top five Marquette team. The last time the Illini played in the Gavitt Games — the 2021-22 season — the Golden Eagles handed Kofi Cockburn-less Illinois a 67-66 defeat.

Illinois is 1-3 in the Gavitt Games. The lone win came in Brad Underwood's first season as coach with an 82-73 victory against DePaul. The Illini also lost to Providence in 2015 and Georgetown in 2018.