Players at St. John's and Stony Brook will have to adjust their body clocks, but that's the price they have to pay to gain national exposure as part of ESPN's "College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon" when the season opens on Tuesday, Nov. 16. Three of last season's Final Four teams, including defending national champion Duke, Butler and Michigan State, are participating along with women's NCAA champion Connecticut.
Needless to say, those high-profile teams got the prime time slots for the 12 live games on ESPN over a 24-hour period, starting with a Miami at Memphis game at 12 a.m. ET on Nov. 16. All together, there will be 19 men's games and one woman's game telecast live on ESPN's various channels.
New St. John's coach Steve Lavin will make his debut in the second game against St. Mary's, starting at 2 a.m. ET. But the game will be played at the Gaels' home in Oakland, Ca., where it will be 11 p.m. PT. It's a tough spot for Lavin to begin his Red Storm career considering St. Mary's not only qualified for the NCAA tournament as the second-place team out of the West Coast Athletic Conference but also upset Villanova of the Big East in the second round before falling to Baylor in the South Regional semifinals.
Defending America East regular-season champion Stony Brook, which received an NIT bid last season, opens its 2010-11 season at Monmouth of the Northeast Conference in the 6 a.m. game. That should allow the Seawolves to finish around 8 a.m. and make the trip home from the Jersey Shore in time for their afternoon classes.
As for the remainder of the schedule, national champ Duke hosts Miami of Ohio at 7:30 p.m. on ESPNU, while runnerup Butler opens Louisville's new arena at 8 p.m. on ESPN. The schedule features Big Ten powers Ohio State at Florida in the 6 p.m. slot and Michigan State hosting South Carolina in the 10 p.m. slot. The UConn women put their 78-game winning streak on the line in a home game against Baylor and 6-8 Brittany Griner at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. The Huskies defeated Baylor, 70-50, in the national semifinals last spring.
2010-11 College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Schedule for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.com
Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Tue, Nov 16 Midnight Miami at Memphis ESPN / ESPN3.com
2 a.m. St. John’s at Saint Mary’s ESPN / ESPN3.com
4 a.m. Central Michigan at Hawaii ESPN / ESPN3.com
6 a.m. Stony Brook at Monmouth ESPN / ESPN3.com
8 a.m. Robert Morris at Kent State ESPN / ESPN3.com
10 a.m. Northeastern at Southern Illinois ESPN / ESPN3.com
Noon Oral Roberts at Tulsa ESPN / ESPN3.com
2 p.m. La Salle at Baylor ESPN / ESPN3.com
4 p.m. Virginia Tech at Kansas State ESPN / ESPN3.com
5:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off (from Villanova): Marist at Villanova ESPNU
6 p.m. Ohio State at Florida ESPN / ESPN3.com
6 p.m. State Farm Women’s Tip-Off Classic (from Hartford): Baylor at Connecticut ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic (from Durham): Miami (Ohio) at Duke ESPNU
8 p.m. Butler at Louisville ESPN / ESPN3.com
9:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off (from Knoxville): Belmont at Tennessee ESPNU
10 p.m. South Carolina at Michigan State ESPN / ESPN3.com
11 p.m. O’Reilly Auto Parts CBE Classic (from Spokane): San Diego State vs. Gonzaga ESPN2 / ESPN3.com
11:30 p.m. Dick’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off (from Los Angeles): Nevada or Pacific at UCLA ESPNU
TBD St. Joseph’s at Penn State ESPN3.com
TBD North Dakota at Wisconsin ESPN3.com