College Basketball's (Four-Day) Opening Weekend Viewing Guide

Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

The 2013-14 season finally tips off on Friday night, with many games, but just a few noteworthy matchups on the weekend slate. But hey, at least it's good that college basketball is back.

After taking a break from doing TV previews for a couple of seasons, I've decided to give them a try again. Naturally, I won't be able to watch many, if any, games this weekend as I'm at a family wedding in Syracuse (I won't even make it to the Dome for the Orange's opener with Cornell [ACC RSNs*/ESPN3, 7 p.m. ET].) However, I will be listening to Florida's mid-afternoon tip against North Florida (Sun Sports/ESPN3, 3:30 p.m. ET) on the drive up, thanks to the wonders of technology.

With that in mind, here are the matchups for which I'll be feverishly checking for updates during the weekend. All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. He has many more games listed, and you'll also want to check out his listings for information on which ACC and SEC regional contests and CSN and FSN games (marked with a *) are available on which affiliates.

All times are Eastern.

Friday, November 8

All-Military Classic Semifinals (both games on ESPNU)
Air Force Falcons vs. Army Black Knights, 1 p.m.
The Citadel Bulldogs at VMI Keydets, approx. 3:30 p.m.

Now in its third season, the All-Military Classic has become a Veterans' Day weekend tradition. This season VMI takes its turn hosting the event.

Early Evening

Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Oklahoma Sooners at Dallas, 5 p.m. (FSN*/FCS Central)
This is the first of three Buckets and Boots Showcase games at the American Airlines Center, just miles from AT&T Stadium, home of this season's Final Four.

Boston College Eagles at Providence Friars, 6 p.m. (FS1)
Two former Big East rivals square off in the first college basketball game for Fox Sports 1, featuring two teams that want to grab an early win that just might help on Selection Sunday.

Connecticut Huskies vs. Maryland Terrapins at Brooklyn, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Two teams looking to make their way back to the NCAA field meet at the Barclays Center.

Belmont Bruins at Lipscomb Bisons, 6:30 p.m. (ESPN3)
Even though they're no longer in the same conference, the Bruins and Bisons still renew the Battle of the Boulevard twice a season. Making things more juicy in 2013, former Belmont assistant and player Casey Alexander is now at the helm of Lipscomb.

Davidson Wildcats at Duke Blue Devils, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Top recruit Jabari Parker and the Blue Devils, a top seed in my preseason bracket, open up with SoCon contender Davidson.

UNC Asheville Bulldogs vs. Kentucky Wildcats, 7 p.m. (Big Blue Sports/FSN*/ESPN3)
The consensus top recruiting class and national title favorite of many makes its season debut against a UNC Asheville team that is breaking in a new coach.

St. John's Red Storm vs. Wisconsin Badgers at Sioux Falls, S.D., 7 p.m. (BTN)
A Big East sleeper travels West to take on a perennial Big Ten contender at the new Sanford Pentagon.

Illinois State Redbirds at VCU Rams, 7 p.m. (MASN/CSN Chicago Plus)
The Rams -- who have a serious shot at earning a protected seed -- open up with a home game against one of the Missouri Valley's most competitive squads.

Georgetown Hoyas vs. Oregon Ducks at Camp Humphreys, Pyeongtaek, South Korea, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
This game should be good, but it would have been even better with the suspended Dominic Artis in the Ducks' lineup and Greg Whittington healthy for the Hoyas.

TCU Horned Frogs vs. SMU Mustangs at Dallas, approx. 7:30 p.m. (FSN Southwest Plus)
The middle game of the Buckets and Boots tripleheader is an all-Metroplex matchup, with Larry Brown's Mustangs, a potential contender for an NCAA bid out of the American Athletic the favorite.

Southern U. Jaguars at Marquette Golden Eagles, 8 p.m. (FSN*)
Last season, the Jaguars nearly became the first 16 seed to knock off a No. 1, though three starters from that team are gone, Southern would love to give the Golden Eagles a scare on opening night.

Buffalo Bulls at Texas A&M Aggies, 8 p.m. (FS Southwest/ESPN3)
Bobby Hurley's debut as Bulls' head coach comes in College Station, where Buffalo, a MAC contender, has the shot to pull what was formerly known as a "red line upset."

Mercer Bears at Texas Longhorns, 8 p.m. (Longhorn Network)
Beginning their final season in the Atlantic Sun, the Bears will be among a trio of squads from that conference looking to pull a shock during the season's opening two days.

Late Evening

Florida Gulf Coast Eagles at Nebraska Cornhuskers, 9 p.m. (BTN)
Last year's tourney sensation looks to ruin the opening of the Huskers' new arena.

USC Trojans at Utah State Aggies, 9 p.m. (CBS SN)
While his former charges are in Lincoln, Andy Enfield's new squad makes a trip to Logan, a rare thing for a BCS conference school.

Colorado Buffaloes vs. Baylor Bears at Dallas, 10 p.m. (FSN*)
These former Big 12 rivals meet for the third time since the Buffaloes left the conference. Colorado defeated the Bears by two in the Charleston Classic semis last season.

Oakland Golden Grizzlies at North Carolina Tar Heels, 9 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
P.J. Hairston and Leslie McDonald will be out for the Heels as they take on a Grizzlies team that's new to the Horizon League, but a possible auto bid contender.

Weber St. Wildcats at BYU Cougars, 9 p.m. (BYU TV)
The Cougars look to return to the NCAAs after a year away. Their first hurdle, an in-state rival and Big Sky contender.

Bucknell Bison at Stanford Cardinal, 10 p.m. ET (Pac-12 Network Bay Area)
The defending Patriot League tournament champions head to the Farm to take on a Cardinal team that really needs to take a big step this season.

Drexel Dragons at UCLA Bruins, 12 a.m. ET (Pac-12 Network, except Bay Area)
Bruiser Flint's Dragons, who just may steal an NIT Season Tip-Off semifinal berth in a couple of weeks, will look to ruin Steve Alford's debut on the Bruins' bench.

Saturday, November 9

USC Upstate Spartans at Virginia Tech Hokies (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic), 12 p.m. (ESPN3)
Torrey Craig, likely A-Sun Player of the Year, will look to lead the Spartans to an upset in Blacksburg. The Hokies are expected to be near the bottom of the ACC again this season -- and they'll be without the graduated Erick Green, the conference player of the year.

College of Charleston Cougars at Louisville Cardinals, 1 p.m. (WHAS/ESPN3)
The national champs begin their road to a potential repeat against the CAA's newest member. Note that 2013 Final Four MOP Luke Hancock will miss this one, along with the Cardinals' next two games, with an Achilles injury.

Wagner Seahawks at Penn State Nittany Lions, 4p.m. (Big Ten Digital Network)
The Seahawks will contend in the NEC this season, and they'll look to stun the Nittany Lions, who likely won't be in the Big Ten's upper division, in the opener for both.

All-Military Classic Finals (both games on ESPN3)
Championship: 6 p.m.
Consolation: approx. 8:30 p.m.
Air Force, Army, The Citadel and VMI will each play one more game in Lexington, Va, with one team taking home the trophy. The Falcons defeated the Bulldogs in the 2012 final.

Sunday, November 10

Coaches vs. Cancer Boston Tip-Off at TD Garden (all games on NESN)
Northeastern Huskies vs. Boston U. Terriers, 12:30 p.m.
UMass Minutemen vs. Boston College Eagles, approx. 3 p.m.
Holy Cross Crusaders vs. Harvard Crimson, approx. 5:30 p.m.

Sunday's schedule isn't all that thrilling, so I'll highlight this all-Boston area tripleheader. The highlight is the middle game, which could be significant for both, who could each be on the bubble come March.

Monday, November 11

Kent State Golden Flashes at Temple Owls, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
An unusually inexperienced Owl squad takes on a Kent State team who is typically a threat in the MAC.

Rhode Island Rams at SMU Mustangs, 8 p.m. (ESPN3)
A win in Dallas for Dan Hurley's Rams might just serve as a warning to the rest of the A-10 that they just might be ready to make some noise.

Colorado State Rams at Gonzaga Bulldogs, 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Given the personnel losses for both squads, it's too bad we can't see the 2012-13 versions of these squads meet. It should still be an entertaining one, however.

Long Beach State 49ers at Arizona Wildcats, 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Network)
Another season, another difficult schedule for Dan Monson's 49ers. On Monday, they'll take on freshman phenom Aaron Gordon and the other Wildcats.

Tip-Off Marathon
BYU Cougars at Stanford Cardinal, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
ESPN's annual tradition begins with a matchup between two Western teams who would like to grab an edge on their rival in the at-large race.

More on that marathon as it approaches...enjoy opening weekend!

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