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Now We're Cooking...On Friday The 13th

For me, tonight feels like the actual start of the season, as I'll be at my first live game of the new campaign.    I will sitting on press row for Liberty's visit to George Mason at 7:30 Eastern (no TV).  You can tell it's an early season Friday, as there are quite a few games on the slate.  This contrasts with what's to come in January and February, when typically only the Atlantic Sun, Horizon, and Ivy tend to take advantage of what is traditionally the quietest hoops night of the week. 

But there is some action tonight, with four of tonight's games are particularly noteworthy.  If a team's name appears in red, click the link to visit that school's SB Nation site for more full coverage.  All times are Eastern.

  • Morehead State at no. 4 Kentucky (ESPNU, 6:30): John Calipari makes his official debut as head coach of the Wildcats, while highly-touted recruits John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins, Daniel Orton, and Eric Bledsoe face their first test as college players.  That comes against an Eagle team, led by 6-8 forward Kenneth Faried, that gave Louisville a battle in the first round of last year's NCAAs.
  • Hofstra at no. 1 Kansas (Jayhawk TV/Full Court, 8): Everyone's preseason favorite for the title takes on point guard Charles Jenkins and the Pride in both teams' opener in Lawrence.
  • Bradley at BYU (the mtn. 9:30): The opener for the Braves (last year's CollegeInsider runners-up) and Cougars (last year's Mountain West tourney champs) also serves as the first game of the new MVC/MWC Challenge.
  • Wright State at no. 14 Washington (FS Northwest/FCS Pacific, 10): The Huskies open up their campaign with a game against the team favored to be Butler's biggest threat in the Horizon League. This game will be your first chance to see UW's highly-touted freshman guard, Abdul Gaddy.

Here are some of tonight's other significant openers you can watch if you have a good satellite sports package.

  • UNC-Greensboro at no. 9 Duke (FS South, 7)
  • Drexel at St. Joseph's (Comcast Network, 7)
  • Youngstown State at Xavier (FS Ohio, 7:30)
  • William & Mary at no. 12 Connecticut (Big East/Full Court, 7:30)
  • Howard at Indiana (Big Ten, 8)
  • Charleston Southern at Maryland (CSN Washington, 8)
  • Loyola-Chicago at Kansas State (FS Kansas City/Full Court, 8)
  • Idaho State at Iowa State (Mediacom-iA/Full Court, 8)
  • Western Illinois at Arizona State (FS Arizona, 9)
  • Austin Peay at no. 10 Tennessee (SportSouth, 9)

Take a look at Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site for other games tonight that are only available on local channels, like Stanford at San Diego.