Starting at midnight Eastern with Cal State Fullerton at UCLA, ESPN will run more than 24 straight hours of college hoops. Since I'm nuts for this stuff, I'm going to try to follow the bulk of the marathon over at SBNation.com. However, since I'll be sleeping from the time I get home from work until some point in the Titans-Bruins tilt, I won't be able to catch any of Monday's action. Expect to see a Monday night recap at some point on Tuesday morning.
After the jump, I'll provide a comprehensive look at the marathon, culled from my earlier piece about it (with some updated information). I'll also have a brief rundown of the other games on the Tuesday slate.
ESPN has the bulk of the action overnight and during the day. Right after the clock strikes midnight on the East Coast (a perfectly reasonable 9 p.m. Pacific time tip), UCLA hosts Cal-State Fullerton. It will be the first chance for most of America to see how the Bruins cope after losing Jrue Holiday, Alfred Aboya, Darren Collison, and Josh Shipp. The Titans meanwhile lost Big West POY Josh Akognon and his 24 points per game and have six new faces (including 3 D1 transfers) on the roster.
In the 2 a.m. Eastern slot, St. Mary's, without Paddy Mills but with fellow Aussie Andrew Dellavedova attempting to fill the void, faces San Diego State, a team that will again challenge in the Mountain West, even though they only return one starter, F Billy White. The Aztecs knocked the Gaels out of the NIT at the end of last year.
Hawai'i again gets a 4 a.m. Eastern game. Last year, the Warriors defeated Idaho State in a game that was in overtime when I woke up at 6 Eastern. This year, it's another Big Sky opponent for UH, Northern Colorado.
According to Andy Katz's Daily Word, this will be the first time ESPN has ever carried games at 6 and 8 a.m. Eastern. The 6 a.m. offering, features a rising St. Peter's squad hosting a Monmouth side that's been down of late. My quibble with this matchup is the location, as the Hawks are opening up a new arena this year, yet they're on the road for this one. Go figure.
The 8 a.m. game could be a real donnybrook, however, and it takes place just a couple of miles from where I spent my first few years. Niagara, who finished behind Siena in the MAAC last year and is ready to challenge them again hosts Drexel, the team I foolishly picked to take the CAA's auto bid late last year. The Dragons problem then was scoring (61.7 ppg), an issue that won't get better as they lost their only double-digit scorer, Scott Rodgers, to graduation.
At 10, Clemson visits Liberty, a game that would've been more attractive had Seth Curry not transferred to Duke. The Tigers lost Terrence Oglesby to Europe, but gained Trevor Booker's younger brother Devin. He and 6-9 frosh Milton Jennings (a McDonald's All-American) give Clemson a significant post presence.
There is a nice little matchup in the East Coast lunch hour, as CAA contender Northeastern visits MAAC power Siena. Even though the Saints lost Kenny Hasbrouck to graduation, they return their other four starters (watch Edwin Ubiles closely). Bill Coen's Huskies also return four starters, including G/F Matt Janning.
At 2 p.m., Arkansas-Little Rock visits Tulsa, the team many think will usurp Memphis as the standard bearer for Conference USA.
Temple-Georgetown game, follows at 4 p.m. The Owls will be challenged this season without Deonte Christmas, while the Hoyas look to improve on last season's disappointment.
ESPN2 gives viewers a second option at 5:30 Eastern. Pitt hosts Binghamton in a preliminary game in the CBE Classic, where the Panthers are already guaranteed a trip to the finals in Kansas City. This game won't be quite as competitive as originally thought, thanks to the scandal that decimated the Bearcats' roster.
The 6 p.m. offering is the East regional final of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Barring a huge upset, Duke will take on Charlotte or Elon.
At 7:30 on ESPN2, it will be the first of two from the Hall of Fame Classic in St. Louis. (Save yourself $200 and watch this doubleheader at home.) Arkansas, a program that's been in a bit of turmoil during the offseason, takes on Louisville, another team that's been the focus of a lot of offseason news.
At 8 on ESPN, Gonzaga visits Michigan State. The Spartans are among the favorites to make it to Indy, while the Bulldogs will be good, even with the loss of four starters and a boatload of new recruits. This may not be the time to watch them, however.
ESPNU picks up another CBE Classic preliminary that's not really a preliminary at 9. Duquesne, who--don't laugh--will build on last year and be a serious challenger in the A-10 this year--even without the services of leading scorer (and only loss) Aaron Jackson, visits Iowa. The Hawkeyes, just like they every year under Todd Lickliter, have personnel issues. Leading scorer Jake Kelly transferred to Indiana State and PG Jeff Peterson, the no. 3 scorer on the roster, transferred to Arkansas.
ESPN has the second Hall of Fame Showcase game at 10 p.m. It's a rematch of that 2008 National Championship game that the NCAA wants to wipe from our collective memories. Preseason No. 1 Kansas takes on Memphis in one we can only hope is as memorable as the game that didn't happen (but really did).
If you're still conscious at 11:30 Eastern, you can watch the final of the West regional of the NIT Season Tip-Off. Arizona State--presuming they knock off Texas State--will take on Cal State-Northridge or TCU in the final game of the day.
Here's a quick look at the non-marathon games slated for TV.
- UConn should feature in the NIT North Region final which will air at 7 on the Big East Network and Full Court.
- UNC Asheville at Tennessee (select FSN outlets/Full Court, 7)
- Bowling Green at Xavier (FS Ohio [outside of Cavaliers' territory, 7:30)
- Fairfield at Maryland (CSN Washington, 8)
- UT-Martin at Missouri (FS Midwest/Full Court, 8)
- Louisiana-Monroe at Oklahoma (Full Court, 8)
- Fresno State at Northern Arizona in the West Coast Classic (UniversityHouse/FS Arizona/FCS Pacific, 8:30)
- Columbia at DePaul (Lakeshore/SNY/Full Court, 9)
- New Mexico at New Mexico State (Full Court, 9)
Visit Matt Sarz's College Sports on TV site for games telecast only locally or online.