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College Basketball Opening Night Viewing Guide

Our long wait is finally over. The first real games of the 2014-15 college hoops season will tip off tonight. I must say that this Friday lineup is more filler than killer, however.

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

My 2014-15 preseason bracket is up on for your reading pleasure.

All TV info is courtesy Matt's College Sports on TV site. Check his site for specific channels for all games marked with an *.

All times are Eastern.

Early Games

The Highlights

Texas Southern at Eastern Washington (Hoosiers Showcase), 11 a.m. (SWX)
Yes, this an 8 a.m. Pacific tip to start the season. EWU, you do realize that the Tip-Off Marathon is on Tuesday, right?

Presbyterian at Duke (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic), 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
Your first chance to see Duke's Jahlil Okafor, who might very well be top pick in the draft. Note that the Blue Devils play Fairfield tomorrow night, as they get both of their Coaches vs. Cancer home games out of the way before their Tuesday night showdown with Michigan State in the Champions Classic in Indy.

William & Mary at Florida, 6 p.m. (SEC Network)
The Gators begin their quest for a second consecutive Final Four place against a Tribe team aiming to make the NCAA Tournament for the first time. UF will be without forward Chris Walker in this one, due to a suspension, but that probably shouldn' t matter.

Tennessee vs. VCU at Annapolis, Md. (Veterans Classic), 6:30 p.m. (CBSSN)
In hindsight, Tennessee vs. Navy and Michigan State vs. VCU might have been a more appropriate pair of matchups for this event. The Vols are not the same squad that came within seconds of the Elite Eight last March, while VCU should again challenge for the Atlantic 10 crown and a high seed in the NCAA bracket.

Louisville vs. Minnesota at U.S.C.G. Air Station Borinquen, P.R. (Armed Forces Classic), 7 p.m. (ESPN)
I think coaches in this game have some sort of familial relationship, but I could be wrong. In any case, the Cardinals will again be a national contender, even with a move from the AAC to the ACC. Meanwhile, Richard Pitino's Golden Gophers, out of my preseason bracket, will make America take notice with a win tonight.

Georgia at Georgia Tech, 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs*/ESPN3)
Nothing like opening the season with a game against your bitter in-state rival right out of the gate. Both the Bulldogs and Yellow Jackets look like they'll be on the edge of the bid picture, so a win tonight might be a vital tiebreaker come March.

Long Beach State at BYU, 7 p.m. (BYUtv)
Tyler Haws, Kyle Collinsworth, and the rest of the Cougars are the first test for a 49er team that will once again play the most ambitious non-conference schedule in the country (Kansas State and Nevada at home; the Wooden Legacy; UCLA, Stephen F. Austin, San Diego State, Syracuse, St. John's, Texas, AND Louisville on the road)

American at Temple (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)
The defending Patriot League tournament champs visit an Owl team that was not very good in 2013-14. Upset potential!

The other 6:30 p.m. tip

Western Carolina at Mississippi State (SEC Network+)

Other 7 p.m. tips

Monmouth at West Virginia ( WVU Media Holdings)
NJIT at St. John's (select FSN outlets*)
Northern Arizona at Xavier (FCS Atlantic)
Mississippi Valley State at Indiana (BTN)
Pace at Rhode Island (OSN)
Rochester at Detroit (Comcast TV Detroit/ESPN3)
Bryant at Connecticut (SNY/ESPN3)
Alabama A&M at Dayton (WHIO)
Piedmont at Mercer (ESPN3)
Belmont at Wright State (ESPN3)
Kennesaw State at Syracuse (2K Classic) (ESPN3)
UMES at Virginia Tech (ESPN3)
Florida A&M at Clemson (ESPN3)
Jackson State at N.C. State (Global Sports Invitational) (ESPN3)
Howard at Miami (Fla.) (ESPN3)
Niagara at Pittsburgh (ESPN3)
New Hampshire at Boston College (ESPN3)
UNC Asheville at Wake Forest (ESPN3)
North Florida at South Carolina (SEC Network+)
Charleston Southern at Ole Miss (SEC Network+)

7:30 p.m. tips

Radford at Richmond (WTVR 6.3)
Wagner at Maryland (ESPN3)

Mid-Evening Games

The Highlights

N.C. Central at North Carolina, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
The Tar Heels open their regular season against Durham's other basketball power, the defending MEAC regular season and tournament champions.

Grand Canyon at Kentucky (Cawood Ledford Classic), 8 p.m. (SEC Network)
"Thunder" Dan Majerle's 'Lopes may be a threat to New Mexico State in the WAC (though not for the auto bid, as they're still transitioning to Division I), but they probably won't be much of one to the Wildcats.

Mount St. Mary's at Arizona, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network National/Bay Area/LA/Oregon/Washington)
The Mountaineers represented the NEC in the NCAAs last season, falling in the First Four to Albany. Meanwhile, the Wildcats reached the Elite Eight. One of these teams is expected to exceed its 2014 result come March 2015.

Drexel at Colorado, 8 p.m. (Pac-12 Network Mountain)
Even though Arizona gets top billing on Pac-12 Network in this window for national reasons, this one should be the more competitive game. The Dragons have been known for pulling off early season upsets.

UC Santa Barbara at Kansas, 8 p.m. (Jayhawk Sports Network/ESPN3)
There's been some talk of the Big West being a multi-bid league this season, especially with UC Irvine looking like a potential at-large sleeper. The Gauchos can put themselves in the conversation early by pulling off a shocker in Lawrence.

Michigan State at Navy (Veterans Classic), approx. 9 p.m. (CBSSN)
The Midshipmen finished last in the Patriot League in 2013-14 and may not be much better this season, but they don't get to host a team like Michigan State all that frequently.

New Mexico State at Wichita State, 9 p.m. (Cox Kansas/AggieVision/ESPN3)
The perennial WAC champs visit a Shocker team that looks to build on one of the greatest seasons of the modern era. This might be the night's most intriguing game, actually.

Towson at Alabama (CBE Hall of Fame Classic), 9 p.m. (SEC Network+)
Remember, even if the Crimson Tide drop this one, they'll still be heading to Kansas City for the championship round on the Monday and Tuesday of Thanksgiving week.

Other 8 p.m. tips

Eastern Illinois at Missouri State (Mediacom-Springfield (Mo.))
Lehigh vs. Villanova (at Allentown, Pa.) (FS2)
Oakland at Iowa State (CBE Hall of Fame Classic) (
North Dakota State at Texas (2K Classic (Longhorn Network)
Florida Atlantic at Elon (American Sports Network/MASN/Altitude2)
Edward Waters at Stetson (ESPN3)
St. Francis (Pa.) at Cincinnati (ESPN3)
Central Arkansas at Creighton (select FSN outlets*)

Other 9 p.m. tips

Northern Kentucky at Wisconsin (BTN)
Loyola (Md.) at Texas Tech (Red Raider Sports Network/FS Southwest Plus/FCS Central)
Southern Utah at Kansas State (FS Midwest/FCS Atlantic)
Sacramento State at Gonzaga (KHQ/ROOT Sports NW)
Binghamton at Notre Dame (Hall of Fame Tip-Off) (ESPN3)
Georgia Southern at Illinois (ESPN3)
UMKC at Missouri (Maui Invitational) (SEC Network+)

Other 9:30 p.m. tips

UT Martin at Marquette (select FSN outlets*)
McNeese State at Baylor (FS Southwest/FCS Pacific)
Lamar at SMU (Hoosiers Showcase) (ESPN3)
Hampton at Iowa (2K Classic) (ESPN3)

Late Night Games

The Highlights

Milwaukee at Auburn (MGM Grand Main Event), 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
Bruce Pearl's first game roaming the sidelines at Auburn Arena comes against the first team he coached to the NCAA Tournament, the defending Horizon League tourney champions, who won't be able to defend their crown due to APR issues.

Cal State Northridge at San Diego State (Maui Invitational), 10 p.m. (FS San Diego/FCS Atlantic)
One of the West's premier programs opens its season against yet another Big West team looking to grab an early marquee win.

Wofford at Stanford (Coaches vs. Cancer Classic), 12 a.m. (Pac-12 Network Bay Area)
The Cardinal made a nice run to the Sweet Sixteen last season, while the Terriers represented the Southern Conference in the field of 68 for the third time in five seasons. Both will have a chance to repeat those feats this time around.

Other 10 p.m. tips

UIC at DePaul (FS2)
Chicago State at Arizona State (CBE Hall of Fame Classic) (Pac-12 Network Arizona)
Alcorn State at California (2K Classic) (Pac-12 Network Bay Area)
Ball State at Utah (Pac-12 Network Mountain/LA)
Rice at Oregon State (Pac-12 Network Oregon)
South Carolina State at Washington (Pac-12 Network Washington)
Idaho State at New Mexico (ROOT Sports Rocky Mtn.)

Midnight or later tips

Montana State at UCLA, 12 a.m. (Pac-12 Network National/LA/Arizona/Mountain)
Coppin State at Oregon, 12 a.m. ( Pac-12 Network Oregon/Washington)
UAPB at Hawai `i (Rainbow Classic), approx. 12:30 a.m. (Oceanic Cable Sports)

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