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On The Menu: Tip-Off Marathon, Part I

The first Monday of the new college basketball season features the beginning of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon, which now extends for more than 24 hours.

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

Game information courtesy Matt College Sports on TV Website, which has even more games listed.

All times are Eastern, so adjust accordingly.

Tasty Appetizers

Tennessee Volunteers at Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
Both are expected to be also-rans in power conferences, but this should keep you occupied for a half-hour before things get rolling, especially since the three 7 p.m. tips with more potential air on channels with more limited availability.

UL Lafayette Ragin' Cajuns at Miami Hurricanes, 7 p.m. (ACC RSNs/ESPN3)
The Hurricanes dropped home games to Eastern Kentucky and Green Bay in the early stages of last season. The Sun Belt favorites have the potential to do the same right before Miami travels to San Juan for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off.

James Madison Dukes vs. West Virginia Mountaineers (at Charleston, W.V.), 7 p.m. (ROOT Sports Pittsburgh)
On Opening Night, the Dukes defeated a good Richmond team, the Mountaineers' Las Vegas Invitational semifinal opponent, by 12. Bob Huggins' team, meanwhile, blasted Division I newbie Northern Kentucky.

Radford Highlanders at VCU Rams (2K Classic Benefitting Wounded Warrior Project), 7 p.m. (CSN Mid-Atlantic Plus)
Can the Highlanders, victorious over Georgetown after two OTs on Saturday, do it again? The host Rams had no trouble with Prairie View on Friday, winning 75-50.

Tip-Off Marathon Specials

With the Tip-Off Marathon starting early this season, my preview of its games will be split between this post and tomorrow's TV preview, which will run early in the morning.

No. 6 Virginia Cavaliers at George Washington Colonials, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
This is a big get for Mike Lonergan and a stiff challenge for Tony Bennett's Cavaliers. However, I wouldn't want to face a defense like UVa's this early in the season.

San Diego State Aztecs at No. 16 Utah Utes, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
The Aztecs are forecast to have a down year by their standards—as a lack of scoring is likely to be an issue—they can change that perception by putting on a good show against a Utes squad that might be the best in the Pac-12. This is a rematch of a 53-49 Aztec win in last year's Marathon.

No. 20 Baylor Bears at No. 25 Oregon Ducks (Global Sports Shootout), 11:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
In my opinion, Baylor put on the most impressive Opening Night performance, as they treated Southland power Stephen F Austin like one of that league's lesser squads, knocking down the Lumberjacks by 42. Can they do it on the road against a decent Ducks outfit looking for a nice early win?

BYU Cougars at Long Beach State 49ers, 1:45 a.m. (ESPN2)
The 49ers, who typically play one of the most difficult non-conference schedules each season, get a quality team to come to Walter Pyramid. Can they take advantage of the opportunity?

Nevada Wolf Pack at Hawai `i Rainbow Warriors (Rainbow Classic), 4 a.m. (ESPN2)
Both the Wolf Pack and Rainbow Warriors defeated Coastal Carolina and Montana State, so the Rainbow Classic title is on the line in this showdown between a meh Mountain West team and a Big West title contender.

Green Bay Phoenix at ETSU Buccaneers (NIT Season Tip-Off), 6 a.m. (ESPN2)
On Friday, the Phoenix let Stanford off the hook in their season and NIT opener, falling in OT. Meanwhile, the Buccaneers defeated a non-Division I team handily. Expect the Phoenix to rebound.

Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks at Northern Iowa Panthers, 8 a.m. (ESPN2)
This is another rematch from last season's Marathon—a 79-77 classic won by the Panthers in OT. Surprisingly, both mid-major powers are coming off shocking Opening Weekend losses. I already discussed the Lumberjacks' virtual no-show in Waco, but the Panthers didn't look anything like last season's edition, particularly defensively, in a home loss to Colorado State on Saturday afternoon.

Other Intriguing (?) Options

NJIT Highlanders at South Florida Bulls (Hoophall Invitational), 7 p.m. (ESPN3)

IUPUI Jaguars at Marquette Golden Eagles (FanDuel Legends Classic), 9 p.m. (FS1)
Kennesaw State Owls at No. 23 LSU Tigers (FanDuel Legends Classic), 9 p.m. (ESPNU)
Belmont Bruins at Arizona State Sun Devils (FanDuel Legends Classic), 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks Arizona)
UC Santa Barbara Gauchos at No. 15 California Golden Bears, 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Networks Main and Bay Area)
Monmouth Hawks at USC Trojans, 10 p.m. (Pac-12 Network LA)
The top and bottom three games should be the most entertaining in this group. NJIT gave Kentucky a good half in Lexington on Saturday, but could very well upset the Bulls in Tampa tonight. After handling Marquette in Milwaukee on Friday, Belmont can grab its second Legends Classic win in Tempe, especially since the Sun Devils fell to Sacramento State in their opener. UCSB, another Big West contender, should give Cal trouble in Berkeley. Down in Los Angeles, Monmouth will go for the USC-UCLA sweep after shocking the Bruins in OT on Opening Night.

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