By Ryan Berenz
This the new State Farm Champions Classic college basketball event at New York City’s Madison Square Garden is the highlight of the annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU Nov. 15. Traditional powerhouses Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State will participate in the Champions Classic through 2013. This year’s matchups are No. 6 Duke vs. Michigan State (7pm ET) followed by No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 12 Kansas (9pm ET), both on ESPN.
In all, the ESPN networks air 21 live college basketball games – 19 men’s and two women’s — in 25 hours beginning with Washington State at No. 23 Gonzaga at 12am ET on ESPN
Press release and full schedule from ESPN after the jump:
College Hoops Marathon November 15
Fourth Annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon: 21 Games in 25 Hours Highlighted by Inaugural Champions Classic Doubleheader
For the fourth straight year, ESPN will celebrate the start of the college basketball season with a marathon of games and extensive coverage across multiple platforms. The College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Disney Parks on Tuesday, Nov. 15, will include 21 live contests – 19 men’s and two women’s — in 25 hours across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3.
The schedule will tip-off at 12 a.m. ET with Washington State at No. 23 Gonzaga on ESPN and ESPN3 and conclude with a DICK’s Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off game from Stanford at 11 p.m. on ESPNU. Marathon highlights:
- Eleven games on ESPN, highlighted by No. 6 Duke vs. Michigan State at 7 p.m. and No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Kansas at 9 p.m. in the inaugural State Farm Champions Classic doubleheader from Madison Square Garden in New York.
- A special one-hour edition of ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm at 6 p.m., originating from Madison Square Garden for the Champions Classic, that includes pre-game, half-time, between-game and post-game reports and analysis.
- Four of the top nine ranked women’s programs in back-to-back games: No. 9 Louisville at defending National Champion No. 6 Texas A&M at 4 p.m. on ESPNU and No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Tennessee at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
- Seven of the top 10 teams – and 11 ranked programs overall – in the men’s ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll: No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 5 Syracuse, No. 6 Duke, No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Memphis, No. 10 Florida, No. 12 Baylor, No. 13 Kansas, No. 23 Gonzaga and No. 24 California.
- An ESPN2 prime time showdown between top 10 teams pitting No. 10 Florida at No. 3 Ohio State at 8 p.m.
- Analyst Doug Gottlieb and ESPN.com reporter Andy Katz calling Drexel at Rider on ESPN at 6 a.m. and appearing live at halftime on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN Radio and ESPN2 to preview the day’s action.
- An afternoon doubleheader of ranked teams on ESPN and ESPN3: No. 9 Memphis hosting Belmont in an EA Sports Maui Invitational matchup from Memphis at noon followed by No. 12 Baylor against San Diego State at 2 p.m.
- Representation of 21 conferences: ACC, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, Conference USA, Colonial, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Ohio Valley, Pac-12, SEC, Southern, Southwestern Athletic, Sun Belt, Western Athletic and West Coast. Either the Ivy League or America East will be added, dependent on if Syracuse plays Brown or Albany, respectively.
- Commentator Dave Flemming and analyst Sean Farnham working two games: Northern Iowa at Saint Mary’s on ESPN and ESPN3 at 2 a.m. and a Progressive CBE Classic matchup, Austin Peay at No. 24 California, at 10 p.m. on ESPN2 and ESPN3.
- Schools participating in the marathon are encouraged to tweet pictures, updates and comments capturing the atmosphere of the games throughout the day to @ESPN_CollHoops with #tipoff and on Facebook www.facebook.com/collegegamedaybasketball.
ESPN.com’s comprehensive coverage throughout the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon will be highlighted by the Marathon Cover It Live chat from 10 a.m. through the conclusion; one reporting from two different contests; and a comprehensive preview of the day’s matchups. Details include:
- Multiple ESPN reporters will file stories from game sites and post interviews with several players and coaches, including Katz, Dana O’Niel, Eamonn Brennan, Diamond Leung, Jason King, Myron Medcalf, John Gasaway, Joe Lunardi and more.
- Leung will report from two games: Northern Iowa at Saint Mary’s at 2 a.m. and Austin Peay at No. 24 California at 10 p.m.
- In addition to calling the Drexel at Rider telecast at 6 p.m. on ESPN, Katz will report from the Champions Classic doubleheader for ESPN.com.
2011-12 College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Schedule for ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3
Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Tue, Nov 15 Midnight Washington State at No. 23 Gonzaga
Dave Pasch & Doris Burke ESPN / ESPN3
2 a.m. Northern Iowa at Saint Mary’s
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham ESPN / ESPN3
4 a.m. Cal State Northridge at Hawaii
Kanoa Leahy & Mark Adams ESPN / ESPN3
6 a.m. Drexel at Rider
Doug Gottlieb & Andy Katz ESPN / ESPN3
8 a.m. Morehead State at College of Charleston
Jon Sciambi & Stephen Bardo ESPN / ESPN3
10 a.m. Kent State at West Virginia
Sean McDonough & Bill Raftery ESPN / ESPN3
Noon EA Sports Maui Invitational: Belmont at No. 9 Memphis (Memphis)
Brad Nessler & Jimmy Dykes ESPN / ESPN3
2 p.m. San Diego State at No. 12 Baylor
Brent Musburger & Fran Fraschilla ESPN / ESPN3
4 p.m. TicketCity Legends Classic: Rhode Island at Texas (Austin)
Mike Breen & Jeff Van Gundy ESPN / ESPN3
4 p.m. No. 9 Louisville at No. 6 Texas A&M (women’s)
Carter Blackburn & Carolyn Peck ESPNU
6 p.m. State Farm Women’s Tip-Off Classic (from Knoxville, Tenn.): No. 7 Miami at No. 3 Tennessee
Bob Wischusen, Kara Lawson & Holly Rowe ESPN2 / ESPN3
6 p.m. DICK’S Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: TBD at Virginia Tech (Blacksburg)
Mike Patrick & Len Elmore ESPNU
7 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: No. 6 Duke vs. Michigan State (New York)
Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Bob Knight & Andy Katz ESPN / ESPN3
7 p.m. DICK’S Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off (from Syracuse): TBD at No. 5 Syracuse
Jason Benetti & Tim Welsh ESPN3
7 p.m. Rutgers at Miami
Kevin Corke & Mark Wise ESPN3
7 p.m. LaSalle at Villanova
Scott Graham & Dereck Whittenberg ESPN3
8 p.m. No. 10 Florida at No. 3 Ohio State
Dave O’Brien & Dan Dakich ESPN2 / ESPN3
8 p.m. DICK’S Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: Arkansas-Pine Bluff at Oklahoma State (Stillwater)
Chad McKee & Bryndon Manzer ESPN3
9 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 13 Kansas (New York)
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Andy Katz ESPN / ESPN3
10 p.m. Progressive CBE Classic: Austin Peay at No. 24 California (Berkeley)
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham ESPN2 / ESPN3
11 p.m. DICK’S Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off: TBD at Stanford (Stanford)
Mark Neely & Miles Simon ESPNU
ESPN Classic will offer a 24-hour college basketball marathon leading up to the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon beginning Sunday, Nov. 14, at midnight.
Date Time (ET) Game
Mon, Nov 14 12 a.m. 2011 Gonzaga vs. St. Mary’s
2 a.m. 2007 Memphis vs. Gonzaga
4 a.m. 2011 New Mexico State vs. San Jose State
6 a.m. 2010 North Carolina vs. College of Charleston
8 a.m. 2011 NCAA Women’s National Championship: Notre Dame vs. Texas A&M
10 a.m. 2010 Maui Invitational Championship: Connecticut vs. Kentucky
Noon 2011 BIG EAST Tournament Quarterfinals: Connecticut vs. Pittsburgh
2 p.m. 2011 Big 12 Tournament Semifinal: Colorado vs. Kansas
4 p.m. 2010 Coaches vs. Cancer Semifinal: Illinois vs. Texas
6 p.m. 2011 Connecticut vs. Texas
8 p.m. 2010 ACC/Big Ten Challenge: Michigan State vs. Duke
10 p.m. 2010 Duke vs. North Carolina
ESPN’s 2011-12 men’s college basketball schedule on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN FULL COURT will total a company record 1,450 games.
Photo: Credit: David Perry | Staff © Lexington Herald-Leader/ZUMAPRESS.com