Rule of thumb when planning the fall months is to let the NFL, baseball playoffs and college football carry the load (fantasy football gets lumped into the NFL). NASCAR's chase gets some attention, along with an occasional golf event, depending on who's involved. Once the NBA begins, that works into the mix.
Those sports are the backbone to just about any site's coverage. College basketball is usually secondary until the NFL season ends and Duke-North Carolina gets all the casual fans involved (we die-hards will be watching on Nov. 10 when Coaches Vs. Cancer tourney kicks off).
So imagine the die-hards' glee at ESPN's brilliant idea: A hoops marathon to give college basketball a proper season opener.
Nov. 18 (a Tuesday) will feature 14 games and 23 hours of hoops, headlined by North Carolina vs. Kentucky, among others. It starts at Midnight ET (UMass vs. Memphis), and, with a slight break in the morning hours, end with an NIT regional final at 11:30 ET. (Those of us on the West Coast don't mind that time.)
Here's a complete sked, with all times ET.
Midnight: UMass at Memphis (ESPN)
2 a.m.: Fresno St. at St. Mary's (ESPN)
4 a.m.: Idaho St. at Hawaii (ESPN)
6 a.m.: College Hoops Tip-Off Special (ESPN)
10 a.m.: Penn at Drexel (ESPN)
Noon: Liberty at UNC-Asheville (ESPN)
2 p.m.: Iowa at Kansas (women) (ESPN)
4 p.m.: Centenary at Baylor (ESPN)
6 p.m.: Richmond at Syracuse (ESPN)
7 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Purdue (ESPNU)
7:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Boston College (ESPN2)
8 p.m.: College GameDay-Chapel Hill (ESPN)
9 p.m.: Kentucky at North Carolina (ESPN)
9 p.m.: Florida Gulf Coast at Kansas (ESPNU)
9:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Oklahoma (ESPN2)
11:30 p.m.: NIT Regional Final-Arizona (ESPN2)
For more analysis an each matchup, click here.
And credit the folks at Storming the Floor for the line of the day (just above the games list).