Thursday, June 25, 2015

Potential MBK 24 Hour Tip Off Games for 2015 & Other Items

* ESPN's 24 hour college basketball tipoff marathon is starting to take shape.  The event culminates with the Champions Classic doubleheader in Chicago with Kansas vs. Michigan St. & Kentucky vs. Duke, but the undercard is always interesting.  Three other games that appear to be set for the event are San Diego St. at Utah, Nevada at Hawai'i and Manhattan at St. Mary's.  The St. Mary's game, per Jon Rothstein, was noted to be a 2am ET / 11pm PT start.

ESPN tends to classify the marathon games as starting around 6pm or 7pm on Monday evening.  Other potential games that could be part of the marathon:

Tennessee at Georgia Tech (11/16)
Virginia at George Washington (11/16)
Baylor at Oregon (11/16)
Colorado at Auburn (11/17, a rematch from last year's marathon)
Oklahoma at Memphis (11/17)
Georgetown at Maryland (11/17)

The event also is a place where ESPN can burn off appearances for smaller conference, usually during the Tuesday morning games.  Prelim / "home rounds" of events like the CBE Classic or Legends Classic end up here too, along with a few women's basketball games.  Expect to see games hosted by schools from conferences like the MAAC, Big South, SoCon and other small conferences during the Tuesday morning rounds.

* With the remaining American Athletic Conference games in the early portion of the season set for telecasts or webcasts, the first three weeks of FBS telecasts is just about set.  There may be a few digital exclusives added from the Mountain West or C-USA digital networks, a possible ASN game for C-USA (one game is to be added at some point of the season) and a few Big 12 games are awaiting their final destinations.  FCS games will start to be set in July on the schedule pages as I like to wait until after conferences and schools make any possible website hosting changes, which usually occur on July 1st.

"Shameless schedule plug"

* For the American, twelve games have been set for ESPN, ESPN2 or ESPNU.  To get to a minimum of 28 games on ABC plus the three networks already mentioned, sixteen games will be selected through the in-season selection process (ie. 12 days in advance, sometimes as late as six days) over ten weeks (weeks four through thirteen).

* The Southland Conference has joined up with the American Sports Network to produce football telecasts in 2015.  From what I have been told, this will replace the Southland TV Network syndication package.  The conference will make television & webcast decisions for the ASN & ESPN3 packages during the year instead of in advance.

I am somewhat interested to see how these telecasts are placed into the schedule as the Southland and Conference USA share a very concentrated footprint of the states of Texas & Louisiana.

* SBNation's Blogging the Bracket writer Chris Dobbertean pointed out to me that the Barclays Center Classic & the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic (the latter does not yet have any teams set for it) have not been placed on the Barclays Center event calendar, nor has the potential move of the NIT Tip Off to Brooklyn as the dates needed for the event at MSG were unavailable.

The Coaches vs. Cancer Classic, using last year's dates, would have been played on Friday 11/20 & Saturday 11/21.  The NIT, again based on previous dates, would have been played Wednesday 11/25 & Friday 11/27.  For both events, both of the quarterfinal / first date of games happen to be taken by Islanders games.

The Barclays Center Classic has schools attached to it and regional rounds scheduled.  The BCC has typically been held the two days after Thanksgiving and the arena is allegedly scheduled to host a Louisville vs. Saint Louis neutral site game over that weekend, per Jon Rothstein.

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