Wednesday, June 27, 2018

College Basketball Scheduling Notes for 2018: November

There will be other games to be announced for November, along with matchups that have been announced without a date.  Also a chance that games scheduled for dates that I've cited below end up moving a day or two if it can be arranged between the schools and television.  So take this, and the upcoming one I'll do on December, with a grain of salt.  No different than anything else that gets written in this space.

Many of these game dates came from The D1 Docket, Chris Dobbertean of Blogging The BracketJon Rothstein

Opening Night

With the opening night scheduled for Tuesday 11/6 and the Champions Classic doubleheader on ESPN, what else is available for the networks to show?
  • North Carolina at Wofford is an intriguing non-conference game for the aspect of the higher profile of UNC starting out the season on the road at a SoCon school.  ESPN2 appears to be open.
  • Five Big East games are scheduled for the date so far.  I would assume two on FS1 & two on FS2.  I'm unsure if any would be on FSN since its a Tuesday date with NHL and NBA commitments, so maybe the fifth game ends up with CBS Sports Network.
  • BYU at Nevada would be a nice showcase game for the Wolf Pack, who appear to be a top 5-10 team coming into the season.  Maybe a potential doubleheader to lead off CBSSN's college basketball coverage.
  • It would be nice to see the 24 Hour Tip Off Marathon return since the season is starting on the same day of the Champions Classic.  Will it?  Don't know.  ESPN killed it off last year due to programming constraints.  To be fair, many of the games didn't draw a lot of viewers outside of the main event games in primetime.  The diehards were the viewers for the morning games involving smaller schools.
The Rest of Opening Week (Wednesday - Sunday)
  • Ohio St. at Cincinnati is a neat opener on Wednesday 11/7 for the renovated Fifth Third Arena.  The date is a bit unfortunate as both ESPN2 & ESPNU have MAC football game windows and ESPN presumably would have NBA coverage.  I think the MAC games will be structured in a way that the 8pm game is Toledo at Northern Illinois on whichever network it airs on, so the basketball game could precede it at 6pm.  Otherwise that one could air on CBS Sports Network or ESPNEWS, though I think ESPNEWS is less likely.
  • Arkansas vs. Texas, from Fort Bragg, and Yale vs. California, from Shanghai, would appear to be a doubleheader on ESPN or ESPN2 on Friday 11/9, depending on the NBA schedule.  A solid Big 12 doubleheader for ESPNU would be Buffalo at West Virginia followed by Missouri at Iowa St.
  • The placement of North Carolina at Elon on 11/9 is worth watching.  The CAA has a contract for their championship game with CBS Sports Network and one regular season game aired on the network last year (Notre Dame at Delaware).  This one would be a candidate for CBSSN if they can work it in besides the Veterans Classic doubleheader (Maryland vs. Navy & Providence vs. Wichita St.).  UNC at Elon could also be a game for CBS Digital's SportsLive platform if they don't find a linear TV network for it.  The CAA could also be working on TV distribution for their sports.
  • Army at Duke looks like a ESPNU game, possibly alongside Vanderbilt at USC, though the latter could be a Pac-12 Networks game instead.
The Rest of November
  • There's plenty of tournament events going on through the month, along with challenge series like the ACC-Big Ten Challenge and the Gavitt Games series between the Big East and Big Ten.  A couple new events have been added, like the Las Vegas Holiday Invitational which differs from the Las Vegas Invitational, and the Suncoast Classic.  It appears that the Las Vegas event belong to FOX Sports based on the logo created for it.  The Suncoast Classic might be one that the streaming services like FloSports, ESPN+ or CBS Digital looks to pick up.
  • FOX did carve out a window on Black Friday on the broadcast network in between college football games, supposedly to air the championship round of Las Vegas Invitational involving UCLA, Michigan St., North Carolina and Texas.
  • Speaking of games that are off the beaten path from non-Power Six conferences, here's some games from those conferences that could warrant linear TV coverage
    • Oklahoma at UTSA (11/12)
    • Georgia at Temple (11/13)
    • Texas A&M at Gonzaga (11/15)
      • With events from Charleston & Myrtle Beach on ESPN2 and ESPNU, this game could be later in the evening.
    • Houston at BYU (11/24)
      • Would likely be a game for BYUtv due to it being on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend and ESPN likely being full with college football games.
    • Nevada at Loyola (Chicago) (11/27)
      • Might end up being on ESPNEWS, ESPN Digital or CBS Sports Network as ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU should be tied up with the ACC-Big Ten Challenge
    • Alabama at UCF (11/30)
      • Would be for ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Digital or CBS Sports Network.  ESPN should have NBA coverage in addition to the MAC Football Championship on ESPN2.

1 comment:

Chris said...

Florida at Florida State is also set for opening night, so that's a likely ESPN2/ESPNU pickup.