BRISTOL, Conn. - For the fifth consecutive season, ESPN will celebrate the opening of the college basketball season with the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. This year’s marathon on Tuesday, Nov. 13 will include 11 men’s games over 24 consecutive hours on ESPN – plus a schedule of matchups across ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 – beginning at midnight ET with West Virginia at No. 20 Gonzaga in the Old Spice Classic. Gonzaga won last year’s second round NCAA Tournament game against West Virginia. The lineup for ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 is to be determined.
ESPN will televise nine straight games tipping off every two hours, followed by a one-hour live College GameDay Covered by State Farm from Atlanta at 6 p.m. and the second annual Champions Classic doubleheader, also in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome, site of the 2013 NCAA Final Four.
Highlights of ESPN’s games:
- The Champions Classic will pit Michigan State vs. National Championship runner up Kansas at 7 p.m. and Duke vs. defending National Champion Kentucky at 9 p.m. in a showcase of four of the sport’s winningest programs. The three-year men’s event features Duke, Kansas, Kentucky and Michigan State playing each other from a different neutral site location each year (New York City last year and Chicago in 2013). •It will mark the first meeting between Duke and Kentucky since 2001, a 92-95 Duke victory.
- Kansas and Michigan State played twice in 2009 with Michigan State winning both games.
- Eight schools will make a Marathon debut: Davidson, Detroit, Harvard, Houston Baptist, New Mexico, Northern Illinois, Valparaiso and Xavier.
- Twelve of the participants were in last year’s NCAA Tournament: Davidson, Detroit, Duke, Gonzaga, Harvard, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan State, New Mexico, Temple, West Virginia and Xavier.
- Despite both programs being in the Atlantic 10, Butler at Xavier will be a non-conference matchup since it was scheduled before Butler joined the conference this season.
- Sixteen conferences will be represented in the ESPN games: America East, ACC, Atlantic 10, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, Big West, Great West, Horizon, Ivy, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Mountain West, SEC, Southern and West Coast.
- Four of the top 15 teams in an ESPN.com early men’s preseason top 25 poll squaring off: No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 4 Kansas at 7 p.m. followed by No. 15 Duke vs. No. 3 Kentucky at 9 p.m.
For more details, log on to ESPN Media Zone