Bristol, CT --- ESPN's third annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon Tuesday, Nov. 16 will be highlighted by 12 live college basketball games in 24 consecutive hours on ESPN for the second straight season and will include appearances by both Gonzaga University and Saint Mary's College. Overall, ESPN's celebration of the opening of the college basketball season will include 20 live games - 19 men's and one women's -- in a minimum of 25.5 hours across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. ESPN3.com will offer two exclusive games as well as a simulcast of every ESPN and ESPN2 telecast.
ESPN games are scheduled to tip off every two hours beginning at midnight ET with Miami at Memphis, marking the second time Memphis has hosted a midnight game as part of the College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Highlights include:
A minimum of 21 conferences will be represented: ACC, Atlantic Sun, Atlantic 10, America East, Big Ten, Big 12, BIG EAST, Conference USA, Colonial, Great West, Horizon, Metro Atlantic Athletic, Mid-American, Missouri Valley, Mountain West, Northeast, Pac-10, SEC, Summit, Western Athletic and West Coast. The Big West Conference could be added if Pacific meets UCLA, the host site, in the Dick's Sporting Goods NIT Season Tip-Off.
Eight of the top 10 teams in ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz's early men's preseason top 25 poll will participate: No. 1 Duke, No. 3 Michigan State, No. 4 Baylor, No. 5 Kansas State, No. 6 Ohio State, No. 8 Villanova, No. 9 Gonzaga, No. 10 Florida, No. 18 Tennessee, No. 19 Memphis, No. 20 Butler, No. 22 Virginia Tech and No. 24 San Diego State. The schedule will feature three matchups between teams ranked in Katz's poll: No. 22 Virginia Tech at No. 5 Kansas State (at 4 p.m.) and No. 6 Ohio State at No. 10 Florida (at 6 p.m.) on ESPN, and No. 24 San Diego State at No. 9 Gonzaga (at 11 p.m.) on ESPN2.
A women's showdown will feature two-time defending National Champion Connecticut against Baylor, led by four returning starters including 6-foot-8 center Brittney Griner, at 6 p.m. on ESPN2. Connecticut, which enters the season with a 78-game winning streak, defeated Baylor 70-50 in the National Semifinals of the NCAA Tournament last season. Both teams are expected to open the season ranked in the top 5.
The final two ESPN telecasts will showcase two programs coming off NCAA Tournament Final Four appearances last season: Butler, which played in the National Championship game, at Louisville, marking the first men's game at the school's new arena, at 8 p.m.; and South Carolina at Michigan State, which lost to Butler in the National Semifinals, at 10 p.m.
The schedule will feature back-to-back afternoon games involving two teams that played in the Elite Eight last season, beginning with Baylor (against La Salle) at 2 p.m. and Kansas State (against Virginia Tech) at 4 p.m.
The 2 a.m. telecast will feature new St. John's head coach Steve Lavin, who most recently led UCLA and served as an ESPN analyst, at Saint Mary's, in his first game leading the Red Storm.
ESPNU will offer a quadruple-header featuring four marquee programs -- Duke, Tennessee, UCLA and Villanova -- beginning at 5:30 p.m.
ESPN's coverage will include games from four different United States time zones -- Eastern, Central, Pacific and Hawaii-Aleutian - and from 17 states: California, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wisconsin.
The 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. telecasts will mark just the second time ESPN has televised live college basketball games in those time slots.