ESPN released the schedule for its season-opening 24-hour college basketball marathon on Tuesday, November 16, and three Big 5 teams are included in this year's slate.
The only game that will take place in our region is Marist at Villanova at 5:30 p.m. That game is part of the NIT Season Tip-off. The other games are La Salle at Baylor at 2 p.m., and Saint Joseph's at Penn State at a time to be determined.
Two of the morning games involve teams with local ties. Schuylkill 16 member Monmouth will host Stony Brook at 6 a.m., and former Penn guard Andrew Toole's Robert Morris squad visits Kent State at 8 a.m. I do not know if that is RMU's season opener. If it is, it's Toole's first game as a head coach.
A few of the other games are pretty interesting. Steve Lavin's debut at St. John's will take place at 2 a.m. Eastern Time when the Red Storm play at St. Mary's. There's also Butler at Louisville at 8 p.m., in the first game at the Cardinals' new arena. And there's a women's game with arguably the two best teams coming into the season: Baylor at Connecticut at 6 p.m.