Another piece of the 2010-2011 OSU men’s basketball schedule fell into place this week with the announcement of a 24-hour basketball marathon to be televised on ESPN to tip-off the season. The Buckeyes, currently projected to be the #6 team in the country come fall, will face off against the Florida Gators, who are projected just a few spots lower at #10. The line-up of games is set for November 16th, and OSU-Florida looks to be one of the best games on the docket. Other games worthy of mention include Virginia Tech-Kansas State, Butler-Louisville, and San Diego State-Gonzaga. Meeting Florida this soon in the season presents an opportunity for the Bucks to pick up an early quality win, and will give fans a chance to see how our highly touted recruiting class stacks up against a major opponent returning all its starters. The fact that the game will be played in Gainesville only adds to the challenge.
Certainly, further pre-game analysis will be provided here closer to the actual date of the game. Basketball fans, patiently waiting (or perhaps salivating) for months will be primed to break into all-out frenzy as the ball goes up. Pizzas will be ordered, cases of beer will be toted home, hi-def will be engaged, and all will be in place for 24 hours of straight college hoops. What better way to spend a…….let’s see, what day is November 16th?……..Tuesday! Okay, so perhaps not as suitable for a basketball all-nighter as the weekend, but still!
Intrigued by the mid-week staging for this basketball extravaganza, the decision was made to do some further analysis of the games to be played. Equipped with a Google search bar and a handy time zone guide, a closer look caused a few points to stand out regarding the schedule:
- The first game will be Miami at Memphis, beginning at midnight. This will be a good way to start things off. Two fairly good teams, the excitement of midnight madness, and obviously, plenty of opportunity for alliteration.
- Next on the schedule is St. John’s at St. Mary’s. A bit of a drop in the strength of the teams, perhaps, but not necessarily. Right Villanova? St. John’s will be led by new coach Steve Lavin, who is leaving the commentator business to return to the sidelines this coming season.
- Central Michigan at Hawaii fills the 4:00am time slot, although this is clearly cheating. In Hawaii time, it will only be 10:00pm. Sure, viewers on the East Coast still need to tune in at 4:00am, but the players in the game aren’t actually playing in the wee hours of the morning. If you were hoping for a true 24-hour marathon (that is, with games tipping off every two hours following a strict Eastern Standard Time standard), then this may be a bit disappointing. In fact, the previously mentioned battle of the Saints is also cheating, but it doesn’t seem quite as flagrant as CMU-Hawaii. The Central Michigan club had better get out to the island early to adjust to the time difference. You know, there are moments as a college athlete when you just have to suck it up and get ready for the game by getting on that plane and getting to the site of the game in advance to acclimate. On the beach. In Hawaii.
- Continuing on, Stony Brook visits Monmouth at 6:00am. This game is not a case of cheating. At first I wasn’t sure, because I honestly didn’t know if this was Monmouth College or Monmouth University, but a visit to the Monmouth University Men’s Basketball webpage confirmed that it was the Monmouth in New Jersey, not Illinois. Eastern Standard prevails over Central. Actually, this really wouldn’t have been cheating, because in Central Time the game would be starting at 5:00am, which is even worse than 6:00am. Some questions for consideration:
- Are they going to serve coffee and bagels in the concession stands at this game?
- Will people catch the game before going into the office at their usual time?
- Will this game set the record for lowest number of viewers ever?
- Will it be called the Rise n’ Shine Classic?
- Does Rise n’ Shine Classic sound like a Denny’s breakfast?
- A single women’s game, Baylor vs. Connecticut, will be played on ESPN2 at the same time as Ohio State-Florida. This is notable in that a dilemma may arise if circumstances are right. Obviously my television will be tuned to Ohio State, but as the games get into their final minutes, there will be some desire to flip over to ESPN2 if it looks like Baylor is going to pull the upset. Seriously, UConn is on a 78-game winning streak. Any women’s team beating
them would represent a significant moment in the sports world worth seeing live.
- Jumping ahead to the end of the schedule, we’ve got Michigan State facing South Carolina at 10:00pm in Lansing. No doubt the Izzone will be rocking. Hopefully the Big Ten represents in these early season games.
Overall it will be a full day of basketball, bringing promise of key match-ups, freshmen phenoms on display, some yawning and bleary eyes, and of course, most importantly, an Ohio State victory.