Sweet — the 24-hour hoops marathon returns

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Get the Red Bull out and prep the coffee pot — College basketball’s delightful day is back for the third straight year.

ESPN’s 24-hour hoops marathon schedule is slated for Tuesday, Nov. 16. This year’s telecast features 20 live games (19 men’s and one women’s) broadcast on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, while ESPN3.com also will have two games. And it’s a helluva slate, perhaps the best ever in college hoops’ unofficial kickoff.

It features three teams from the 2010 Final Four, the debut of Louisville’s new KFC Yum! Center (I can’t type that enough) and Steve Lavin’s St. John’s debut.

The primetime games – Ohio State at Florida and Butler at Louisville – are can’t-miss matchups, though Virginia Tech at Kansas State and San Diego State at Gonzaga both feature NCAA tournament-worthy teams. If your schedule’s limited, tune in between 4 and 1 a.m. ET. That’s four games with highlights that’ll get you in the mood for hoops.

A complete schedule is below. 

Time Matchup Network
Midnight Miami at Memphis ESPN/ESPN3.com
2 a.m. St. John’s at St. Mary’s SPN/ESPN3.com
4 a.m. Central Michigan at Hawaii ESPN/ESPN3.com
6 a.m. Stony Brook at Monmouth SPN/ESPN3.com
8 a.m. Robert Morris at Kent State ESPN/ESPN3.com
10 a.m. Northeastern at So. Illinois ESPN/ESPN3.com
Noon Oral Roberts at Tulsa ESPN/ESPN3.com
2 p.m. La Salle at Baylor ESPN/ESPN3.com
4 p.m. Virginia Tech at Kansas State ESPN/ESPN3.com
5:30 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Marist at Villanova ESPNU
6 p.m. Ohio State at Florida ESPN/ESPN3.com
6 p.m. Women’s Tip-Off Classic: Baylor at Connecticut ESPN2/ESPN3.com
7:30 p.m. CBE Classic: Miami (Ohio) at Duke ESPNU
8 p.m. Butler at Louisville ESPN/ESPN3.com
9:30 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Belmont at Tennessee ESPNU
10 p.m. South Carolina at Michigan St. ESPN/ESPN3.com
11 p.m. CBE Classic: San Diego State vs. Gonzaga ESPN3/ESPN3.com
11:30 p.m. NIT Season Tip-Off: Nevada or Pacific at UCLA ESPNU
TBD St. Joseph’s at Penn St. ESPN3.com
TBD North Dakota at Wisconsin ESPN3.com

Mike Miller’s also on Twitter @BeyndArcMMiller, usually talkin’ hoops. Click here for more.

Illinois’ injury woes continue as starting center needs knee surgery

George Niang,Abdel Nader,Mike Thorne, Jr.
AP Photo/Mark Wallheiser
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Illinois suffered another blow in what has already turned out to be a brutal season.

Mike Thorne is expected to miss the rest of the season after tearing his meniscus. He reportedly underwent surgery on Monday to repair the injury.

Thorne, a transfer from Charlotte, was starting at center for the Illini and doing a good job of it as well. He was averaging 13.4 points and 8.4 boards, although Illinois has started off the season 3-4.

The reason for that slow start has mainly been those injuries. Tracy Abrams is already out for the season after tearing his achilles, and the Illini training room looked like a M.A.S.H. unit. Kendrick Nunn just returned two games ago from surgery to repair a torn thumb ligament. LeRon Black is still getting back to speed after offseason knee surgery. Jaylon Tate is back after dislocating a finger. Jalen Coleman-Lands was slowed by a stress fracture.

John Groce entered this season on the hot seat, and dealing with all of these injuries certainly isn’t helping his cause.

NEW PODCAST: Recapping Feast Week

Kris Dunn
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill
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We talk about a lot of stuff of the podcast today, mainly because a lot of stuff happened since we last spoke with you all.

For starters, we need to discuss the ‘realness’ of Syracuse and Xavier. Are they both truly top 15 teams, or do they just have top 15 resumes? We also dive into Chris Mack’s epic troll-job of Dayton at the Advocare Invitational final.

Other topics we touched on: Whether or not Scott is ever going to apologize to Wayne Selden, Wichita State’s tournament hopes, Texas A&M and whether we’d take Ben Simmons, Kris Dunn or Denzel Valentine today.

As always, you can subscribe to the podcast in iTunes right here. It’s the quickest way to get access on your cell phone or tablet.