ESPN’s annual Tip-Off Marathon is always one of my favorite events of the college basketball season.
If you don’t know what it is … well … you truly are missing out.
For about 28 straight hours, ESPN airs college basketball games, with games tipping all the way in Hawaii in the wee hours of the morning. It’s a chance for us college hoop junkies to huddle around our twitter feeds, arguing through sleep deprivation about such important matters as who should be coming off the bench for Cal St.-Northridge, which caffeinated beverages are the best for pulling an all-nighter, and what snacks are craved for at 6 a.m.
Today, ESPN is releasing the schedule for the Tip-Off Marathon in Marathon fashion: by announcing each games that will be played at the time that it will be played. Festivities get started at 7 p.m. with a double-header featuring Kent State-Temple and Colorado State-Gonzaga.
The official start of the marathon is at 11 p.m., when BYU visits Stanford. Wichita State will be hosting Western Kentucky at 1 a.m. — a midnight tip local time for the Shockers. That will be followed by Akron-St. Mary’s and New Mexico State-Hawaii before two NCAA tournament darlings, Florida-Gulf Coast and La Salle, will host Hartford and Quinnipiac, respectively.
If you can manage to survive this far, the nightcap will be well worth the wait, as four of the top five teams in the country will be headed to the United Center, as Kansas takes on Duke and Michigan State squares off with Kentucky.
Every two hours, another game will be announced. You can follow along with the schedule release here.
Prior to a one-year stint as the head coach coach at Bowling Green that came to an end in early April as a result of an incident at a Bowling Green restaurant, Chris Jans was a member of Gregg Marshall’s coaching staff at Wichita State from 2007-14. During those seven seasons Jans was a key figure as the Shockers made the progression to a respected national power.
Jans is back in Wichita, with Paul Suellentrop of the Wichita Eagle reporting Thursday that he’s serving as a consultant to the program. Jans’ consulting agreement runs for 45 days, which the school can renew, and he’ll be paid $10,000 for the work. While Jans isn’t allowed to do any coaching, he can watch practices and provide Marshall and the coaching staff with his observations.
“He will be able to consult with the coaching staff, only on what he observes in practice,” said Darron Boatright, WSU deputy athletics director. “By NCAA rule, a consultant is not allowed to have communication with student-athletes … not about basketball-related activities or performance.”
While Jans (who according to the story has served in a similar role for another school) can’t do any coaching in this role, his return does give Marshall another trusted voice to call upon when needed. Wichita State bid farewell to an assistant coach this spring with Steve Forbes being hired as the head coach at East Tennessee State, with his position being filled by former Sunrise Christian Academy coach Kyle Lindsted.
Thursday afternoon marked the first time since Friday that Louisville head coach Rick Pitino commented on the controversy that has taken his program by storm. Speaking with Terry Meiners of 840 WHAS in Louisville, Pitino discussed the escort scandal, what could have possibly led former staffer Andre McGee down the path he’s alleged to have taken in Katina Powell’s book and his future at Louisville.
The interview began with Meiners asking Pitino if it changed his thinking as to whether or not he needed to resign, which (as one would expect) Pitino shot down. Also discussed was the statement released by school president Dr. James Ramsey, which expressed support for athletic director Tom Jurich but did not mention Pitino at all.
“Well I can’t answer that, Terry,” Pitino said when asked why he wasn’t mentioned in the statement. “Twenty-six years ago Kentucky brought me in to make the program compliant to NCAA rules. (Then-Kentucky president) Dr. (David) Roselle and (then Kentucky athletic director) C.M. Newton thought I was the guy to come in and change around the images, change around the culture and add a lot of discipline to the program. And I did that.
“And then I came here to the University of Louisville, and if someone was five seconds late or not early consequences would be paid from a disciplinary standpoint,” Pitino continued. “This is obviously not a person being late, this is not about a person (not) working hard. This is about things that are very disgusting, things that turn my stomach, things that keep me up without sleeping.
“But unfortunately, I had no knowledge of any of this and don’t believe in it. It’s sickening to me, the whole thing. But I’m thinking of my 13 players, I’m thinking of our program, and I’m sorry that Dr. Ramsey did not think enough to mention me but that’s something I cannot control.”
Below is audio of the full interview, which ran just over 17 minutes in length.