On Monday afternoon, ESPN released its schedule for its Tip-Off Marathon, more than 24 consecutive hours of college basketball to kick off the 2014-2015 season.
This field of games is headlined by the State Farm Champions Classic in Indianapolis. The doubleheader begins with Michigan State taking on Duke followed by a top-5 matchup between Kansas and Kentucky.
MORE: Viewer’s Guide breaking down the games
The marathon begins with Miami and Florida meeting for their first regular season matchup since 2005. It’s part of a home-and-home series between the two schools. Later that night is a big non-conference battle between SMU and Gonzaga. This would have been a game between two top-15 teams if Emmanuel Mudiay had enrolled at SMU.
Wichita State, which hasn’t lost a regular season game since March 2013, takes on Memphis in a game played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That is followed by a very good early evening game between Utah and San Diego State at 4 p.m.
Baylor vs. Kentucky and Stanford vs. the two-time reigning national champion UConn headline the pair of women’s basketball games.
Here is the entire list of games:
Monday, Nov. 17
- Baylor vs. Kentucky (women), 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
- Miami at Florida, 7 p.m. (ESPNU)
- UConn vs. Stanford (women), 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
- SMU vs. Gonzaga, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)
- Detroit vs. Oregon (ESPNU) — Part of Legends Classic
Tuesday, Nov. 18
- Auburn vs. Colorado, 1 a.m. (ESPN2)
- New Mexico State vs. St. Mary’s, 3 a.m. (ESPN2)
- High Point vs. Hawaii, 5 a.m. (ESPN2)
- Iona vs. Wofford, 7 a.m. (ESPN2)
- Northern Iowa vs. Stephen F. Austin (ESPN2)
- Manhattan vs. UMass, 11 a.m. (ESPN2)
- Baylor vs. South Carolina, noon (ESPN)
- Wichita State vs. Memphis, 2 p.m. (ESPN) — Game played in Sioux Falls, South Dakota
- Utah vs. San Diego State, 4 p.m. (ESPN)
- Toledo vs. VCU, 6 p.m. (ESPNU) — Part of Legends Classic
- Michigan State vs. Duke, 7 p.m. (ESPN) — Champions Classic played in Indianapolis
- Marquette vs. Ohio State, 7:30 (ESPN2)
- Kansas vs. Kentucky, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN) — Champions Classic played in Indianapolis
- Texas Tech vs. LSU, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN2)
Texas and head coach Shaka Smart continue to recruit at a high level, especially in the state of Texas, as the Longhorns landed a commitment from Class of 2017 four-star guard Jase Febres on Friday night.
The 6-foot-5 Febres is considered the No. 63 overall prospect in the Rivals national Class of 2017 rankings as he burst on the national radar this summer with some strong shooting performances. Febres shot over 40 percent from three-point range during the month of July after battling through injury during the spring. Besides owning good size for a wing shooter, Febres also takes pride in defending and he can rebound a bit from the wing as well.
Febres is going to have to improve his overall offensive package if a defense plays him off the three-point line, but he has upside as a three-and-D guy with the Longhorns.
The Class of 2017 is starting to round into shape for Texas as Febres joins four-star power forward Jericho Sims and four-star forward Royce Hamm. Since taking over the Texas job, Smart has done a great job of keeping local talent home as he now has five four- and five-star prospects from the state in the last two classes.
Kentucky fans have unique ways of making their annual Big Blue Madness event the most chaotic tip-off event of the season. While Big Blue Nation is waiting in line for tickets to this year’s festivities in Tent City, one couple decided to go the extra mile.
After securing the first spot in line for tickets, Ray Branham and Vicki Harvey opted to get married. According to a post from Drew Franklin of Kentucky Sports Radio, the couple had already been talking about tying the knot, but decided to make the move once they had the top spot in line. As you can see by the wedding video, it was a very Kentucky-themed ceremony as the duo got married in front of friends and other Kentucky fans.
I can’t say I’m surprised two Kentucky fans decided to get married in line for something like Big Blue Madness and this (unplanned) wedding gives this year’s event something unique that we will always remember.
On the day that college basketball practice is to start, Penn State head coach Pat Chambers announced that his roster would be changing.
Joe Hampton, a 6-foot-8, 290 pound power forward from Maryland, will be leaving the program.
“Joe has made the decision to leave the program based on personal reasons,” Chambers said. “We wish him the best of luck with his future endeavors.”
Hampton was a three-star prospect that missed his senior season at Oak Hill Academy with torn ACL, but he reportedly enrolled at Penn State in May, before the rest of the Nittany Lion recruit class.
Tom Izzo landed his second commitment in the Class of 2017 as big man Xavier Tillman announced that he will be attending Michigan State.
A 6-foot-7, 235 pound power forward, Tillman is a physical-if-undersized player that is rated as a three-star prospect. He’s not a one-and-done player, but he’s should be a good program guy for the Spartans.
“Tillman is another big and strong interior presence for Michigan State,” said NBCSports.com recruiting analyst Scott Phillips. “What separates Tillman from a lot of big men his size is his passing ability. Tillman is an intelligent player on the offensive end and he rebounds his area well.”
Tillman joins Jaren Jackson, his AAU teammate for Speice Indy Heat, in Michigan State’s recruiting class.
He picked Michigan State over Purdue and Marquette.
Kobi Simmons has some ridiculous hops.
Well, take a look at this tweet:
His vertical is … 45 inches? That’s pretty impressive, but not quite as impressive as the pictures that he tweeted out, the full effect of which you cannot receive until you see the picture in it’s entirety:
1. Look how high he is off the court.
2. Look at where his hand is in relation to the top of the back board.
3. … LOOK AT HIS CHIN!
I know that the angle of this picture is probably playing some visual tricks on us, but think about how high you have to be able to jump just to have a camera visually trick someone’s eyes into thinking your chin is above the backboard.