ESPN Sets Sights On Early-Morning NCAA B-Ball

We know how enthralled you all are over college football, but college basketball is sneaking up on us (note: fans of the Big East already know this, as they have not attended a football game since 1995). To commemorate the opening of the season, on Tuesday, November 17th, ESPN is televising 24 hours of live basketball. In a row.

00 Clock
(They going to have Gatorade for the players, or coffee?)

That means someone had to volunteer to play a game that tips at 6:00 a.m. and at 8:00 a.m. Hardly sounds palatable, but this is ESPN we’re talking about here. Lo and behold, according to the MIAMI HERALD, they quickly found two games to fit the bill: Monmouth at St. Peters for the 6:00, and Drexel at Niagara at 8:00. Sounds fun, right?

Are you going to watch the 6 a.m. and 8 a.m. Tuesday college basketball games?

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From the Herald:

There are two ways of looking at the ridiculously early start times: Either it’s great for the schools because it provides national exposure and gives the students a unique experience. Or it’s lousy because it inconveniences lots of people on a work/school day.

“This can capture the imagination of the campus,” said Monmouth athletic director Marilyn McNeil, whose players will take the 45-minute bus ride to St. Peter’s campus sometime after 3 a.m. that day. “Our coach thinks people are getting up at that hour to go to work and turning on their televisions, and why not see Monmouth on ESPN?”

Drexel athletic director Eric Zillmer said alumni have told him “you’ll do anything to get on ESPN.” And Zillmer said, “That is pretty much correct. It’s great exposure. Why turn this down?”

Mind you, ESPN’s not actually paying any of the teams for doing this; they’re just hoping for some residual attention from the exposure. The thinking is that high school students will see a game on television at 9:00 on a Tuesday morning and pay attention, whihc would be a phenomenal idea if there was no such thing as actual high school.

At the very least, St. Peter’s is making the most of the occasion and turning this into an all-night party for its students before the 6:00 game, which we’re sure professors are just thrilled about. But who are we kidding? We’d have totally sprung for something like that if we were still in college. For them, at least, this sounds awesome.