Longshots and Big Promi$es Ahead of New College Basketball Season

There were two rule changes to college basketball this past off-season, both of which sound huge, but may not amount to much.

First, the NCAA decided to push back the 3-point line by more than 16 inches to 22 feet, 1.75 inches from the center of the basketball, the same distance used by FIBA in international competition. The NIT tournament took the distance for a test drive so the NCAA could see how it affected play, and apparently they liked what they saw: a slight decline in 3-point accuracy, but no change to scoring per possession. The new rule should open up the floor a bit and hopefully discourage bad shooters from chucking bombs, but it will hardly mean a revolution.

The other change is the NCAA declaring that it will get out ahead of California’s “Fair Pay to Play” law and allow student-athletes to “benefit from the use of their name, image and likeness in a manner consistent with the collegiate model” (whatever that means). This could allow college athletes to finally earn money, just like their fellow students. Or it could mean the NCAA will find some new way to screw the kids. Fingers crossed it’s the former.

In any event, college basketball is back, and the season kicks off with a Final Four-worthy doubleheader, as #3 Kansas takes on #4 Duke and then #1 Michigan State faces #2 Kentucky. Here’s a quick preview of the opening day games as well as highlights from the rest of the opening week schedule.

Tuesday, November 5
#3 Kansas Jayhawks vs #4 Duke Blue Devils
7pm ET on ESPN
The Jayhawks were last year’s pre-season #1, but went just 26-10 and suffered another early exit in the tournament, getting knocked out in the second round by Auburn. Thus far they’ve already had to deal with an NCAA investigation, a Snoop Dogg scandal and an injury to sophomore guard Devon Dotson. Kansas is also hoping 7-foot senior Udoka Azubuike can stay healthy after suffering season-ending injuries in his freshman and junior years.

The Blue Devils went 32-6 last season before losing to Michigan in the Elite Eight. Their personnel losses were even more significant: Wooden and Naismith Award winner Zion Williamson went No. 1 overall, landing with the New Orleans Pelicans; RJ Barrett was picked by the New York Knicks; and Cam Reddish went to the Atlanta Hawks. Fret not for Coach K, however, as he will be welcoming to the team 6-10 blue chip Vernon Carey Jr and five other freshmen, including Cassius Stanley, who this fall broke Williamson’s school record for vertical leap.

#1 Michigan State Spartans vs #2 Kentucky Wildcats
9:30pm ET on ESPN
The Spartans went 32-7 last season, making it all the way to the Final Four before losing to Texas Tech, but return atop the top of the national rankings. Unfortunately they’ll be without guard Josh Langford until January, as he’s still suffering from a foot injury that cost him 26 games last season. But they bring back 3 starters from last year’s team, including potential Wooden Award winner Cassius Winston, and they’ve added top-35 recruit Rocket Watts, who has arguably the best name in college b-ball.

The Wildcats were 30-7 last year, losing to Auburn in the Elite Eight, and are now #2 thanks to another ridiculous recruiting class, this one including 6-3 Tyrese Maxey, 38-percent 3-point shooter Nate Sestina, and 6-7 forwards Kahlil Whitney and Keion Brooks.

Wednesday, November 6
Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs #9 North Carolina Tar Heels
7pm on ACC Network
#11 Virginia Cavaliers vs Syracuse Orangemen
9pm on ACC Network

Friday, November 8
Eastern Kentucky Colonels vs Kentucky Wildcats
7pm on SEC Network
UNC Greensboro Spartans vs #3 Kansas Jayhawks
9pm on ESPNU

Saturday, November 9
Texas Longhorns vs #23 Purdue Boilermakers
7pm on FS1
Rhode Island Rams vs Maryland Terrapins
9pm on FS1

Sunday, November 10
Youngstown State Penguins vs #5 Louisville Cardinals
2pm on ACC Network Extra
UMass-Lowell River Hawks vs #18 Ohio State Buckeyes
4pm on ESPNU

All times Eastern, stats courtesy of SRCBB

WATCH SLING TV NOW

DateDayTimeAwayHomeChannelService
18-Nov Mon 7:00 PMUtah Valley #9 Kentucky ESPN2Sling Orange
18-Nov Mon 7:00 PMPresbyterian Notre Dame ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 7:00 PMMonmouth Pittsburgh ACCN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 8:00 PMColgate #19 Auburn SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 8:00 PMHawai'i Illinois ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 8:00 PMWofford Missouri SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 8:00 PMCampbellsville Western Kentucky ESPN3 Sling Orange
18-Nov Mon 9:00 PMUC Irvine #23 Colorado PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
18-Nov Mon 11:00 PMSouthern Utah UCLA PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 7:00 PMVermont #7 Virginia ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 7:00 PMAlcorn State NC State ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 7:00 PMUMBC LSU SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 7:00 PMSUNY Potsdam Albany ESPN3 Sling Orange
19-Nov Tues7:00 PMBoston University South Carolina SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues7:00 PMAlma Western Michigan ESPN3 Sling Orange
19-Nov Tues7:30 PMSeattle Ole Miss SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues8:00 PMFurman Alabama SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues8:00 PMTexas Southern Arkansas SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 8:00 PMGardner-Webb Wichita State ESPN3Sling Orange
19-Nov Tues9:00 PMMontana State Grand Canyon ESPN3 Sling Orange
19-Nov Tues 9:00 PMPepperdine USC PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
19-Nov Tues 11:00 PMMaine #25 Washington PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 6:30 PMChattanooga Florida State ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMSouth Carolina Upstate #2 Louisville ACCNSling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMAlabama State #20 Tennessee SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMEastern Washington Boston College ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed
7:00 PMDelaware State Virginia Tech ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMChristendom VMI ESPN3 Sling Orange
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMJames Madison Old Dominion ESPN3 Sling Orange
20-Nov Wed 7:00 PMGeorgia Tech Georgia SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Wed 7:30 PMCornell Syracuse ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMLittle Rock #16 Memphis ESPN3 Sling Orange
20-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMMorehead State Missouri SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMTroy Texas A&M SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMAustin Peay Vanderbilt SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 8:30 PMElon #5 North Carolina ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 10:00 PMUC Santa Barbara Oregon State PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
20-Nov Thurs 11:00 PMSaint Mary's Fresno State ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 11:00 AM Emerson College Hartford ESPN3 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 11:30 AM #17 Villanova Middle Tennessee ESPN2 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 11:30 AMMissouris State Miami ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 2:00 PMFlorida Saint Joseph's ESPN2 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 2:00 PMMississippi State Tulane ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 4:30 PMOhio #24 Baylor ESPN2 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 5:00 PMConcord College Kent State ESPN3Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PM#18 Xavier Towson ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PM#22 Texas Georgetown ESPN2 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PMWofford South Florida ESPN3 Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PMUtah Coastal Carolina ESPNEWS Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PMArkansas-Pine Bluff Pittsburgh ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PMAlabama A&M Clemson ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 7:00 PMOmaha Washington State PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMRobert Morris UIC ESPN3 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMHoward Marshall ESPN3 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 8:00 PMLehigh Drake ESPN3 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 8:30 PMToledo Notre Dame ACCN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 9:00 PM#1 Duke California ESPN3 Sling Orange
21-Nov Thurs 9:00 PMSouth Dakota State #14 Arizona PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 9:00 PMBuffalo UConn ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
21-Nov Thurs 11:00 PMHofstra UCLA PAC12Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 5:00 PMTBD TBD ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 7:00 PMMt. St. Mary's #9 Kentucky SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 7:00 PMGardner-Webb South Carolina SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 7:00 PM Radford Bradley ESPN3Sling Orange
22-Nov Fri 7:00 PM Columbia International Furman ESPN3 Sling Orange
22-Nov Fri 8:00 PMSouth Carolina State Vanderbilt SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 8:30 PMMonmouth Kennesaw Sate ESPN3 Sling Orange
22-Nov Fri 9:00 PMHouston #11 Oregon PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 9:00 PMSouth Dakota Arkansas SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
22-Nov Fri 9:30 PMTBD TBD ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 12:00 PM#7 Virginia UMass ESPNEWS Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-NovSat 12:00 PMDePaul Boston College ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 12:00 PMBucknell Syracuse ACCN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 1:00 PMOle Miss #16 Memphis ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 1:00 PMLittle Rock NC State ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 2:00 PMSt. Francis (PA) Florida State ACCN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 2:00 PMDelaware State East Tennessee State ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 2:00 PMCharleston UCF ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 2:30 PMArizona State St. John's ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 2:30 PMGrambling Oregon State PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
23-Nov Sat 3:00 PMOral Roberts Wichita State ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 3:00 PMTroy Samford ESPN3Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 5:00 PMRider Columbia ESPN3Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 6:00 PM Iona Kennesaw State ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 6:00 PMUtah Valley North Dakota State ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 7:00 PMTexas Southern Northern Kentucky ESPN3 Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 7:30 PMVermont Central Connecticut ESPN3Sling Orange
23-Nov Sat 8:30 PM Stetson Monmouth ESPN3Sling Orange
24-Nov Sun 2:00 PMMerrimack Hartford ESPN3 Sling Orange
24-Nov Sun3:00 PMMaine Maritime Academy Maine ESPN3Sling Orange
24-Nov Sun5:00 PMTBD TBD ESPN Sling Orange
24-Nov Sun 6:00 PMAkron #2 Louisville ACCN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
24-Nov Sun 6:00 PMLamar #9 Kentucky SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
24-Nov Sun 6:00 PMTBD TBD ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
24-Nov Sun7:30 PMTBD TBD ESPNEWS Sling Orange + Sports Extra
24-Nov Sun8:00 PM#23 Colorado Wyoming ESPN3 Sling Orange
24-Nov Sun8:30 PMLong Beach State #14 Arizona PAC12 Sling Orange + Sports Extra or Sling Blue + Sports Extra
24-Nov Sun8:30 PMTBD TBD ESPNSling Orange
24-Nov Sun10:30 PM San Diego #25 Washington ESPN2 Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon 2:00 PMSeattle Bucknell ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 2:30 PMGeorgia Dayton ESPN2Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon
5:00 PMVirginia Tech #3 Michigan State ESPN2 Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon6:00 PMPittsburgh Kansas State FS1 Sling Blue
25-Nov Mon7:00 PMChattanooga #20 Tennessee SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 7:00 PMChicago State Florida State ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 7:00 PMButler Missouri ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 7:00 PMWisconsin Richmond ESPN2 Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon 7:00 PM Midway Northern Kentucky ESPN3 Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon 7:00 PMArkansas Georgia Tech ACCNX Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 8:00 PMSE Louisiana Vanderbilt SECN Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 9:00 PM#4 Kansas Chaminade ESPNU Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 9:00 PM#19 Auburn New Mexico ESPNEWS Sling Orange + Sports Extra
25-Nov Mon 9:30 PMStanford Oklahoma ESPN2 Sling Orange
25-Nov Mon 11:30 PMBYU UCLA ESPN2 Sling Orange + Sports Extra