ESPN Announces GameDay Schedule For 2011-12Posted by jstevrtc on August 11th, 2011
ESPN released their GameDay lineup for the 2011-12 college basketball season earlier today. As Dana O’Neil points out, the list includes five new stops out of eight games. It starts on January 14 and will (for the most part) resume the previous format, meaning an hour broadcast on ESPNU at 10 AM ET followed by a second hour on ESPN at 11 AM ET, then the 8 PM ET show before the feature game tips off at 9. The January 14 visit to Tallahassee is for a 2 PM North Carolina at Florida State game, so obviously there’s no nighttime show for that one.
Here’s the list in full:
- January 14, Tallahassee FL — North Carolina at Florida State
- January 21, Pittsburgh PA — Louisville at Pittsburgh
- January 28, Tucson AZ — Washington at Arizona
- February 4, Columbia MO — Kansas at Missouri
- February 11, Nashville TN — Kentucky at Vanderbilt
- February 18, Ann Arbor MI — Ohio State at Michigan
- February 25, Storrs, CT — Syracuse at Connecticut
- March 3, Durham NC or Lawrence KS — UNC at Duke (7 PM) or Texas at Kansas (9 PM)
A solid list, we think. We respect GameDay’s desire to visit new places. There’s pretty good distribution, as well; you’d get a good scattering of pins on a map of those games. A couple of questions, though:
Why is the last game a “flex” game? If UNC-Duke is listed as an option, there can’t be much of a chance that they’d not go with that game. They’ve had UNC-Duke as the GameDay choice in every even-numbered year they’ve done this. We would have loved to have seen this as a double-header, even if they didn’t designate Texas-Kansas as the feature game. Hey, better yet, go with two (*gasp!*) GameDay crews and have face-offs between the fans at Phog and those at Cameron, i.e. who’s crazier/louder, best signs, and so on.
No surprise here, but there’s not a single mid-major among those squads (either home or away), meaning that in its eight-year existence, Rece Davis and company will have only been to two mid-major spots — Gonzaga in 2006 and 2009, and Southern Illinois in 2008 — and featured just three mid-major teams (SIU played Creighton). Certainly Butler, with its two consecutive appearances in the title game, deserves a visit from Erin and the fellas (except for a certain former Indiana coach, most likely), right? Then again, as cozy as Hinkle Fieldhouse is, we don’t know if it could contain the magnetic field of smoothness that would theoretically be generated by having the hairstyles of Davis, Jay Bilas, and Brad Stevens within 15 feet of each other. Better safe than sorry.