Official College Basketball Opening Night


Unless you’re one of the lucky fans whose team is playing in the 2K Sports Classic Benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer — as per us at The Rafters — then tonight begins the best four and a half months of the year.

And unless you are a Master of your Domain (DVR), you’re going to have to miss some of the action as many teams are playing at the same time.


Six Top 10 teams are playing overlapping games tonight. Kentucky (5)– perhaps one of the most anticipated debuts — plays at 6:30 p.m., while Michigan State (2), Villanova (6), Purdue (7) and Duke (8) play at 7 p.m. To top it off, the preseason No. 1 Kansas plays at 8 p.m., further complicating things  for the second half of the 7 o’clockers.

As an ACC junkie, and Tar Heel alumnus, naturally I’ll be glued to the Duke game “just to see if they lose.” It’s amazing how many Duke games I watch under that pretense. I’ll also watch the first half of the first half of Kentucky, because I desperately want the Calipari experiment to fail.

But what about during breaks in the despised Durhamites’ matchup?

Of course, when there are multiple games on, it’s inconceivable that one would watch commercials. Here’s my hierarchy of channel flippage for tonight. (We ordered the college hoops package, so yes, be jealous. Or order it, too!) If No. 1 is at commerical, I proceed down the list until I find a game.

6:30 p.m.

  1. Kentucky vs. Morehead St.

7:00 p.m.

  1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – For Obvious Reasons
  2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – I told you I want him to fail!
  3. Michigan State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Love Kalin Lucas
  4. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Is it me, or is the Big 10 scary this year?
  5. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Will Jay Wright continue to wear pinstripes for an entire season!?

7:30 p.m.

Otherwise same as above:

5. UConn vs. William and Mary – Down year in Storrs?
6. Penn State vs. Pennsylvania – Hopefully I won’t make it down this far
7. Villanova vs. Fairleigh Dickinson – Just not that interested for some reason

8:00 p.m.

  1. Duke vs. UNC Greensboro – Still anticipating failure!
  2. Kentucky vs. Morehead St. – See above
  3. Kansas vs. Hofstra – Are they really THAT good?
  4. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – ACC with a capital A!
  5. Michican State vs. Florida Gulf Coast – Remember when UNC beat them twice last year?
  6. Purdue vs. Cal State Northridge – Again, I hope I don’t make it down this far.
  7. UConn vs. William and Mary – Kemba Walker is fast

9:00 p.m. and on

  1. Kansas vs. Hofstra – I will never forgive you, Cole Aldrich
  2. Clemson vs. Presbyterian – Can Trevor Booker carry you guys?
  3. UConn vs. William and Mary – W&M has a nice campus
  4. Georgetown vs. Tulane – Greg Monroe should be beastmode
  5. Tenneessee vs. Austin Peay – It rhymes!
  6. Mississippi State vs. Rider – Blocks, blocks and more blocks