College Basketball is Back: State Farm Champions Classic to Tip-Off on Opening Night

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College Basketball is Back: State Farm Champions Classic to Tip-Off on Opening Night

College basketball is back. ESPN will open the season with the State Farm Champions Classic, featuring two Sonic Blockbuster games, as No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kansas (7 p.m. ET, ESPN), followed by No. 4 Duke facing No. 2 Kentucky (9:30 p.m.). Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale and Laura Rutledge will call the Spartans-Jayhawks matchup, with Jay Bilas handling analyst duties for the Blue Devils-Wildcats game.

Coverage will include:

  • SpiderCam footage, bringing dynamic looks from beyond the baseline and flying into the action
  • SportsCenter twitter handle will have a “Zion Warmup Cam,” following Duke freshman Zion Williamson during warmups prior to his regular season debut; the stream will have commentary from Treavor Scales and Chiney Ogwumike

College GameDay Covered by State Farm (6 p.m.) will be live from Bankers Life Fieldhouse, as host Rece Davis and analysts Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams break down the matchups and preview the 2018-19 season. The College Football Playoff: Top 25 Presented by PlayStation rankings show will also originate from the Classic, with Davis, Kirk Herbstreit, Joey Galloway and David Pollack as they unveil the CFP Committee’s second top 25 rankings between matchups.

The games will be complemented by the sounds of Grammy-nominated artist Logic. The Return, off his fourth studio album YSIV, will be featured as the Sonic Blockbuster anthem track across ESPN platforms throughout the season.

Friday’s Armed Forces Classic, as part of ESPN’s 10th annual Veterans Week initiative, will originate from Fort Bliss, Texas, with Arkansas playing Texas. Dave Flemming, Greenberg, and Williams will be on the call.

This week’s slate features 18 ranked teams across ESPN networks, including No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 4 Duke, No. 5 Virginia, No. 6 Tennessee, No. 7 Nevada, No. 8 UNC, No. 10 Michigan State, No. 11 Auburn, No. 12 Kansas State, No. 13 West Virginia, No. 15 Virginia Tech, No. 16 Syracuse, No. 17 Florida State, No. 18 Mississippi State, No. 22 Clemson, No. 23 LSU, and No. 25 Washington.

Complete weekly schedule and commentator assignments can be found here.


Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Tue, Nov 6 12:30 p.m. Wisconsin-Lutheran at Green Bay ESPN+
  4 p.m. St. Francis at Buffalo ESPN+
  6 p.m. Cedarville at Akron ESPN3
  6:05 p.m. Kentucky Christian at Morehead State ESPN+
  6:30 p.m. Rider at UCF ESPN3
  7 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: A Sonic Blockbuster
No. 10 Michigan State at No. 1 Kansas
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Laura Rutledge
  No. 8 North Carolina at Wofford
Rich Hollenberg, LaPhonso Ellis
  Lenoir-Rhyne at No. 6 Tennessee
Tom Hart, Jon Sundvold
SEC Network
  The Citadel at No. 22 Clemson ACC Network Extra
  Eastern Washington at No. 16 Syracuse ACC Network Extra
  Towson at No. 5 Virginia ACC Network Extra
  Youngstown State at Pittsburgh ACC Network Extra
  Milwaukee at Boston College ACC Network Extra
  Illinois-Chicago at Notre Dame ACC Network Extra
  Mount St. Mary’s at NC State ACC Network Extra
  USC Upstate at South Carolina SEC Network +
  Detroit Mercy at Western Michigan ESPN3
  Rochester at Eastern Michigan ESPN3
  Florida Gulf Coast at Illinois State ESPN3
  Rivier at New Hampshire ESPN3
  Central Connecticut at Hartford ESPN3
  MIT at Harvard ESPN+
  City College of New York at Fordham ESPN+
  Stony Brook at George Washington ESPN+
  Cleveland State at Davidson ESPN+
  Gardner-Webb at VCU ESPN+
  Randolph at Longwood ESPN+
  Davis & Elkins at Radford ESPN+
  Mid-Atlantic Christian at Hampton ESPN+
  Indiana State at Ball State ESPN+
  Colgate at NJIT ESPN+
  Florida A&M at Jacksonville ESPN+
  East Tennessee State at Georgia State ESPN+
  Newbury College at Dartmouth ESPN+
  Wilmington College at Northern Kentucky ESPN+
  Kalamazoo at Oakland ESPN+
  Bob Jones at Furman ESPN+
  Pennsylvania at George Mason ESPN+
  Bryant at Rhode Island ESPN+
  7:30 p.m. North Alabama at Samford ESPN3
  Texas Wesleyan at Stephen F. Austin ESPN3
  La Salle at Temple ESPN3
  UMass Lowell at UMass ESPN+
  Colombia International at Charleston Southern ESPN+
  UNC-Wilmington at Campbell ESPN+
  Cumberland at UT Martin ESPN+
  8 p.m. Southern at Alabama SEC Network +
  Winthrop at Vanderbilt SEC Network +
  Central Arkansas at Missouri SEC Network +
  Northland College at North Dakota ESPN3
  Grand Canyon at South Dakota State ESPN3
  Huston-Tillotson at Lamar ESPN3
  Oral Roberts at Missouri State ESPN3
  Concordia (Chicago) at Valparaiso ESPN3
  Louisiana Tech at Wichita State ESPN3
  Alcorn State at Tulsa ESPN3
  Tennessee Tech at Memphis ESPN3
  Eastern Illinois at Texas
Lowell Galindo, Lance Blanks
Longhorn Network
  UT Tyler at UT Arlington ESPN+
  Southeast Missouri State at Saint Louis ESPN+
  Mars Hill at Appalachian State ESPN+
  University of the Pacific at SIU-Edwardsville ESPN+
  Cornell at Binghamton ESPN+
  Bemidji State at Northern Iowa ESPN+
  8:15 p.m. Sewanee at Lipscomb ESPN+
  8:30 p.m. Southeastern Louisiana at No. 23 LSU SEC Network +
  9 p.m. Florida at No. 17 Florida State
Bob Wischusen, Cory Alexander
  South Alabama at No. 11 Auburn
Mike Morgan, Andy Kennedy
SEC Network
  UMKC at Loyola-Chicago ESPN+
  9:30 p.m. State Farm Champions Classic: A Sonic Blockbuster
No. 4 Duke at No. 2 Kentucky
Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Laura Rutledge
  10:30 p.m. Western Kentucky at No. 25 Washington
Eric Rothman, Corey Williams
Wed, Nov 7 6 p.m. Ohio State at Cincinnati
Jason Benetti, Dan Dakich
  7 p.m. Wilberforce at Ohio ESPN3
  North Florida at Dayton ESPN+
  Bucknell at St. Bonaventure ESPN+
  Marshall at Eastern Kentucky ESPN+
  Johnson University Florida at Stetson ESPN+
  Western Carolina at Wright State ESPN+
  7:30 p.m. Oglethorpe at Kennesaw State ESPN+
  8 p.m. Wisconsin-Parkside at Bradley ESPN+
  9:30 p.m. Savannah State at Texas A&M SEC Network +
Thu, Nov 8 7 p.m. Nicholls at Louisville ACC Network Extra
  Chicago State at Notre Dame ACC Network Extra
  Ferrum at Lynchburg ESPN3
  Morehead State at Connecticut ESPN3
  Siena at George Washington ESPN+
  St. Andrews at UNC Asheville ESPN+
  Maine Fort Kent at Liberty ESPN+
  Southeastern at Florida Gulf Coast ESPN+
  SUNY Canton at Cornell ESPN+
  Hiawassee College at East Tennessee State ESPN+
  7:30 p.m. Southwestern University at Sam Houston State ESPN3
  Southwestern Assemblies of God at Stephen F. Austin ESPN3
  8 p.m. Alabama State at South Dakota State ESPN+
  Buena Vista at Drake ESPN+
Fri, Nov 9 11 a.m. Chicago State at Central Michigan ESPN3
  2 p.m. Antelope Valley at CSU Bakersfield ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. Indiana State at Green Bay ESPN3
  5:30 p.m. Limestone at Mars Hill ESPN3
  7 p.m. Armed Forces Classic
Arkansas at Texas
Dave Flemming, Seth Greenberg/Jay Williams
  North Carolina at Elon
Kevin Fitzgerald, Malcolm Huckaby
  Southern Illinois at No. 2 Kentucky
Mike Morgan, Dane Bradshaw
SEC Network
  North Carolina Central at No. 22 Clemson ACC Network Extra
  Lehigh at Miami ACC Network Extra
  Gardner-Webb at No. 15 Virginia Tech ACC Network Extra
  VMI at Pittsburgh ACC Network Extra
  Louisiana at No. 6 Tennessee SEC Network +
  Charleston Southern at Florida SEC Network +
  Stony Brook at South Carolina SEC Network +
  Drexel at Eastern Michigan ESPN3
  Toledo at Oakland ESPN3
  Piedmont College at Mercer ESPN3
  Detroit at Temple ESPN3
  Northeastern at Harvard ESPN+
  American at George Mason ESPN+
  Longwood at Richmond ESPN+
  Dartmouth at Davidson ESPN+
  Hampton at VCU ESPN+
  New Hampshire at UMass ESPN+
  Northern Kentucky at Northern Illinois ESPN+
  DeSales at Princeton ESPN+
  7:30 p.m. Lamar at Georgia Tech ACC Network Extra
  Austin Peay at No. 18 Mississippi State SEC Network +
  Belmont Abbey at Wingate ESPN3
  Jacksonville State at Samford ESPN3
  Old Dominion at Saint Joseph’s ESPN+
  Coastal Carolina at Campbell ESPN+
  7:45 p.m. James Madison at East Carolina ESPN3
  8 p.m. UNC Greensboro at No. 23 LSU SEC Network +
  Kennesaw State at No. 12 Kansas State ESPN3
  Robert Morris at Missouri State ESPN3
  Furman at Loyola-Chicago ESPN3
  Air Force at Texas State ESPN+
  NJIT at Binghamton ESPN+
  Rice at Pennsylvania ESPN+
  8:30 p.m. Savannah State at Georgia SEC Network +
  9 p.m. Buffalo at No. 13 West Virginia
Chuckie Kempf, Tim Welsh
  UIC at Radford ESPN+
  9:30 p.m. No. 25 Washington at No. 11 Auburn
Richard Cross, Daymeon Fishback
SEC Network
  UC Irvine at Texas A&M SEC Network +
  10 p.m. Pacific at No. 7 Nevada ESPN3
  11 p.m. Pac-12 China Game presented by Alibaba Group
Yale at California
Roxy Bernstein, Sean Farnham
Sat, Nov 10 Noon College of Charleston at Western Carolina ESPN3
  1 p.m. Eastern Illinois at IUPUI ESPN3
  Shenandoah at UMBC ESPN3
  Wagner at UMass Lowell ESPN3
  2 p.m. Maryland-Eastern Shore at NC State ACC Network Extra
  North Carolina A&T at Wake Forest ACC Network Extra
  Southeast Missouri State at Bradley ESPN3
  Jackson State at St. Bonaventure ESPN+
  Wofford at High Point ESPN+
  3 p.m. Lafayette at La Salle ESPN+
  4 p.m. Western Michigan at Ole Miss SEC Network +
  Brevard at USC Upstate ESPN+
  Tennessee State at Lipscomb ESPN+
  Oklahoma State at Charlotte ESPN+
  4:30 p.m. Akron at Youngstown State ESPN3
  5 p.m. William & Mary at Duquesne ESPN+
  6:30 p.m. Alabama A&M at Houston ESPN3
  7 p.m. Morehead State at No. 16 Syracuse ACC Network Extra
  Wilberforce at Toledo ESPN3
  Kent State at Cleveland State ESPN3
  North Dakota at Milwaukee ESPN3
  Coppin State at Dayton ESPN+
  Presbyterian at Tennessee Tech ESPN+
  8 p.m. Northern Iowa at UT Arlington ESPN+
  Troy at Saint Louis ESPN+
  Illinois State at Belmont ESPN+
  Winthrop at SIU-Edwardsville ESPN+
  8:30 p.m. Wright State at Murray State ESPN+
  9 p.m. Blue Mountain College at North Alabama ESPN+
Sun, Nov 11 Noon St. Mary’s College at Lynchburg ESPN3
  1 p.m. Army at No. 4 Duke
Doug Sherman, Chris Spatola
  St. Francis – Brooklyn at Boston College ACC Network Extra
  Colgate at Cornell ESPN+
  2 p.m. George Washington at No. 5 Virginia ACC Network Extra
  Goshen at Eastern Michigan ESPN3
  Brown at NJIT ESPN+
  UC Santa Barbara at North Dakota State ESPN+
  3 p.m. Southern Miss at SMU ESPN3
  Florida Atlantic at UCF ESPN3
  4 p.m. Stetson at Missouri State ESPN3
  Lamar at East Carolina ESPN3
  Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska
Jon Meterparel, Brooke Weisbrod
  5 p.m. Hartford at No. 18 Mississippi State
Richard Cross, Daymeon Fishback
SEC Network
  UMKC at Connecticut ESPN3
  5:05 p.m. Huntingdon at South Alabama ESPN+
  6 p.m. Wabash College at Northern Kentucky ESPN+
  7 p.m. Appalachian State at Alabama
Mike Morgan, Pat Bradley
SEC Network
  Florida State at Tulane ESPN3
  Hofstra at Marshall ESPN+
Mon, Nov 12 1 p.m. Mount Saint Vincent at New Hampshire ESPN+
  7 p.m. Stanford at No. 8 North Carolina
Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas
  North Carolina A&T at Maryland
Will Flemming, Adrian Branch
  Troy at Pittsburgh ACC Network Extra
  Campbell at Ohio ESPN3
  Midway at Miami (Ohio) ESPN3
  Misericordia at Binghamton ESPN3
  Bowling Green at VCU ESPN+
  Monmouth at Saint Joseph’s ESPN+
  Welch at Presbyterian ESPN+
  Heidelberg at Youngstown State ESPN+
  Manhattan at UMBC ESPN+
  Mid-Atlantic Christian at The Citadel ESPN+
  7:30 p.m. Quincy at Southeast Missouri State ESPN+
  Kennesaw State at Samford ESPN+
  8 p.m. UC Davis at Arkansas SEC Network +
  Louisiana-Monroe at Texas
Lowell Galindo, Lance Blanks
Longhorn Network
  UIC at Duquesne ESPN+
  Northern Arizona at South Dakota ESPN+
  Buffalo at Southern Illinois ESPN+
  8:15 p.m. Middle Tennessee State at Belmont ESPN+
  9 p.m. Vermont at No. 1 Kansas
Tom Hart, Fran Fraschilla
  Denver at No. 12 Kansas State ESPN3




Anna Negron

It was always a dream of mine to work at ESPN, and here I am! I joined the College Sports PR team in March 2016. Hailing from the great Garden State, I graduated from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) with a degree in sport management, where I not only sang the National Anthem at games, but was also a member of the Seton Hall Sapphires Dance Team and a student reporter for Pirate Sports Network. Before joining ESPN, I served as a Public Relations Associate for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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