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Duke-Kentucky highlight hoops marathon
Posted By HOOPSWORLD On November 12, 2012 @ 5:00 pm In All,Wirenews | Comments Disabled
by Nicole Auerbach, USA TODAY Sports
One of the best days of college basketball each season is upon us. It’s the 24-hour basketball marathon, aired on ESPN. Games start at midnight Monday night — with West Virginia vs. No. 19 Gonzaga — and continue through till UNT/Alabama-Huntsville vs. Kansas State tips off at 10 p.m. ET Tuesday night.
The two marquee games are ones you won’t want to miss. No. 7 Kansas faces No. 22 Michigan State at 7 p.m. ET, followed by Duke-Kentucky. Both games are being played in Atlanta, the city that also will host the 2013 Final Four.
The pair of games may double as a preview of sorts, as many (including our own college basketball reporters) predict that at least one of these teams will return to the Georgia Dome in March.
Kentucky coach John Calipari is a fan of high-profile non-conference games played at neutral sites. He took his young Wildcats to play Maryland at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y., last weekend, and he said on a teleconference Monday that he’s looking forward to seeing how they fare in Atlanta.
“I want to play more neutral games like this where everybody has fans,” Calipari said. “We just played in New York, and Maryland had 30%, 40% of the fans. They were vocal, jumping up and down and hugging each other. That game came down to the wire, and we had to perform. That helped my team.
“We’re going to Atlanta right now. … Duke’s going to have their fans, Kansas and Michigan State will have their fans. Duke will probably have the majority of the fans. We’re on a neutral court, which is an NCAA environment, and you’re going to learn about your team.”
Yes, we all will learn a little something about the new ‘Cats. We saw expected pieces — Kyle Wiltjer — and surprising ones — Jarrod Polson — in Kentucky’s win over Maryland. But Duke should be a tougher test for Calipari’s freshman-heavy roster, and that’s going to be just one great game on a day of excellent basketball.
Here’s the marathon schedule:
Midnight ET: West Virginia at No. 19 Gonzaga (ESPN)
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