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UVA-VCU matchup to highlight ESPN's 24-Hour Hoops Marathon

ANOTHER prime-time matchup? Seems like someone has high hopes for the Hoos....

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

In a highly anticipated out-of-conference matchup, Virginia will host VCU this season on November 12th at 7 PM.  Increasing the hype factor, the game will be featured on ESPN2 as part of the network's "24-Hour Hoops Marathon."

Yesterday, ESPN released the entire slate of games at exactly the times they would tip off in 3 months.  The Virginia-Virginia Commonwealth showdown joins Michigan State-Kentucky, Kansas-Duke, and Florida-Wisconsin as the evening games that will highlight the marathon.

The 24-Hour Hoops Marathon marks the start of the basketball season with, you guessed it, 24 hours of basketball.  It's probably the greatest thing ever.  Besides the great basketball in primetime, there's something to watch all day, and that includes over your morning coffee - Hartford will take on Florida Gulf Coast at 7 AM.

We now know of four five(!) Virginia basketball games that will be covered as part of ESPN prime-time events; last week, the network announced that the Cavaliers' games at Duke, vs. UNC, and vs. Maryland would also be 7 PM ESPN games as part of its "Big Monday" series.  (Update: Television details on Virginia's matchup with Wisconsin in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge have yet to be announced, but it will be aired on ESPN or ESPN2).  There are sure to be more to come, and we'll find those out when the full schedule is released later this month or in early September.

The meeting between UVA and VCU is the pair's first since the 1998-1999 season.  This one will feature an exciting clash of styles as Tony Bennett's methodical offense and pack-line defense goes against the Ram's Havoc defense.  The Hoos have had problems against the press in the past but have a more talented roster than ever (and a full offseason to prepare).  VCU was ranked 14th in ESPN's early preseason rankings (but take those with a grain of salt, as Jason King failed to include the Hoos).

Two other ACC teams will also take part in the kickoff marathon; NC State will head to Cincinnati for the 5 PM game, and Virginia Tech will host West Virginia at 1 PM.  So those are...kind of exciting too?

The game will be Virginia's second of the year.  The season will kickoff on Friday, November 8, when another in-state foe, James Madison, comes to JPJ.

Here's the full schedule of matchups, from ESPN:

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Nov 11 (Mon.) 7 p.m. No. 4 Stanford at No. 1 Connecticut (women’s) ESPN2
Kent State at Temple ESPNU
9 p.m. No. 3 Tennessee at No. 7 North Carolina (women’s) ESPN2
Colorado State at No. 18 Gonzaga ESPNU
11 p.m. BYU at Stanford ESPN2
Nov 12 (Tues.) 1 a.m. Western Kentucky at No. 13 Wichita State ESPN2
3 a.m. Akron at Saint Mary’s ESPN2
5 a.m. New Mexico State at Hawaii ESPN2
7 a.m. Hartford at Florida Gulf Coast ESPN2
9 a.m. Quinnipiac at LaSalle ESPN2
11 a.m. LSU at UMass ESPN2
1 p.m. West Virginia at Virginia Tech ESPN
3 p.m. South Carolina at No. 19 Baylor ESPN
5 p.m. NC State at Cincinnati ESPN
7 p.m. College GameDay (United Center, Chicago) ESPN
No. 14 VCU at Virginia ESPN2
7:30 p.m. Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago)
No. 3 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Kentucky
9 p.m. No. 7 Florida at Wisconsin ESPN2
9:30 p.m. Champions Classic (United Center, Chicago)
No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 6 Duke