ESPN has released its schedule for this basketball season's "Big Monday." In past years, the program featured the Big East at 7PM and the Big 12 at 9PM during the conference season. With the Big East's disintegration, the ACC has stepped in to fill the 7PM time slot for 8 weeks this winter. (Thank goodness a special exception was made to show a conference without the word "Big" in its name!)
Virginia will make the ACC's first ever Big Monday appearance on January 13th at Duke. They'll return home the following week with another ESPN-televised encounter against UNC on January 20th. UVA's slate will end with Maryland's last game at JPJ on February 10th.
UVA's three appearances are tied for the conference lead with North Carolina. (Oklahoma State has the overall lead with 4 selections). No other ACC team has two home appearances.
What does the announcement mean for Wahoo fans?
1) More basketball! The conference's inclusion in Big Monday is a boon for all ACC basketball fans; after all, Mondays have always been a blank spot during ACC play.
2) National TV. We've expected a heavy amount of exposure for this season's highly-touted Wahoo team, and today's announcement is a start toward that. There will be more ESPN games to come when the full schedule is announced; however, these Monday time-slots also have the advantage of having little or no other college games to compete with.
3) Games on Mondays. Last season, Coach Bennett commented on the ACC's propensity for scheduling UVA to play games on just one day of rest. And playing three games on Mondays will have similar preparation effects. (Ideally, the schedule will feature bye weekends before one or two of these games). Obviously, the staff will gladly take the nationally televised JPJ games. But it's something to consider during the grind of the season.
The full schedule, from ESPN, is below. Here's to all of America finally learning (albeit forcibly) to #EmbraceThePace!
7 p.m. Virginia at Duke
9 p.m. Kansas at Iowa State
7 p.m. North Carolina at Virginia
9 p.m. Baylor at Kansas
7 p.m. Duke at Pittsburgh
9 p.m. Oklahoma State at Oklahoma
7 p.m. Notre Dame at Syracuse
9 p.m. Iowa State at Oklahoma State
7 p.m. Maryland at Virginia
9 p.m. Kansas at Kansas State
7 p.m. North Carolina at Florida State
9 p.m. Oklahoma State at Baylor
7 p.m. Syracuse at Maryland
9 p.m. Oklahoma at Kansas
7 p.m. Notre Dame at North Carolina
9 p.m. Kansas State at Oklahoma State