Wichita State’s men’s basketball team will play Western Kentucky at midnight on Nov. 12 (evening of Nov. 11) as part of ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon.
The game, televised on ESPN2 as part of ESPN’s 24-hour-plus coverage, won’t tip off WSU’s season, however. The Shockers will open the season a few days earlier and are holding out for a spot in another season tip-off, this one a four-game event on Nov. 8 at Dallas’ American Airlines Center.
WSU senior associate athletic director Darron Boatright said the Shockers are part of the event, if a suitable opponent can be found. Three games are set — Alabama-Oklahoma, Baylor-Colorado and TCU-SMU. The promoter, Boatright said, is working to find an opponent from a power conference for WSU.
“There’s still an opportunity in Dallas,” Boatright said. “They are really struggling to find someone willing to play us. We’re sitting and hoping somebody gets backed in a corner where they can’t do anything else. We’ll be there to help them.”
If the Dallas game doesn’t come through, Boatright expects WSU to add a non-Division I opponent on the afternoon of Nov. 9 to open the season. WSU plays a home volleyball game that evening.
“We’ll wait as long as we need to (on the Dallas game),” he said.
The quadruple-header is intended to promote the start of college basketball in the area where the season ends with the Final Four — nearby Cowboys Stadium in Arlington.
“We want this to serve as the tipoff to the season,” BD Global president Brooks Downing told ESPN.com’s Jason King in May. “The plan is to generate a lot of excitement and hype about college basketball in the city that’s hosting the Final Four.”
Times for ESPN’s Tip-Off Marathon were announced Sunday night and Monday morning by the network. The marathon begins at 6 p.m. Nov. 11 with a women’s games between Stanford and Connecticut and Tennessee and North Carolina. The men’s games begin with BYU at Stanford at 10 p.m., followed by Western Kentucky at Wichita State. On Nov. 12, Kansas plays Duke and Kentucky faces Michigan State in the Champions Classic doubleheader.