Unique Scheduling Puts Memphis and St. John’s in Early Bind

by David Cassilo / @dcassilo

Although the college basketball season is technically more than a week old at this point, the unofficial start seems like Tuesday as ESPN kicks off it’s third annual 24-hour college basketball marathon.

The day tipped at midnight in Memphis where the nation was introduced to a revamped No. 19 Tigers roster led by head coach John Pastner. After dismissing one of their top freshmen from the team over the weekend, Memphis looked to get past Miami (Fl.) at the FedEx Forum.

The Tigers, paced by top recruit Joe Jackson’s 17 points, survived a thrilling contest over the Hurricanes, 72-68. After the game the talk was about how this unique scheduling impacts the team going forward.

From the Memphis Commercial Appeal:

Some of the University of Memphis players and coaching staff probably didn’t get to bed this morning until after 3:30 a.m.

But there isn’t much time to recuperate for a Memphis team that will play its second game in less than 48 hours Wednesday night against Northwestern State at FedExForum.

“That’s a trap game (Wednesday) because you’re coming off a Miami game that win or lose is gonna be a battle,” said University of Memphis coach Josh Pastner, whose Tigers played the Hurricanes into the wee hours this morning as part of ESPN’s third annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. “You’ve still got class (today) and then you’re gonna have one day to prepare, and it’s probably going to be pretty much a walk-through.

Other late night games included at 2 a.m. tip-off to the Steve Lavin era for St. John’s against St. Mary’s that went against the new Red Storm coach. While Memphis gets to stay at home for its Wednesday game, St. John’s must fly back across country to play Columbia on Wednesday night.

Although there is a novelty to starting off the season with these late night games, the scheduling might negatively affect Memphis and St. John’s. Remember, no game is forgotten on Selection Sunday.