Happy Veneran’s Day! I’d like to give thanks to all of those who have and continue to serve our country so that we can continue to do things we love…like watch basketball. Tony Orlando didn’t originally write this song for you, but it has become a serenade to Veterans and I think we ought to start the day with “Tie a Yellow Ribbon ’round ol’ Oak Tree.” The NCAA also spoke with student-athletes about why they serve, you can read that here.
There’s a slew of women’s games lineup for today, many using Veteran’s Day and the unique numerology sequence 11-11-11 as a marketing tool. For what may be playing on television in your area, check womensbasketballonline.com daily. They have the full rundown nationwide. ESPN networks doesn’t begin its broadcasting of women’s hoops until its Tuesday night lineup of No. 3 Tennessee and No. 7 Miami on ESPN2 at 3 p.m. (PST).
On the men’s side, No. 1 North Carolina and Michigan State will play a historic game aboard an aircraft carrier deck in California in honor of servicemen. Rumor has it that No. 3 Connecticut is being wooed for a women’s version in 2013.
Locally, Washington was forced into holding a matinee tip-off for its new era under coach Kevin McGuff due to volleyball and men’s basketball playing night home games this weekend. But assistant coach Mike Neighbors pitched it as part of the Veteran’s Day celebration. UW, which should unveil an up-tempo, higher scoring team this year, plays UC Davis at 1 p.m. at Edmundson Pavilion, which is 11-11-11-ish, just missing one, err, one.
The early start does mean basketball junkies can quickly jet over to Connolly Center after Washington’s game to catch Seattle University’s season-opener against UC Santa Barbara at 7 p.m. The Redhawks have a promising team under third-year coach Joan Bonvicini. You can read more about Seattle U.’s outlook here.
Across the state, Gonzaga is hosting Hofstra at 4 p.m. while Washington State finds itself in the middle national media swarm as the Penn State scandal unravels. The story also preempted ESPN’s women’s basketball preview show on Thursday. The Cougs are in Happy Valley to play the No. 12 Nittany Lions.
Around the new Pac-12, all of the teams will play at least one game this weekend. You can glance over the complete schedule here. No. 5 Stanford is of course the highlight with its matchup at No. 24 Texas on Friday. You can watch that game if your cable subscriber or dish network offer the Longhorn Network. No. 22 UCLA, which has a new coach in Cori Close, begins its era in the preseason WNIT against McNeese State tonight.
Conference newcomers Colorado hosts Northern Arizona on Friday while Utah doesn’t play until Sunday, hosting Southern Utah.