For the third time since 2005, two Big 12 institutions will host ESPN’s College Gameday Driven by State Farm college basketball series in the same season. The popular weekly program will take its show to the University of Kansas on January 29, followed by its first appearance at Baylor University on March 5.
“College Gameday coming to two of Big 12 campuses in 2011 shows the quality of basketball that is played throughout the Conference,” noted Big 12 Commissioner Dan Beebe. “After ranking No. 1 in the RPI and placing a league-record seven teams in the NCAA Championship a year ago, we hope to continue that success this season.”
KU will continue its series with Sunflower State-rival Kansas State in the first Gameday visit to a Big 12 campus, with the contest taking place on the 150th anniversary of Kansas Statehood. The two squads played three times a year ago, including a matchup in the Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship title game. The Jayhawks return several top performers from last season’s squad, including twin brothers Marcus and Markieff Morris. K-State boasts the lone returning All-Big 12 First Team honoree in senior guard Jacob Pullen.
Baylor won a school-record 28 games a year ago en route to the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament. The Bears are led by senior guard LaceDarius Dunn, who enters the 2010-11 campaign with a chance to become the all-time leading scorer in Big 12 history. The Longhorns will be led by sophomore Jordan Hamilton and several other returnees who will be joined by a group of top newcomers.
The college basketball Gameday show will debut a new format for 2011. It will feature two hours of live coverage on Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. CT. In all but one week (Jan. 15), ESPNU will carry the 9 - 10 a.m. hour, with ESPN picking up the coverage from 10 – 11 a.m. The primetime hour (starting at 7 p.m. CT) will continue on ESPN as in past years.
Kansas has hosted on three previous occasions, while Baylor becomes the sixth school from the Big 12 (Kansas, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas) to host the event.
The full schedule for College Gameday is included below.
||Vanderbilt at Tennessee (men & women)
||West Lafayette, Ind.
||Michigan State at Purdue|
||Kansas State at Kansas|
||Florida at Kentucky|
|Feb. 12||Philadelphia, Pa.
||Pittsburgh at Villanova|
|Feb. 19||East Lansing, Mich.||Illinois at Michigan State|
||Duke at Virginia Tech|
||Waco, Texas||Texas at Baylor|