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Mid-Major Games to Watch on Opening Night In a Sentence or 2

Let’s touch on 24 games to keep an eye on during college hoops opening night

NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament - First Round - Indianapolis Photo by Jamie Sabau/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

I’ve seen a lot of complaining from some big names in college basketball media about the opening night schedule.

Simmer down. We’ve waited months to have college basketball back.

Be thankful there’s basketball being played and we’re not in the middle of some pandemic or a war (oh, wait).


Afternoon Snack

Here’s a sentence or two on some games to watch, starting with an early afternoon appetizer.

Mississippi Valley State vs. No. 5 Baylor - noon ET, ESPN+

George Ivory's stint at his alma mater begins against the 2021 National Champions.

Pacific vs. Stanford - 2 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

Pacific will look to make a statement after being picked last in the WCC preseason poll.

Valley Forge (DIII) vs. James Madison - 4 p.m. ET, ESPN+

James Madison is many people's pick to win the Sun Belt.

Harvard vs. Morehouse (DII) - 5 p.m. ET

Read this article about this series from last October:


Best Mid Major vs. Mid Major Games

After a little afternoon snack, watch some high-quality mid-major matchups!

Penn vs. Iona - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Rick Pitino and Iona will begin their trek towards an at-large bid, welcoming in 20-points-per-game scorer, Jordan Dingle.

Kent State vs. Northern Kentucky - 7 p.m. ET, Bally Sports Ohio/ESPN+

Two league favorites and two of the best guards in the country: Sincere Carry and Marques Warrick.

Colgate vs. Buffalo - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN+

Some of the best offensive teams in the nation. Watch out for Colgate’s experience against Buffalo’s transfers.

South Dakota State vs. Akron - 7 p.m. ET, ESPN3

Both teams were in the NCAA Tournament last season.

Hofstra vs. Princeton - 7:30 p.m. ET, ESPN+

A matchup of returning POTY in their respective leagues: Aaron Estrada & Tosan Evbuomwan.

Chattanooga vs. Charleston - 7:30 p.m. ET, FloSports

There could easily be 180 points in this game.

Southern Utah vs. New Mexico - 9 p.m. ET, Mountain West Network

Two of the best backcourts in college basketball playing in one of its toughest environments.

Montana State vs. Grand Canyon - 9 p.m. ET, ESPN+

The league favorites in the Big Sky and WAC plus Jubrile Belo (2022 Big Sky POTY) and Jovan Blacksher (2022 WAC Preseason POTY) leading their squads.

Oral Roberts vs. St.Mary’s - 10 p.m. ET, WCC Network

Max Abmas (2020-21 NCAA leading scorer) returns to face one of the best defensive programs in the nation.

Eastern Washington vs. Santa Clara - 10 p.m. ET, WCC Network

Some in the WCC think that this Santa Clara team can be better than last year’s that made the NIT as an at-large bid and had a lottery pick. They’ll face one of the nation’s best 3-point shooters in Steele Venters.


Upset Specials?

What about the upsets? Everyone loves when mid-major programs pick off the big dogs.

Bethune-Cookman vs. Iowa - 7 p.m. ET, ESPNU

B-CU has star power all over the place and Iowa lost quite a bit from a season ago. Watch out for Joe French and Zion Harmon.

UT Martin vs. Pitt - 7 p.m. ET, ACC Network/ESPN+

The 2022 OVC Preseason Player of the Year, Parker Stewart, returns to where it all started.

Winthrop vs. Penn State - 7 p.m. ET, BTN+

One of the best mid-major programs in the southeast will travel up to Happy Valley,

Texas A&M Corpus Christi vs. Mississippi State - 7:30 p.m. ET, SEC Network+/ESPN+

An Islanders team returns everyone who nearly beat Minnesota and Notre Dame last season. Plus, Chris Jans makes his coaching debut at Mississippi State.

Texas State vs Washington State - 7:30 p.m. ET

If this game is as slow as expected, the Bobcats will return to San Marcos excitedly.

George Mason vs No. 15 Auburn - 8 p.m. ET, SECN+/ESPN+

The experienced Patriots beat both Georgia and Maryland last season.

Western Carolina vs Georgia - 8 p.m. ET, SECN+/ESPN+

That culture in Cullowhee is ELITE. Read more about it here.

South Dakota vs Wisconsin - 8:30 p.m. ET, BTN

South Dakota returns three preseason all-league players along with last season's Summit League Freshman of the Year, Paul Bruns.

UC Riverside vs Colorado - 8:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

UC Riverside has beaten Arizona State, Nebraska and Washington during the first two weeks of the last three seasons.

Sacramento State vs No. 8 UCLA - 11:30 p.m. ET, Pac-12 Network

David Patrick brings in a ton of size from the transfer portal including 7-foot-1 Callum McRae. UCLA’s big men have very little D-I experience, you never know.


We’re almost there! Just a few more days. Let’s create mayhem!