National exposure for Rainbow Warriors

By Mike Cherry - bio | email

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - For the third straight year, the University of Hawaii men's basketball team will participate in ESPN's College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. UH's Rainbow Classic match-up against Central Michigan on Nov. 15 will be broadcast live on ESPN at 11:00 p.m. HT.

ESPN's third annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon—consecutive live college basketball games to celebrate the start of the season—will be highlighted by 12 live games in 24 consecutive hours on ESPN on Tuesday, Nov. 16. UH's game will be the third game in a tripleheader to kick off the event. It will begin at midnight ET on Nov. 16 with Miami at Memphis, followed by St. John's at St. Mary's (2 a.m. ET) and Central Michigan at Hawaii (4 a.m. ET).

Overall, ESPN's celebration of the opening of the college basketball season will include 20 live games – 19 men's and one women's—in a minimum of 25.5 hours across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. will offer two exclusive games as well as a simulcast of every ESPN and ESPN2 telecast.

The schedule will include three teams from last year's men's NCAA Tournament Final Four (defending National Champion Duke, Butler and Michigan State) and defending women's NCAA National Champion Connecticut. ESPN's coverage will include games from four different United States time zones -- Eastern, Central, Pacific and Hawaii-Aleutian – and from 17 states. A total of 21 conferences will be represented.

The Rainbow Warriors have had the same late-night affair the last two years, pulling off a dramatic overtime win versus Idaho State in 2008. Last year, Hawaii and Northern Colorado squared off in the championship of the Rainbow Classic, with the Bears holding off the Rainbow Warriors.

Hawaii now has at least three nationally-televised games this season, with the possibility of a nearly doubling those appearances throughout the year. UH's will have its first two games in the Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic on the ESPN family of networks, while the Rainbow Warriors, could also have additional games telecast during the final day of the Diamond Head Classic, the ESPNU BracketBusters event and the 2011 Western Athletic Conference Tournament.