When Marquette started announcing the men’s basketball non-conference schedule a on July 5th, we figured that we’d get the 2K Classic games along the way. Maybe not the pair of doubleheaders in Madison Square Garden in November, but at least the home games that are also part of the event.
Hilariously, that didn’t happen.
ESPN holds the TV rights to the tournament, and as such, they apparently hold the rights to announcing all of the games. Finally, our short regional nightmare was ended on Wednesday morning, when the World Wide Leader hit the send button.
It's official on 2K matchups in NYC (Nov 17-18): Marquette vs Michigan and SMU vs Pitt. https://t.co/amyXnDNlLz— Andy Katz (@ESPNAndyKatz) July 13, 2016
Marquette will play Michigan in the second game of the doubleheader on November 17. The game on the 18th will depend on whether Marquette wins or loses against Michigan, as they’ll either be in the championship game against the winner of SMU/Pitt, or in the consolation game against the not-winner. You can check out our previous post for more information on the Wolverines, as well as on the Panthers and the Mustangs.
I will take the blame for Marquette drawing Michigan in the semifinals. When Larry Brown quit his job as head coach at SMU, I realized that between Vanderbilt, SMU, and Pitt, it was possible for Marquette to play three teams with first year head coaches in the first four games of the season. It’s never a bad thing to catch a potentially decent to good team before they get their feet wet with a new top guy, so that seemed rather interesting.
Worth noting: with a little luck, #mubb could play 3 teams w/ coaches in their first year in the 1st 4 games of the season.— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) July 9, 2016
Of course, actually tweeting that instead of thinking it in my head made the outcome of Marquette/Michigan all the more likely.
This will, of course, mean #mubb will be assigned Michigan in the 2K Classic semifinals.— Anonymous Eagle (@AnonymousEagle) July 9, 2016
We had already deduced that Marquette would be playing Howard for one of the home games connected to the 2K Classic, but now we have the missing piece for the other home game.
As we discussed earlier in the schedule release timeline, playing IUPUI is no fun. Marquette got issued a home game against the Jaguars last year as part of the Legends Classic, so it would have been more interesting to play Eastern Michigan. At least that would have been something new. Instead, IUPUI comes to town with a memory of taking Marquette to overtime at the Bradley Center in November of 2015.