ESPN was good enough to post their entire slate of games here for your perusal. I'll start with the good news before telling you what bothers me (because I know you'll all be on pins and needles for that). Xavier features twelve times on the self-styled "Worldwide Leader in Sports'" airwaves. Four of those games show up on SBN's "50 Can't Miss Non-conference Games for 2011-2012," and a fifth is also on the list but not on ESPN's airwaves.
|1/14||Noon||v St Bonaventure||ESPNU|
That is obviously great news for Xavier fans who don't live in the local area but still want to be able to follow the Muskies. With at least eight (depending on how the Diamond Head Classic pans out) games being accessible through basic cable or the miracle of the internet, Xavier will have a good deal of national exposure this year. Obviously this is both a testament to Xavier's growth as a program and a boon to Xavier's future footprint. Kudos to everyone in the Muskie's program who worked to get this done.
What I find less thrilling is the news that ESPN has fired up the first year of a 12-year deal to broadcast every single ACC basketball game. While discerning basketball fans know that better basketball can be found at the top tier of the A-10 rather than the bottom tier of the ACC, ESPN will be making money by selling the myth that any ACC game is the one fans should be looking for when surfing the dial. ESPN will pound ACC highlights, hype ACC matchups, and tell us that Duke-UNC is the best rivalry in the history of everything.
In effect, the ACC continues to become the AL East of college hoops, while Xavier languishes in the territory occupied by the Indians and Reds. I know this isn't a high-leverage event in terms of life or even college basketball, but I still find it really annoying.