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Big Ten Basketball: TV, streaming and guide for Week 1 of 2018-19 season

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College basketball is here and it only seems like yesterday that we watched Michigan get bombed away at by the Villanova Wildcats in the NCAA tournament championship game. 

It’s time to turn over a new leaf and each week we’ll give you the viewers guide you need to know. 

No, it won’t be the lazy list of games and viewing options. Instead, we’ll let you know what to concentrate on, which games will have the biggest impact and which ones are just for the diehards. 

Week 1 of the CBB season usually is a lot of games just for the diehards out there, but that is changing in 2018-19 thanks to an emphasis on better early season scheduling. 

So, let’s take a look at Week 1 shall we? 

Must See-TV

Tues. Nov. 6
Kansas vs. Michigan State 7 p.m. ESPN  (Champions Classic, Bankers Life Fieldhouse Indianapolis, Ind.) 

Any time you get two of the biggest “brand names” in the country going at it in non-conference play it’s good news. When it happens on the first night of the season, that’s just awesome. MSU could be one of the more intriguing teams in the country, while Kansas is about to find out if life after an FBI investigation and trial is any fun. 

Wed. Nov. 7 
Ohio State at Cincinnati 6 p.m. ESPN2

Two NCAA tournament teams, a refurbished arena opening, in-state matchup and two quality coaches? This one has it all, including two teams that are missing their biggest pieces from last season. It’s almost as if it’ll be a good barometer of where these two teams are or something? It’s one will be telling and fun at the same time.

Games that Could be Intriguing

Tue. Nov. 6 
Fairfield at Purdue 7 p.m. BTN Plus

Reason to Watch: Fairfield has been one of the more consistent teams out of the MAAC as of late, making an appearance in each of the last two championship games. The Stags are replacing their top two scorers from last season, but this is a scrappy squad that loves to play on the perimeter. Purdue will also be dealing with the loss of three of its top four scorers, so this game could be interesting for awhile. 

Sun. Nov. 11
Florida Gulf Coast at Michigan State 6 p.m. BTN

Reason to Watch: After taking on Kansas in the opener, this will be a nice transition game for Michigan State and a stronger test than usual from mid-major programs. Plus, what better match could their be than that high-flying Eagles and a coach named Fly? Michael Fly will lead the Eagles after spending the last seven years as an assistant in the program. If you need entertaining basketball after some football, this could be your matchup.

Just for the Diehards:

Tues. Nov. 6
Chicago State at Indiana 6:30 p.m. BTN
Delaware at Maryland 7:30 p.m. BTN Plus
Nebraska-Omaha at Minnesota 8 p.m. BTN Plus
Mississippi Valley State at Nebraska 8 p.m. BTN Plus  (Hall of Fame Classic)
Coppin State at Wisconsin 8 p.m. BTN Plus
Norfolk State at Michigan 8:30 p.m. BTN

Thurs. Nov 8
Evansville at Illinois 8 p.m. BTN Plus  (Maui On The Mainland)
UMKC at Iowa 8 p.m. BTN Plus  (2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project)
New Orleans at Northwestern 8 p.m. BTN

Fri. Nov 9
Fairleigh Dickinson at Rutgers 7 p.m. BTN Plus  (Hub City Classic)
North Florida at Penn State 7:30 p.m. BTN Plus  (Cancun Challenge)
Montana State at Indiana 8 p.m. BTN   (Hardwood Showcase)
Maryland at Navy 8:30 p.m. CBS Sports Net  (Veterans Classic)

Sat. Nov 10
Holy Cross at Michigan 7:30 p.m. BTN Plus  (Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame Tip-Off Tournament)
Ball State at Purdue 8:00 p.m. BTN

Sun. Nov. 11 
Green Bay at Iowa 3 p.m. BTN Plus  (2K Empire Classic Benefiting Wounded Warrior Project)
Drexel at Rutgers 3 p.m. BTN Plus  (Hub City Classic)
Southeastern Louisiana at Nebraska 4 p.m. ESPNU  (Hall of Fame Classic)
Purdue Fort Wayne at Ohio State 4 p.m. BTN  (Buckeye Basketball Classic)

Enjoy opening week if you dare…and get ready to spend your money on BTN Plus subscriptions for this month, because you’ll need it for much of opening week. 

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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