The Hartford men's basketball team is headed to Dunk City as part of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon.
The Hawks will play at Florida Gulf Coast Nov. 12 at 7 a.m. The game will air on ESPN2, Hartford's first appearance on that network since a game at Kentucky in Dec. 2009.
Hartford, coming off one of the best seasons in program history and an appearance in the CollegeInsider.com postseason tournament, opens the season Nov. 9 against Quinnipiac in the Connecticut 6 Classic in Bridgeport.
Quinnipiac is also part of ESPN's Tip-Off Marathon field announced Monday. The Bobcats will play at La Salle at 9 a.m., also on ESPN2.
This is nice exposure for both programs. Each of their opponents made unexpected runs to the Sweet 16 in last season's NCAA Tournament.
Seeded 15th, Florida Gulf Coast, whose "Dunk City" brand of basketball captivated the nation, finally lost to Florida after upsetting second-seeded Georgetown and No. 7 San Diego State in the South Region.
No. 13 La Salle won a First Four game over Boise State, then defeated Kansas State and Ole Miss in the West Region before losing to Wichita State.
Hartford and Quinnipiac also faced each other in last year's CT6 in West Hartford, with Quinnipiac winning 65-61. The Hawks return every one of their core players, led by junior forward Mark Nwakamma. Quinnipiac could have of the top mid-major frontcourt duos in senior Ike Azotam and junior Ousmane Drame.The Hawks will have a busy first portion of the season. The very next night after playing Florida Gulf Coast, Hartford returns home to face Fairfield (Nov. 13, 7 p.m.).