Twelve years after ESPN first broadcasted College GameDay from the site of a college football game – Florida State at Notre Dame in 1993 – the network created its college basketball brethren to visit arenas ahead of highly anticipated matchups on Saturday mornings in January, February, and March.
The show is set to return in 2022-23 with a full eight-show men’s schedule – after zero shows in 2020-21 and seven shows last year – beginning on Jan. 28, 2023.
Here are predictions (and confirmed locations) for ESPN College GameDay basketball locations this season:
March 4: Duke at North Carolina
Location: Chapel Hill
GameDay passed on two far more interesting matchups – Kansas at Texas and Arizona at UCLA – for another Duke-North Carolina game.
From 2012-19, GameDay picked Duke-North Carolina for the season finale each year. They passed in 2020 – for George Washington at Dayton – but returned in 2022 as Coach K bid adieu to Cameron Indoor. And they’re now returning to Chapel Hill for the 12th time, tied with Duke for the most among all schools.
They should’ve visited UCLA for the first time since 2013 or Texas for the first time since 2018.
As of Saturday morning, North Carolina is a 3.5-point favorite at the online sportsbook.
Previous 2023 Locations:
January 28: Texas at Tennessee
Location: Knoxville, Tenn.
ESPN remained in Knoxville – after broadcasting from the UConn-Tennessee women’s game on Thursday, Jan. 26 – for Texas’ second visit to Tennessee in the last 60 years.
It was the first time Tennessee hosts GameDay since 2009.
February 4: North Carolina at Duke
Location: Durham, N.C
Instead of broadcasting from Ames (Kansas at Iowa State) or Manhattan (Texas at Kansas State), ESPN picked a North Carolina-Duke game for the 17th time most among all matchups.
It was the show’s eighth visit to Cameron Indoor Stadium since 2016.
February 11: Alabama at Auburn
Location: Auburn, Ala.
In picking North Carolina-Duke for the Feb. 4 show over two good Big 12 matchups on Feb. 4 (Kansas at Iowa State and Texas at Kansas State), a Big 12 game – Baylor at TCU – seemed likely for Feb. 11.
But the network passed again, instead opting for Alabama at Auburn. It will be the second straight year with a trip to Auburn; they visited for Texas A&M-Auburn last February.
February 18: Baylor at Kansas
Location: Lawrence, Kan.
Kansas has appeared at least once in 16 of the show’s 17 on-location years, including twice in 2022 – vs. Kentucky and at Baylor. The Jayhawks made it 17 of 18 years when they hosted GameDay with Baylor in town.
February 25: Saint Mary’s at Gonzaga
Location: Spokane, Wash.
Gonzaga hadn’t hosted College GameDay since 2009, one of only two all-time home GameDay appearances for the Bulldogs.
Milquetoast national interest and weak conference schedules kept the show away from Spokane for over a decade. But it returned on Feb. 25 with Saint Mary’s in town.
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