College basketball is set on expanding to China.
The season gets underway on Friday, where one of the biggest games of opening day features Texas playing against Washington in Shanghai.
We’ve also just learned the Pac-12 isn’t slowing down. It’s been announced that Stanford and Harvard — arguably the two most academically acclaimed American colleges, based on opposite coasts of the country — will represent the United Stands and play each other in China next year.
Just as Texas-Washington is being sponsored in part by the Alibaba Group, Harvard-Stanford will get the same treatment come 2016. This game also features an unusual distinction: Harvard coach Tommy Amaker and Stanford coach Johnny Dawkins are both Mike Krzyzewski pupils/former players at Duke. Coach K disciples normally don’t schedule each other.
The Crimson and Cardinal will play on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2016. That’s the local date. It will air live in the U.S. on Veterans Day, Nov. 11, which is the start of the 2016-17 season. The exact city/venue info for next year’s game is still to be decided.
“We are thrilled to announce Stanford and Harvard for next year’s game,” Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott said. “Both universities represent the very best of academic and athletic excellence, and we anticipate a great reception from the Chinese and global audience.”
Travelling across the Pacific for basketball duty won’t be new for Dawkins, who was part of the Team USA coaching staff that won gold in men’s hoops at the 2008 Olympics.