College Hoops #TipOffMarathon gets more social in its fifth year

This converted conference room will be buzzing with social action during Tuesday’s College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon

College basketball’s season is underway and ESPN’s 24-hour celebration — the fifth annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon on Tuesday, Nov. 13 — kicks off at midnight with West Virginia facing Gonzaga. (See the complete viewers guide and 24 questions for the 24 hours of hoops.)

It’s not quite a national holiday, but a college basketball fan would argue it should be.

A new element to this year’s coverage will deliver even more access points for fans who just can’t get enough of ESPN’s college basketball coverage.

ESPN will create and staff the new “Tip-Off Social Hub” to provide an environment for all college basketball social media activity. Beginning tonight at 11 p.m. ET — one hour before the Mountaineers and Zags begin – ESPN analysts, bloggers, social media producers and executives will assemble in a converted conference room to monitor fan social media activity and contribute to the conversation.

Everything surrounding the Tip-Off Marathon will be observed and followed from this central hub. The Hub will be staffed from 11 p.m. (Monday, Nov. 12) to 2 a.m. (Tuesday, Nov. 13) and then again from 8 a.m. (Tuesday, Nov. 13) through the conclusion of the Marathon at approximately midnight.

In addition to the activity generated from the Tip-Off Social Hub, ESPN game and studio analysts and reporters will contribute content throughout the day. ESPN will also integrate the social media elements into its game telecasts and studio coverage during the Marathon.

Analyst Jay Williams (@RealJayWilliams) will open up the Hub at 11 p.m. with an “Ask the Analyst” tweetback, answering fan questions via Twitter. Analysts Seth Greenberg (@sethonhoops) and Kara Lawson (@karalawson20) and reporter Eamonn Brennan (@eamonnbrennan) are also scheduled to stop by the Hub throughout Tuesday. Additional ESPN.com writers and bloggers will also discuss all the action and answer fan questions in “Marathon Live” from 10 a.m. through the end of the day. As the Hub buzzes, more guests just might feel compelled to stop by.

Fans are encouraged to join the conversation by tweeting at the ESPN college basketball account (@ESPNCBB) and using the hashtag #TipOffMarathon.

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