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University of Detroit Mercy, Oakland men’s hoops to play games on ESPN networks

The opportunity to move to the Horizon League appears to be paying early dividends for Oakland University, as the league announced that the Golden Grizzlies’ men’s basketball team is scheduled to play in a league-high eight games on ESPN networks.

Although Oakland did also play on national television while playing in the Summit League, the opportunity to receive the kind of exposure ESPN can offer is one coach Greg Kampe is pleased to have.

“We’re extremely excited to have eight games on the ESPN networks,” Kampe said in a release. “That’s more than we’ve ever had before. I attribute that to joining the Horizon League. When we made the move to the Horizon League, we said there would be a lot of great benefits to it — national exposure on national TV is one of those. Eight times in one year speaks for itself.”

According to a release from the Horizon League, 32 men’s basketball games will air on ESPN networks during the 2013-14 season.

The University of Detroit Mercy is scheduled to play in six of them, and Titans’ coach Ray McCallum understands what that kind of coverage can mean for a program.

“Exposure — locally and nationwide,” he said. “I think that’s the thing — they call it branding now — kind of grew over the last couple years. We’ve had high visibility. I think the Detroit brand, in terms of our style of play, has really helped us.”

UDM and Oakland will also have the opportunity to have coverage that extends beyond the regular season, as ESPN networks are scheduled to air postseason league tournament games, including the Horizon League Championship on ESPN or ESPN2 March 11.

Games not aired on television can be viewed online for free and in full HD on the Horizon League Network.

Here is a breakdown of ESPN network’s scheduled games involving UDM and Oakland:

• Oakland at Indiana University, 7 p.m. Dec. 10 on ESPN2.

• Michigan State University at Oakland (Palace of Auburn Hills), 4 p.m. Dec. 14 on ESPN2.

• Oakland at the University of Detroit Mercy (UDM), 2 p.m. Jan. 11on ESPN3.

• University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) at Oakland, 2 p.m. Jan. 25 on ESPN3.

• Cleveland State University at UDM, 7 p.m. Jan. 31 on ESPNU or ESPN3.

• Youngstown State University at Oakland, 7 p.m. Jan. 31 on ESPNU or ESPN3.

• UDM at Valparaiso University, 9 p.m. Feb. 7 on ESPNU.

• UDM at Oakland, 7 p.m. Feb. 14 on ESPNU.

• UDM at UIC, 8 p.m. Feb. 18 on ESPN3.

• Oakland at UIC, 10 p.m./TBA Feb. 21 on ESPNU or ESPN3.

• UDM at Wright State University, 10 p.m./TBA Feb. 21 on ESPNU or ESPN3.

• University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at Oakland, 8 p.m., Feb. 27 on ESPNU.