One of the perks of senior citizenship in college basketball is that coaches often arrange nonconference matchups that allow those vets to play a game in or near their hometowns during their final seasons of collegiate competition.
That’s why North Carolina faced Northern Iowa last season in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in a matchup that presented all risk and minimal reward for the Tar Heels who lost the game. It was scheduled to give Marion, Iowa, native Marcus Paige a proper homecoming. He missed the matchup because of an injury.
Still, it’s a genuine gesture of appreciation.
Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes, who made a wise decision to withdraw from the NBA draft, hopes to secure a similar opportunity in 2016-17. Per his tweet last week, Wisconsin assistant Lamont Paris promised the Toledo, Ohio, native a nonconference road game against Toledo.
But there’s a catch. Hayes says he needs 50,000 retweets to make it happen.
He’s just under 7,000 now.
The deadline is approaching. Hayes, who will vie for Big Ten player of the year honors, is running out of time.
"I think I'll have until end of next week," Hayes told ESPN.com.