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ESPN College Sports Update

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December 13, 2011

Spotlight: Women’s College Basketball – No. 1 Baylor vs. No. 2 UConn

In a much anticipated women’s college basketball matchup, No. 2 Connecticut faces No. 1 Baylor on Sunday, Dec. 18 (8:30 p.m., ESPN). For the first time in program history, Baylor plays on its home court in front of an advanced sell-out crowd in the Ferrell Center. The women’s Final Four crew of Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke and Rebecca Lobo will call the game, with NBA analyst Jeff Van Gundy.

Junior center Brittney Griner leads the Lady Bears (10-0) averaging a double-double of 22.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. UConn (9-0) senior guard Tiffany Hayes is second in scoring for the Huskies at 14.4 points per game, and first in rebounding, taking down 6.2 boards per contest.

ESPN.com’s Mechelle Voepel previews the Connecticut-Baylor matchup, in addition to writing live from the game for ESPN.com and espnW:

While nothing is replacing Tennessee-UConn as that longtime rivalry in women’s hoops, UConn-Baylor has at least some of the same elements as two colorful coaches lead a Southern program against a Northern program.

espnW will feature Baylor in its Hoops Across America series on Friday, as well as thoughts from Beth Mowins and Debbie Antonelli’s weekly ESPN Women’s Basketball Podcast: Shootaround with Beth and Debbie.

The rivalry game features No. 1 vs. No. 2 for the second straight year, however, last season the rankings were reversed and the game was played in Hartford. The then-top ranked Huskies defeated No. 2 Baylor 65-64 on Nov. 16.

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ESPN Nets its Second Largest Heisman Audience

This year’s Heisman Trophy Presentation on Saturday, Dec. 10, was the second most viewed and highest rated telecast with an average of 4,603,000 total viewers, 3,294,000 households and a 3.3 rating. The show dedicated to the announcement of college football’s most prestigious award, won by Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, marked increases of 22% (vs. 3,784,000), 24% (vs. 2,657,000) and 22% (vs. 2.7), respectively, over last year.

ESPN’s most-viewed and highest-rated Heisman telecast, dating back to 1994 when the network first televised the event exclusively, was in 2009 when it averaged a 5,990,000 viewers, 4,045,000 households and a 4.1 rating.

RG3 wins the Heisman Trophy

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College GameDay Corner

ESPN College GameDay Built by The Home Depot, in its 25th year and 22nd season on the road, posted its most-watched season ever. The show averaged 1,720,000 households and 2,068,000 viewers each week. The November 12 show from The Oval at Stanford University (2.1 for 2,045,000 households and 2,493,000 viewers) was the season’s highest-rated show and second highest-rated ever.

College GameDay will take a break during the holidays but will be back in action starting Monday, Jan. 2, 2012 with full coverage of the 98th Rose Bowl Game Presented by VIZIO and all the BCS Bowls. A full schedule will be announced soon.

For now, fans can relive some of the season’s best GameDay commercials with these comical outtakes posted at collegegameday.com.

Kirk’s inability to stop laughing

LSU’s Les Miles and Lee Corso explain their taste for turf

Desmond Howard and Chris Fowler can’t escape the “Man Satchel”

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Then-unranked, Indiana topped then-No. 1 Kentucky 73-72 on a Christian Watford 3-pointer at the buzzer Saturday, Dec. 10 and ESPN was there to capture the exciting game. Since the win, the Hoosiers entered the ESPN/USA Today top 25 coaches poll at No. 20, and are ranked for the first time since March 2008.

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Weekly Highlights

Uh oh? Last Saturday, ESPN televised the top two men’s basketball teams in road games and both lost (No. 1 Kentucky to Indiana and No. 2 Ohio State to No. 13 Kansas).

ESPN and ESPN2 will combine to televise the current top two teams this Saturday, and once again, both on the road: No. 1 Syracuse at NC State (6:30 p.m., ESPN2) and No. 2 Ohio State at South Carolina (noon, ESPN)

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Three women’s hoops games highlight the weekend schedule, including two top 10 matchups:

  • No. 7 Kentucky at No. 3 Notre Dame (Sunday at 1 p.m., ESPNU) Jim Barbar & Abby Waner
  • No. 2 Connecticut at No. 1 Baylor (Sunday at 8:30 p.m., ESPN) Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Rebecca Lobo with guest analyst Jeff Van Gundy
  • Western Carolina at Samford (Saturday at 3 p.m., ESPN3)

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ESPN’s extensive college football postseason action includes exclusive coverage of 33 bowl games and begins with an ESPN tripleheader Saturday, Dec. 17.

Gildan New Mexico Bowl
Temple vs. Wyoming
(2 p.m., ESPN, ESPN3 & ESPN Radio)
ESPN: Clay Matvick, Brian Griese & Jessica Mendoza
ESPN Radio: TBA, David Diaz-Infante & TBA

Famous Idaho Potato Bowl
Ohio vs. Utah State
(5:30 p.m., ESPN, ESPN3 & ESPN Radio)
ESPN: Dave Flemming, Mike Bellotti & Heather Cox
ESPN Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad

R+L Carriers New Orleans Bowl
San Diego State vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
(9 p.m., ESPN, ESPN3, ESPN 3D & ESPN Radio)
ESPN: Carter Blackburn, Brock Huard & Shelley Smith
ESPN Radio: Adam Amin, Jay Walker & Ian Fitzsimmons

ESPN will televise action from the NCAA Division I, II and III football championships on Friday, Dec. 16 and Saturday, Dec. 17.

  • The NCAA Division I Football Championship semifinals will begin Friday with Montana at Sam Houston State (8 p.m., ESPN & ESPN3) and on Saturday, Georgia Southern plays at North Dakota State (2:30 p.m., ESPNU & ESPN3)
  • The Division II championship features Wayne State vs. Pittsburg State (Saturday at 11 a.m.) and Division III championship has Mount Union vs. Wisconsin-Whitewater (Friday at 7 p.m.) on ESPN2 & ESPN3

The NCAA DI Women’s Volleyball Championship commences this weekend with the national semifinals and finals Thursday, Dec. 15 & Saturday, Dec. 17, respectively, from San Antonio(ESPN2 & ESPN3):

  • Semifinal 1 features Florida St. vs. UCLA at 7 p.m. & semifinal 2 matches up USC vs. Illinois at 9:30 p.m.
  • The national title match airs Saturday at 8:30 p.m.
  • Beth Mowins and Olympic gold medalist Karach Kiraly will have the call of all three matches

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