Press Release

Posted by Gracie Blackburn on September 24, 2012

ESPNU Midnight Madness Tips off NCAA Basketball Season with 14 Team Debuts on Oct. 12

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For the seventh year, ESPNU will tip off the nation’s college basketball season with more than four hours of Midnight Madness coverage on Friday, Oct. 12 beginning at 5 p.m. ET. This year’s programming will once again include both the men’s and women’s defending NCAA National Champions and eight teams in ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz’s Preseason Top 25.

The night begins with an in-depth look at what Katz put as the No.1 team in his super-early rankings last April, with ESPNU Midnight Madness: Indiana Practice at 5 p.m. on ESPNU. For the first time, the network will air a Hoosiers’ practice live and in full with commentary from college basketball analysts Jay Williams and Dan Dakich.

ESPN3 will continue complete live coverage of seven school sites throughout the evening. ESPNU studio will provide fans with a “whip-around” look at highlighted teams coast-to-coast from 9 p.m. to midnight. The madness coverage will extend into its final hour on ESPNU’s nightly entertainment show, UNITE, with its inaugural Midnight Madness Special.

ESPNU Midnight Madness 2012 highlights:

  • In-studio coverage and analysis provided by ESPNU host Dari Nowkhah and college basketball analyst Jay Bilas, Jalen Rose, Katz, as well as contributions from Dick Vitale.
  • On-site commentators will provide coverage of various elements including scrimmages, player introductions, skill and dunk contests, team skits, head coach and player interviews, along with season previews. ESPN analysts on-site: Stephen Bardo, Doris Burke, Jimmy Dykes, Sean Farnham, Fran Fraschilla, Len Elmore, Miles Simon, Tim Welsh and more.
  • No.4 Kentucky, No.6 NC State, No.14 Syracuse, No.11 North Carolina, No. 25 Missouri, Pitt and FSU will all be featured live and in their entirety on ESPN3 with additional highlights and analysis on ESPNU throughout the evening
  • In addition to the teams below, Katz will conduct interviews with various top teams’ head coaches throughout the evening. Below, Katz on what to expect from the  ESPNU Midnight Madness: Indiana Practice -

“The remarkable turnaround for Tom Crean and the Hoosiers is now complete. IU is a favorite to be in the Final Four, win the Big Ten and have the player of the year in Cody Zeller. The pressure is immense but this team and staff have embraced the challenge.’’

Additional thoughts from Katz on each team highlighted in ESPNU’s Midnight Madness here (or click on the team name below)

Team/ CommentatorsLocationNetwork (Time ET)
No.1 Indiana
TBD, Jay Williams & Dan Dakich
Assembly HallESPNU (5 p.m.)
No. 4 Kentucky
TBD & Jimmy Dykes
Rupp ArenaESPN3 (7:30 p.m.)
No.6 NC State
Sam Gore & Bruce Pearl
PNC ArenaESPN3 (7 p.m.)
No.14 Syracuse
Rich Hollenberg & Seth Greenberg
Carrier DomeESPN3 (8:30 p.m.)*
No.11 North Carolina
TBD & Doris Burke
Dean Smith CenterESPN3 (7:30 p.m.)*
No.25 Missouri
Mitch Holthus & Stephen Bardo
Mizzou ArenaESPN3 (8:30 p.m.)
Pittsburgh
Bob Picozzi & TBD
Bigelow Avenue (Outside)ESPN3 (10 p.m.)
Florida State
TBD
Donald L. Tucker CenterESPN3 (7 p.m.)
Georgetown
Tim Welsh
McDonough ArenaESPNU
Maryland
Len Elmore
Comcast CenterESPNU
No.10 Baylor (Men & Women)
Fran Fraschilla
Ferrell CenterESPNU
Murray State
Miles Simon
CFSB CenterESPNU
No.3 Kansas
Sean Farnham
Allen FieldhouseESPNU

*ESPN3 times updated: Oct. 10

ESPNU will begin coverage of the 2012-13 college basketball season games with a doubleheader on Friday, Nov. 9,at 7 p.m. with Georgia State at Duke followed by the 2K Sports Classic with South Dakota State at Alabama.

ESPNU will air more than 350 men’s and women’s basketball games, including action from more than 25 NCAA Division I conferences in the 2012-13 season. ESPN3 will have over 300 exclusive games this season, more than double the number from 2011-2012.

ESPNU

The 24-hour college sports television network airs more than 650 live events annually and offers over 600 original studio shows. ESPNU has seen a steady increase since its inception on March 4, 2005 and is now in over 73 million households. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNUHD, now in over 20 million homes. The network has long-term carriage agreements with all 10 of the top multichannel TV providers – Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 208), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.

ESPN3

ESPN3 is ESPN’s live multi-screen sports network, a 24/7 destination that delivers thousands of global sports events annually and accessible online via WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app and through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold level members.  It is currently available to 73 million homes at no additional cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider.  The network is also available at no cost to approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers connected to on-campus educational networks and on-base military networks.

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Media contact: Gracie Blackburn, gracie.blackburn@espn.com