Press Release

Posted by Michael Humes on November 5, 2012

ESPN 2012-13 Men’s College Basketball Commentators

PRINT VERSIONFILED IN: Basketball, College Basketball - Men's TAGGED: ,

Vitale, Bilas & More Return; Walton Joins; Fraschilla & Knight on New Nights

ESPN’s 2012-13 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,450 games tipping off with 350 nonconference contests beginning Friday, Nov. 9 – will feature a deep bench of knowledgeable and experienced commentators.

Dick Vitale, in his 34th season with ESPN, will continue to provide analysis on top games throughout the season, primarily with Dan Shulman. During conference play, Shulman and Vitale will work the weekly Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV series and select ACC Wednesday Night Hoops telecasts, including North Carolina at Duke on February 13.

Jay Bilas, entering his 18th season with ESPN, will also work top matchups throughout the season, beginning in Germany for ESPN’s telecast of Michigan State vs. Connecticut in the Sears Armed Forces Classic from the Ramstein Air Base on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m. ET. During conference action, Bilas will again team with Sean McDonough and analyst Bill Raftery, who joined ESPN in 1980, on the weekly Big Monday BIG EAST package of games and work contests from various conferences.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton – a three-time NCAA Player of the Year (1972, 1973, 1974) at UCLA – will rejoin ESPN as a college basketball analyst, primarily working Wednesday and Thursday Pac-12 telecasts with commentator Dave Pasch. Walton, who guided UCLA to national titles in 1972 and 1973 and to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak, served as a key NBA analyst for ESPN from 2002 to 2009.

Top analysts Fran Fraschilla and Bob Knight will take on new assignments during conference play. Fraschilla will serve as the analyst on the Big Monday Big 12 series, partnering with Brent Musburger. Fraschilla previously worked Big Monday Big 12 games from 2004 through 2009. Knight will work Thursday Night Showcase SEC matchups with Rece Davis. Knight and Davis have worked several games together and shared the set on studio programming, including College GameDay Driven by State Farm.

Additional highlights:

  • Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will return to work SEC telecasts as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series and through the finals of the SEC Tournament. Mark Jones will call play-by-play with Dykes on Saturday SEC games.
  • Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, and ESPN analyst Dan Dakich will return for their second season together on the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game.
  • The Thursday Night Showcase Big Ten telecasts will feature a new announcer team of Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnham.
  • Dave O’Brien, who previously worked Big Ten games, will call Thursday and Saturday ACC games. Doris Burke will serve as the analyst with O’Brien on Saturday telecasts.

Commentators appearing in regular weekly ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU time slots plus Saturdays throughout the conference action (conference assignments can vary):

Various Days

ESPN or ESPN2Select GamesDan ShulmanDick Vitale

Big Monday

ESPNBIG EASTSean McDonoughJay Bilas and Bill Raftery
ESPNBig 12Brent MusburgerFran FraschillaHolly Rowe

Super Tuesday

ESPNBig TenMike TiricoDan DakichSamantha Steele
ESPNSECBrad NesslerJimmy DykesShannon Spake
ESPNUACCTom HartLen Elmore
ESPNUSECDari NowkhahDino Gaudio

Wednesday Night Hoops

ESPN or ESPN2ACCDan Shulman or Dave O’BrienDick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke
ESPN or ESPN2BIG EASTMike PatrickLaPhonso Ellis
ESPN or ESPN2Big 12Bob WischusenStephen Bardo
ESPN or ESPN2Pac 12Dave PaschBill Walton
ESPNUBig 12Mitch HolthusMatt Doherty

Thursday Night Showcase                                          

ESPN or ESPN2ACCDave O’BrienDick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris BurkeJeannine Edwards
ESPN or ESPN2Big TenJoe TessitoreSean Farnham
ESPN or ESPN2SECRece DavisBob Knight
ESPN or ESPN2Pac 12Dave PaschBill Walton
ESPN or ESPN2BIG EASTJohn SaundersVarious analysts
ESPN2West CoastDave FlemmingTBD
ESPNUPac-12Roxy BernsteinMiles Simon


ESPNUMAACDoug ShermanTim O’Toole
ESPNUHorizonJim BarbarMalcolm Huckaby


ESPNSaturday PrimetimeDan ShulmanDick VitaleShannon Spake
ESPNBIG EASTMike PatrickLen Elmore
ESPNBig TenBob WischusenDan Dakich
ESPNBig 12Jon SciambiFran Fraschilla
ESPNACCDave O’BrienDoris Burke
ESPNSECMark JonesJimmy Dykes
ESPNUBIG EASTBeth MowinsTim Welsh
ESPNUSECTom HartMatt Doherty
ESPNUPac-12Dave FlemmingSean Farnham


ESPNUACC Sunday Night BasketballCarter BlackburnJay WilliamsAllison Williams
ESPNUMissouri ValleyMitch HolthusMark Adams

In addition to regular assignments on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate an extensive schedule of games from the SEC, BIG EAST and Big 12:

SEC Network   Play-by-playAnalyst
Wednesday and SaturdayClay Matvick, Dave Baker, Dave Neal or Dave LamontJoe Dean, Kara Lawson, Barry Booker, Jon Sundvold or Kyle Macy


Big 12 NetworkPlay-by-playAnalyst
Saturday and select weekdaysDave Armstrong, Mitch Holthus or Brad ShamReid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer, Chris Piper or Rich Zvosec


BIG EAST NetworkPlay-by-playAnalyst
Saturday and select SundaysAnish ShroffBob Wenzel

ESPN’s 2012-13 men’s college basketball schedule on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN FULL COURT will feature more than 1,450 games.

- 30 -