Press Release

Posted by Rachel Margolis on March 19, 2013

ESPN Home to NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Coverage

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Downloadable Photos

First Round Coverage Maps

Coverage of all 63 games of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One – across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, WatchESPN and ESPN FULL COURT – begins Saturday, March 23. Action concludes with the NCAA Women’s National Championship game on Tuesday, April 9, on ESPN in New Orleans.

Most of the first and second round games will be televised on ESPN2 within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, will offer complete games as a supplement to ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2.

In addition, ESPN will showcase NCAA Championship content across its platforms, including SportsCenter, espnW, ESPN.com, ESPNEWS, ESPN International and ESPN Classic.

First and Second Round – Regionalized & Home Market Protection
Coverage Highlights
Commentator Highlights
espnW
First and Second Round Schedule
Regional and Final Four Schedule
Thoughts from Selection Monday

First and Second Rounds – Regionalized & Home Market Protection

  • Regionalized/Home Market Protection – In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will televise the game of local interest. While constant updates from the other games will be provided, the networks will not switch to another game during live action, thereby establishing home market protection.
  • Whip-Around Coverage – For the first and second rounds, multiple games (as many as four) will begin within one telecast window. During those windows, the network plans to “whip-around” to different games showcasing the best action for viewers in the majority of the nation (except in the home markets of the competing teams). Select games will be made available to a full national audience on ESPNU.
  • ESPN3 and WatchESPN will also provide coverage of the first- and second-round games

Coverage Highlights

  • ESPN will continues to highlight the “3 to See”: Brittney Griner of Baylor, Elena Delle Donne of Delaware and Skylar Diggins of Notre Dame
  • The return of ESPN’s “photo booth,” which captured video of the teams for use during the 2012 Final Four telecasts will return with several of the top-25 teams during the earlier rounds
  • ESPN’s Rebecca Lobo sits with Baylor’s Brittney Griner and Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins for extensive, individual interviews that include tape breakdown and in-depth conversation
  • ESPN analyst Bob Knight and Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma – Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame coaches with great NCAA Championship history – sat down to share stories about coaching, life and the great players of the game for use on ESPN
  • espnW tourney snapshots (photos from game sites) will be featured throughout the telecasts
  • Interact on twitter via @espnW and #NCAAW for the first, second and regional rounds and @espnW and #NCAAFF for the final weekend

Commentator Highlights

  • First-year women’s basketball studio host Kevin Negandhi joins returning analysts Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck in ESPN’s Bristol studios throughout the tournament before they head to the Final Four in New Orleans
  • Four gold medal Olympians are part of the coverage – Swin Cash, Rebecca Lobo and Kara Lawson as players and Nell Fortner as an assistant coach
  • Reporters at each of the Regional sites including veterans Holly Rowe and Jeannine Edwards
  • Dave O’Brien returns at play-by-play for the Final Four, along with veteran analysts Doris Burke and reporters Holly Rowe and Rebecca Lobo

espnW

  • Analysis and coverage from espnW writers Charlie Creme, Graham Hays, Kate Fagan, Michelle Smith and Mechelle Voepel
  • Behind-the-scenes photo gallery of athletes, teams and scenes throughout the tournament at espnW.com/tourneyphotos
  • A blogger series with student-athletes competing in the NCAA Championship, including Maggie Lucas (Penn State), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware), Haley Peters (Duke), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Chiney Ogumike (Stanford) and Destiny Williams (Baylor)
  • Quick Dish: Daily notebook highlighting the biggest stories and trends from the tournament, including the daily Top 5, tweet of the day and top videos
  • The Word: A weekly online forum where a variety of hosts discuss that week’s hot topics in the news – will dedicate at least one segment each week to covering the tournament
  • Women’s Tournament Challenge: Fans and experts alike can pick their brackets and earn points throughout the tournament
  • 3 to See”: follows the college hoops trio of Delle Donne, Diggins and Griner throughout the championship

2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One First & Second Round Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Sat, Mar 23 11 a.m. First Round
No. 13 Quinnipiac vs. No. 4 Maryland (College Park, Md.)

Mark Kestecher & LaChina Robinson
No. 11 Central Michigan vs. No. 6 Oklahoma (Columbus, Ohio)

Clay Matvick & Swin Cash
No. 10 Creighton vs. No. 7 Syracuse (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Bob Wischusen & Nell Fortner
No. 9 Saint Joseph’s vs. No. 8 Vanderbilt
(Storrs, Conn.)

Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. First Round
No. 12 Marist vs. No. 5 Michigan State (College Park, Md.)

No. 14 Stetson vs. No. 3 UCLA (Columbus, Ohio)

No. 15 Oral Roberts vs. No. 2 Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)

No. 16 Idaho vs. No. 1 Connecticut (Storrs, Conn.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  4 p.m. First Round
No. 13 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 South Carolina (Boulder, Colo.)

Mark Jones & Fran Fraschilla
No. 14 Wichita State vs. No. 3 Texas A&M
(College Station, Texas)

Carter Blackburn & Maria Taylor
No. 15 Fresno State vs. No. 2 California (Lubbock, Texas)

Cara Capuano & Stephen Bardo
No. 12 Gonzaga vs. No. 5 Iowa State (Spokane, Wash.)

Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 4 p.m. First Round
No. 12 Kansas vs. No. 5 Colorado (Boulder, Colo.)

No. 11 Chattanooga vs. No. 6 Nebraska (College Station, Texas)

No. 10 USF vs. No. 7 Texas Tech (Lubbock, Texas)

No. 13 Montana vs. No. 4 Georgia (Spokane, Wash.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sun, Mar 24 Noon First Round
No. 11 West Virginia vs. No. 6 Delaware
(Newark, Del.)

Pam Ward & Rebecca Lobo

No. 15 Hampton vs. No. 2 Duke (Durham, N.C.)
Joe Davis & Deb Antonelli
No. 13 Liberty vs. No. 4 Purdue (Louisville, Ky.)

Melissa Lee & Brooke Weisbrod
No. 15 Navy vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Queens, N.Y.)^
Bob Picozzi & Rosalyn Gold-Onwude
ESPN2 / ESPN3ESPNU / WatchESPN
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of Noon First Round
No. 14 Albany vs. No. 3 North Carolina (Newark, Del.)
No. 10 DePaul vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State
(Durham, N.C.)

No. 12 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 5 Louisville
(Louisville, Ky.)

No. 10 St. John’s vs. No. 7 Dayton (Queens, N.Y.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  5 p.m. First Round
No. 14 Cal Poly vs. No. 3 Penn State (Baton Rouge, La.)

Tom Hart & Krista Blunk
No. 16 UT Martin vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (Iowa City, Iowa)

Holly Rowe & Brenda VanLengen
No. 16 Tulsa vs. No. 1 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.)

Dave Pasch & Mary Murphy
No. 9 Princeton vs. No. 8 Florida State (Waco, Texas)
Beth Mowins & Stephanie White
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 5 p.m. First Round
No. 11 Green Bay vs. No. 6 LSU (Baton Rouge, La.)

No. 9 Iowa vs. No. 8 Miami (Fla.) (Iowa City, Iowa)

No. 9 Villanova vs. No. 8 Michigan (Stanford, Calif.)

No. 16 Prairie View vs. No. 1 Baylor (Waco, Texas)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
Mon, Mar 25 7 p.m. Second Round
(College Park, Md., Columbus, Ohio, Knoxville, Tenn., Storrs, Conn.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round
(Boulder, Colo., College Station, Texas, Lubbock, Texas, Spokane, Wash.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
Tue, Mar 26 7 p.m. Second Round
(Newark, Del., Durham, N.C., Louisville, Ky., Queens, N.Y.)
ESPN2 / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round
(Baton Rouge, La., Iowa City, Iowa, Stanford, Calif., Waco, Texas)
ESPN2 / ESPN3

^ – game on ESPNU

2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One Regional & Final Four Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Sat, Mar 30 Noon Regional Semifinal (Bridgeport, Conn.)
Beth Mowins, Doris Burke & Holly Rowe
ESPN / WatchESPN
  2 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Bridgeport, Conn.) ESPN / WatchESPN
  9 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Spokane, Wash.)
Dave Pasch, Deb Antonelli & LaChina Robinson
ESPN / WatchESPN
  11 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Spokane, Wash.) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Sun, Mar 31 Noon Regional Semifinal (Norfolk, Va.)
Dave O’Brien, Stephanie White & Jeannine Edwards
ESPN / WatchESPN
  2 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Norfolk, Va.) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  4:30 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Oklahoma City, Okla.)
Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo & Maria Taylor
ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  6:30 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Oklahoma City, Okla.) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Mon, Apr 1 7:30 p.m. Regional Final (Bridgeport, Conn.)
ESPN / WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Regional Final (Spokane, Wash.) ESPN / WatchESPN
Tue, Apr 2 7 p.m. Regional Final (Norfolk, Va.) ESPN / WatchESPN
  9 p.m. Regional Final (Oklahoma City, Okla.) ESPN / WatchESPN
Sun, Apr 7 6 p.m. NCAA Women’s Final Four Special Presented by Capital One
Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson & Carolyn Peck
ESPN / WatchESPN
  6:30 p.m. National Semifinal Game 1 (New Orleans, La.)
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN / WatchESPN
  9 p.m. National Semifinal Game 2 (New Orleans, La.)
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN / WatchESPN
Tue, Apr 9 4 p.m. Crunch Time: NCAA Women’s Championship ESPNU / WatchESPN
  5 p.m. The Experts: NCAA Women’s Championship ESPNU / WatchESPN
  6 p.m. College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Championship ESPNU / WatchESPN
  7:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One
Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson & Carolyn Peck
ESPN / WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. National Final (New Orleans, La.)
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN / WatchESPN

Thoughts from Selection Monday
After the bracket was exclusively revealed on ESPN during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Monday Special Presented by Capital One on March 19, ESPN’s top analysts of Doris Burke, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo, Mechelle Voepel and Carolyn Peck offered insight into the bracket with analysis of each region, teams, plus the players to watch as they vie for a Final Four spot in New Orleans. Highlights:

Burke on Tennessee’s Holly Warlick
How would you like to replace one of the all-time best coaches in the history of your sport, but Pat Summitt will go down as one of the all-time great coaches in the history of her generation. Holly Warlick has handled it with such grace and class, not only with the transition last year but now the opportunity she so richly deserved. Picked fifth in the SEC, Holly Warlick [go ahead with your bad self] finishes with an SEC championship.

Lobo on the possible Notre Dame-Connecticut matchup
Everyone knew that was going to happen because Notre Dame was going to be the No. 2 seed and Connecticut is the No. 3 seed overall. Is UConn just another good team this year – I think there are a lot of teams this year that would like to be just another good team.

Peck on Penn State’s No. 3 seed
I think it is hard to justify. Penn State won the regular season in the Big Ten and stumbled against Michigan State in the tournament. But that total body of work, I thought was deserving of them being a No. 2 seed. After looking at the bracket, if I am Penn State, I would probably rather be in the bracket that I am as a three, as opposed to having to go to against a Notre Dame, that Kentucky is ultimately going to have to face.

Voepel on a sleeper team
I just saw Texas A&M at the SEC Tournament… They have a lot of depth. They are young in certain spots and they have some players people may not be as familiar with, but I think they’ve got a really strong defense and more offensive weapons than people might think. They can be a dangerous team, for perhaps Notre Dame to face.

Lawson on the committee
I don’t know if it is the toughest job – the rules are set up for them… We know that there are geographical principles and procedures of the committee. Stanford and Cal are in the same bracket and do I like that two teams from the same conference play to go to a Final Four? I don’t like it. But it is the way it is in the game and until it’s changed, the committee is going to go by it.

Lawson on Notre Dame playing at Iowa
I think the highest seed should get the priority there. So to answer Mechelle’s [Voepel] question, I don’t think Notre Dame should have to do that. I think that if there is an opportunity to get them on a neutral site floor, as a No. 1 seed, they earned that.

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