Press Release

Posted by Rachel Margolis on November 5, 2013

The “What, Who, Where, When & Why” of ESPN’s 2013-14 Men’s College Basketball Commentator Assignments

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“Five W’s” of ESPN’s Extensive Game and Studio Coverage

ESPN’s 2013-14 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,500 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3 – will showcase a deep roster of experienced commentators. Below are the five “W’s” of ESPN’s commentator lineup:

What: ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game every day but three from November 8 to March 16 (December 24 and 26, and January 3). The wealth of experience covering games on ESPN networks include former Division I coaches and NBA, WNBA and collegiate players, along with versatile and veteran play-by-play voices.

Who:

  • Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale enters his 35th season calling games for ESPN and will be paired with Dan Shulman. During conference play, Vitale, Shulman and reporter Shannon Spake will work the Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game that host’s that day’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm.
  • Jay Bilas will work his 19th college basketball season for the network and continues to be a fixture on ESPN’s Big Monday ACC package with play-by-play veteran Sean McDonough. Reporter Jeannine Edwards will join the duo this season. The trio of Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe return to work the second half of the Big Monday doubleheader featuring Big 12 programs.
  • The ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series will again be called by Carter Blackburn, Jay Williams and Allison Williams. Additional ACC games will be covered by Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke (Saturday) as well as Bob Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis (Wednesday).
  • Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, pairs again with analyst Dan Dakich and reporter Samantha Ponder for the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game. Dakich will also call a Saturday Big Ten contest with Wischusen.
  • The duo of Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnham will again work the Big Ten Thursday Night Showcase game.
  • The SEC weekly telecast, part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series, will see the return of Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes and Spake to the booth. Dykes and Mark Jones will return to call the Saturday SEC window, while Rece Davis and Bob Knight will pair up for the Thursday SEC telecast.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again have the call of Pac-12 games on Wednesday and Thursday nights with Dave Pasch.
  • Several analysts return to ESPN and ESPN’s studio coverage – with a consistent presence from Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz, Bruce Pearl and Jay Williams.
  • For the 10th year, Davis will serve as host for College GameDay. He will be joined by Bilas, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose to preview all the day’s action and discuss the biggest storylines in college basketball.

Where: Announcers across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and ESPN3 will call games at arenas involving 276 teams from 31 Division I conferences.

When: Non-conference coverage gets underway with more than 375 contests beginning Friday, Nov. 8, with a full slate of games including the Armed Forces Classic pitting Oregon vs. Georgetown from United States Army Garrison Humphreys in South Korea at 7:30 p.m. ET on ESPN.

Commentators can also be seen during ESPN’s popular weekly series’ beginning in January – Big Monday, Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops, Thursday Night Showcase Presented by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, College GameDay Covered by State Farm, Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV and ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball – plus a full slate of games throughout the season.

Why: “Our goal is to give fans the best seat in the house by ‘bringing the viewer to the venue’ through comprehensive coverage that is accurate, innovative, unique and memorable,” said Jay Levy, ESPN senior coordinating producer. “Our production crews and announcers have a passion for college basketball that is matched by their overall knowledge of the game and credibility in the sport.”

Game Coverage
Big Monday

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalystReporter
ESPNACCSean McDonoughJay BilasJeannine Edwards
ESPNBig 12Brent MusburgerFran FraschillaHolly Rowe

Super Tuesday

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalystReporter
ESPNBig TenMike TiricoDan DakichSamantha Ponder
ESPNSECBrad NesslerJimmy DykesShannon Spake
ESPN2Big 12Dave FlemmingMiles Simon
ESPNUACCTom HartLen Elmore
ESPNUSECJoe DavisDino Gaudio

Wednesday Night Hoops

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalyst
ESPN2ACCBob WischusenLaPhonso Ellis
ESPN2Pac-12Dave PaschBill Walton
ESPNUAmericanJason BenettiTim Welsh
ESPNUBig 12Clay MatvickDarrin Horn
ESPNUPac-12Beth MowinsJon Crispin

Thursday Night Showcase Presented by Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups                         

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalyst
ESPN or ESPN2Big TenJoe TessitoreSean Farnham
ESPN or ESPN2SECRece DavisBob Knight
ESPN or ESPN2Pac-12Dave PaschBill Walton
ESPN or ESPN2AmericanMike Patrick/Dave O’BrienVarious analysts
ESPNUWest CoastRoxy BernsteinJarron Collins/Corey Williams

Friday                                                                         

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalyst
ESPNUMAACDoug ShermanTim McCormick
ESPNUHorizonJim BarbarMalcolm Huckaby

Saturday

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalystReporters
ESPNSaturday PrimetimeDan ShulmanDick VitaleShannon Spake
ESPNBig TenBob WischusenDan Dakich
ESPNBig 12Jon SciambiFran Fraschilla
ESPNACCDave O’BrienDoris Burke
ESPNSECMark JonesJimmy Dykes
ESPN/ESPN2AmericanMike PatrickLen Elmore
ESPN2Atlantic 10TBDTBD
ESPN2West CoastBeth MowinsKara Lawson
ESPN2MVCRich HollenbergMark Adams
ESPNUAmericanAdam AminBrooke Weisbrod
ESPNUSECTom HartJon Sundvold
ESPNUBig 12Anish ShroffTim Welsh

Sunday

NetworkConferencePlay-by-playAnalystReporter
ESPNUACCCarter BlackburnJay WilliamsAllison Williams
ESPNUPac-12Roxy BernsteinCorey Williams

ESPN Regional Television (ERT)
In addition, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate games from the SEC and Big 12:

SEC TVPlay-by-PlayAnalysts
Wednesday and SaturdayDave Baker, Dave Lamont, Clay Matvick, Mike Morgan or Dave NealBarry Booker, Joe Dean, Daymeon Fishback, Kyle Macy or Jon Sundvold
Big 12 NetworkPlay-by-PlayAnalysts
Saturday and select weekdaysDave Armstrong, Doug Bell, Mitch Holthus or Brad ShamReid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer or Chris Piper

Studio Coverage
In additional to Greenberg, Katz, Pearl and Williams, Dan Dakich, Jimmy Dykes, Laphonso Ellis, Sean Farnham, Fran Fraschilla, Kara Lawson and Miles Simon will all see time during ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios.

ESPNU will rotate its studio coverage between analysts Dino Gaudio and Adrian Branch, along with hosts Dari Nowkhah, Matt Schick and Anish Shroff.

Hosts Zubin Mehenti and Chris Hassel will rotate in with analyst Tim McCormick (Saturday) and reporter Jeff Goodman (Wednesday) to anchor the ESPN Buzzer Beater network – which offers live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon ET to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., beginning Wednesday, Jan. 8.

College GameDay Driven by State Farm
The 10th season of ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm, the eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball program originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast, will return on Saturday, Jan. 18, with a special split-site show: Temple vs. LaSalle from the historic Palestra in Philadelphia and Louisville at Connecticut from Storrs. The first hour begins at 10 a.m. ET on ESPNU, continuing at 11 a.m. on ESPN with a one-hour evening edition leading into the Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week on ESPN.

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