NCAA Championship Coverage includes content from stars of ABC’s Emmy-Nominated “Nashville”
ESPN will unveil the 64-team NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship field exclusively during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday, March 17, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN and WatchESPN with some help from the cast of ABC’s hit drama series “Nashville”. ESPN’s Final Four studio team of host Kevin Negandhi and veteran analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo will be on hand for in-depth analysis.
Negandhi, Lawson and Lobo will be joined by espnW.com writer Mechelle Voepel to provide additional insight and analysis on ESPNU’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capital One at 8 p.m. The ESPNU show will include an exclusive interview with Carolayne Henry, the chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
The open of the 7 p.m. show will feature Connie Britton and Hayden Panettiere, stars of “Nashville”, welcoming the women’s basketball world to the Music City from the stage of the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tenn. In addition, Britton voiced “The Only Way I Know” – originally recorded by Jason Aldean featuring Luke Bryant and Eric Church – to be used throughout ESPN’s Selection Show and tournament telecasts. “Nashville” airs Wednesday nights at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
- Bracket insight with analysis of each region and team, plus the players to watch as they vie for a Final Four spot in Nashville.
- Live look-ins at undefeated and second-ranked Notre Dame, No. 7 Baylor, No. 8 South Carolina and Fordham.
- Live interviews with Baylor’s Kim Mulkey and Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw on ESPN.
- Voepel joins the crew to provide her thoughts and analysis once the bracket is unveiled during the ESPNU show.
- An exclusive interview with NCAA Chair Henry on ESPNU.
- Baylor guard Odyssey Simms, Notre Dame guard Kayla McBride and South Carolina head coach Dawn Staley live on the ESPNU telecast.
espnW will provide fans with extensive coverage of Selection Monday from its team of analysts and experts. Highlights:
- Columnist Graham Hays answers Five Burning Questions off the newly released bracket, including toughest/easiest region, toughest path for a No. 1 seed and potential Cinderella teams.
- Voepel, along with Bracketologist Charlie Creme and writer Michelle Smith, also provide in-depth analysis of the bracket.
- espnW’s Tourney Snapshots returns, providing social photos from tourney-bound teams around the country beginning on Selection Monday.
- Additional coverage of the pursuit of perfection by Connecticut and Notre Dame, dissecting the expected No. 1 seeds and what they might encounter as they try to advance to the Final Four.
- NCAA Championship selections, including predicted Final Four matchups.
- Video highlights such as overall bracket breakdown and four segments with region-by-region analysis.
- Live online chats from espnW’s staff, in addition to a conversation with Committee Chairwoman Henry.
College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Special
Hosts Beth Mowins and Cara Capuano, along with analysts Debbie Antonelli, Maria Taylor and Brooke Weisbrod, will take part in a two-hour ESPNU special on Tuesday, March 18, at 1 p.m. The program will be highlighted by interviews and in-depth analysis of the bracket. McGraw, along with Connecticut’s Geno Auriemma, Duke’s Joanne McCallie and Penn State’s Coquese Washington, will be interviewed live during the show.
ESPN to Air All 63 NCAA Championship Games
The Selection Monday specials will tip off ESPN’s comprehensive coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship March 22-April 8, on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, WatchESPN and ESPN FULL COURT. ESPN will also provide additional NCAA Championship content across multiple platforms, including espnW.com, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and ESPN International.
All 63 games of the Women’s Basketball Championship will air on ESPN networks for the ninth consecutive year. ESPN and ESPN2 will present regionalized telecasts with home market protection through the first two rounds. ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, will offer first- and second-round games in their entirety as a supplement to ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2. The complete schedule will be announced at a later date.
ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge
The game returns for the 17th season on the digital hard court and will once again be free for entrants to submit up to 10 entries on ESPN.com. Fans complete and submit a bracket of forecasted tournament game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the Tournaments progress. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries that finish in the top one percent are entered in a random drawing for a $5,000 Best Buy Gift Card. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Saturday, March 22.