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ESPN Tips Off the College Basketball Season with Midnight Madness Coverage

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ESPNU Midnight Madness Features Six Programs; ESPN3 Carries Seven Schools’ Midnight Madness Activities

ESPN will tip off the 2014-15 college basketball season with Midnight Madness coverage from 11 campuses, including seven men’s programs in ESPN.com’s early top 25, on Friday, Oct. 17. ESPNU Midnight Madness (6 p.m. ET) will combine studio and remote coverage to bring fans a three-hour start of the season celebration which involves six schools, including the 2014 NCAA Men’s and Women’s Division I National Champion UConn Huskies. The ESPNU special will also involve five more teams from the 2014 NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball Championship: Arizona, Florida, Gonzaga, Kentucky, and San Diego State. This is the ninth year ESPNU Midnight Madness has provided coverage of the annual college basketball tradition.

ESPN3 will also provide Midnight Madness coverage on Friday, Oct. 17, carrying six college basketball programs’ Midnight Madness celebrations in their entirety. In addition to UConn’s “First Night” at 7 p.m., ESPN3 will have Harvard’s “Crimson Madness” (6 p.m.), Mercer’s “Mercer Madness” (6:10 p.m.), Kentucky’s “Big Blue Madness” (7 p.m.), NC State’s “Throwback with the Pack” (8 p.m.) and Florida Gulf Coast’s “Dunk City after Dark” (9 p.m.). A week prior, ESPN3 will also carry Kansas’ “Late Night in the Phog” on Friday, Oct. 10, at 7:30 p.m.

SEC Network’s SEC Now (9 p.m.) will show portions of Kentucky’s “Big Blue Madness” and ESPNU Midnight Madness will re-air at midnight on Friday, Oct. 17.

Additional schools Midnight Madness programs may be added at a later date

ESPNU Midnight Madness Highlights:

Studio Coverage: Andy Katz, host of Katz Korner, will anchor studio coverage along with college basketball analysts Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams. The studio team will preview the 2014-15 season and interview various head coaches throughout the telecast.

Head Coach Perspective: Katz, Greenberg and Williams will be joined in-studio by Villanova head coach Jay Wright, who has led the Wildcats to the NCAA tournament in nine of the last 10 seasons.

All-Access: ESPN commentators and analysts will be on-location, providing viewers a first-hand insight into the various Midnight Madness activities:

  • Arizona: Miles Simon (analyst), won the 1997 National Championship at Arizona and was named the tournament’s Most Outstanding Player
  • Kentucky: Sean Farnham, former UCLA basketball player, Kara Lawson, former Tennessee standout, WNBA Champion and 2008 Olympic gold medalist (analysts), along with Dave O’Brien (host)
  • UConn: Rebecca Lobo, won the 1995 National Championship at UConn, 1996 Olympic gold medalist and was a standout player in the WNBA, Tim Welsh, earned more than 200 wins as a head coach (analysts) along with Kevin Connors (host) and Jeff Goodman (reporter)
  • Florida, Gonzaga and San Diego State: Coach Donovan (Florida), Coach Few (Gonzaga) and Coach Fisher (San Diego State) will be wired for sound

Social Media: Fans can join the conversation throughout the night by tagging tweets with #MidnightMadness.

Programming Details: ESPNU’s Midnight Madness (October 17 at 6 p.m. ET)

Location Commentators
ESPNU’s Studio Coverage Andy Katz (Host), Seth Greenberg & Jay Williams (analysts), Villanova head coach Jay Wright (guest)
Arizona Miles Simon (analyst)
Kentucky Dave O’Brien (host), Sean Farnham & Kara Lawson (analysts)
UConn Kevin Connors (host), Rebecca Lobo & Tim Welsh (analysts), Jeff Goodman (reporter)
Florida, Gonzaga, San Diego State Coach Donovan, Few and Fisher will be wired for sound to brings fans unique perspective

ESPN3’s Midnight Madness Program Schedule (shown in its entirety)

Date Time (ET) Basketball Program Name
Fri., Oct. 10 7:30 p.m. Kansas “Late Night in the Phog”
Fri., Oct 17 6 p.m. Harvard “Crimson Madness”
6:10 p.m. Mercer “Mercer Madness”
7 p.m. Kentucky “Big Blue Madness”
7 p.m. UConn “First Night”
8 p.m. NC State “Throwback with the Pack”
9 p.m. Florida Gulf Coast “Dunk City after Dark”

 Additional schools may be added at a later date for all networks

2014 College Hoops Tip Off Marathon
Seven teams participating in ESPN’s Midnight Madness coverage – Florida, Gonzaga, Kansas, Kentucky (men and women), San Diego State, and UConn women – will play in ESPN’s seventh annual College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon – more than 24 hours of consecutive coverage to mark the start of the 2014-15 season over Monday, Nov. 17 and Tuesday, Nov. 18. The marathon will feature 19 men’s and women’s college basketball games across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU and includes 17 men’s games and two top-25 women’s matchups concluding with the fourth annual State Farm Champions Classic from Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indianapolis. The neutral-site, early-season men’s doubleheader that matches four of the winningest programs against each other begins with College GameDay Covered by State Farm from inside the arena at 6 p.m. ET, followed by ESPN.com preseason-ranked No. 18 Michigan State vs. No. 2 Duke at 7 p.m. and No. 10 Kansas vs. No. 1 Kentucky at 9 p.m. – all on ESPN.

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; Derek.Volner@ESPN.com and @DerekVolner