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All 11 games feature ranked teams, including top seven teams in early poll
Entering its 10th season, ESPN2’s Big Monday series – showcasing seven-weeks of top caliber women’s college basketball games – begins January 18 with a strong schedule of teams ranked in espnW.com Way-too-early Top 25 poll. The series, which includes four doubleheaders, also features 15 ranked teams, the top seven programs, six 2014-15 All-Americans and a grouping of the top incoming freshmen in the country.
Big Monday team highlights:
- Each of the 11 games features two ranked programs, and the schedule showcases eight of the top 10 teams in the espnW poll:
- 1 UConn, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Maryland, No. 5 Baylor, No. 6 Notre Dame, No. 7 Louisville, No. 10 Florida State, No. 12 Oregon State, No. 13 Ohio State, No. 14 Arizona State, No. 15 Duke, No. 16 Kentucky, No. 19 Oklahoma and No. 21 USF.
- Six conferences featured on the schedule: Atlantic Coast (ACC), The American, Big Ten, Big 12, Southeastern (SEC) and Pac-12.
- All 15 teams advanced to the 2015 postseason, including all four Final Four participants:
- UConn won its third-straight national title.
- Notre Dame played in its second-straight national championship game and fifth-straight Final Four.
- Both No. 1 seeds, Maryland and South Carolina also advanced to the Final Four.
- Seven-of-eight teams advanced to the Elite Eight, including Final Four participants, as well as Baylor, Florida State and Tennessee.
- Arizona State, Duke and Louisville advanced to the Sweet 16, while Kentucky, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oregon State and USF played to the second round.
- The schedule features six 2014-15 All-Americans, including Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) members Nina Davis (Baylor), Moriah Jefferson (UConn), Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina) and Breanna Stewart (UConn), as well as Associated Press Women’s All-America Third Team honorees A’ja Wilson (South Carolina) and Ruth Hamblin (Oregon State).
- Tennessee transfer Diamond DeShields joins the lineup after sitting out last season due to NCAA transfer rules; DeShields was named a 2013-14 Associated Press All-America Honorable Mention Team and USBWA National Freshman of the Year in her one year at North Carolina.
- 14 players in the top 25 of the 2015 HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings – espnW 100 join their respective teams in the Monday night lineup: No. 1 Katie Lou Samuelson (UConn); No. 2 Asia Durr (Louisville); No. 5 Angela Salvadores (Duke); No. 6 Napheesa Collier (UConn); No. 9 Kyra Lambert (Duke); No. 10 Arike Ogunbowale (Notre Dame); No. 11 Kalani Brown (Baylor); No. 11. Te’a Cooper (Tennessee); No. 13 Ali Patberg (Notre Dame); No. 14 Brianna Fraser (Maryland); No. 20 Beatrice Mompremier (Baylor); No. 23 De’Janae Boykin (UConn); No. 24 Marina Mabrey (Maryland) and No. 25 Kiah Gillespie (Notre Dame).
Big Monday schedule highlights:
- Three-time defending national champion UConn will be featured twice: On the road versus South Carolina on Feb. 8 for a potential No. 1 vs. No. 2 matchup and at home against USF to close the regular season on February 29.
- Notre Dame appears three times: Opens schedule at home against Tennessee on January 18 as part of ESPN’s My Home Court; on the road at Duke on February 1 and at Florida State on February 22 as part of ESPN’s Play 4Kay
- Also appearing three times is Tennessee, including the Notre Dame tilt, plus at Kentucky on January 25 as part of the We Back Pat initiative and at home against South Carolina on February 15 as part of Rivalry Week.
- In addition to its UConn game, USF also plays at former American opponent Louisville on February 15 as part of Rivalry Week.
- The Big 12 returns to the Big Monday schedule with a battle between Baylor at Oklahoma on February 22, also part of ESPN’s Play 4Kay
- Also on the schedule is a Pac-12 game showcasing Arizona State at Oregon State on February 1 and a Big Ten matchup featuring Maryland at Ohio State on February 8.
espnW.com will provide season-long original content and supporting material for ESPN’s top games, including leading into games with espnW’s national player-of-the-week and updated Bracketology from Charlie Creme, who accurately picked all 64 teams last year. The espnW season preview will run November 9 – 13. Also, additional columns and features will continue to be posted from Mechelle Voepel, Graham Hays, Michelle Smith and Kate Fagan, who have provided season-long content on the biggest storylines in the sport.
All Big Monday telecasts will be streamed live on WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
2016 ESPN2 Big Monday Women’s Hoops Schedule (subject to change)
|January 18||7 p.m.||My Home Court: No. 3 Tennessee at No. 6 Notre Dame|
|January 25||7 p.m.||We Back Pat: No. 3 Tennessee at No. 16 Kentucky|
|February 1||6 p.m.||No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 15 Duke|
|11 p.m.||No. 14 Arizona State at No. 12 Oregon State|
|February 8||7 p.m.||No. 1 UConn at No. 2 South Carolina|
|9 p.m.||No. 4 Maryland at No. 13 Ohio State|
|February 15||7 p.m.||Rivalry Week: No. 2 South Carolina at No. 3 Tennessee|
|9 p.m.||Rivalry Week: No. 21 USF at No. 7 Louisville|
|February 22||7 p.m.||Play 4Kay: No. 6 Notre Dame at No. 10 Florida State|
|9 p.m.||Play 4Kay: No. 5 Baylor at No. 19 Oklahoma|
|February 29||7 p.m.||No. 21 USF at No. 1 UConn|