ESPN ThisWeek – December 24, 2012


College Bowl Games, Men’s College Basketball, and more:

ABC & ESPN Combine to Present All Five NBA Christmas Day Games
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ESPN’s Christmas Day coverage will tip off at 12 p.m. ET with the Brooklyn Nets hosting the Boston Celtics in Brooklyn’s first Christmas Day appearance on ESPN. At the conclusion, KIA NBA Countdown will debut a new studio set at 2:30 p.m. with Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose and Michael Wilbon.

ABC’s blockbuster doubleheader begins at 3 p.m. with the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant hosting the New York Knicks and Carmelo Anthony. Mike Breen, analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Heather Cox will call the game – their first of two Christmas Day games at the Staples Center. The second game of the ABC doubleheader features an NBA Finals rematch of the Miami Heat, led by LeBron James and Dwyane Wade, and the Oklahoma City Thunder and Kevin Durant.

ESPN will resume its coverage with a primetime doubleheader starting with Bulls-Rockets at 8 p.m. and Nuggets-Clippers at 10:30 p.m. For a portion of the late game, Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor Billy Crystal will join the booth to discuss the Clippers.

Select games are available on ESPN Deportes, ESPN Radio and WatchESPN with full details below. In addition, ESPN3 will deliver live coverage of the Staples Center changeover on Christmas Day, as the crew changes the arena from the Lakers set to the Clippers set.

ABC & ESPN NBA Christmas Day schedule

Time (ET)GameCommentatorsNetwork(s)
12 p.m.NBA Christmas Special Presented by State FarmBoston Celtics at Brooklyn NetsESPN:Mark Jones, Doris Burke, Chris BroussardESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos MoralesESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
2:30 p.m.KIA NBA CountdownMagic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose, Michael WilbonABC
3 p.m.(ESPN Radio at 2 p.m.)NBA Christmas Special Presented by State FarmNew York Knicks at L.A. LakersABC:Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather CoxESPN Radio: Dave Flemming, Will PerdueESPN Deportes: Ricardo Ortiz, Manu MartinABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
5:30 p.m.NBA Christmas Special Presented by State FarmOklahoma City Thunder at Miami HeatABC: Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Lisa SaltersESPN Radio: Kevin Calabro, Dr. Jack RamsayESPN Deportes: Alvaro Martin, Carlos MoralesABC, ESPN Radio, ESPN Deportes
8 p.m.NBA Christmas Special Presented by State FarmHouston Rockets at Chicago BullsESPN:Dave Pasch, Jon BarryESPN Deportes: Ricardo Ortiz, Manu MartinESPN, ESPN Deportes, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m.NBA Christmas Special Presented by State FarmDenver Nuggets at L.A. ClippersESPN: Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Heather CoxESPN, WatchESPN

Extensive College Football Bowl Coverage Continues Through Holiday Week
ESPN’s extensive college football bowl coverage – 34 bowl games, highlighted by all five of the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) matchups, including the Discover BCS National Championship (No. 1 Notre Dame vs. No. 2 Alabama) – will continue through the holiday season.

A Christmas Eve matchup at the Sheraton Hawaii Bowl featuring Fresno State vs. SMU, at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN Radio kick starts the holiday week games on ESPN. Following are the bowl games and commentators for this week.

A complete schedule with commentator assignments is available on ESPN Media Zone.

DateTime (ET)Game/CommentatorsNetwork
Mon, Dec 248 p.m.Sheraton Hawaii Bowl: Fresno State vs. SMU
ESPN: Carter Blackburn, Kelly Stouffer & Kaylee Hartung
Radio: Marc Kestecher & Pete Najarian
Wed, Dec 267:30 p.m.Little Caesars Bowl: Western Kentucky vs. Central Michigan
Mark Neely, Ray Bentley & Jemele Hill
Thu, Dec 273 p.m.Military Bowl Presented by Northrop Grumman: No. 24 San Jose State vs. Bowling Green
Bob Wischusen, Danny Kanell & Quint Kessenich
 6:30 p.m.Belk Bowl: Cincinnati vs. Duke
Mike Patrick, Ed Cunningham & Jeannine Edwards
 9:45 p.m.Bridgepoint Education Holiday Bowl: Baylor vs. No. 17 UCLA
ESPN: Dave Pasch, Brian Griese & Jenn Brown
Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad
Fri, Dec 282 p.m.AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl: Ohio vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Dave Lamont, Kelly Stouffer & Cara Capuano
 5:30 p.m.Russell Athletic Bowl: Rutgers vs. Virginia Tech
ESPN: Joe Tessitore, Matt Millen & Maria Taylor
Radio: Adam Amin, Tom Luginbill & Brett McMurphy
 9 p.m.Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas: Minnesota vs. Texas Tech
ESPN: Mark Jones, Brock Huard & Jessica Mendoza
Radio: Tom Hart, John Congemi & Niki Noto
Sat, Dec 2911:45 a.m.Bell Helicopter Armed Forces Bowl: Rice vs. Air Force
ESPN: Beth Mowins, Joey Galloway & Lewis Johnson
Radio: Eamon McAnaney, David Diaz-Infante & Paul Carcaterra
 3:15 p.m.New Era Pinstripe Bowl: West Virginia vs. Syracuse
ESPN: Chris Fowler, Jesse Palmer & Tom Rinaldi
Radio: Marc Kestecher, Jack Ford & C.J. Papa
 4 p.m.Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: Navy vs. Arizona State
Dave Pasch, Brian Griese & Jenn Brown
 6:45 p.m.Valero Alamo Bowl: No. 23 Texas vs. No. 13 Oregon State
ESPN: Sean McDonough, Chris Spielman & Quint Kessenich
Radio: Mark Neely, Ray Bentley & Kaylee Hartung
 10:15 p.m.Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: TCU vs. Michigan State
ESPN: Brad Nessler, Todd Blackledge & Holly Rowe
Radio: Bill Rosinski, David Norrie & Joe Schad

Men’s College Basketball: 20 Men’s Hoops Games in Four Days including debut of Bill Walton
ESPN’s men’s college basketball schedule for this week will include 20 matchups from December 27 to December 30, highlighted by 14 games on Saturday, Dec. 29.

Overall, ESPN2 will televise three of the top eight teams and new ESPN analyst, and UCLA legend; Bill Walton will make his college basketball debut for ESPN, working No. 7 Missouri at UCLA, on Friday, Dec. 28, at 10 p.m. ET.

ESPN2 will also televise No. 1 Duke against Santa Clara on Saturday, Dec. 29, at noon and No. 8 Cincinnati against New Mexico on Thursday, Dec. 27, at 9 p.m.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 schedule through December 29

DateTime (ET)Game / CommentatorsNetwork
Thu, Dec 279 p.m.New Mexico at No. 8 Cincinnati
John Saunders & Bob Knight
Fri, Dec 287 p.m.NJIT at Villanova
Dave Leno & Tim O’Toole
 7 p.m.Stony Brook at Seton Hall
Mike Crispino & Jim Spanarkel
ESPN3 & BIG EAST Network
 8 p.m.Baylor at No. 13 Gonzaga
Roxy Bernstein & Miles Simon
 10 p.m.No. 7 Missouri at UCLA
Dave Flemming & Bill Walton
Sat, Dec 29NoonSanta Clara at No. 1 Duke
Carter Blackburn & Sean Farnham
 NoonWestern Michigan at No. 23 NC State
Lou Canellis & Dereck Whittenburg
 12:30 p.m.Delaware State at Maryland
Byron Kerr & Glenn Consor
 2 p.m.No. 20 UNLV at North Carolina
Jon Sciambi & Jay Bilas
 2 p.m.Virginia Tech at BYU
Rich Cellini & Steve Cleveland
 2 p.m.William & Mary at Purdue
Mike Couzens & Sean Kearney
 2 p.m.Holy Cross at Boston College
John Brickley & Malcolm Huckaby
 3 p.m.Valparaiso at Murray State
Mike Gleason & Darrin Horn
 4 p.m.Duquesne at Penn State
Tim Neverett & Cory Alexander
 6 p.m.Xavier at Tennessee
Clay Matvick & Jimmy Dykes
 7 p.m.Fordham at Georgia TechESPN3
 7:30 p.m.Washington at Connecticut
Bob Picozzi & Bill Raftery
 8 p.m.No. 18 Butler at Vanderbilt
Jim Barbar & Seth Greenberg
 10 p.m.UC Santa Barbara at Cal State Fullerton
Kanoa Leahy & Corey Williams
Sun, Dec 306 p.m.Tulane at Alabama
Rich Hollenberg & Carolyn Peck

Fields Announced for Next Season’s ESPN Regional Television Men’s Basketball Tournaments
The 2013 tournament fields for five early-season tournaments – Charleston Classic, DIRECTV Classic, Old Spice Classic, Puerto Rico Tip-Off and Diamond Head Classic – to be held around the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays in destination cities have been announced. All five tournaments are owned and operated by ESPN Regional Television (ERT), a subsidiary of ESPN.

All five tournaments feature a bracket-format with 12 games over three days. Each team will compete in one game per day, advancing through the bracket. The two teams that remain undefeated throughout will face off in a championship game on the final day of competition.

Additional teams, final brackets and television will be announced at a later date. Full release Player of the Week, Weekly Wrap, and Headliners
 continues naming its national player of the week every Monday throughout the women’s college basketball season. Texas A&M junior center Kelsey Bone receives this week’s top honor, shooting 85 percent — 39 of 46 — from the field, and averaging 27.6 points and 10.3 rebounds at the World Vision Classic tournament. Other highlights include contributor Graham Hays’ weekly wrap, a blog post from Standord’s Chiney Ogwumike, and the 12-part series, espnW Headliners, continues highlighting up-and-coming athletes who embody confidence, strength and talent in their respective sports.