ESPN ThisWeek — February 19, 2013

NBA ACTION, BUSS REMEMBERED

COLLEGE HOOPS, NASCAR SEASON BEGINS, BASEBALL TONIGHT & MORE


NBA: Young Stars Kyrie Irving, Anthony Davis Showcased; Celtics-Lakers Rivalry in the Spotlight
contact: kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
NBA action on ESPN resumes Wednesday, Feb. 20, as the Cleveland Cavaliers and Kyrie Irving – who dazzled viewers and spectators throughout NBA All-Star Weekend – host the New Orleans Hornets and rookie sensation Anthony Davis at 8 p.m. ET. Mark Jones will handle the call with analyst Jon Barry.

In the nightcap, the Boston Celtics-Los Angeles Lakers rivalry takes center stage as the Lakers — with superstar duo Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard — host the Celtics with Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett at 10:30 p.m. Mike Breen will be joined by analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters.

On Friday, ESPN presents a star-studded doubleheader beginning at 8 p.m. when the Minnesota Timberwolves and Ricky Rubio take on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Russell Westbrook. Following, the league-leading San Antonio Spurs and Tony Parker and Tim Duncan face the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry and David Lee at 10:30 p.m.

KIA NBA Countdown – with Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Jalen Rose and Michael Wilbon – precedes both doubleheaders at 7:30 p.m. Countdown and ESPN NBA games are available on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN.

Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Network
Wed, Feb 20 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown
Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon, Jalen Rose
ESPN, WatchESPN
8 p.m. New Orleans Hornets at Cleveland Cavaliers Presented by State Farm
Mark Jones, Jon Barry
ESPN, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers Presented by State Farm
Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters
ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri, Feb 22 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown
Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon
ESPN, WatchESPN
8 p.m. Minnesota Timberwolves at Oklahoma City Thunder Presented by State Farm
Dave Pasch, Jon Barry, Heather Cox
ESPN, WatchESPN
10:30 p.m. San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Presented by State Farm
Mark Jones, Chris Mullin, Lisa Salters
ESPN, WatchESPN

ESPN Classic Remembers Jerry Buss
contact: kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
Starting tonight (Tuesday, Feb. 19) at 8 p.m., ESPN Classic will celebrate the life and career of Los Angeles Lakers owner Jerry Buss with a special lineup of programming.  ESPN Classic will televise the NBA-championship clinching game from 1980 (vs. Philadelphia), and three against their rivals, the Boston Celtics – 1985, 1987 and 2010.

Date Time (ET) Game
Tue, Feb 19 8 p.m. 1980 NBA Finals, Game 6
Los Angeles Lakers at Philadelphia 76ers
  10 p.m. 1985 NBA Finals, Game 6
Los Angeles Lakers at Boston Celtics
Wed, Feb 20 12 a.m. 1987 NBA Finals, Game 6
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers
2 a.m. 2010 NBA Finals, Game 7
Boston Celtics at Los Angeles Lakers

Kentucky Home to College GameDay Covered by State Farm
contact: rachel.l.margolis@espn.com
Kentucky will host ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – as the weekly show stops at Rupp Arena in advance of the Saturday Primetime presented by DIRECTV matchup between Missouri and Kentucky on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 9 p.m. on ESPN. GameDay’s first hour begins at 10 a.m. on ESPNU, continuing at 11 a.m. on ESPN, plus a one-hour edition at 8 p.m. on ESPN. GameDay and the featured game are also available on ESPN 3D and WatchESPN.

GameDay returns to Rupp Arena — home to the show’s largest crowd of 22,144 fans on Feb. 10, 2010 – for its fourth visit. Previous GameDay visits were in 2005, ’07 and ‘10.

Rece Davis hosts for College GameDay, joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Jalen Rose to preview all the day’s action and discuss the biggest storylines in college basketball. Full College GameDay Schedule; College GameDay Images


Men’s College Hoops: Two-Day BracketBusters Event & Top Teams
contact: michael.c.humes@espn.com
ESPN’s men’s college basketball schedule for this weekend will include the 11th Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters – a two-day men’s college basketball event of 13 games between NCAA Championship hopefuls – on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 23. Highlights:

  • ESPNU will televise Montana at Davidson on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. Montana, with a 19-5 overall record, is the current leader of the Big Sky Conference, while Davidson, at 14-1 in conference and 19-7 overall, holds the best record in the Southern Conference.
  • The event will showcase the top two teams in the Missouri Valley Conference on Saturday, Feb. 23:
  • Top MVC team Wichita State against Detroit, the second-place squad in the Horizon League, at 4 p.m. on ESPN.
  • Creighton at Saint Mary’s, the second-place team behind No. 3 Gonzaga in the West Coast Conference, at 6 p.m. on ESPN.
    • ESPN2 will televise the top two teams in the Mid-American Conference East Division:
    • Akron against North Dakota State, with a 20-7 overall record, Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.
    • Ohio at Belmont, holder of the best record in the Ohio Valley Conference at 11-2, Saturday, Feb. 23, at 10 p.m.
      • ESPNU and ESPN3 will combine to cover the top two teams in the Summit League, both against teams leading their respective conferences:
      • Stephen F. Austin at Big West Conference leader Long Beach State on Friday, Feb. 22, at 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
      • Northwestern State at Niagara, top team in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference, on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. on ESPN3.

ESPN’s college basketball schedule also includes:

  • A Saturday prime-time ESPNU showcase of No. 5 Florida against Arkansas on February 23, at 7 p.m. Arkansas defeated then-No. 2 Florida 80-69 on February 5, handing the Gators their only SEC loss this season.
  • ESPNU will televise St. Louis at No. 15 Butler, in a matchup between two of the top teams in the Atlantic 10 Conference, on Friday, Feb. 22, at 7 p.m.
  • ESPN3 will provide coverage of TCU at No. 9 Kansas on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 4 p.m. TCU defeated then-No. 5 Kansas in its first meeting February 6, giving the Horned Frogs their only Big 12 Conference win this season.
  • A Sunday afternoon ESPN telecast of No. 7 Michigan against Illinois on February 24, at 1 p.m.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 schedule through February 24

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Thu, Feb 21 7 p.m. Cincinnati at Connecticut
John Saunders, Seth Greenberg & Andy Katz
ESPN
  7 p.m. Georgia at Arkansas
Rece Davis & Bob Knight
ESPN2
  8 p.m. South Alabama at Middle Tennessee ESPN3
  9 p.m. No. 6 Duke at Virginia Tech
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
ESPN
  9 p.m. Iowa at Nebraska
Mark Neely & Dan Dakich
ESPN2
  9 p.m. California at No. 23 Oregon
Roxy Bernstein & Miles Simon
ESPNU
  11 p.m. BYU at St. Mary’s (Calif.)
Kanoa Leahey & Sean Farnham
ESPN2
  11 p.m. Stanford at Oregon State
Tom Hart & Darrin Horn
ESPNU
Fri, Feb 22 7 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: North Dakota State at Akron
Lou Canellis & Mark Adams
ESPN2
  7 p.m. St. Louis at No. 15 Butler
Jim Barbar & Malcolm Huckaby
ESPNU
  9 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Stephen F. Austin at Long Beach State
Roxy Bernstein & Corey Williams
ESPNU
Sat, Feb 23 11 a.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Iona at Indiana State
Doug Sherman & Sean Harrington
ESPNU
  Noon Clemson at Maryland
Carter Blackburn & Jay Williams
ESPN2
  Noon Seton Hall at No. 10 Louisville
Anish Shroff & Bob Wenzel
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  1 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Pacific at Western Michigan
Dan Gutowsky & Nate Ross
ESPN3
  1 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Canisius at Vermont
Ed Cohen & Rob Kennedy
ESPN3
  1 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Eastern Kentucky at Valparaiso
Jim Barbar & Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN3
  1 p.m. No. 2 Miami at Wake Forest ESPN3 * & RSN
  1:30 p.m. Texas Tech at Iowa State
Dave Armstrong & Stephen Howard
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
  1:30 p.m. Alabama at LSU
Joe Davis & Barry Booker
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  1:30 p.m. Vanderbilt at Mississippi State
Dave Baker & Jon Sundvold
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  2 p.m. No. 14 Oklahoma State at West Virginia
Jon Sciambi & Fran Fraschilla
ESPN2
  3 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Montana at Davidson
Roy Philpott & Paul Biancardi
ESPNU
  3 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Northwestern State at Niagara
Mike Gleason & Daymeon Fishback
ESPN3
  3:15 p.m. East Tennessee State at Jacksonville ESPN3
  4 p.m. NC State at North Carolina
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burk
ESPN
  4 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Detroit at Wichita State
Dave Lamont & Darrin Horn
ESPN2
  4 p.m. Tennessee at Texas A&M
Clay Matvick & Joe Dean
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  4 p.m. TCU at No. 9 Kansas
Mitch Holthus & Reid Gettys
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
  5 p.m. Baylor at Oklahoma
Brad Sham & Bob Valvano
ESPNU
  6 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Creighton at Saint Mary’s
Mark Jones & Jimmy Dykes
ESPN
  6 p.m. No. 17 Marquette at Villanova
Mike Patrick & Len Elmore
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Arkansas at No. 5 Florida
Tom Hart & Matt Dohert
ESPNU
  7:30 p.m. Elon at Chattanooga ESPN3
  8 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: South Dakota State at Murray State
Roxy Bernstein & Mark Adams
ESPN2
  8 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Denver at Northern Iowa
Mike Couzens & Rich Zvosec
ESPN3
  8 p.m. Connecticut at DePaul
Lou Canellis & Sean Kearney
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  9 p.m. Missouri at Kentucky
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Samantha Ponder
ESPN & ESPN 3D
  9 p.m. Providence at Rutgers
Beth Mowins & Tim Welsh
ESPNU
  10 p.m. Ramada Worldwide BracketBusters: Ohio at Belmont
Mike Crispino & Malcolm Huckaby
ESPN2
  11 p.m. Washington at Arizona State
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
ESPNU
Sun, Feb 24 Noon No. 20 Pittsburgh at St. John’s
Eamon McAnaney & John Celestand
ESPN3 * & RSN
  1 p.m. Illinois at No. 7 Michigan
Bob Wischusen & Dan Dakich
ESPN
  2 p.m. Boston College at No. 6 Duke ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  2 p.m. Georgia Tech at Virginia ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  6 p.m. Florida State at Virginia Tech
Carter Blackburn, Jay Williams & Allison Williams
ESPNU
  8 p.m. LIU Brooklyn at Wagner
Bob Picozzi & Dereck Whittenburg
ESPNU

* Local blackout may apply


NASCAR Nationwide Series Season Opener from Daytona on ESPN; NASCAR Now Previews 500 and Danica
contact: andy.hall@espn.com
Live, flag-to-flag coverage of the NASCAR Nationwide Series season-opening 300-mile race from Daytona International Speedway will air on ESPN on Saturday, Feb. 23. NASCAR Countdown begins at noon with the green flag at 1:34 p.m. The race telecast is presented by Royal Purple. ESPN2 will air NASCAR Nationwide Series practice on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 10 a.m. and qualifying on Friday, Feb. 22, at 3:30 p.m. Last year’s race is the most-watched in the series’ history – an average of 4.4 million people.

ESPN2’s news and information program NASCAR Now will preview the Daytona 500 in the one-hour edition airing Sunday, Feb. 24, at 9 a.m. Danica Patrick will lead the field to green in the Great American Race after becoming the first woman ever to win the pole position for a NASCAR Sprint Cup race.

Announcers:

Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.
Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.
NASCAR Countdown: Nicole Briscoe (host); Rusty Wallace, Ray Evernham, Brad Daugherty (analysts).


ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour Resumes
contact: kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
ESPN’s 2013 Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour resumes its journey through MLB Spring Training sites in Arizona and Florida this week. Each visit includes player and manager interviews, in-depth perspective on the team’s camp and discussion of off-season storylines in advance of the 2013 MLB season. Tour content will be featured in Baseball Tonight, which airs weekdays generally at 3 p.m. on ESPN2 and via WatchESPN with additional SportsCenter segments each day.

This week, ESPN MLB Insider Tim Kurkjian and ESPN MLB analyst Aaron Boone visit the Cincinnati Reds, Milwaukee Brewers, Arizona Diamondbacks and Chicago White Sox.

Date Time (ET) Show / Team and Site Network
Tues, Feb 19 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight  
Cincinnati Reds Goodyear, Ariz.   
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Wed, Feb 20 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight   
Milwaukee Brewers Maryvale, Ariz.          
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thurs, Feb 21 2:30 p.m. Baseball Tonight         
Arizona Diamondbacks Scottsdale, Ariz.   
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri, Feb 22 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight 
Chicago White Sox Glendale, Ariz.       
ESPN2, WatchESPN

 

ESPN2 to Televise 2013 NBA Trade Deadline Special
contact: kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
The NBA Trade Deadline Special will air on ESPN2 on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 3 p.m., the NBA’s trade deadline. Kevin Connors will host with ESPN NBA analysts Flip Saunders and Tom Penn and ESPN NBA Insider Chris Broussard. Additionally, Saunders, Penn and Broussard will provide breaking news, insights and analysis on SportsCenter and ESPN Radio throughout the day. ESPN.com will also provide comprehensive coverage leading up to, and through, Thursday’s deadline with breaking trade news and rumors and instant analysis of trades by ESPN NBA Insiders. The special will also be available on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN.


Women’s College Basketball: No. 5 Duke at No. 8 Maryland on ESPN2 Sunday
Contact: rachel.l.margolis@espn.com
A top-10 matchup between ACC foes, No. 5 Duke at No. 8 Maryland on Sunday, Feb. 24, at 3 p.m., highlights ESPN’s weekly women’s basketball schedule. With three weeks left on the regular-season schedule, the two rivals sit atop of the women’s standings in a race for the conference title.

Additional highlights include the nation’s top two teams:

  • Also on ESPN2 on Sunday, No. 22 Purdue plays at Minnesota at 1 p.m. and No. 10 Texas A&M travels to Vanderbilt for a 5 p.m. tilt.
  • ESPNU Sunday doubleheader: NC State at No. 16 North Carolina at 1:30 p.m., followed by No. 2 Notre Dame at DePaul at 3:30 p.m.
  • A Big Monday Presented by Bud Light matchup between No. 1 Baylor at Oklahoma on ESPN2 at 7 p.m.
  • ESPN3 will have seven exclusive games including an ACC game featuring Virginia at Clemson on Thursday at 7 p.m.
Date Time (ET) Game/ Commentators Network
Wed, Feb 20 8 p.m. South Alabama at Middle Tennessee State ESPN3
Thu, Feb 21 7 p.m. Boston University at Albany
Eric Frede & LaChina Robinson
ESPN3
  7 p.m. Virginia at Clemson ESPN3
Sat, Feb 23 1 p.m. East Tennessee State at Jacksonville ESPN3
  2 p.m. No. 21 Syracuse at USF
Bob Picozzi & LaChina Robinson
BIG EAST Network / ESPN3
  Rutgers at St. John’s ESPN3
  5 p.m. Western Carolina at Chattanooga ESPN3
  High Point at Presbyterian ESPN3
Sun, Feb 24 1 p.m. No. 22 Purdue at Minnesota
Jim Barbar & Maria Taylor
ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  1:30 p.m. NC State at No. 16  North Carolina
Roy Philpott & LaChina Robinson
ESPNU / WatchESPN
  2 p.m. No. 11 Tennessee at Arkansas
Melissa Lee & Nell Fortner
SEC Network / ESPN3
  3 p.m. No. 5 Duke at No. 8 Maryland
Pam Ward & Carolyn Peck
ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  3:30 p.m. No. 2 Notre Dame at DePaul
Lou Canellis & Brooke Weisbrod
ESPNU / WatchESPN
  5 p.m. No. 10 Texas A&M at Vanderbilt
Adam Amin & Swin Cash
ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Mon, Feb 25 7 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Bud Light (Norman, Okla.): No. 1 Baylor at Oklahoma
Pam Ward & Rebecca Lobo
ESPN2 / WatchESPN

Black History Month: “Moment of Loud” Vignette
contact: kimberly.jarvis@espn.com
ESPN continues its Black History Month celebration with a new, 30-second “Moment of Loud” vignette, which debuted this week across all platforms. The vignette, narrated by Bomani Jones, a regular panelist on Around the Horn, is an action-packed tribute to some of America’s greatest athletes, including: tennis champion Arthur Ashe, Olympian Jesse Owens, former WNBA All-Star Lisa Leslie and more. An interview with Jones and the creative team behind the project is available on ESPN Front Row.


ESPN The Magazine Coverboys: American League MVP Miguel Cabrera and Sabermetric Sensation Mike Trout
contact: carrie.b.kreiswirth@espn.com
Thanks to last season’s AL MVP debate: Miguel Cabrera or Mike Trout, WAR is on the lips of even RBI-addicted fans. In ESPN The Magazine’s Analytics Issue on newsstands Friday, Sam Miller of Baseball Prospectus writes that Wins Above Replacement is MLB’s next great stat in the featured cover story, “War is the Answer”. Cabrera and Trout sit down with TJ Quinn to talk about the MVP race and joke around in a behind-the-scenes clip: http://espn.go.com/video/clip?id=8956869


The Schwab Returns to Challenge College Students on ESPNU’s UNITE
contact: gracie.blackburn@espn.com
Beginning Wednesday, Feb. 20, “The Schwab” will challenge a new generation of sports fans to flex their stats muscle with ESPN’s first statistician, Howie Schwab, every Wednesday night during UNITE, ESPNU’s late night entertainment show. 

Each week, three participants from a different NCAA conference will be tested by “The Schwab” and UNITE host Reese Waters with questions from four categories – college sports, professional sports, pop culture and social media. The winning player of each conference will advance through a UNITE tournament bracket of quarterfinals, semifinals and a final. Full Debut Details and Video


 

ESPN Reports From NFL Scouting Combine
Contact: Allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com
An ESPN team of NFL insiders and analysts will provide reports from the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis on SportsCenter, NFL Live and NFL32 beginning Thursday, Feb. 21. Director of College Football Scouting for ESPN Scouts Inc., Todd McShay, senior NFL analyst Chris Mortensen, NFL analyst and six-time National Football League Executive of the Year Bill Polian, and NFL insider Adam Schefter will appear on SportsCenter throughout the duration of the event as well as the following NFL shows:

Date Time (ET) Show Network(s)
Thu, Feb. 21-Fri, Feb. 22 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
  5-6 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2
Mon, Feb. 25-Tue, Feb. 26 4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
5-6 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2

NHRA at Phoenix on ESPN2, ESPN3 from Pomona
contact: andy.hall@espn.com
The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series moves to Firebird International Raceway in Phoenix this weekend for the NHRA Arizona Nationals. Qualifying and eliminations action air on ESPN2 and ESPN3 on Friday, Feb. 22, and Saturday, Feb. 24. The schedule:

Date Time Event Network
Fri, Feb 22 6 p.m. Qualifying (live) ESPN3, WatchESPN
Sun, Feb 24 1 a.m. Qualifying ESPN2, WatchESPN
8 a.m. Qualifying (re-air) ESPN2, WatchESPN
Noon Eliminations (live) ESPN3, WatchESPN
8 p.m. Eliminations ESPN2, WatchESPN

Announcers:

Booth: Dave Rieff (anchor); Mike Dunn (analyst)
Pit reporters: Gary Gerould, Jamie Howe


Four ESPN Writers Honored by Professional Basketball Writers Association
contacts: kristie.chong@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
During NBA All-Star Weekend, the Professional Basketball Writers Association named winners of its annual writing contest. Four ESPNers were among the honorees — ESPN LA’s Dave McMenamin, ESPN.com’s Kevin Arnovitz, Grantland’s Jonathan Abrams and ESPN.com senior writer Marc Stein.

McMenamin placed first in the Game Story category for his piece on Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. ESPN swept the Features category with Abrams placing first for his “Oral history of the Malice at the Palace,” Arnovitz placing second with a feature story about Neil Olshey and Stein placing third with a behind-the-scenes look at how Steve Nash’s trade to the Lakers materialized.


 

Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams Will Visit ESPN on Wednesday
Contact: Allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com
Super Bowl XXII MVP Doug Williams, the head football coach of Grambling State University, will visit ESPN on Wednesday, Feb. 20. The first African-American quarterback to play in a Super Bowl, Williams will appear as a guest on SportsCenter and other ESPN Radio and TV programs. His anticipated schedule:

Time (ET) Show Network(s)
6-10 a.m. Mike and Mike in the Morning ESPN Radio, ESPN2
10 a.m.-1 p.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPN Radio
10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2

espnW: Danica at Daytona; Ronda Rousey Talks MMA; Black History Month Celebration Continues
contact: amanda.decastro@espn.com
espnW.com contributors discuss Danica Patrick’s historic pole win at Daytona over the weekend and what it means for her and the sport. Also this week, MMA fighter Ronda Rousey chats about her bantamweight title bout against Liz Carmouche, and espnW continues its celebration of Black History Month by profiling black female athletes, with track and field star Wilma Rudolph.

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