ESPN ThisWeek — March 4, 2013

NBA

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC, MLB SPRING TRAINING, COLLEGE HOOPS & MORE


NBA: Chicago Bulls Face League-leading San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday, Doubleheader Friday
contacts: ben.cafardo@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
The San Antonio Spurs, owners of the best record in the NBA, return to the spotlight Wednesday, March 6, at 9 p.m. ET to host the Chicago Bulls and Joakim Noah. Mark Jones will handle the call with analyst Jon Barry and reporter Heather Cox.

On Friday, the Boston Celtics with Paul Pierce host the Atlanta Hawks and Josh Smith at 8 p.m. with Mike Tirico, analyst Jon Barry and reporter Chris Broussard providing commentary. In the nightcap, the Houston Rockets – led by James Harden – take on the Golden State Warriors with Stephen Curry at 10:30 p.m. Dave Pasch will call the action with analyst Jeff Van Gundy and reporter Lisa Salters.

KIA NBA Countdown – with Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon – returns on Friday, March 8, at 7:30 p.m. to preview the doubleheader. ESPN NBA games and Countdown are available on computers, smartphones and tablets via WatchESPN.

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Wed, Mar 6 9 p.m. Chicago Bulls at San Antonio Spurs Presented by State Farm
Mark Jones, Jon Barry, Heather Cox
ESPN, WatchESPN
Fri, Mar 8 7:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown
Magic Johnson, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon
ESPN, WatchESPN
  8 p.m. Atlanta Hawks at Boston Celtics Presented by State Farm
Mike Tirico, Jon Barry, Chris Broussard
ESPN, WatchESPN
  10:30 p.m. Houston Rockets at Golden State Warriors Presented by State Farm
Dave Pasch, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters
ESPN, WatchESPN

Celtics-Thunder, Bulls-Lakers in ABC’s NBA Sunday Showcase
contacts: ben.cafardo@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
ABC will present a marquee NBA Sunday Showcase doubleheader, March 10, beginning at 1 p.m. when the defending Western Conference Champion Oklahoma City Thunder with Kevin Durant host the Boston Celtics and Paul Pierce. Mike Tirico will have the call with analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Heather Cox. In the finale, the Chicago Bulls and Joakim Noah will face the Los Angeles Lakers and Kobe Bryant at 3:30 p.m. Mike Breen and analyst Jeff Van Gundy will provide commentary with reporter Lisa Salters.

KIA NBA Countdown – with Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons and Michael Wilbon – precedes the doubleheader at 12:30 p.m. on ABC.

Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Networks
Sun, Mar 10 12:30 p.m. KIA NBA Countdown
Magic Johnson, Jalen Rose, Bill Simmons, Michael Wilbon
ABC
  1 p.m. NBA Sunday Showcase: Boston Celtics at Oklahoma City Thunder
Mike Tirico, Hubie Brown, Heather Cox
ABC
3:30 p.m. NBA Sunday Showcase: Chicago Bulls at Los Angeles Lakers
Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Lisa Salters
ABC

World Baseball Classic Continues on ESPN Deportes
Contact: Gabriela.nunez@espn.com
World Baseball Classic action continues this week on ESPN Deportes and ESPN Deportes Radio, with live telecasts of all games as the tournament travels to Taiwan and Japan, then San Juan, Puerto Rico and Phoenix. ESPN Deportes commentators including Ernesto Jerez, Luis Alfredo Alvarez, Guillermo Celis, Fernando Alvarez, Jorge Eduardo Sanchez, Alvaro Morales, Kevin Cabral, Candy Maldonado and special guest analyst Ozzie Guillen will provide commentary and analysis. In addition, Pedro Gomez and Bernardo Osuna will provide on-site updates from San Juan, Phoenix, Miami and San Francisco. Special editions of SportsCenter will air prior to select games with onsite reporters providing exclusive reports and interviews from Phoenix and San Juan. Full coverage details

Date Time (ET) Game Network(s)
Mon, Mar 4 2:30 a.m. China vs. Cuba ESPN Deportes
  5:30 a.m. South Korea vs. Australia ESPN Deportes
  11:30 p.m. Australia vs. Amsterdam ESPN Deportes
Tue, Mar 5 3:30 a.m. Brasil vs. China ESPN Deportes
  6:30 a.m. Chinese Taipei vs. South Korea ESPN Deportes
Wed, Mar 6 5 a.m. Japan vs. Cuba ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
Thu, Mar 7 3 p.m. Italy vs. Mexico ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
  6:30 p.m. Venezuela vs. Dom. Republic ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
  3 p.m. Pool 1: 2nd Round: TBD ESPN Deportes
Fri, Mar 8 5 a.m. Pool 1: 2nd Round: TBD ESPN Deportes
  2:30 p.m. Canada vs. Italia ESPN Deportes
  5:30 p.m. Spain vs. Puerto Rico ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
  9 p.m. Mexico vs. United States ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
Sat, Mar 9 5 a.m. Pool 1: 2nd Round: TBD ESPN Deportes
  11 a.m. Dominican Republic vs. Spain ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
  2:30 p.m. Canada vs. Mexico ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
  5:30 p.m. Puerto Rico vs. Venezuela ESPN Deportes
  9 p.m. USA vs. Italy ESPN Deportes
Sun, Mar 10 6 a.m. Pool 1: 2nd Round: TBD ESPN Deportes
12:30 p.m. Spain vs. Venezuela ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio
4 p.m. USA vs. Canada ESPN Deportes
7:30 p.m. Dom. Republic vs. Puerto Rico ESPN Deportes, ESPN Deportes Radio

ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour Concludes
contact: ben.cafardo@espn.com and kristen.m.hudak@espn.com
This week, ESPN’s 2013 Baseball Tonight Goodyear Express Tour concludes its four-week journey through MLB Spring Training sites. 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, generally aired weekdays at 3 p.m. on ESPN2 and via WatchESPN with additional SportsCenter segments each day. Throughout the final week, Tim Kurkjian will be joined by ESPN analyst Curt Schilling for visits to the St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals, New York Yankees, Atlanta Braves and Detroit Tigers.

ESPN’s slate of televised spring training games will begin the following week, Monday, March 11, with a contest between the St. Louis Cardinals and the New York Yankees at 1 p.m.

Date Time (ET) Show/Commentators Team/Site Network
Mon., Mar. 4 2:30 p.m. Baseball Tonight
Tim Kurkjian, Curt Schilling
St. Louis Cardinals
Jupiter, Fla.
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Tues., Mar. 5 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight               Kurkjian, Schilling Washington Nationals
Viera, Fla.
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Wed., Mar. 6 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight                  Kurkjian, Schilling New York Yankees
Tampa, Fla.
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Thurs., Mar. 7 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight                  Kurkjian, Schilling Atlanta Braves
Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
ESPN2, WatchESPN
Fri., Mar. 8 3 p.m. Baseball Tonight                   Kurkjian, Schilling Detroit Tigers
Lakeland, Fla.
ESPN2, WatchESPN

Final College GameDay Covered by State Farm Show Features a Special Split Edition
contact: rachel.l.margolis@espn.com
ESPN’s College GameDay Covered by State Farm – in its eighth and final week of the 2013 season – will feature a special split edition Saturday, March 9. In a first for College GameDay, the morning shows on ESPNU at 10 a.m. and on ESPN at 11 a.m. will be in Washington, D.C., at the site of the No. 17 Syracuse at No. 5 Georgetown game (noon, ESPN). The crew will then travel to Chapel Hill, N.C., for the evening show at 8 p.m., prior to the start of the Saturday Primetime presented by DIRECTV matchup of No. 3 Duke at North Carolina matchup (9 p.m., ESPN).

Rece Davis hosts 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: Regular-Season Concludes with Matchups between Ranked Teams
contact: michael.c.humes@espn.com
ESPN’s men’s college basketball regular-season action will conclude Sunday, March 10. The schedule for the final weekend will include six of the top 10 teams, highlighted by three of the programs playing against a ranked squad.

  • Two of the games will be on Saturday, March 9, beginning with No. 5 Georgetown against No. 17 Syracuse at noon on ESPN. No. 9 Kansas State at No. 13 Oklahoma State will be on ESPN3 at 1:30 p.m.
  • ESPN will televise No. 10 Michigan State against No. 22 Wisconsin on Thursday, March 7, at 9 p.m.

The lineup also includes No. 3 Duke at North Carolina, one of sports’ most well-known and celebrated rivalries, Saturday, March 9, at 9 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN 3D.

Analyst Jay Bilas will pull extra duty Saturday, working the ESPNU and ESPN morning editions of College GameDay Covered by State Farm from Georgetown at 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., respectively, and then calling the Hoyas’ game against No. 17 Syracuse at noon. Following the game, Bilas will head to North Carolina for a one-hour ESPN College GameDay at 8 p.m. and then work the No. 3 Duke at North Carolina telecast at 9 p.m.

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 schedule through March 10

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Thu, Mar 7 7 p.m. Kentucky at Georgia
Rece Davis & Bob Knight
ESPN
  7 p.m. Virginia at Florida State
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Penn State at Northwestern
Dan Gutowsky & Sean Harrington
ESPNU
  9 p.m. No. 22 Wisconsin at No. 10 Michigan State
Joe Tessitore & Sean Farnham
ESPN
  9 p.m. No. 19 Oregon at Colorado
Roxy Bernstein & Miles Simon
ESPN2
  9 p.m. Oregon State at Utah
Tom Hart & Darrin Horn
ESPNU
  9 p.m. Sam Houston State at Stephen F. Austin ESPN3
  11 p.m. Long Beach State at UC Davis
Rich Cellini & Corey Williams
ESPN2
Fri, Mar 8 7 p.m. Kent State at Akron
Mike Crispino & Tim McCormick
ESPN2
  7 p.m. Rutgers at Seton Hall
Quint Kessenich & John Celestand
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
Sat, Mar 9 Noon No. 17 Syracuse at No. 5 Georgetown
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Bill Raftery
ESPN
  Noon Providence at Connecticut
Beth Mowins & Tim Welsh
ESPNU
  Noon Georgia Tech at Boston College ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  1:30 p.m. Iowa State at West Virginia
Brad Sham & Rich Zvosec
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
  1:30 p.m. No. 9 Kansas State at No. 13 Oklahoma State
Mitch Holthus & Bryndon Manzer
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
  1:30 p.m. South Carolina at Vanderbilt
Joe Davis & Barry Booker
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  1:30 p.m. Ole Miss at LSU
Clay Matvick & Joe Dean
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  2 p.m. No. 15 Marquette at St. John’s
Mike Patrick & Len Elmore
ESPN
  2 p.m. NC State at Florida State
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
ESPN2
  2 p.m. Texas A&M at Arkansas
Tom Hart & Matt Doherty
ESPNU
  2 p.m. No. 20 Pittsburgh at DePaul
Anish Shroff & Bob Wenzel
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  2:30 p.m. Clemson at No. 6 Miami ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  4 p.m. Missouri at Tennessee
Mark Jones & Jimmy Dykes
ESPN
  4 p.m. South Florida at Cincinnati
Mike Couzens & Sean Kearney
ESPN3 * & BIG EAST Network
  4 p.m. Texas at Texas Tech
Dave Armstrong & Stephen Howard
ESPN3 * & Big 12 Network
  4 p.m. Georgia at Alabama
Dave Baker & Jon Sundvold
ESPN3 & SEC Network
  5:30 p.m. Auburn at Mississippi State ESPN3 & SEC Network
  6 p.m. No. 4 Kansas at Baylor
Jon Sciambi & Fran Fraschillla
ESPN
  9 p.m. No. 3 Duke at North Carolina
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas & Samantha Ponder
ESPN & ESPN 3D
Sun, Mar 10 12:30 p.m. Illinois at No. 14 Ohio State
Bob Wischusen & Dan Dakich
ESPN
  2 p.m. Virginia Tech at Wake Forest ESPN3 * & ACC Network
  6 p.m. Maryland at Virginia
Carter Blackburn & Jay Williams
ESPNU

* Local blackout may apply


Women’s College Basketball: Championship Week Coverage Begins Wednesday
contact: rachel.l.margolis@espn.com
ESPN’s 2013 Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will present 85 women’s college basketball games from Wednesday, March 6 to Sunday, March 17 across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3. The networks will combine to exclusively offer game action and the crowning of a champion from 18 Division I conferences, including the title games from the ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Pac-12 and the SEC.

Championship Week Highlights:

  • Games from the BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle, starting Sunday, March 10, with three quarterfinal games on ESPNU and an exclusive game on ESPN3, along with the semifinals on ESPNU and the only women’s title game to be aired on ESPN.
  • ESPN2 will air the Pac-12 Tournament championship game Sunday, March 10 at 8 p.m. – a first for the network.
  • The ACC, Big Ten and SEC title games will be shown on ESPN2 on Sunday, March 10, beginning at 2 p.m.
  • Additional championship games on ESPNU include: Atlantic-10, Horizon League, MAAC, Northeast Conference, Summit League, Sun Belt Conference, Western Athletic Conference and West Coast Conference.

The Championship Week schedule includes a total of 135 men’s and women’s basketball games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and exclusively on ESPN3 from 27 conferences, plus a total of 222 national and syndicated games on ESPN3.

Studio Coverage

  • Host Max Bretos, along with Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck, will be in ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studio Sunday, March 10, during ESPN2’s coverage of the ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and SEC title games.
  • Anchor Kevin Connors and Lawson will be on-hand for ESPN’s airing of the BIG EAST Championship title game Tuesday, March 12, beginning at 7 p.m.

espnW coverage

Top writers from espnW, including Mechelle Voepel, Kate Fagan, Michelle Smith and Graham Hays, will provide online pieces for all the top conferences, and keep a close watch on upset-minded teams throughout the nation. Charlie Creme will provide daily Bracketology updates leading up to Selection Monday Presented by Capital One.

Full Championship Week Schedule


Men’s College Lacrosse: Wednesday Men’s Lacrosse Game of the Week Makes Debut
contact: rachel.l.margolis@espn.com
ESPNU’s Wednesday Men’s Lacrosse Game of the Week makes its debut March 6, featuring UMBC at top-ranked Maryland at 5 p.m. The Wednesday night schedule will run through the end of the season, showcasing nationally ranked teams. Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich and Paul Carcaterra will call the games throughout most of the season.

The Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic in Chester, Pa., home of the 2013 NCAA Championship weekend, will feature an ESPN3 tripleheader Saturday, March 9, beginning at noon with St. John’s facing BIG EAST opponent No. 10 Syracuse. Also playing in the Classic are No. 19 Penn vs. Villanova at 2:30 p.m. and Penn State at No. 17 Lehigh at 5 p.m.

No. 6 Johns Hopkins will be showcased on ESPNU twice this week – vs. Mount St. Mary’s at 5 p.m. on Tuesday, March 5 and vs. UMBC at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 8.  Full season schedule

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Tue, Mar 5 5 p.m. Mount St. Mary’s at No. 6 Johns Hopkins
Mike Corey & Matt Ward
ESPNU / WatchESPN
Wed, Mar 6 5 p.m. UMBC at No. 1 Maryland
Eamon McAnaney, Quint Kessenich & Paul Carcaterra
ESPNU / WatchESPN
Fri, Mar 8 5 p.m. UMBC at No. 6 Johns Hopkins
Mike Corey & Jamie Munro
ESPNU / WatchESPN
Sat, Mar 9 Noon Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic (Chester, Pa.): St. John’s at No. 10 Syracuse
Mark Dixon & Quint Kessenich 
ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic (Chester, Pa.): No. 18 Penn vs. Villanova
Mark Dixon & Quint Kessenich 
ESPN3
  5 p.m. Whitman’s Sampler Independence Classic (Chester, Pa.): Penn State vs. No. 17 Lehigh
Mark Dixon & Quint Kessenich 
ESPN3
Sun, Mar 10 TBD Stony Brook at No. 1 Maryland
Booker Corrigan & Ryan Flanagan
ESPN3

NASCAR Nationwide Series at Las Vegas on ESPN2
contact: andy.hall@espn.com
The NASCAR Nationwide Series moves to Las Vegas Motor Speedway this weekend for a 300-mile race, and ESPN2 will have a live telecast on Saturday, March 9, from the 1.5-mile superspeedway. NASCAR Countdown begins at 4 p.m. with the green flag at 4:31 p.m.

Announcers:

Booth: Lap-by-Lap announcer Allen Bestwick; analysts Dale Jarrett, Andy Petree.

Pit reporters: Dave Burns, Jamie Little, Dr. Jerry Punch, Vince Welch.


ESPNU and ESPN3 Set to Carry NCAA Indoor Track & Field, Fencing, Swimming & Diving, and Women’s Gymnastics Championships; ESPNU to Air Women’s Bowling
contacts: gracie.blackburn@espn.com
ESPN will air more than 250 hours of NCAA Winter Championship games live across platforms throughout March and April, including all 63 games of the 2013 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship, as the worldwide, multimedia rights holder to 24 NCAA championships. Viewers will see the crowning of NCAA Winter Champions in eleven events – Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field, Men’s & Women’s Fencing, Men’s Ice Hockey, Men’s and Women’s Swimming & Diving, Wrestling, Women’s Basketball, Women’s Bowling and Women’s Gymnastics – on either ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3.

ESPN3 will have exclusive live coverage of the Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field, Fencing, Swimming & Diving and Women’s Gymnastics with additional coverage in each airing on ESPNU. ESPNU will also air the Women’s Bowling Championship live.

Fifty days of championship action begins with the NCAA Division I Men’s & Women’s Indoor Track & Field Championships on Friday, March 8. Day 1 and Day 2 will be carried live on ESPN3, with additional coverage on March 17on ESPNU. Lolo Jones, an Olympic track & field runner with three NCAA titles and 11 All-American honors while running at LSU, will provide analysis for ESPN during the event.  Schedules


ESPN’s Cris Carter and Jerry Rice Vie for Final Spot in Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote Bracket: Fan Voting Begins Today via SportsNation on Twitter
contacts: kristie.chong@espn.com; jayjay.nesheim@espn.com
Beginning today, EA and SportsNation will tease a special wild card race between ESPN NFL analysts Cris Carter and Jerry Rice – both Pro Football Hall of Fame receivers – for the final spot in this year’s Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote bracket.  Throughout the week (March 4-11), fans will be able to tweet at the @SportsNation Twitter page and submit their vote by using hashtag #Madden25Carter or #Madden25Rice.  The winner will be announced via Twitter prior to SportsNation’s Madden NFL 25 Cover Vote kickoff show Monday, March 11, at 4 p.m. on ESPN2, when the full 64-player bracket will be revealed and First Round voting will commence on ESPN.com/MaddenVote.

Both Carter and Rice will represent one of 32 legends in this year’s cover vote theme of old school vs. new school for the historically significant cover celebrating the 25th anniversary of EA’s Madden NFL franchise.  Carter, recently named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame, is a former All Pro wide receiver with a 16-year NFL career with the Minnesota Vikings, Philadelphia Eagles and Miami Dolphins.  Fellow Hall of Famer Rice, a three-time Super Bowl champion and arguably among the top players in NFL history, played for the San Francisco 49ers, Oakland Raiders and Seattle Seahawks.


ESPN’s Cliff Drysdale Elected to International Tennis Hall of Fame
contact:  dave.nagle@espn.com
Cliff Drysdale – who has been part of the ESPN tennis team since the very first tennis telecast just one week after launch in 1979 – has been elected to the International Tennis Hall of Fame.  The announcement was made this morning at a press conference in New York.

Drysdale’s TV work followed a playing career notable both on and off the court.  He was ranked as high as No. 4 in the world, was in the top 10 six times, and won 35 singles titles  He also captured 24 doubles crowns, highlighted by the 1972 US Open men’s championship with Roger Taylor.  In 1974 he led South Africa to the Davis Cup championship.

One of the first players in the game to use the two-handed backhand, Drysdale was instrumental in the founding of the Association of Tennis Professionals and served as its first president (1972-74).  During that time, he led the successful 1973 Wimbledon boycott.

“Cliff is one of the special voices in sports television and few in any sport have combined such an outstanding career in competition with leadership roles off the court and we are proud to call him our own,” said John Skipper, ESPN president.

The Class of 2013 Induction Ceremony will be held on Saturday, July 13, at the International Tennis Hall of Fame in Newport, R.I.


ESPN Conference Call with NFL Analyst Bill Polian
contact: allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com
ESPN NFL analyst and six-time National Football League Executive of the Year Bill Polian will be available for a media conference call Tuesday, March 5, at 11 a.m. ET to discuss NFL free agency. To participate, please RSVP to Allie Stoneberg.


espnW.com: Women’s College Hoops Player of the Week, Weekly Wrap and McManus talks with Lauren Silberman
contact: amanda.decastro@espn.com
espnW.com continues naming its national player of the week every Monday throughout the women’s college basketball season. Youngstown State senior forward Brandi Brown receives this week’s top honor after her performance Saturday against Wright State, scoring a career-high 42 points in the 64-54 victory – the most by any Youngstown State player since 2000. Other highlights include contributor Graham Hays’ weekly wrap and Jane McManus talks with Lauren Silberman whose quadriceps injury ended her NFL tryout.


San Francisco 49ers Aldon Smith Visits ESPN Today
contact: allison.r.stoneberg@espn.com
Outside Linebacker Aldon Smith of the NFC Champion San Francisco 49ers will be a guest on ESPN TV and Radio shows today. His visit to the Bristol, Conn., campus includes anticipated appearances on SportsCenter as well as the following programs:

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Mon, Mar 4 10 a.m.-12 p.m. First Take ESPN2
1-4 p.m. SVP and Russillo ESPN Radio
4-7 p.m. Coach and Company ESPN Radio
4-5 p.m. NFL Live ESPN
5-6 p.m. NFL32 ESPN2
12-1 a.m. UNITE ESPNU

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