Weekly Updates

ThisWeek-March 7, 2016

Posted by






Warriors vs. Spurs: NBA’s Two Best Teams on NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC;
Key Matchups Sunday: Bulls-Celtics, Cavaliers-Rockets
contact: ben.cafardo@espn.com; gianina.thompson@espn.com
NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Verizon Wireless on March 11 has the Golden State Warriors and Stephen Curry visiting the San Antonio Spurs and Kawhi Leonard at 8:30 p.m. ET. Both teams own the NBA’s best records and haven’t met since opening night when the Spurs handed the Warriors one of their three home losses this season. Mike Breen, analysts Jeff Van Gundy and Mark Jackson, and reporter Lisa Salters will provide commentary.
Sage Steele will host NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless with Michael Wilbon at 8 p.m. on ABC ahead of the Warriors-Spurs game.

NBA Sunday Showcase presented by Verizon Go90 on March 12 pits the Chicago Bulls and Dwyane Wade and the Boston Celtics and Isaiah Thomas at 3:30 p.m. on ABC. Mark Jones, Hall of Famer and analyst Hubie Brown and reporter Israel Gutierrez will call the action. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless will precede the Bulls-Celtics game with Steele and analyst Jalen Rose at 3 p.m. on ABC.

Later that night, the NBA Champion Cleveland Cavaliers and LeBron James will visit the Houston Rockets and James Harden at 9 p.m. on ESPN. James and Harden have been among the MVP front runners all season. Ryan Ruocco, analyst Doug Collins and reporter Cassidy Hubbarth will be on the call.

Earlier in the week, NBA Wednesday presented by State Farm on ESPN has a doubleheader on March 8 starting with the Detroit Pistons and Andre Drummond visiting the Indiana Pacers and Paul George at 8 p.m. Dave Pasch and Collins will call the action. Later that night, the Celtics will visit the Warriors at 10:30 p.m. Jones, Van Gundy and reporter J.A. Adande will provide commentary.

NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew will precede Wednesday’s doubleheader for an hour-long episode at 7 p.m. on ESPN. Host Michelle Beadle will be joined by analysts Rose, Chauncey Billups and Tracy McGrady.

The Jump— ESPN’s daily NBA studio show hosted by Rachel Nichols— airs weekdays at 3 p.m. on ESPN with NBA analysts/insiders.


Date Time (ET) Telecast/Commentators Network(s)
Tue, Mar 7 3 p.m. The Jump
Rachel Nichols, Stephen Jackson, Marc  Stein
Wed, Mar 8 3 p.m. The Jump
Rachel Nichols, Stephen Jackson, Marc Stein
  7 p.m. NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew
Michelle Beadle, Jalen Rose, Chauncey Billups, Tracy McGrady
  8 p.m. NBA Wednesday presented by State Farm
Detroit Pistons At Indiana Pacers
Dave Pasch, Doug Collins
  10:30 p.m. NBA Wednesday presented by State Farm
Boston Celtics at Golden State Warriors
Mark Jones, Jeff Van Gundy, J.A. Adande
Sat, Mar 11 8 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless
Sage Steele, Michael Wilbon
  8:30 p.m. NBA Saturday Primetime on ABC presented by Verizon Wireless
Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs
Mike Breen, Jeff Van Gundy, Mark Jackson, Lisa Salters
Radio: Adam Amin, Jon Barry
Sun, Mar 12 3 p.m. NBA Countdown presented by Straight Talk Wireless
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose
  3:30 p.m. NBA Sunday Showcase presented by Verizon Go90
Chicago Bulls at Boston Celtics
Mark Jones, Hubie Brown, Israel Gutierrez
Radio: Sean Kelley, Tim Legler
  7:30 p.m. NBA Countdown charged by Mountain Dew
Sage Steele, Jalen Rose
  9 p.m. NBA Sunday presented by State Farm
Cleveland Cavaliers at Houston Rockets
Ryan Ruocco, Doug Collins

ESPN.com MLB Writers Report from the World Baseball Classic, Spring Training Sites
contact: michael.skarka@espn.com
ESPN.com’s coverage of the 2017 World Baseball Classic continues this week as the tournament begins. The international event highlights the best players in the world representing their countries. ESPN.com MLB writers will be at all U.S. sites providing live and in-depth content on the top names this year and what the tournament means to the game of baseball. Beginning Friday, Jim Bowden will be reporting from Marlins Park in Miami. See ESPN MediaZone for complete coverage details.

World Baseball Classic Content Highlights




  • Scott Lauber (@ScottLauber) examines why several, prominent, U.S.-born Boston Red Sox players decided not to compete in the World Baseball Classic and what it means for the tournament.


  • Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) looks at the other side of Lauber’s piece and explains why Team USA stars chose to play in the World Baseball Classic.

ESPN.com MLB writers continue their coverage of the top stories and player profiles heading into the 2017 season from Spring Training sites in Arizona and Florida. In Arizona, Jesse Rogers (@ESPNChiCubs) and Doug Padilla (@DougPadilla) will be reporting from the Chicago Cubs’ and Los Angeles Dodgers’ camps, respectively. Andrew Marchand (@AndrewMarchand) and Mark Saxon (@markasaxon) will be in Florida covering the New York Yankees and St. Louis Cardinals, respectively.

Lauber will be reporting from New York Mets’ outfielder Tim Tebow’s Spring Training game debut on Wednesday, then from Red Sox camp the remainder of the week. Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) will visit teams in Florida, with Eddie Matz (@ESPNeddiematz) covering Arizona.

Spring Training Coverage Highlights




  • Rogers breaks down the plan for Cubs prospects Eloy Jimenez and Ian Happ who are on a team with few open positions.
  • Saxon outlines Cardinals’ pitcher Mike Leake’s plans for his second season with the team.


  • Crasnick explains the interaction between Houston Astros’ shortstop Carlos Correa and outfielder Carlos Beltran in the team’s clubhouse.
  • Stark lists the ways managers plan to signal intentional walks this season.


  • Marchand discusses Yankees’ manager Joe Girardi and if he is enjoying his role.
  • Matz describes Washington Nationals’ pitcher Sammy Solis’ European vacation.
  • David Schoenfield (@dschoenfield) explains the need for the Atlanta Braves to bring Evan Longoria to the team.


  • Mark Simon (@msimonespn) explains why Philadelphia Phillies pitcher Aaron Nola could be next year’s breakout pitching star.


  • Padilla speaks with Dodgers prospect Cody Bellinger.

ESPN1000 will air from the Cubs Spring Training for five straight hours (9 a.m. – 2 p.m.) from March 7-9. Carmen & Jurko (hosted by Carmen DeFalco and John Jurkovic) from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. and Kap & Co. (hosted by David Kaplan) from 12 – 2 p.m. will broadcast live from the Sheraton Mesa, across from the Cubs stadium.

 * Piece will also appear in the ESPN The Magazine Analytics Issue on newsstands Friday, March 17

** Feature rescheduled from last week


Men’s College Basketball Championship Week: Action Drives Towards Saturday Tripleheader, Concludes with Selection Sunday
contact: rachel.m.siegal@espn.com
ESPN’s annual Championship Week schedule will feature exclusive coverage during a record 171 men’s college basketball conference tournament games – airing on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and ESPN3 – concluding Sunday, March 12. The industry-leading schedule features a marquee tripleheader on Saturday, March 11, setting the stage for the title games from the Big 12 (6 p.m. ET), ACC (9 p.m.) and Pac-12 (11 p.m.). Full Champ Week Schedule

Additional highlights:

  • Action concludes Sunday, March 13, with the SEC and American on ESPN and the Ivy League and Sun Belt on ESPN2
  • Also on Saturday, March 11, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 will carry 19 conference tournament games, including 11 championships
  • ESPN platforms will combine to carry every game from these conferences: ACC (14), America East (7); American (10); Atlantic Sun (7); Southland (7); Big 12 (9); Horizon (9); MEAC (11); SEC (13); Southern (9); Sun Belt (7); and Ivy League (3)

On-Site Studio Coverage

College GameDay Covered by State Farm will originate from the New York Life ACC Basketball Tournament in Brooklyn, N.Y., on Saturday, March 11, on ESPN (noon). On-site studio coverage will also be present at the Big 12 and SEC tournaments.

Additionally, Rece Davis and analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams will provide segments from Barclays Center, Thursday, March 9, through the ACC title game. Host Adnan Virk and analyst Miles Simon will be at the Phillips 66 Big 12 Conference Basketball Tournament in Kansas City on Friday and Saturday, while Karl Ravech, Dick Vitale and Sean Farnham will deliver coverage from the SEC Tournament in Nashville, Tenn., on Saturday and Sunday.

ESPN3 Surround

Additional Champ Week coverage through “ESPN3 Surround” – a second-screen initiative, which provides an alternative viewing experience to the traditional telecast with different camera angles and audio – on all games on ESPN networks from the ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC.

Trophy Presentations

The ACC and SEC men’s presentations will be shown on their respective digital networks – ACC Extra and SECN Plus.

 Week Concludes with Extensive Day-Long Coverage

The final day of Champ Week – Selection Sunday, March 12 – will begin with a one-hour College Basketball Live at noon on ESPN, followed by the SEC Championship (ESPN) and Ivy League Championship (ESPN2), both at 1 p.m. Game action will conclude with ESPN’s telecast of the American Championship at 3:15 p.m. The studio coverage will continue on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. with a one-hour Bubble Watch presented by Pringles. ESPN’s SportsCenter, at the conclusion of the American telecast, will include extensive coverage of the Men’s Basketball NCAA Championship selections as they are announced, followed by a two-hour Bracketology Presented by Allstate at 7 p.m. on ESPN and another two-hour Bracketology Presented by Allstate at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.

ESPNU will televise the NIT Selection Show at 8:30 p.m. and a three-hour Tournament Countdown edition of The Experts at 9 p.m.

Additional information on Selection Sunday schedule will be released later in the week.

Women’s College Basketball: Championship Week Continues With 17 Conference Championships
contact: anna.m.negron@espn.com
Women’s Championshihp Week continues with 17 conference championships this week, including six conference title games on ESPNU— America East, Horizon League, Ivy League, Northeast, Summit League and West Coast. Additional conference tournaments will be available on ESPN3.

At the conclusion of Champ Week, 21 teams will earn their bids to the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. All teams will be announced during the NCAA Women’s Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday, March 13 at 7 p.m. ET. The Selection Special will also kick off ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon, bringing 24-consecutive hours of coverage and analysis as fans prepare their brackets for the men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments.

Complete Champ Week Schedule

Women’s Champ Week Television Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Tue, Mar 7 Noon Horizon League Women’s Basketball Championship (Detroit, Mich.): Championship
Sam Gore, Dan Hughes
  2 p.m. Summit League Women’s Basketball Championship (Sioux Falls, S.D.): Championship
Clay Matvick, Angel Gray
  4 p.m. West Coast Conference Women’s Basketball Tournament (Las Vegas, Nev.): Championship
Paul Sunderland, Mike Thibault
Fri, Mar 10 4:30 p.m. America East Women’s Basketball Championship (Portland, Maine): Championship
Eric Frede, Christy Winters-Scott
Sat, Mar 11 11 a.m. Ivy League Women’s Basketball Championship (Philadelphia, Pa.): Semifinal #1^
Brenda VanLengen, Carol Ross
  2 p.m. SWAC Women’s Basketball Championship (Houston, Texas): Championship&
Ted Emrich, Dan Hughes
  3 p.m. MEAC Women’s Basketball Championship (Norfolk, Va.): Championship*
Roy Philpott, LaChina Robinson
  6:30 p.m. Ivy League Women’s Basketball Championship (Philadelphia, Pa.): Semifinal #2%
Brenda VanLengen, Carol Ross
Sun, Mar 12 2 p.m. Northeast Conference Women’s Basketball Championship (campus of highest seed): Championship
Paul Sunderland, Tamika Catchings
  4 p.m. Ivy League Women’s Basketball Championship (Philadelphia, Pa.): Championship
Brenda VanLengen, Carol Ross

^ – tape delayed on Sun, Mar 12 (6 a.m., ESPNU)

% – tape delayed on Sun, Mar 12 (8 a.m., ESPNU)

& – tape delayed on Sun, Mar 12 (10 a.m., ESPNU)

* – tape delayed on Sun, Mar 12 (noon, ESPNU)

ESPN’s College Softball Schedule Begins in Earnest
contact: Derek.Volner@ESPN.com
ESPN’s college softball TV slate begins in earnest this week with 12 games, including SEC Network’s “All Softball Weekend” which features No. 1 Florida hosting No. 25 Missouri and No. 3 Auburn welcoming in No. 12 LSU. ESPN3 and SEC Network + will have additional games, which can be found here.

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
March 7 7:30 p.m. Troy at Mississippi State
Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill
SEC Network
March 8 5 p.m. UT San Antonio at Texas
Tyler Denning, Megan Willis
Longhorn Network
March 11 11:30 a.m. No. 25 Missouri at No. 1 Florida
Jenn Hildreth, Michele Smith
  1 p.m. South Carolina at No. 15 Tennessee
Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill
SEC Network
  3:30 p.m. Mississippi State at No. 5 Texas A&M\
Cheri Kempf, Courtney Lyle
SEC Network
  6 p.m. Arkansas at No. 9 Alabama
Trey Bender, Leigh Dakich
SEC Network
  8:30 p.m. No. 12 LSU at No. 3 Auburn
Tom Hart, Amanda Scarborough
SEC Network
March 12 1 p.m. South Carolina at No. 15 Tennessee
Mark Neely, Jenny Dalton-Hill
SEC Network
  3 p.m. Mississippi State at No. 5 Texas A&M
Cortney Lyle, Cheri Kempf
SEC Network
  5 p.m. No. 12 LSU at No. 3 Auburn
Tom Hart, Amanda Scarborough
SEC Network
  6 p.m. No. 25 Missouri at No. 1 Florida
Jenn Hildreth, Michele Smith
March 13 7 p.m. No. 25 Missouri at No. 1 Florida
Jenn Hildreth, Michele Smith
SEC Network

College Lacrosse: Men’s and Women’s Matchups on ACC Network Extra and ESPN3
contact: anna.m.negron@espn.com

This week’s college lacrosse slate includes five matchups on ACC Network Extra and ten games streaming on ESPN3.Ranked teams playing include No. 2 Maryland, No. 9 Loyola, No. 12 Albany, No. 18 Duke and No. 20 Yale in men’s lacrosse, and No. 2 North Carolina, No. 7 Stony Brook, No. 9 Notre Dame and No. 13 Penn in women’s lacrosse.

The latest installment of “reLAXin’ with P. Carc” features Maryland senior attackmen Colin Heacock and Matt Rambo, who take Paul Carcaterra around Maryland’s campus, and discuss last year’s loss in the NCAA men’s lacrosse championship title game to North Carolina.

Men’s Weekly College Lacrosse Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Sat, Mar 11 Noon No. 9 Loyola at No. 18 Duke ACC Network Extra
  1 p.m. Syracuse at St. John’s ESPN3
  Fairfield at No. 20 Yale ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. Hofstra at No. 4 North Carolina ACC Network Extra
  3 p.m. No. 2 Maryland at No. 12 Albany ESPN3
Mon, Mar 13 1 p.m. Jacksonville at No. 18 Duke ACC Network Extra

Women’s Weekly College Lacrosse Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchup Network
Tue, Mar 7 7 p.m. Ohio State at No. 9 Notre Dame ACC Network Extra
Wed, Mar 8 4 p.m. Duquesne at Canisius ESPN3
6 p.m. Delaware at Monmouth ESPN3
Fri, Mar 10 4 p.m. Cincinnati at Detroit ESPN3
Sat, Mar 11 Noon Virginia at No. 2 North Carolina ACC Network Extra
  Mount St. Mary’s at Furman ESPN3
1 p.m. Georgetown at No. 13 Penn ESPN3
  Brown at Iona ESPN3
Mon, Mar 13 7 p.m. No. 7 Stony Brook at Jacksonville ESPN3

IndyCar Series Season Opens Sunday at St. Petersburg on ABC
contact: andy.hall@espn.com
ABC will open the 2017 Verizon IndyCar Series season with the Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg (Fla.) on Sunday, March 12. Pre-race airs at noon ET with the race’s green flag at 12:30 p.m. With one of auto racing’s most picturesque settings, the 110-lap race will be contested on a 14-turn, 1.8-mile temporary racing circuit that includes St. Petersburg city streets as well as part of an adjacent airport. Boats in the blue waters of Tampa Bay provide a scenic backdrop for parts of the circuit. Allen Bestwick will be lead announcer, joined in the booth for analysis by former series drivers Scott Goodyear and Eddie Cheever. Pit reporters will be Jon Beekhuis, Rick DeBruhl and Dr. Jerry Punch. 

Soccer: Matchup of MLS Expansion Teams Minnesota United vs. Atlanta United on Sunday;
UEFA Champions League Round of 16 Returns
contact: mac.nwulu@espn.com
ESPN will continue its coverage of MLS Soccer Sunday with Minnesota United FC vs. Atlanta United FC on ESPN2, ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN Sunday, March 12, at 5 p.m., live from TFC Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. The matchup will be the first between the two Major League Soccer expansion teams and the first MLS home match for Minnesota United. Adrian Healey (play-by-play), analyst Taylor Twellman and sideline reporter Julie Stewart-Binks will handle English-language commentaries for the match. Richard Méndez and Giovanni Savarese will provide Spanish-language commentary on ESPN Deportes.

The second leg of UEFA Champions League (UCL) Round of 16 matches on ESPN Deportes kicks off on Tuesday, March 7, with live presentation of Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich from the Emirates Stadium in London at 2:30 p.m. ESPN Deportes and WatchESPN will carry four matches in this round beginning Tuesday through next Wednesday.

Date Time (ET) Match Platform(s)
Tue, Mar 7 2:30 p.m. UCL: Arsenal vs. Bayern Munich ESPN Deportes TV, WatchESPN
Wed, Mar 8 2:30 p.m. UCL: Barcelona vs. Paris Saint-Germain ESPN Deportes TV, WatchESPN
Sun, Mar 12 5:00 p.m. MLS: Minnesota United FC vs. Atlanta United FC ESPN2, ESPN Deportes TV, WatchESPN

X Games Norway 2017
contact: olivia.wilson@espn.com
On Saturday, March 11, World of X Games on ABC will feature X Games Norway 2017 at 3 p.m. ET / 2 p.m. PT. X Games Norway 2017, featuring the world’s top Ski & Snowboard athletes competing in Big Air and Slopestyle competitions at Hafjell ski resort. X Games Norway will also feature musical performances from some of Norway’s most popular artists – Seeb, Julie Bergan, Kaveh, Mgusho and Dunderbeist.

Sunday’s SC Featured Goes All-Access with Lonzo Ball Family
contact: andy.hall@espn.com
The play of UCLA freshman guard Lonzo Ball has generated many headlines this season as the Bruins’ star continues to increase his stock in the upcoming NBA Draft. Meanwhile, his outspoken father has made basketball the Ball family business, as Scoop Jackson reports for SC Featured. An all-access look at the Ball Family will air in the 10 a.m. ET edition of SportsCenter on Sunday, March 12, and will re-air in other editions of the program throughout the day.