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College Baseball

Home for Selection Sunday: Three Conference Tournament Championship Games; More than 12 Hours of Bubble and Bracket Coverage across ESPN Networks

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  • Final Tickets Punched: A Team from the SEC, Ivy League and Sun Belt Conference will Each Earn One of the Last Automatic Bids
  • Top Voices Throughout the Day: Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, Jay Williams, Dan Dakich, Tom Crean, Rece Davis and More
  • Setting the Scene: College GameDay at 11 a.m. ET
  • Breaking Bracket News and Up-to-the-Minute Analysis
    • Special SportsCenter Begins at 5 p.m.,
    • Four Hours of Bracketology in Prime Time;
    • Special NCAA Women’s Basketball Announcement on SportsCenter
  • Recap the Day, Preview the Madness: SportsCenter with SVP at 11:30 p.m. ET

ESPN networks will be the destination for college basketball fans on Selection Sunday as three teams will lock up bids to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship and more than 12 hours of bubble and bracket analysis cover the latest intrigue around March Madness.  The final day of conference tournament play concludes ESPN’s Champ Week coverage — where 354 games were played and 44 teams (men and women’s) punched their tickets to the NCAA Tournament — and leads into ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon, which will include the exclusive announcement of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship field.

SEC, Ivy League and Sun Belt Claim Three of the Final Bids
The SEC Tournament Championship will be played on ESPN at 1 p.m. ET, from St. Louis, with Karl Ravech, Dick Vitale and Laura Rutledge on the call. The Ivy League Championship takes place at noon in Philadelphia followed by the Sun Belt Conference Championship at 2 p.m. in New Orleans, with both games airing on ESPN2. Mike Couzens and Dalen Cuff will call the Ivy League game, with Mitch Holthus and Mark Adams calling the Sun Belt. The winner of each game will earn an automatic bid into the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Two-Hour SportsCenter Special Leads into Four Hours of Bracketology; Special NCAA Women’s Tournament Reveal

ESPN will become the home of last-minute bubble news, for both the men’s and women’s basketball tournaments in the 5 p.m. hour and transition into instant bracket analysis in the 6 p.m. hour during a special Selection Sunday edition of SportsCenter. Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg, and Jay Williams will have a strong presence throughout the show, including breaking down the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship field and match-ups moments after they are revealed.

SportsCenter will then seamlessly transition into four hours of Bracketology, a staple of ESPN’s Selection Sunday coverage, at 7 p.m. with the first two hours airing on ESPN before moving to ESPN2 at 9 p.m. for the final two hours. Davis, Bilas, Greenberg, and Williams will continue on the show and be joined by additional analysts including, Dan Dakich, Tom Crean and Dick Vitale in the first half of the show. Then, Chris Cotter will take over for Davis, with Dakich, Crean and LaPhonso Ellis joining him. Coaches and other guests will join the show and analysts will make their Final Four and National Championship predictions.

In the 5 p.m. hour of SportsCenter, NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Selection Committee Chair Rhonda Bennett will join SportsCenter to reveal, in alphabetical order, the final eight teams which will be considered for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament. Out of this list of eight teams, four will make the tournament and four will not when the complete women’s tournament bracket is announced Monday, March 12, on ESPN (7 p.m.).

SEC Network Airs Two Hour Selection Special
SEC Network will air a two-hour SEC Now: Selection Special Presented by Principal at 8 p.m., hosted by Peter Burns.  Analysts Pat Bradley, Jimmy Dykes and Daymeon Fishback will join Burns as the show features SEC team watch parties and interviews from the squads selected for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship.

College GameDay Presented by State Farm Leads into SEC Tournament Championship
College GameDay Covered by State Farm will air at 11 a.m. on ESPN, with the two hour edition originating from Bristol and leading into the SEC Tournament Championship. The regular cast of Davis, Bilas, Greenberg, and Williams will preview the afternoon’s final games, while also projecting the final tournament field.

SportsCenter with SVP
Scott Van Pelt will close out Selection Sunday with his late-night SportsCenter with SVP as the popular anchor gives his insights into the brackets. He will also look ahead and preview all the madness.

Additional Selection Sunday Programming:

  • Sunday Morning SportsCenter: Bilas, Crean, Dakich, Greenberg, and Williams will be in studio for SportsCenter on Sunday morning, breaking down the latest tournament bubble, while also projecting what the remaining conference tournament championship games mean
  • Bubble Watch presented by BMW: Cotter, Dakich, and Ellis air a special two hour edition of Bubble Watch beginning at 4 p.m. on ESPN2 in the final hours before the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship field is announced.
  • Selection Sunday on ESPN Radio: Paul Finebaum, Bob Valvano and Chiney Ogwumike will offer reaction to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship field beginning at approximately 6:30 p.m. The trio will be joined by coaches who either made the field or just missed out and also engage listeners via phone and social media about the news that comes from the selections.
  • Selection Sunday on ESPN.com: Bracketologist Joe Lunardi will have up-to-the-minute projections right up until the field is announced and John Gasaway will keep an eye on the ever-changing bubble in Bubble Watch. Once the field is announced, an entire look at every team that made the NCAA tournament will be provided – and a look at that those that didn’t. Then, Giant Killers will break down each region as you get set to fill out your Tournament Challenge brackets.
  • NIT Selection Show: ESPNU will air the NIT Selection Show at 8:30 p.m., hosted by Matt Schick with analyst Chris Spatola. The 81st NIT will begin Tuesday, March 13, with the semifinals and championship game scheduled for March 27 and 29 at Madison Square Garden in New York. All 31 matchups of the NIT will air exclusively on ESPN networks, with specific coverage plans announced early next week.

Tournament Challenge on ESPN.com and ESPN Tournament Challenge App
The 21st iteration of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game will again be free for fans to submit up to 25 entries each for the Men’s and Women’s tournaments at ESPN.com/bracket or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App for iOS and Android. Unique features in the ESPN TC App include the ability to pre-fill brackets before Selection Sunday, advanced live scoring and bracket results with Bracketcast, expert analysis and matchup previews, and opt-in push notifications for up-to-the-second bracket, news and video updates.

Tournament Challenge Marathon Returns, Bringing 25-Consecutive Hours of Bracket Help
ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon presented by Boost Mobile returns for the second year, with a 25-consecutive hour marathon, on Monday, March 12, and Tuesday March 13, from the network’s studios in Bristol, Conn., and LA Live. The Tournament Challenge Marathon commences at 6 p.m. ET, on ESPN, and continues with the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special (7 p.m.), and a number of shows across ESPN and ESPN2, through the final one-hour show on Tuesday, March 13 (6 p.m., ESPN). Complete details will be announced soon.

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Media contact: Derek Volner at 860-384-9986; [email protected] and @DerekVolner