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College Basketball - Men's

Championship Week: Record 190 Games, including Entire BIG EAST in 3D, Begins Thursday, March 3

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For a printable schedule: http://es.pn/ChampWeeksked

ESPN’s 2011 Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods will feature a record 190 men’s and women’s college basketball conference tournament games from Thursday, March 3 to Sunday, March 13 (including one game on March 1) across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3.com, ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN 3D, ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN Radio and ESPN International. It will surpass the previous high of 177 telecasts, set last year.

Overall, the networks will combine to televise 43 Division I championship games from 24 men’s and 19 women’s conferences and one men’s Division II title matchup. Of the 190 games, 126 will feature a men’s contest and 64 women’s.

First-Ever 3D Coverage
ESPN 3D, the first 3D network to launch in the industry, will televise all 15 games of the BIG EAST Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters March 8-12. It will mark the first time an entire conference tournament will be offered in 3D and the second of three championships to be crowned on ESPN 3D (Bowl Championship Series in January and the upcoming NBA Finals in June). ESPN 3D, which will televise more than 100 events in its first year, began showing 3D content 24-hours a day on Feb. 14.

Broadband, HD, Pay-Per-View and Mobile Record Coverage
This year’s Championship Week schedule will include record coverage across multiple ESPN platforms, including: 

  • ESPN3.com will offer a record 187 (of the 190) games via simulcasts of every ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN FULL COURT telecast. ESPN3.com will also provide live coverage of every NCAA Women’s Championship Presented by Capital One and men’s postseason NIT game.
  • ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD, ESPNU HD and ABC HD will combine to provide high definition telecasts of a record 81 (out of 88) Championship Week games. Last year, the outlets televised 45 games in high definition.
  • ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN’s pay-per-view package, will provide a platform record 102 games, surpassing last year’s previous high of 86 games.
  • ESPN Mobile TV, ESPN’s first 24/7 mobile video channel (available on FLO TV and MobiTV) will offer live simulcasts of 28 men’s and women’s games, plus bonus coverage – featuring live extended look-ins – of two others. Last year, the platform provided full coverage of 27 games and live extended look-ins of two others.

Championship Week action will tip off on ESPNU with the men’s Big South Conference semifinals Thursday, March 3, at 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Coverage will conclude Sunday, March 13, with five championships (three on ESPNU and one each on ABC and ESPN).

A breakdown of coverage: 

Schedule Highlights 

  • This season will mark ESPN’s 26th, ESPN2’s 17th and ESPNU’s sixth year of comprehensive coverage. ESPN will televise 21 games, ESPN2 33, ESPNU 30 and ABC three games. 
  • The final four days of Championship Week will feature 43 games across ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU (March 10-13), highlighted by 15 telecasts Saturday, March 12.
  • In addition to 15 BIG EAST games, ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to televise multiple men’s games from several top conferences, including eight from the ACC (every game but the first-round telecast will be outermarket only), four from the Big Ten, and three from the SEC and Big 12. ESPN Regional Television will syndicate the remaining eight games of the SEC and Big 12 Tournaments on ESPN3.com and ESPN FULL COURT, as well as in the SEC and Big 12 markets, respectively.
  • ESPN Buzzer Beater — available to Time Warner Cable Sports Tier, Bright House Networks Customers and Verizon FiOS TV Ultimate HD and Extreme HD Customers — will provide live cut-ins and highlights from numerous Championship Week games Thursday, March 10 and Friday, March 11. ESPN Buzzer Beater launched January 8 with live cut-ins to top games across the ESPN networks and up-to-the-minute commentary from ESPN analysts and experts every Wednesday and Saturday.
  • ESPN International will offer extensive coverage, reaching 208 million households in 224 countries and territories on ESPN America – Great Britain (25 games), ESPN America – Europe (25 games), ESPN America -Middle East (23 games), ESPN Caribbean (nine games), ESPN2 Caribbean (nine games), ESPN Pac Rim (eight games), ESPN2 Australia (eight games), ESPN Atlantic (five games), ESPN Middle East (seven games), ESPN Dos Venezuela (three games), ESPN Dos Mexico (three games), and five games each on ESPN China, ESPN Hong Kong, ESPN India, ESPN Malaysia, ESPN Philippines, ESPN Asia and ESPN Taiwan

Commentator Notes

  • Beth Mowins will work a total of 13 Championship Week games: calling play-by-play on five women’s BIG EAST Championship games and eight as a reporter, all on the men’s BIG EAST Championship.
  • Sean McDonough and analysts Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery will work nine of the network’s men’s BIG EAST telecasts, including both semifinals and the championship on ESPN (Friday, March 11, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. and Saturday, March 12, at 9 p.m.). Dave Pasch, Fran Fraschilla and Doris Burke will call the remaining six contests. In addition to being an analyst on six games, Burke will serve as a reporter on the semifinals and championship. Mark Jones and Bob Valvano will work nine of ESPN 3D’s telecast while Justin Kutcher and Bob Wenzel will call the remaining six.
  • Hall of Famer Dick Vitale, in his 32nd season with ESPN, will pair up with Dan Shulman and reporter Erin Andrews to work at least one men’s ACC semifinal Saturday, March 12 and championship March 13, at 1 p.m., all on ESPN. Len Elmore will serve as the analyst for the remaining ACC telecasts, with commentators Mike Patrick and Dan Shulman. Elmore will also call the Metro Athletic Association Conference championship Monday, March 7, at 7 p.m. with John Saunders.
  • ESPN analyst and Basketball Hall of Famer Bob Knight, commentator Brent Musburger and reporter Holly Rowe will work all three Big 12 telecasts.
  • Dave O’Brien and Dan Dakich will work ESPN and ESPN2’s four Big Ten telecasts.
  • Brad Nessler, analyst Jimmy Dykes and reporter Shannon Spake will work the three SEC games on ABC, while Cara Capuano and Carolyn Peck will work the three women’s SEC telecasts. Nessler and Dykes will also work four of the men’s SEC games on the SEC Network.
  • Analyst Brooke Weisbrod will work five of the women’s BIG EAST Championship telecasts, all with Mowins. Rebecca Lobo will provide analysis on the title game. Bob Picozzi will call the remaining two games with analyst Kayte Christensen. Allison Williams will report on six of the matchups.

ESPN Regional Television
For this year’s Championship Week coverage, ESPN Regional Television will syndicate 33 games, comprising action from the Big 12 (eight games), SEC (eight games) BIG EAST (four women’s games), Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (six men’s and two women’s games) and America East (two men’s and three women’s games).

ESPN.com
ESPN.com’s Championship Week index page will feature news, analysis, information and results for every conference tournament. ESPN.com’s Bubble Watch with college hoops writer Eamonn Brennan will give fans an in-depth look at teams on the bubble and the latest developments on NCAA Championship selection status. The site will also preview major conference tournaments, examine storylines and offer in-depth expert examinations.  ESPN.com writers will file stories from several tournament sites, including Andy Katz (ACC), David Ubben (Big 12), Dana O’Neil (BIG EAST), Pat Forde (Big Ten) and Mark Schlabach (SEC). Additionally, ESPN.com’s “Bracketologist,” Joe Lunardi, will update and adjust his Bracketology projections and outlook daily.

ESPN Radio
ESPN Radio will present comprehensive Championship Week coverage with updates and reports from the sites of key matchups. ESPN Radio’s SportsCenter Saturday and SportsCenter Sunday will dive deep into predicting the field of 65. Also, for the third straight season, ESPN Radio will present play-by-play coverage of the Big 12 Semifinals and Championship. Additionally, regularly scheduled ESPN Radio programming will include previews and reviews of key contests, analysis by ESPN experts, and interviews with coaches and players preparing for the NCAA Championship.

 
 
 
 
 
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Media Contacts:   Michael Humes at (860) 766-2233 or [email protected]
                        Rachel Margolis at 860-766-2798 or [email protected]