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ESPN2 and ESPN3 Open NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Coverage

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ESPN tips-off its extensive coverage of all 63 game of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One – across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT – beginning Saturday, March 17 and concluding at the NCAA National Championship game Tuesday, April 3 in Denver.

During the first two rounds, ESPN2 will present 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, will offer complete games as a supplement to ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2.

In addition, ESPN will feature additional NCAA Championship content across its platforms, including SportsCenter, espnW, ESPN.com, ESPNEWS, WatchESPN and ESPN International.

First and Second Rounds – Regionalization & Home Market Protection

  • Regionalized/Home Market Protection In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will televise the game of local interest. While constant updates from the other games will be provided, the networks will not switch to another game during live action, thereby establishing home market protection.
  • Whip-Around Coverage For the first and second rounds, multiple games (as many as four) will begin within one telecast window on ESPN2. During those windows, the network plans to “whip-around” or switch to the best action from different games for viewers in the majority of the nation (except in the home markets of the competing teams). Select games will be made available to a full national audience on ESPNU.

Coverage Highlights

  • The Elena Della Done feature from Outside the Lines
  • An examination of the working relationship between UConn head coach Geno Auriemma and his associate head coach Chris Dailey
  • Notre Dame’s Skylar Diggins will be the focus of a SportsScience feature from the Sports Science Lab in Los Angeles
  • Former Notre Dame men’s head coach and current ESPN analyst Digger Phelps sits down with the head coach of the Irish women Muffet McGraw and Diggens for a candid conversation
  • Three espnW-produced pieces will be used during studio and game telecasts
  • Interact on twitter via the #espnwbb hashtag throughout the entire tournament

Studio Coverage
Trey Wingo will host ESPN’s studio coverage from Bristol, Conn., along with analysts Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck.

Commentators Notes

  • Nell Fortner, who retired as head coach of Auburn at the conclusion of the regular season, will serve as an analyst through the first two rounds at the Tallahassee, Fla., site
  • An analyst last season, Brenda VanLegen will return at the play-by-play position for the first- and second-rounds in West Lafayette, Ind., with analyst Stephen Bardo
  • Beth Mowins’ returns to call play-by-play at a regional site for the first time since the 1990’s – from Des Moines, Iowa, with analyst Stephanie White
  • Two new reporters join the crew this year – Allison Williams will be at the Raleigh Regional, while Samantha Steele with join Mowins and White in Des Moines
  • Several cross-over analysts from the men’s game will be part of the telecasts – Bardo in West Lafayette, Ind., Sean Farnham from Spokane, Wash., and Fran Fraschilla from Little Rock, Ark.
  • Dave O’Brien returns at play-by-play for the Final Four, along with veteran analyst Doris Burke and reporters Holly Rowe and Rebecca Lobo

 espnW

  • Analysis and coverage from espnW writers Mechelle Voepel, Graham Hays, Kate Fagan and Michelle Smith
  • A blogger series with student-athletes competing in the NCAA Championship including Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), Chelsea Gray (Duke), Samantha Prahalis (Ohio State), Elena Delle Donne (Delaware) and Chiney Ogwumike (Stanford)
  • 5 Questions segments with analyst/reporter Lobo, and blogs and chats from the entire espnW team
  • On-the-court video segments breaking down the x’s and o’s of each game throughout
  •  “Total Access” segments will include behind-the-scenes video with players and coaches at the Final Four
  • Full coverage of the U.S. Women’s Olympic Team roster announcement and top awards ceremonies from the Final Four

2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One First & Second Round Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Matchup Networks
Sat, Mar 17 11 a.m. First Round
No. 9 Princeton vs. No. 8 Kansas State (Bridgeport, Conn.) Pam Ward & Rebecca LoboNo. 15 Navy vs. No. 2 Maryland (College Park, Md.)
ob Wischusen & LaChina RobinsonNo. 9 Texas vs. No. 8 West Virginia^ (Norfolk, Va.)
Mark Jones & Mary Murphy
No. 12 Eastern Michigan vs. No. 5 South Carolina (West Lafayette, Ind.) Brenda VanLengen & Stephen Bardo
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 11 a.m. games First Round
No. 16 Prairie View vs. No. 1 Connecticut (Bridgeport, Conn.)No. 10 Michigan State vs. No. 7 Louisville^ (College Park, Md.)No. 16 Hampton vs. No. 1 Stanford (Norfolk, Va.)

No. 13 South Dakota State vs. No. 4 Purdue
(West Lafayette, Ind.)
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  4 p.m. First Round
No. 15 McNeese State vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Ames, Iowa) Clay Matvick & Krista BlunkNo. 15 UT-Martin vs. No. 2 Tennessee^ (Chicago, Ill.)
Jon Sciambi & Brooke Weisbrod
No. 11 Dayton vs. No. 6 Arkansas (College Station, Texas) Carter Blackburn & Tamika RaymondNo. 11 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 Rutgers (Spokane, Wash.)Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 4 p.m. games First Round
No. 10 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Green Bay^ (Ames, Iowa)No. 10 BYU vs. No. 7 DePaul (Chicago, Ill.)No. 14 Albany vs. No. 3 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)No. 14 Idaho State vs. No. 3 Miami (Fla.) (Spokane, Wash.)
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Sun, Mar 18 Noon First Round
No. 9 Florida vs. No. 8 Ohio State^ (Bowling Green, Ohio) Cara Capuano & Abby WanerNo. 12 Fresno State vs. No. 5 Georgetown (Chapel Hill, N.C.) Beth Mowins & Stephanie White No. 9 Iowa vs. No. 8 California (Notre Dame, Ind.) Dave O’Brien & Doris BurkeNo. 13 Marist vs. No. 4 Georgia (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Justin Kutcher & Nell Fortner
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of Noon games First Round
No. 16 UC-Santa Barbara vs. No. 1 Baylor^ (Bowling Green, Ohio)No. 13 Sacred Heart vs. No. 4 Georgia Tech (Chapel Hill, N.C.)No. 16 Liberty vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)No. 12 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 5 St. Bonaventure

(Tallahassee, Fla.)

ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  5 p.m. First Round
No. 13 UTEP vs. No. 4 Penn State (Baton Rouge, La.)
Bob Picozzi & Rosalyn Gold-OnwudeNo. 14 UALR vs. No. 3 Delaware^ (Little Rock, Ark.)
Holly Rowe & Fran Fraschilla
No. 10 Middle Tennessee State vs. No. 7 Vanderbilt (Nashville, Tenn.) Dave Pasch & Debbie AntonelliNo. 14 Creighton vs. No. 3 St. John’s (Norman, Okla.)
Marc Kestecher & Kayte Christensen
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  Approx. 30 minutes after end of 5 p.m. games First Round
No. 12 San Diego State vs. No. 5 LSU (Baton Rouge, La.)No. 11 Kansas vs. No. 6 Nebraska (Little Rock, Ark.)No. 15 Samford vs. No. 2 Duke (Nashville, Tenn.) No. 11 Michigan vs. No. 6 Oklahoma^ (Norman, Okla.)
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Mon, Mar 19 7 p.m. Second Round (Bridgeport, Conn., College Park, Md., Norfolk, Va., West Lafayette, Ind.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round (Ames, Iowa, Chicago, Ill., College Station, Texas, Spokane, Wash) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Tue, Mar 20 7 p.m. Second Round (Bowling Green, Ohio, Chapel Hill, N.C., Notre Dame, Ind., Tallahassee, Fla.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  9:30 p.m. Second Round (Baton Rouge, La., Little Rock, Ark., Nashville, Tenn., Norman, Okla. ESPN2 HD / ESPN3

^ – Full national telecast – not part of Regionalized/Home Market Protection

2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One Regional & Final Four Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Games Networks
Sat, Mar 24 Noon (Des Moines, Iowa)
Beth Mowins, Stephanie White & Samantha Steele
ESPN HD / ESPN3
  2 p.m. (Des Moines, Iowa)  ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.)
Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli & Heather Cox
ESPN HD / ESPN3
  11:30 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Sun, Mar 25 Noon (Raleigh, N.C.)
Pam Ward, Rebecca Lobo & Allison Williams
ESPN HD / ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. (Raleigh, N.C.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.)
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Holly Rowe
ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
  7 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.) ESPN2 HD / ESPN3
Mon, Mar 26 7 p.m. (Des Moines, Iowa)  ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Fresno, Calif.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Tue, Mar 27 7 p.m. (Raleigh, N.C.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
  9 p.m. (Kingston, R.I.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Sun, Apr 1 6:30 p.m. National Semifinal (Denver, Colo.)
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN HD /ESPN3
  9 p.m. National Semifinal (Denver, Colo.) ESPN HD / ESPN3
Tue, Apr 3 8:30 p.m. National Final (Denver, Colo.)
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Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo & Holly Rowe
ESPN HD / ESPN3

 

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Contact: Rachel Margolis, at 860-766-2798 or [email protected]