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ESPN 2012-13 Men’s College Basketball Commentators


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Vitale, Bilas & More Return; Walton Joins; Fraschilla & Knight on New Nights

ESPN’s 2012-13 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,450 games tipping off with 350 nonconference contests beginning Friday, Nov. 9 – will feature a deep bench of knowledgeable and experienced commentators.

Dick Vitale, in his 34th season with ESPN, will continue to provide analysis on top games throughout the season, primarily with Dan Shulman. During conference play, Shulman and Vitale will work the weekly Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV series and select ACC Wednesday Night Hoops telecasts, including North Carolina at Duke on February 13.

Jay Bilas, entering his 18th season with ESPN, will also work top matchups throughout the season, beginning in Germany for ESPN’s telecast of Michigan State vs. Connecticut in the Sears Armed Forces Classic from the Ramstein Air Base on Friday, Nov. 9, at 5:30 p.m. ET. During conference action, Bilas will again team with Sean McDonough and analyst Bill Raftery, who joined ESPN in 1980, on the weekly Big Monday BIG EAST package of games and work contests from various conferences.

Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton – a three-time NCAA Player of the Year (1972, 1973, 1974) at UCLA – will rejoin ESPN as a college basketball analyst, primarily working Wednesday and Thursday Pac-12 telecasts with commentator Dave Pasch. Walton, who guided UCLA to national titles in 1972 and 1973 and to an NCAA record 88-game winning streak, served as a key NBA analyst for ESPN from 2002 to 2009.

Top analysts Fran Fraschilla and Bob Knight will take on new assignments during conference play. Fraschilla will serve as the analyst on the Big Monday Big 12 series, partnering with Brent Musburger. Fraschilla previously worked Big Monday Big 12 games from 2004 through 2009. Knight will work Thursday Night Showcase SEC matchups with Rece Davis. Knight and Davis have worked several games together and shared the set on studio programming, including College GameDay Driven by State Farm.

Additional highlights:

  • Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes will return to work SEC telecasts as part of ESPN’s Super Tuesday series and through the finals of the SEC Tournament. Mark Jones will call play-by-play with Dykes on Saturday SEC games.
  • Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, and ESPN analyst Dan Dakich will return for their second season together on the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game.
  • The Thursday Night Showcase Big Ten telecasts will feature a new announcer team of Joe Tessitore and Sean Farnham.
  • Dave O’Brien, who previously worked Big Ten games, will call Thursday and Saturday ACC games. Doris Burke will serve as the analyst with O’Brien on Saturday telecasts.

Commentators appearing in regular weekly ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU time slots plus Saturdays throughout the conference action (conference assignments can vary):

Various Days

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN or ESPN2 Select Games Dan Shulman Dick Vitale

Big Monday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN BIG EAST Sean McDonough Jay Bilas and Bill Raftery
ESPN Big 12 Brent Musburger Fran Fraschilla Holly Rowe

Super Tuesday

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN Big Ten Mike Tirico Dan Dakich Samantha Steele
ESPN SEC Brad Nessler Jimmy Dykes Shannon Spake
ESPNU ACC Tom Hart Len Elmore
ESPNU SEC Dari Nowkhah Dino Gaudio

Wednesday Night Hoops

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPN or ESPN2 ACC Dan Shulman or Dave O’Brien Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke
ESPN or ESPN2 BIG EAST Mike Patrick LaPhonso Ellis
ESPN or ESPN2 Big 12 Bob Wischusen Stephen Bardo
ESPN or ESPN2 Pac 12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPNU Big 12 Mitch Holthus Matt Doherty
ESPNU BIG EAST Adam Amin Tim Welsh

Thursday Night Showcase                                          

Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPN or ESPN2 ACC Dave O’Brien Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas or Doris Burke Jeannine Edwards
ESPN or ESPN2 Big Ten Joe Tessitore Sean Farnham
ESPN or ESPN2 SEC Rece Davis Bob Knight
ESPN or ESPN2 Pac 12 Dave Pasch Bill Walton
ESPN or ESPN2 BIG EAST John Saunders Various analysts
ESPN2 West Coast Dave Flemming TBD
ESPNU Pac-12 Roxy Bernstein Miles Simon


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst
ESPNU MAAC Doug Sherman Tim O’Toole
ESPNU Horizon Jim Barbar Malcolm Huckaby


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporters
ESPN Saturday Primetime Dan Shulman Dick Vitale Shannon Spake
ESPN BIG EAST Mike Patrick Len Elmore
ESPN Big Ten Bob Wischusen Dan Dakich
ESPN Big 12 Jon Sciambi Fran Fraschilla
ESPN ACC Dave O’Brien Doris Burke
ESPN SEC Mark Jones Jimmy Dykes
ESPNU BIG EAST Beth Mowins Tim Welsh
ESPNU SEC Tom Hart Matt Doherty
ESPNU Pac-12 Dave Flemming Sean Farnham


Network Conference Play-by-play Analyst Reporter
ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball Carter Blackburn Jay Williams Allison Williams
ESPNU Missouri Valley Mitch Holthus Mark Adams

In addition to regular assignments on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU, ESPN Regional Television will produce and syndicate an extensive schedule of games from the SEC, BIG EAST and Big 12:

SEC Network   Play-by-play Analyst
Wednesday and Saturday Clay Matvick, Dave Baker, Dave Neal or Dave Lamont Joe Dean, Kara Lawson, Barry Booker, Jon Sundvold or Kyle Macy


Big 12 Network Play-by-play Analyst
Saturday and select weekdays Dave Armstrong, Mitch Holthus or Brad Sham Reid Gettys, Stephen Howard, Bryndon Manzer, Chris Piper or Rich Zvosec


BIG EAST Network Play-by-play Analyst
Saturday and select Sundays Anish Shroff Bob Wenzel

ESPN’s 2012-13 men’s college basketball schedule on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, ESPN Regional Television and ESPN FULL COURT will feature more than 1,450 games.

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