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ESPN Networks Home to Entire NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship

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  • 21st Year of Exclusive Coverage on ESPN; 14th Year Covering all 63 Games
  • Second-round Times & Networks will be Set Following Completion of First-round Action

ESPN, ESPN2, ESPN3 and WatchESPN will combine to show the entire the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One beginning with first-round action beginning Friday, March 18. Play culminates with the NCAA Women’s National Championship game on Tuesday, April 5, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN from Indianapolis.

The top four seeds – Baylor, Connecticut, Notre Dame and South Carolina – are all playing home games for the first and second rounds with the format of the top 16 seeds hosting (note: No. 4 Michigan State will not be hosting due to a conflict at the Breslin Center). ESPN2 is home to all first-round games, including a full national window showcasing top-seeded UConn vs. No. 16 Robert Morris on Saturday, March 19, at 11 a.m. Regionalized coverage includes Baylor against No. 16 Idaho at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 18, followed by South Carolina vs. No. 16 Jacksonville at 7 p.m. and Notre Dame facing No. 16 NC A&T at 6:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 19.

New this season, the second-round times and networks will be announced following the completion of first-round action on each day.

The final 15 games of the tournament, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as WatchESPN.

Games will be available through WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Additional NCAA Championship content will be available across multiple platforms, including espnW.com, SportsCenter and ESPN International.

First and Second Round – Regionalized & Home Market Protection
Coverage Highlights
Commentator Highlights
espnW
FiveThirtyEight
First- and Second-Round Schedule
Regional Schedule
Final Four Schedule
Thoughts from Selection Monday

First and Second Rounds – Regionalized & Home Market Protection

  • In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN or ESPN2 will televise the game of local interest. While constant updates from the other games will be provided in the home market, the networks will not switch to another game during live action, thereby establishing home market protection.
  • For the first and second rounds, multiple games (as many as four) will begin within one telecast window. During those windows, the coverage will showcase the best action for viewers in the majority of the nation (except in the home markets of the competing teams).
  • Select first- and second-round games will be aired in a full national telecast on ESPN or ESPN2, with supplemental coverage on WatchESPN.
  • ESPN3 will carry the games in full that are not being aired in a national window.

Coverage Highlights

  • Full coverage of UConn chasing history for a record 11th and fourth straight title for the senior class. Plus senior Breanna Stewart chases her own history trying to become the first-ever collegiate athlete to be named MVP for four straight years.
  • Features, vignettes and segments coming from specialty shoots with UConn, Notre Dame, Baylor and South Carolina.
  • Creative elements throughout the tournament will feature the song “Strong Enough” by recording artist J’Kahi featuring Raign.

Commentator Highlights

  • Anchor Kevin Negandhi, with analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo, will be part of ESPN’s studio coverage for the early rounds and then on-site at BankersLife Fieldhouse at the Final Four in Indianapolis.
  • Play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien and veteran analyst Doris Burke will return for early-round coverage from Storrs, Conn., plus the call the Bridgeport Regional and Final Four.
  • Big Monday duo of Beth Mowins and Stephanie White are paired for the first and second rounds in Columbia, S.C., and the Sioux Falls, S.D., Regional.
  • Pam Ward and Carolyn Peck will call the first and second round from Dallas, Texas, and then move on to the Dallas Regional.
  • Dave Pasch and Debbie Antonelli will begin the tournament from South Bend, Ind., and then travel to the Lexington, Ky., Regional.
  • Reporters at each Regional site include Maria Taylor, Allison Williams, the addition of Steffi Sorensen plus Holly Rowe, who will also work the Final Four with O’Brien and Burke.
  • New to this year’s coverage are analysts Andy Landers, Chiney Ogwumike and Candace Parker, as well as play-by-play announcers Lowell Galindo and Roy Philpott.

espnW.com
News, analysis and commentary will be provided throughout the women’s tournament. Highlights:

  • Stats, analysis and stories on additional players to watch.
  • Columnists will provide live coverage of each round of games from coast-to-coast, with video highlights of the matchups.
  • espnW’s Tourney Snapshots returns, providing social photos from tourney-bound teams around the country beginning on Selection Monday.
  • Women’s Tournament Challenge is where fans and experts alike can pick their brackets and earn points throughout the tournament.
  • espnW.com staff and a handful of ESPN analysts and WNBA players will face off in an Women’s Tournament Challenge group.

FiveThirtyEight
FiveThirtyEight will feature an interactive bracket calculating the probabilistic projections for the NCAA Women’s Championship. In addition to updating the data in the bracket throughout the week, FiveThirtyEight’s sportswriters will deliver a variety of data-driven stories tied to the tournament.

ESPN.com Tournament Challenge
ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge and ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge both return for their 19th seasons and will once again be free for entrants to submit up to 10 entries on ESPN.com.  At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries that finish in the top 1% are entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2016 Maui Jim Maui Invitational and a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card prize.  In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries that finish in the top 1% are entered in a random drawing for a $3,000 Amazon Gift Card.  Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game will be accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game on Thursday, March 17.  The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 18.  Guest celebrity brackets will feature a broad array of athletes, actors and ESPN personalities, including Von Miller, Big Sean, Serge Ibaka, The Muppets and many more.

Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with more than 11.57 million brackets, a new all-time mark that surpasses last year’s record.  At the peak period, fans registered over 15,000 brackets per minute (250 brackets per second), among those of which was a bracket from President Barack Obama.

2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One First- and Second-Round Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game / Commentators Networks
First Round (various sites)
Fri, Mar 18 Noon No.13 Belmont vs. No. 4 Michigan State (Starkville, Miss.)

Melissa Lee, LaChina Robinson

No. 12 Albany vs. No. 5 Florida (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Bob Wischusen, Steffi Sorensen

No. 11 Princeton vs. No. 6 West Virginia (Columbus, Ohio)

Brenda VanLengen, Katie Smith

No. 11 James Madison vs. No. 6 DePaul (Louisville, Ky.)

Mark Kestecher, Andy Landers

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. No. 12 Chattanooga at No. 5 Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)

Melissa Lee, LaChina Robinson

No. 13 Army at No. 4 Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Bob Wischusen, Steffi Sorensen

No. 14 Buffalo at No. 3 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio)

Brenda VanLengen, Katie Smith

No. 14 Central Arkansas at No. 3 Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)

Mark Kestecher, Andy Landers

ESPN2 / ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

  5 p.m. No. 16 Idaho at No. 1 Baylor (Waco, Texas)

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck

No. 15 Troy at No. 2 Oregon State (Corvallis, Ore)

Clay Matvick, Sue Bird

No. 10 Green Bay vs. No. 7 Tennessee (Tempe, Ariz.)

Mark Jones, Gail Goestenkors

No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 8 George Washington (Columbia, S.C.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie White  

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  7:30 p.m. No. 9 Auburn vs. No. 8 St. John’s (Waco, Texas)

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck

No. 10 St. Bonaventure vs. No. 7 Oklahoma State (Corvallis, Ore)

Clay Matvick, Sue Bird

No. 15 New Mexico State at No. 2 Arizona State (Tempe, Ariz.)

Mark Jones, Gail Goestenkors

No. 16 Jacksonville at No. 1 South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie White  

ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, Mar 19 11 a.m. No. 16 Robert Morris at No. 1 UConn (Storrs, Conn.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke

ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  1:30 p.m. No. 9 Duquesne vs. No. 8 Seton Hall (Storrs, Conn.) – will tip 30-minutes after conclusion of 11 a.m. game

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke

No. 15 Iona at No. 2 Maryland (College Park, Md.)

Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod

No. 12 Middle Tennessee vs. No. 5 Florida State (College Station, Texas)

Paul Sunderland, Chiney Ogwumike

No. 11 Purdue vs. No. 6 Oklahoma (Lexington, Ky.)

Cara Capuano, Carol Ross

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  4 p.m. No. 10 Penn vs. No. 7 Washington (College Park, Md.)

Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod

No. 13 Missouri State at No. 4 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)

Paul Sunderland, Chiney Ogwumike

No. 14 UNC Asheville at No. 3 Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)

Cara Capuano, Carol Ross

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. No. 16 NC A&T at No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli

No. 14 Hawaii at No. 3 UCLA (Los Angeles)

Tiffany Greene, Candace Parker

No. 12 South Dakota State vs. No. 5 Miami (Stanford, Calif.)

Bob Picozzi, Mary Murphy

No. 10 Missouri vs. No. 7 BYU (Austin, Texas)

Lowell Galindo, Nell Fortner

ESPN2 / ESPN3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  9 p.m. No. 9 Indiana vs. No. 8 Georgia (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli

No. 11 Colorado State vs. No. 6 USF (Los Angeles)

Tiffany Greene, Candace Parker

No. 13 San Francisco at No. 4 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.)

Bob Picozzi, Mary Murphy

No. 15 Alabama State at No. 2 Texas (Austin, Texas)

Lowell Galindo, Nell Fortner

ESPN2 / ESPN3
Second Round (various sites)
Sun, Mar 20 Noon No. 6 West Virginia at No. 3 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio); No. 12 Albany at No. 4 Syracuse (Syracuse, N.Y.) ESPN2 / ESPN3
  2:30 p.m. No. 6 DePaul at No. 3 Louisville (Louisville, Ky.); No. 4 Michigan State at No. 5 Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.) ESPN2 / ESPN3
  7 p.m. No. 9 Kansas State at No. 1 South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.) ESPN / WatchESPN
    No. 9 Auburn at No. 1 Baylor (Waco, Texas) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
  9 p.m. No. 7 Tennessee at No. 2 Arizona State (Tempe, Ariz.) ESPN / WatchESPN
    No. 10 St. Bonaventure at No. 2 Oregon State (Corvallis, Ore.) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Mon, Mar 21 6:30 p.m. No. 9 Indiana at No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.); No. 7 Washington at No. 2 Maryland (College Park, Md.); No. 5 Florida State at No. 4 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas); No. 6 Oklahoma at No. 3 Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.) ESPN2 / ESPN3
  9 p.m. No. 9 Duquesne at No. 1 UConn (Storrs, Conn.); No. 6 USF at No. 3 UCLA (Los Angeles, Calif.); No. 12 South Dakota State at No. 4 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.); No. 10 Missouri at No. 2 Texas (Austin, Texas) ESPN2 / ESPN3

2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One Regional Schedule (subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Networks
Fri, Mar 25 7 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Lexington, Ky.)

Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli, Allison Williams

ESPN2 or ESPN / WatchESPN
  Regional Semifinal (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie White, Maria Taylor

ESPN2 or ESPN / WatchESPN
  9:30 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Lexington, Ky.)

 

ESPN2 or ESPN / WatchESPN
  Regional Semifinal (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

 

ESPN2 or ESPN / WatchESPN
Sat, Mar 26 11:30 a.m. Regional Semifinal (Bridgeport, Conn.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe

ESPN / WatchESPN
  2 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Bridgeport, Conn.)

 

ESPN / WatchESPN
  4 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Dallas, Texas)

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, Steffi Sorensen

ESPN / WatchESPN
  6:30 p.m. Regional Semifinal (Dallas, Texas) ESPN / WatchESPN
Sun, Mar 27 1 p.m. Regional Final (Lexington, Ky.)

Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli, Allison Williams

ESPN / WatchESPN
  3:30 p.m. Regional Final (Sioux Falls, S.D.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie White, Maria Taylor

ESPN / WatchESPN
Mon, Mar 28 7 p.m. Regional Final (Bridgeport, N.Y.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe

ESPN / WatchESPN
  9 p.m. Regional Final (Dallas, Texas)

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, Steffi Sorensen

ESPN / WatchESPN

2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One Final Four Schedule (subject to change)

Sun, Apr 3 5:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Final Four Special Presented by Capital One (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

ESPN / WatchESPN
  6 p.m. National Semifinal Game 1 (Indianapolis, Ind.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe

ESPN / WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. National Semifinal Game 2 (Indianapolis, Ind.) ESPN2 / WatchESPN
Tue, Apr 5 5:30 p.m. College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Championship Special

Matt Schick, Brooke Weisbrod & Steffi Sorensen

ESPNU / WatchESPN
  7:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo

ESPN / WatchESPN
  8:30 p.m. National Final (Indianapolis, Ind.))

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe

ESPN / WatchESPN

Thoughts from ESPN’s Selection Monday show
After the bracket was exclusively revealed on ESPN during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Monday Special Presented by Capital One on March 15, ESPN analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo offered insight into the bracket with analysis of each region, teams, plus the players to watch as they vie for a Final Four spot in Indianapolis. Highlights:

On Dallas Region
Lobo: Louisville is a really tough three seed. They started out the season really struggling, and then they got healthy and have been so good since then.

Lawson: I am going to go to the No. 1 seed. You look at the Lady Bears and the type of season they have had, and it is really remarkable. They have really been led by two players in Nina Davis and Alexis Jones.

On Bridgeport Region
Lobo: Two teams from the America Conference make it into the NCAA Tournament and they are both in the same region. This is a South Florida team that has already played Connecticut three times this year, and they have not beaten them, but in the last few years Connecticut has lost a total of five halves of basketball, three of them have been to South Florida.

On Sioux Falls Region
Lawson: This sets up South Carolina pretty well to get back to the Final Four… I think South Carolina is in prime position.

On Notre Dame
Lawson: To start off the year, you really weren’t sure where everybody was going to fit. To me, their freshmen, as of late, have made a huge difference.

Final thoughts on bracket
Lobo: Dawn Staley has to be wondering why her team as the No. 2 overall seed has to go to Sioux Falls instead of going to Lexington.

Lawson: We had a great thing this year in women’s basketball, where the NCAA Committee revealed three times during the regular season their top-10 teams. In all three reveals, South Carolina was the No. 2 team and Notre Dame was the No. 3 team… That would place South Carolina in the Lexington Region, which would allow their fan base an easier way to get there. We have seen, whether it was in the NCAA Tournament last year in Greensboro or the SEC Tournament in Jacksonville or a road, South Carolina fans travel and they have a presence.

Lawson: I don’t know if there are going to be teams that upset the one seeds, I think we are going to see all the top seeds in Indy.

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