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ESPN is Home for Women’s Hoops in March

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  • Exclusive Coverage of Entire NCAA Women’s Championship
  • Adam Amin Makes Tournament Debut, Calling Games in Every Round, Including Final Four
  • All 63 games to Air on ESPN or ESPN2, Available to Stream on the ESPN App

ESPN, for the 31st consecutive year, will provide coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Capital One, beginning Friday, March 16, with the first round, through the Women’s Final Four in Columbus, Ohio (March 30 and April 1). Tournament action tips off with four matchups at noon on Friday, available on ESPN2 and the ESPN App. The first and second rounds are hosted by the top-16 seeds, with this year’s regional rounds being played in Albany, N.Y., Lexington, Ky., Kansas City, Mo., and Spokane, Wash.

All 63 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, and available to stream via the ESPN App, with regionalized coverage for the first and second rounds on ESPN2. The regional semifinals will be played on ESPN and ESPN2, with regional finals airing on ESPN. The Women’s Final Four will take place Friday, March 30 (7 p.m. ET & 9 p.m., ESPN2), and Sunday, April 1 (6 p.m., ESPN) from Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio.

Play-by-play commentator Adam Amin makes his tournament debut, calling first and second round games from Storrs, Conn., alongside Kara Lawson before heading to New York to call Albany Regional games with Lawson, Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe. The team will make their way to call the Women’s Final Four.

Host Maria Taylor and analysts Andy Landers and Lobo will provide studio updates through the first and second rounds, with Nell Fortner joining Landers and Taylor in studio for the regionals.

First and Second Round – Regionalized & Home Market Protection
Coverage Highlights
Commentators Highlights
espnW
SEC Network
Tournament Challenge
Schedule
Quotes from Selection Monday Special

First and Second Round – 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 ESPN App
  • ESPN3 will carry the games in full that are not being aired in a national window.

Coverage Highlights

  • The NCAA Women’s Championship tips off with four matchups on Friday, March 16 at noon – No. 16-seed Boise State facing No. 1 Louisville, No. 11 Western Kentucky taking on No. 6 Oregon State, No. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 DePaul, and No. 12 Princeton against No. 5 Maryland; games continue all-day on ESPN2, ESPN3 and the ESPN App
  • 1 overall seed UConn, who currently boasts an undefeated record heading into tournament, faces No. 16 St. Francis on Saturday, March 17 at 11 a.m.
  • Player segments and features throughout the entire tournament

Commentators Highlights

  • From rookies to veterans, ESPN’s coverage is complemented by an array of basketball minds from the college to WNBA level, with both player and coaching experience.
  • Commentators making their women’s tournament debut: Amin and analysts Amanda Butler, Andraya Carter and Chiney Ogwumike
  • Beth Mowins and Deb Antonelli make their way to Louisville, Ky., for the first weekend of play, then call games in the Lexington Regional
  • Courtney Lyle will serve as an analyst along Tamika Catchings for the first and second round (Starkville, Miss.), then heads to Kansas City Regional, where she will serve as a sideline reporter
  • Dave Pasch and LaChina Robinson call first- and second- round matchups in Eugene, Ore., before traveling north for the Spokane Regionals
  • Games originating from Austin will be called by Pam Ward and Gail Goestenkors; the duo will also call matchups in the Kansas City Regionals
  • After working every matchup of the SEC Women’s Tournament as a sideline reporter, Steffi Sorensen will serve as an analyst for first- and second-round matchups in Columbia, S.C., alongside Paul Sunderland
  • Other first-and second- round teams include Brenda VanLangen and Carol Ross (Knoxville, Tenn.), John Brickley and Mike Thibault (Raleigh, N.C.), Roy Philpott and Brooke Weisbrod (Notre Dame, Ind.), Eric Frede and Christy Thomaskutty (Waco, Texas), Clay Matvick and Katie Smith (Tallahassee, Fla.), Elise Woodward and Dan Hughes (Stanford, Calif.)
  • Lyle, Molly McGrath, Holly Rowe and Allison Williams report from the sidelines during the Regionals, with Rowe working the Final Four

espnW

From Stanford to Storrs, espnW will be on site at several early round games and will staff each of the regionals. Content includes:

  • Live analysis, game coverage, highlights and one-plays from each round
  • The Quick Dish, a nightly wrap each game day of the top storylines, including a player of the day
  • Expert picks for the tournament and, once the Sweet 16 is set, for each game
  • Staff writers Graham Hays, Charlie Creme, Mechelle Voepel, and ESPN.com’s Kevin Pelton, will be site at the regionals

Additional content will include:

  • Allison Glock profiles South Carolina coach Dawn Staley as she seeks to defend her first NCAA tournament title. As a video accompaniment, poet (and huge WBB fan and athlete) Nikky Finney and Staley engage in a conversation about race, power, ball and the future for the female athlete.
  • Wright Thompson writes the definitive profile of Geno Auriemma, featured in ESPN the Magazine
  • It was one of the biggest moments in basketball history, when Mississippi State, led by star Morgan “Itty Bitty” William took down the 111-0 UConn Huskies in the 2017 Final Four with an overtime, last-second shot. An oral history of the historic shot, with the story of the game through the eyes of the players, coaches and spectators.

SEC Network
SEC Now returns for postseason coverage of the eight men’s and seven women’s teams representing the SEC in the NCAA Tournaments. Hosts Peter Burns and Dari Nowkhah will be joined by a rotating cast of analysts throughout the tourney, including Pat Bradley, Amanda Butler, Jimmy Dykes, Daymeon Fishback, Nell Fortner and Antoine Walker. Joining the SEC Now commentating crew this weekend will be Vanderbilt women’s head coach Stephanie White and Arkansas women’s head coach Mike Neighbors.

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.

In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing for a $10,000 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 15. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 16.  Additionally, 10 fans who create a group during the Tournament Challenge Marathon and get 25 friends to join the group will be selected at random to win a $1,000 Amazon Gift Card.

Fans can also test out their skills by picking all NCAA tournament games and more in the ESPN Streak game, where they can compete for $35,000 in prizes each month. On both March 15 and March 16, the fan who creates the longest Streak that day can win $5,000.

NCAA Women’s Championship Schedule

Date Time (ET) Matchups/Commentators Network
First Round
Fri, March 16 Noon No. 16 Boise State vs. No. 1 Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)
Beth Mowins, Nell FortnerNo. 11 Western Kentucky vs. No. 6 Oregon State (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Brenda VanLengen, Carol RossNo. 12 Oklahoma vs. No. 5 DePaul (College Station, Texas)
Lowell Galindo, Andraya Carter

No. 12 Princeton vs. No. 5 Maryland (Raleigh, N.C.)
John Brickley, Mike Thibault

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  2 p.m. No. 9 Dayton vs. No. 8 Marquette (Louisville, Ky.)
Beth Mowins, Nell FortnerNo. 14 Liberty vs. No. 3 Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)
Brenda VanLengen, Carol RossNo. 13 Drake vs. No. 4 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)
Lowell Galindo, Andraya Carter

No. 13 Elon vs. No. 4 NC State (Raleigh, N.C.)
John Brickley, Mike Thibault

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  5 p.m. No. 16 CSU Northridge vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Roy Philpott, Brooke WeisbrodNo. 10 Virginia vs. No. 7 Cal (Columbia, S.C.)
Paul Sunderland, Steffi SorensenNo. 10 Minnesota vs. No. 7 Green Bay (Eugene, Ore.)
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson

No. 10 Northern Colorado vs. No. 7 Michigan (Waco, Texas)
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  7 p.m. No. 9 Villanova vs. No. 8 South Dakota State (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Roy Philpott, Brooke WeisbrodNo. 15 NC A&T vs. No. 2 South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)
Paul Sunderland, Steffi SorensenNo. 15 Seattle University vs. No. 2 Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson

No. 15 Grambling vs. No. 2 Baylor (Waco, Texas)
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty

ESPN2 / ESPN3
Sat, March 17 11 a.m. No. 16 St. Francis (Pa.) vs. No. 1 UConn (Storrs, Conn.)
Adam Amin, Kara LawsonNo. 12 Belmont vs. No. 5 Duke (Athens, Ga.)
Melissa Lee, Amanda ButlerNo. 11 Central Michigan vs. No. 6 LSU (Columbus, Ohio)
Sam Gore, Christy Winters-Scott

No. 14 Little Rock vs. No. 3 Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Clay Matvick, Katie Smith

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  1 p.m. No. 9 Quinnipiac vs. No. 8 Miami (Fla.) (Storrs, Conn.)
Adam Amin, Kara LawsonNo. 13 Mercer vs. No. 4 Georgia (Athens, Ga.)
Melissa Lee, Amanda ButlerNo. 14 George Washington vs. No. 3 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio)
Sam Gore, Christy Winters-Scott

No. 11 Buffalo vs. No. 6 USF (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Clay Matvick, Katie Smith

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 8 Syracuse (Starkville, Miss.)
Courtney Lyle, Tamika CatchingsNo. 12 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 5 Missouri (Stanford, Calif.)
Elise Woodward, Dan HughesNo. 14 American vs. No. 3 UCLA (Los Angeles)
Tiffany Greene, Chiney Ogwumike

No. 10 Nebraska vs. No. 7 Arizona State (Austin)
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  5:30 p.m. No. 16 Nicholls vs. No. 1 Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)
Courtney Lyle, Tamika CatchingsNo. 13 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.)
Elise Woodward, Dan HughesNo. 11 Creighton vs. No. 6 Iowa (Los Angeles)
Tiffany Greene, Chiney Ogwumike

No. 15 Maine vs. No. 2 Texas (Austin)
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors

ESPN2 / ESPN3
Second Round
Sun, March 18 Noon  No. 8 Marquette at No. 1 Louisville (Louisville, Ky.)
Beth Mowins, Nell Fortner
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  2 p.m. No. 6 Oregon State at No. 3 Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)Brenda VanLengen, Carol Ross

No. 5 DePaul at No. 4 Texas A&M (College Station, Texas)
Lowell Galindo, Andraya Carter

No. 5 Maryland at No. 4 NC State (Raleigh, N.C.)
John Brickley, Mike Thibault

ESPN2 / ESPN3
7 p.m. No. 9 Villanova at No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)
Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN/ESPN App
  8:30 p.m. No. 7 Michigan at No. 2 Baylor (Waco, Texas)
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  9 p.m. No. 10 Virginia at No. 2 South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)
Paul Sunderland, Steffi Sorensen
ESPN / ESPN App
  10:30 p.m.  No. 10 Minnesota at No. 2 Oregon (Eugene, Ore.)
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Mon, March 19 6:30 p.m.  No. 9 Quinnipiac vs. No. 1 UConn (Storrs, Conn.)
Adam Amin, Kara LawsonNo. 11 Buffalo vs. No. 3 Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)
Clay Matvick, Katie Smith

No. 5 Duke at No. 4 Georgia (Athens, Ga.)
Melissa Lee, Amanda Butler

No. 11 Central Michigan vs. No. 3 Ohio State (Columbus, Ohio)
Sam Gore, Christy Winters-Scott

ESPN2 / ESPN3
  9 p.m.  No. 9 Oklahoma State vs. No. 1 Mississippi State (Starkville, Miss.)
Courtney Lyle, Tamika CatchingsNo. 12 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 4 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.)
Elise Woodward, Dan Hughes

No. 11 Creighton vs. No. 3 UCLA (Los Angeles)
Tiffany Greene, Chiney Ogwumike

No. 7 Arizona State vs. No. 2 Texas (Austin, Texas)
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors

ESPN2 / ESPN3
Regional Semifinals
Fri, March 23 7 p.m. Lexington Semifinal #1
Beth Mowins, Deb Antonelli, Allison Williams
ESPN / ESPN App
  Kansas City Semifinal #1
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors, Courtney Lyle
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  9 p.m. Lexington Semifinal #2
Beth Mowins, Deb Antonelli, Allison Williams
ESPN / ESPN App
  Kansas City Semifinal #2
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors, Courtney Lyle
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Sat, March 24 11:30 a.m. Albany Semifinal #1
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App
  1:30 p.m. Albany Semifinal #2
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App
  4 p.m. Spokane Semifinal #1
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Molly McGrath
ESPN / ESPN App
  6 p.m. Spokane Semifinal #2
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Molly McGrath
ESPN / ESPN App
Regional Finals
Sun, March 25 Noon Lexington Regional Final
Beth Mowins, Deb Antonelli, Allison Williams
ESPN / ESPN App
7:30 p.m. Kansas City Regional Final
Pam Ward, Gail Goestenkors, Courtney Lyle
ESPN / ESPN App
Mon, March 26 7 p.m. Albany Regional Final
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App
9 p.m. Spokane Regional Final
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Molly McGrath
ESPN / ESPN App
Women’s Final Four
Fri, March 30 7 p.m. Semifinal #1 (Columbus, Ohio)
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN2 / ESPN App
9 p.m. Semifinal #2 (Columbus, Ohio)
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Sun, April 1 6 p.m. Women’s National Championship
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App

 

Quotes from Selection Special

Lobo on Belmont: “This is a team that can do some damage. Their top players are upperclassmen. They could be really dangerous against a Duke team that plays a lot of zone.”

Landers on Georgia: “They have guard-like skills at the forward position that creates match-up problems for their opponents.”

Lobo on Notre Dame: “They are an unselfish team. They’ll look to find each other as well as any other team in the country… they make big passes and get good shots.”

Landers on Texas A&M: “They have the best freshman in the country.”

Lobo on Oregon: “They run the pick and roll so well. You can spread the floor when you have great three point shooters. Elite level vision – you better be ready to defend the pick and roll.”

Landers on Oregon: “This is a team that’s up and coming, but man, can they score.”

Lobo on Louisville’s talent: “Asia Durr is one of the most exciting offensive players in the country.”

Landers on potential matchups in the tournament: “I’m looking forward to the Notre Dame – Oregon matchup, if it happens. It’s going to be an offensive bonanza.”

Creme on overall field: “My first reaction was that the committee did a really great job… Some of the seedings for the mid-majors is great. I was happy to see that.”

Creme on seeding: “The way the bracketing principles work, there was no other option that to put South Carolina in Albany… that was the way it had to be to make it a fair and honest bracket.”

SEC Network

Amanda Butler: “All of Starkville will be in the Hump. They might have to pull out bleachers and fold-up chairs for this one. Mississippi State has a great chance to go far, including advancing over Nicholls State and go all the way to the end and be the last group of women standing.”

Nell Fortner: “[South Carolina is] the defending champion, so they’re putting their heads down and grinding. But somebody had to be in the Albany bracket, somebody had to play UConn. They’re ready to get back to work. And Dawn has the chance to play her alma mater (Virginia) in the second round should they defeat North Carolina A&T, which would be a great storyline as she’s the greatest women’s player in UVA’s history.”

Butler on Tennessee winning 56 straight NCAA games in Knoxville: “I think that’s obviously a confidence builder for them. I don’t think they’ll have any trouble getting through Liberty but a matchup against Oregon State will definitely be a challenge to make it to the Sweet 16.”

Fortner: “Georgia has the best defense in the SEC, but they’ve got some quick guard play up front that’s really turned the tide for the Bulldog defenders. And getting to host for the first time since 2003, they’ll face a Mercer team led by former Georgia Bulldog Susie Gardner, so that’s an interesting matchup as well.”

Butler on Texas A&M: “They defend their court well and they’ll get that opportunity again this weekend. Being excited about your seed is a key piece to being successful in this tournament. They have one of the best, if not the best, freshman in Kennedy Carter. She’ll need to play with more of a seasoned veteran leadership and if she does, Texas A&M will have a great chance.”

Fortner on Mizzou’s offense: “They’ve got one of the best guards in Sophie Cunningham. I like the discipline that Mizzou runs their offense with and they get the ball in the right person’s hands.”

Butler: “That LSU defense and the way they control tempo, the way they make really good offensive teams play yucky offense, that’s going to be important because they have a really tough matchup in Central Michigan.”

Coaches

Coach Dawn Staley (South Carolina): “I guess Charlie Creme got it right putting us in the Albany bracket. We’re not in the room [for the selection], so all we can do is play the game.”

Staley on if it feels different entering as defending national champions: “There’s a different feel because we go into the tournament not having any perimeter depth. Last year, we had a lot of perimeter depth and this year, not so much. But the players we have are playing well and playing their best basketball to date, so I’m happy about that.”

Coach Vic Schaefer (MSU) on first loss of the season coming in SEC Tournament title game: “I think the impact of that [loss] is yet to be determined. We didn’t have to lose to get my attention. We’ve been saying it all year, finally on game 33, it happened. You can’t take anything from South Carolina. They’re really good and playing at a high level. Those kids played extremely well and we didn’t. We didn’t shoot it well, we had foul trouble early. You got to see the value of Teaira McCowan to our team. Benching her 3 or 4 minutes in and I made the decision to leave her there, you saw the effect of that on our team.”

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