March Madness 2016

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March Madness 2016

NCAA® March Madness® Basketball Tournament live online on ESPN Player

  • Complete coverage of NCAA Tournament through streaming service
  • ESPN Player is the only place where fans across UK and Europe can watch all March Madness fixtures, live and on-demand
  • Derby native Kingsley Okoroh set to feature for California will bring UK and European viewers live and on-demand coverage of every game of the 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament (aka March Madnesss®), as the top 68 college teams in US college basketball compete for supremacy in the annual knock-out tournament.

Available on Mac, PC, iPad and through Samsung smart TVs, ESPN Player’s coverage begins on Tuesday 15 March and runs through five rounds to the National Championship game on Monday 4 April as the eyes of the basketball world focus on the knock-out tournament famed for its upsets, excitement and drama.

The build-up to March Madness® began with Championship Week in the first two weeks of March as teams competed to secure one of 31 automatic places in the tournament. The remaining 37 teams were chosen “at large” on Selection Sunday by a committee based on their regular-season performance.

There is a British contingent in this year’s tournament as University of California powerhouse centre and Derby native, Kinglsey Okoroh, will be hoping the Golden Bears make an impact in the South as the fourth highest ranked team. California’s first round game pits them against Hawaii live on ESPN Player (Friday, 18 March, 6pm GMT).  Other players in the tournament with British connections include University of Texas Center, Prince Ibeh (born in London) and Stony Brook Univeristy freshman forward Akwasi Yeboah (from Chigwell, England).

Before the tournament begins, basketball fans around the world will predict how it will unfold by filling out their brackets. The notoriously difficult process sees millions of fans log their guesses online into ESPN’s Tournament Challenge bracket game – which received more than 11.5 million entries in 2015, including U.S. President Barack Obama. Fans will also be able to follow the tournament in detail through ESPN’s extensive editorial digital coverage from its US-based team of leading college basketball writers, reporters and experts.

ESPN Player will stream live coverage of every game throughout March Madness® to basketball fans in the UK and across Europe.

ESPN Player’s extensive coverage of the NCAA Tournament includes:

  • 15-16 March – First Four:  four “play-in” games as eight teams compete for four spaces in the final 64.
  • 17-20 March – First and Second Rounds:  Live back-to-back basketball across four consecutive days – a total of 48 games. ESPN Player will provide flexible game coverage from each of the four tournament regions – East, West, Midwest and South – and fans will be able to watch any single game they choose, both live and on-demand.
  • 24-27 March – Regional Semifinals:  The remaining Sweet Sixteen field compete and are narrowed to the Elite Eight and a coveted spot in the celebratedFinal Four.
  • 2 April – The Final Four National Semifinals:   Live from the NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas, the final four teams in the tournament compete for a spot in the Championship Game.
  • 4 April – NCAA National Championship Game: The final two teams in the country play for a place in history.

This year’s NCAA Tournament follows on from a thrillingly unpredicatble regular season which has seen top-10 ranked teams suffer 74 losses, the most since records began in 1948. In addition, No. 1 ranked teams lost seven times during the regular season, also for the first time ever.

Kansas, Villanova, Oregon and North Carolina are ranked top of the four regional conferences with UNC’s recent victory over last year’s champions Duke securing their first regional title since 2012. Traditional powerhouses such as Villanova, Wisconsin and Notre Dame will be looking to continue their positive form and avoid any further upset defeats to low-ranked teams hoping to make a “Cinderella” run. Last year’s Championship game saw Duke achieve their fifth title win by edging out Wisconsin in a tight and exciting affair.

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