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Three Former All-America Wrestlers to Join Commentators in Providing In-Depth Analysis
ESPNU, ESPN and ESPN360.com will combine for expanded live coverage of the 80th annual NCAA Wrestling Championships on Friday, March 19, and Saturday, March 20, from the Qwest Center Omaha in Omaha, Neb. The Championships will be telecast entirely in high definition.
For the first time, three former All-America athletes will join ESPN commentators during select telecasts, providing unique perspective and adding to the in-depth analysis: Ben Askren, Missouri (quarterfinals), Jordan Leen, Cornell (semis) and Jake Herbert, Northwestern (medal round).
The quarterfinals will air Friday, March 19, at 10:30 a.m. ET, and the semifinals at 7 p.m., both on ESPNU. For the fourth consecutive year, the quarterfinals (two of four matches) and semifinals (both matches) will be telecast in a side-by-side format, allowing viewers to catch the action in two matches at the same time.
ESPNU will televise the Championship Medal Round on Saturday, March 20, at 11 a.m., and the hunt for the Div. I title culminates with the Finals at 7:30 p.m. on ESPN. During the Finals, two referees per match each will wear a microphone, providing fans with even more access to and understanding of the action.
ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, will devote a single feed to the quarterfinals Friday, giving viewers the option to stay with one mat. Also, ESPN360.com will simulcast ESPN’s presentation of the finals Saturday.
Todd Harris will serve as play-by-play announcer alongside analysts Tim Johnson and Olympic gold medalist Jeff Blatnick, with reporter Quint Kessenich, a former two-time county wrestling champion at New York’s Lynbrook High School. For ESPN360.com coverage, 1981 NCAA 134-pound champion wrestler Jim Gibbons, who coached the 1987 Iowa State Cyclones to the national title, returns for the third year as analyst and will be joined by play-by-play announcer Shawn Kenney.
ESPN360.com is available in more than 50 million homes — two-thirds of U.S. broadband homes — at no cost to fans who receive their high-speed Internet connection from an affiliated service provider. Approximately 21 million U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel receive free, seamless access to the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships and hundreds of other live college and professional sporting events each month from an on-campus “.edu” or “.mil” network domain in the United States.
ESPNU launched March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network is available in more than 70.4 million households and has long-term carriage agreements with nine of the top 10 providers – Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 614), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse. ESPNU televises more than 600 live events annually and has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA for enhanced coverage of 22 NCAA Championships.
2010 NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships Schedule
|Fri, Mar 19||10:30 a.m.||Quarterfinals||ESPNU HD / ESPN360.com|
|7 p.m.||Semifinals||ESPNU HD|
|Sat, Mar 20||11 a.m.||Championship Medal Round||ESPNU HD|
|7:30 p.m.||Finals||ESPN HD / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile|