Extensive Selection Sunday Coverage Tips off 89 Straight Hours of Analysis & Debate

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Extensive Selection Sunday Coverage Tips off 89 Straight Hours of Analysis & Debate

ESPN’s extensive multimedia coverage of Selection Sunday, March 14 — the day the 65-team field for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is announced – will serve as a tip off of ESPNU’s Tournament Countdown featuring 89 consecutive hours of college basketball discussion, analysis, previews, interviews and more leading up to the first round of the Tournament.  

ESPN’s Selection Sunday schedule will include content across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile Products. 

For the second consecutive year, ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz will attempt to interview all 65 coaches in the tournament in ESPNU’s four-hour ESPNU Coaches Spotlight: Katz Marathon Monday, March 15, at 2 p.m. ET. Last year, he spoke to 63 head coaches and one assistant. Highlights for Sunday include: 

  • Ten hours of college basketball studio discussion across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU on Selection Sunday, as well as analysis all day on ESPNEWS;
  • The debut of two new shows on ESPNU: The Experts, giving the fan a sense of listening in on the conversation of two four-person panels of analysts at 9:30 p.m. and The Bracket: All Nighter, a three-hour show providing a “late-night study session” of the Tournament, beginning at midnight.
  • A three-hour show on ESPN Radio; Tournament Challenge, online videos, chats and more on ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile Products. 

ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2’s Selection Sunday and Tournament Countdown Schedule

Date Time (ET) Show Network
Sun, Mar 14 noon College GameDay Driven by State Farm ESPN
  3 p.m. Bracketology Presented by Staples ESPN
  6 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  7 p.m. Bracketology Presented by Staples ESPN and ESPNU
  9 p.m. The Experts ESPN2 (ESPNU simulcast: 9:30 p.m.)
  9 p.m. NIT Selection Show ESPNU
  Midnight The Bracket: All Nighter ESPNU
Mon, Mar 15 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPNU
  2 p.m. ESPNU Coaches Spotlight: Katz Marathon ESPNU
  6 p.m. The Bracket ESPNU
  8 p.m. NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show ESPNU
  9 p.m. The Experts ESPNU
  Midnight The Bracket: All Nighter ESPNU
Tue, Mar 16 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPNU
  3 p.m. ESPNU Coaches Spotlight: Women’s Tournament Edition ESPNU
  6 p.m. The Bracket ESPNU
  8 p.m. NIT First-Round Game * ESPNU
  10 p.m. NIT First-Round Game * ESPNU
  Midnight The Bracket: All Nighter ESPNU
Wed, Mar 17 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd ESPNU
  2 p.m. NCAA Press Conferences ESPNU
  6 p.m. The Bracket ESPNU
  8 p.m. NIT First-Round Game * ESPNU
  10 p.m. NIT First-Round Game * ESPNU
  Midnight The Bracket: All Nighter ESPNU
Thu, Mar 18 10 a.m. The Bracket ESPNU

 * Schedule subject to change

ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2’s Selection Sunday show details include:

  • College GameDay Driven by State Farm at noon on ESPN with host Rece Davis, analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps and Hubert Davis and ESPN.com Bracketologist Joe Lunardi in ESPN’s studios with Dick Vitale and Bob Knight via satellite previewing the day’s conference championships and discussing who could be in and out of the Tournament, as well as potential bracket seeding.
  • ESPNEWS will provide all-day Selection Sunday coverage beginning at 1 p.m. with bracket predictions leading up to the announcement, followed by reaction from analysts, players and coaches. Throughout the NCAA Tournament, ESPNEWS will provide analysis from Doug Gottlieb and other ESPN personalities and air news conferences live before and after every game, beginning Wednesday, March 17, at 11 a.m.
  • ESPN will provide extensive, in-depth analysis with the hourlong Bracketology Presented by Staples at 3 p.m. Host Ryan Burr, analysts Gottlieb, Steve Lavin and Jay Williams, and ESPN.com Bracketologist Joe Lunardi will discuss their predictions for No. 1 seeds, the last teams in and out, interview coaches of teams on the bubble and more. In addition, Lunardi will reveal his bracket projections during the show and ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz will report from Charlotte, N.C.
  • In addition to reporting on the latest sports news, the 6 p.m. SportsCenter will provide up-to-the-minute updates of the tournament selection with host Rece Davis and analysts Bilas, Phelps and Knight analyzing the brackets shortly after they are announced. Vitale will also contribute.
  • Bracketology Presented by Staples at 7 p.m. on ESPN and simulcast on ESPNU will include extensive, in-depth analysis of the bracket in each region. Host Rece Davis will be joined by Bilas, Phelps, Hubert Davis and Lunardi in studio and Vitale and Knight via satellite to discuss multiple Tournament topics and reveal their Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship teams. The show will include live interviews with several coaches, including Kentucky’s John Calipari, and NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee Chair Dan Guerrero.
  • For the fifth straight year, ESPNU will televise the live announcement of the NIT field at 9 p.m. The NIT Selection Show, hosted by Lowell Galindo with analyst Mike Kelley, will feature comprehensive analysis of the matchups and discuss what teams were left out. The show will include a live interview with NIT Chair C.M. Newton about the bracket and selection process.
  • The Experts, a live studio show hosted by Kevin Connors at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU and simulcast on ESPN2, will provide the feel of eavesdropping on the conversation of two four-person panels of analysts. Every half hour, the two groups will switch places, with one on the air while the other serves ESPN’s digital and social networking platforms. Analysts expected to participate include Stephen Bardo, Adrian Branch, Jimmy Dykes, LaPhonso Ellis, Len Elmore, Fran Fraschilla, Mark Gottfried and Tim Welsh, while Katz provides insight to the reactions from coaches and players to their seeding and draw. A three-hour episode will be aired Monday, March 15, a 9 p.m. on ESPNU.
  • The live three-hour studio show The Bracket: All Nighter on ESPNU at midnight will feature anchor Lowell Galindo and analysts Mike Kelley and Jay Williams leading a “late-night study session.” The show will also be aired each night Monday, March 15, through Wednesday, March 17, at midnight. All four shows will see the clock strike midnight in four time zones and include live reports from the ESPNU Road Trip crew from college campuses of tournament schools to capture the excitement and planning of college students. In addition, Campus Connection student reporters will follow teams during preparations, from game film to student travel plans, giving the fans insight into what the tournament is like for those who play and those who cheer for them. 

ESPN Radio

ESPN Radio will present a SportsCenter Selection Sunday Special on March 14 at approximately 6 p.m., immediately following the live broadcast of the Boston-Cleveland NBA game. The three-hour special will be hosted by Chuck Wilson, an ESPN Radio original (1992-2005) who returns to the network this weekend. It will feature a breakdown of the 65-team field and interviews with the day’s college basketball newsmakers, including Selection Chairman Dan Guerrero and numerous coaches and analysts. ESPN Radio’s continuing coverage of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament will feature two-hour specials at 6 p.m. on March 15, 16, 22, 23 and 24. 


As part of its extensive Tournament coverage, ESPN.com will provide updated “National Bracket” information on Selection Sunday, reflecting real-time collective tournament predictions of sports fans nationwide. Within minutes of team selections, complete brackets will be available, along with profiles of all 65 teams, interactive polls and a special NCAA Tournament edition of Pat Forde’s “Forde Minutes” column. A breakdown of each regional by Katz will be available Monday, March 15. Highlights: 

  • Tournament Challenge: The ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by State Farm and Sprint will return. Once again, the Challenge is free for entrants, who can submit up to 10 brackets. Fans submit a bracket of game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the Tournaments progress. Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with more than a 4.6 million entries, up 43 percent from the previous year — setting a new record. Among the millions of participants in 2009 was President Barack Obama, who correctly picked the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the title, but finished with his bracket ranked at 903,125 overall, just above the 80th percentile. 

In addition, this year fans will be able to play via the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge app on their iPhone or iPod Touch devices. The app, which will launch around Selection Sunday and is available at no cost to fans in the App Store, will allow fans to sign up, join groups, check their brackets and follow all the action in real time, on the go. Fans will also have the ease and convenience of submitting and following via their mobile phone on ESPN MVP on Verizon Wireless or via ESPN’s industry-leading mobile Web site

  • Live Chats: A five-hour chat session on Selection Sunday gives fans an opportunity to consult experts and add to the nationwide dialogue and debate. ESPN.com blogger Eamonn Brennan and writer Mark Schlabach will tip things off at 7 p.m., followed by multiple ESPN analysts weighing in at 9:30 p.m., including Fraschilla, Elmore, Dykes, Branch, Bardo, Ellis, Gottfried and Welsh.
  • News, Information, Analysis: ESPN.com’s Katz, Forde, Schlabach and Dana O’Neil, along with Vitale, Bilas and Fraschilla, will provide news, insight, analysis and commentary on the latest developments in college hoops. 
  • Online Video: ESPN.com will feature extensive online video from ESPN studio programs and analysis from ESPN experts.
  • College Hoops Blogs: Blogs will be maintained and updated regularly by ESPN experts. 
  • Matchup Simulations: Accuscore statistical game simulations on ESPN.com will forecast the outcome of every tournament game, with each result based on the average outcome for 10,000 game simulations.  

ESPN Mobile
ESPN’s mobile initiatives will deliver in-depth coverage and interaction leading up to and through Selection Sunday, including:

  • Mobile Video: Sprint TV, AT&T CV, Verizon VCAST and the ESPN MVP on Verizon Wireless will offer exclusive video on teams to watch, potential busts and expert analysis from ESPN personalities.  ESPN Mobile TV (available via Sprint TV, FLO TV and MobiTV) will provide College GameDay segments and individual team capsules.
  • Mobile Web: ESPN’s industry-leading mobile Web site will have special sections analyzing each region, including immediate access to stats and analysis of all 65 NCAA Tournament teams. Interactive features will include the ability to submit Tournament Challenge picks directly through the wireless site, and to participate in SportsNation chats and polls on Selection Sunday and throughout the NCAA Tournament.
  • ESPN Alerts: Fans can sign up to receive Tournament Alerts that deliver up-to-the-minute news and scores directly to their wireless devices on all major carriers. Beginning with Selection Sunday, the top four seeds from each region will be sent to subscribers via text message moments after the announcement. Throughout the tournament, subscribers will receive scores, upset watch alerts, and the latest news, as well as expanded in-game updates during the regional finals and Final Four. Tournament Challenge players can also sign up to receive an alert reminding them to fill out their brackets as soon as they are available. Fans can signup for Alerts on ESPN.com or the ESPN Mobile Web.
  • 2ESPN: 2ESPN provides a sports-on-demand service using text messaging. Fans can text the name of their team to shortcode 23776 to receive the latest score, schedule or stats at any time.  


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