2010 ESPN Women's NCAA Final Four Fact Sheet

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2010 ESPN Women's NCAA Final Four Fact Sheet

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April 1, 2010

15th Year of Exclusive Coverage – April 4-6 from the Alamodome in San Antonio

ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Final Four Coverage

National Semifinal No. 1: Oklahoma vs. Stanford, 7 p.m. ET Sunday, April 4

National Semifinal No. 2: Baylor vs. Connecticut, 9 p.m. ET Sunday, April 4

National Championship: 8:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 6

*All three games also available on ESPN3.com and ESPN Mobile TV

Final Four Storylines

  • 15th year of exclusive coverage on ESPN; eighth year covering all 63 games;
  • All three games at the Final Four will be presented in high definition, and live on ESPN3.com (formerly ESPN360.com) as well as, for the first time, live on ESPN Mobile;
  • The games and studio shows will use 23 cameras, comprising 19 game cameras and four studio:
    • Three robotic cameras
    • Two jibs
    • Two 180fps slo-mos
    • One Steadicam
  • Baylor alumnus Trey Wingo, Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck on set at the Alamodome during ESPN’s studio coverage of the semifinals Sunday and the national championship Tuesday;
  • Kara Lawson is the only ESPN analyst who picked Oklahoma to make the Final Four;
  • Play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien will be calling his first Women’s Final Four, with fifth-year Final Four analyst Doris Burke;
  • Nebraska alumna Shelley Smith, SportsCenter correspondent and an Emmy Award-winning journalist, will report live from San Antonio;
  • Rebecca Lobo, who captained coach Geno Auriemma’s first perfect Connecticut team in 1995, will take to Twitter throughout the Final Four, as she has throughout the Tournament, at http://twitter.com/RebeccaLobo;
  • Consumption of women’s college basketball content during the Tournament on the ESPN Mobile Web site through the regional finals was up 28 percent compared to 2009;
  • In ESPN.com’s Women’s Tournament Challenge:
    • 11.6 percent (22,098) of the entries predicted Baylor would defeat Tennessee in the Sweet 16;
    • 3.6 percent (6,885) picked Baylor to defeat Duke in the Elite Eight;
    • 0.5 percent (883) selected Baylor to beat Connecticut in the Final Four;
    • 2.1 percent (3,941) chose Oklahoma to top Stanford in the Final Four;
    • 37.6 percent (71,659) picked Connecticut to beat Stanford in the National Championship game;
    • 4.1 percent (7,889) predicted Stanford would defeat Connecticut for the title;
    • 3.3 percent (6,308) chose Connecticut to beat Oklahoma in the National Championship game;
    • 0.3 percent (550) picked Oklahoma defeating Connecticut for the title;
    • 0.1 percent (158) chose Stanford to top Baylor in the title game;
    • 0.1 percent (180) selected Baylor to beat Stanford for the title;
    • 73.25 percent (139,426) of the entries picked Connecticut to win the National Championship; 6.47 percent (12,307) selected Stanford; 0.5 percent (950) chose Oklahoma; and 0.37 percent (697) picked Baylor. 

ESPN Final Four Commentators

Play-by-Play Announcer Dave O’Brien – This is O’Brien’s first time calling the Women’s Final Four for ESPN. He has done play-by-play for women’s college basketball since joining ESPN in 2002. He has called a variety of events, most notably Major League Baseball, and soccer, including the 2006 FIFA World Cup.

Game Analyst Doris Burke – For the fifth year, Burke will serve as the game analyst for the Women’s Final Four on ESPN. Burke has become one of the network’s most versatile basketball commentators, calling both men’s and women’s college and NBA contests. Burke is a former Providence College standout.

Game Reporters Rebecca Lobo and Holly Rowe – Lobo, a member of the 1995 Connecticut championship team, is in her second year as a sideline reporter for the Women’s Final Four. Rowe is one of ESPN’s top reporters whose experience includes football, basketball, and other sports.

Studio Host (on-site) Trey Wingo – A fourth-year Women’s Final Four host and a graduate of Baylor, a Final Four participant, Wingo also hosts ESPN’s NFL Live and NFL Primetime. He is also an avid contributor to ESPN’s NFL Draft coverage.

Studio Analysts (on-site) Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck – Fourth-year studio analyst Lawson, a former Lady Vol who played on three Final Four teams, also serves as a sideline reporter for ESPN’s coverage of the NBA and is a member of the WNBA’s Connecticut Suns. Peck is in her second year as studio analyst for ESPN’s NCAA Women’s Tournament coverage. She returned to ESPN in 2007 as a basketball analyst for women’s college basketball and the WNBA. Peck led the Purdue Boilermakers to an NCAA National Championship title in 1999. She played college basketball for Vanderbilt.

SportsCenter Reporter (on-site) Shelley Smith – Smith is a Sports Emmy Award-winning SportsCenter correspondent. She has covered Super Bowls, the NBA Finals, the BCS national championship game, the NHL Stanley Cup playoffs, golf and tennis championships, ski racing, weightlifting, boxing, motor sports and more.

ESPN Multiplatform Coverage

ESPNEWS: ESPNEWS, the nation’s only 24-hour sports news network, will offer in-depth analysis from Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck, and previews of the NCAA Women’s Final Four teams and matchups beginning Friday, April 2. Complete coverage will include daily reports and analysis from San Antonio, live Final Four team news conferences and practice session coverage, and postgame news conferences Sunday and Tuesday.

ESPN.com: ESPN.com is providing comprehensive coverage throughout the tournament, including breakdowns on each matchup from Mechelle Voepel, Graham Hays and Charlie Creme, video highlights of each game and video interviews by Rebecca Lobo. Users have also been actively involved in the Tournament Challenge via ESPN.com’s Fantasy Games.

ESPN3.com: ESPN3.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, will simulcast ESPN’s coverage of the national semifinals and national championship game.

ESPN Mobile: ESPN Mobile, ESPN’s 24/7 channel for wireless platforms, will offer the national semifinals and national championship live. Additional NCAA Women’s Tournament content, such as scores and updates, will be available.                                                

ESPN Radio: ESPN Radio will provide live score updates on its “SportsCenter” reports during the Women’s Final Four, and will present interviews with potential newsmakers in San Antonio during studio programming.

ESPN International: ESPN International will provide coverage of the national semifinal games along with the national championship to fans on ESPN in Latin America, ESPN Africa, ESPN Middle East, ESPN Pac Rim, ESPN Australia HD, ESPN Brazil, ESPN Brazil HD, ESPN & ESPN 2 Caribbean and ESPN America (Europe).

Final Four Specials

2010 NCAA Women’s Final Four Special: This 30-minute Women’s Final Four preview show from San Antonio will precede the national semifinals at 6:30 p.m. ET Sunday, April 4, on ESPN.

2010 NCAA Women’s Championship Special: ESPN will begin its Tuesday championship coverage at 7:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, April 6, with an hourlong preview from San Antonio leading into the national championship game.

Both specials hosted by Wingo, Lawson and Peck 

For releases, schedules, photos and more, please visit the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship media kit at ESPN MediaZone.

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Media Contact: Jenny Zimmerman at 407-566-2213 or [email protected]

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