ESPN’s Full Coverage of Play 4Kay Women’s College Basketball Initiative Feb. 17 & 18

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ESPN’s Full Coverage of Play 4Kay Women’s College Basketball Initiative Feb. 17 & 18

Coverage Maps

ESPN Front & Center Podcast with Kevin Negandhi

ESPN Images: Women’s Basketball Photos

Negandhi to Debut as New Studio Host for NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship

For the seventh straight-year, ESPN will support the Kay Yow Cancer Fund, in partnership with the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) and The V Foundation, by airing 12 women’s basketball games over two days, Sunday, Feb. 17, and Monday, Feb. 18, as part of the Play 4Kay initiative. The fund is in memory of former NC State head coach Kay Yow, who died Jan. 24, 2009, after a long, courageous battle with breast cancer. Six of the games feature a top-10 team, culminating Monday at 9 p.m. with a powerhouse contest between No. 1 Baylor, with 6-8 center Brittney Griner, and No. 3 Connecticut, led by sophomore forward Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis.

SportsCenter anchor Kevin Negandhi has been chosen to host ESPN’s studio coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship. Negandhi, who will host Play 4Kay, joined ESPN in 2006 and got his start covering women’s basketball while attending college at Temple.

Play 4Kay will showcase eight regionalized games in high definition within two ESPN2 telecast windows on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. ET and 5 p.m. The majority of the country will see the best action of the day with whip-around coverage between sites and updates from other games. In the 16 home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will start and remain primarily with the game of local interest. Also part of the initiative are full-national telecasts on ESPNU at 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m., plus two Big Monday Presented by Bud Light games on ESPN2 on Feb. 18, at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m.

ESPN3 will have the eight regionalized games in their entirety, while the ESPNU and Big Monday games will be available on computers at and on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app for fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Studio Coverage
Negandhi joins analysts Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck in studio on Sunday and Monday and all throughout the NCAA Championship, including onsite in New Orleans for ESPN’s Final Four coverage.

  • The trio will move from ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios to the site of the Baylor-UConn game at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., on Monday to provide pregame, halftime and postgame coverage of both Big Monday Presented by Bud Light games.

Game Coverage
Play 4Kay features an event-high 24 teams across ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 and includes 12 teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll. The schedule also includes six matchups featuring a top-10 team, three top 25 games and a top-three contest between No. 1 Baylor at No. 3 Connecticut.

  • Playing in Play 4Kay for the first time, the Pac-12 will have a battle featuring No. 4 Stanford at No. 15 UCLA as a full-national telecast at 3:30 p.m. on ESPNU.
  • ESPNU will also televise DePaul at No. 10 Louisville at 1:30 p.m.
  • As part of Big Monday Presented by Bud Light – two top 15 games showcasing No. 9 Kentucky at No. 11 Texas A&M at 7 p.m., followed by the Lady Bears against the Huskies at 9 p.m.
  • Additional top-25 teams in action on ESPN2 include: at 2:30 p.m. – No. 2 Notre Dame hosting Marquette and No. 22 Oklahoma at Kansas; at 5 p.m. – No. 7 Maryland at Virginia, Vanderbilt at No. 12 Tennessee and Iowa at No. 18 Purdue.
  • 18 State Farm Wade Trophy hopefuls, including two of ESPN’s “3 to See” players as well as two of the most touted women’s basketball seniors in the nation in Brittney Griner (Baylor) and Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame).
  • Cameras will be added to the basket rims for the Baylor-UConn game.

espnW Coverage

  • Baylor-UConn video preview pieces from Pam Ward and Rebecca Lobo, along with Negandhi, Lawson and Peck.
  • Video features of Yow, along with links to the Play 4Kay fundraising website.
  • Michelle Smith talks with Colorado guard Lexy Kresl, whose father came up with the cure that allowed her younger brother Logan to overcome a brain tumor at the age of 17 and is now 17 years old and her inspiration.
  • Oklahoma assistant Jan Ross sits with Mechelle Voepel to talk about her breast cancer diagnosis and how she has been deemed cancer-free.
  • An update on Graham Hays’ story on North Dakota State player Hannah Linz and her on-going battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
  • Smith, Voepel, Hays and Charlie Creme will be compiling the Play 4Kay Dish notebook, as well as continuous coverage on the games.

Public Service Announcements
Play 4Kay public service announcements will run on ESPN networks and espnW. Social media vehicles will utilize #Play4Kay.

ESPN Bottom Line
ESPN’s Bottom Line will promote the Kay Yow Cancer Fund during the ESPN2 Play 4Kay telecasts on Sunday and Monday with the graphic: “donate at”.

On-Campus Initiatives
The color pink has become synonymous as the official color of the breast and women’s cancer brand to help express support for women afflicted with the disease. Throughout the telecasts, the viewer will be engaged through pink elements from the teams, along with their fans, who are sporting pink apparel and raising funds in support of women’s cancer research.

2013 Play 4Kay Schedule (Subject to change)

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network(s)
Sun, Feb 17 1:30 p.m. DePaul at No. 10 Louisville
Jim Barbar & Sonya Beeler
  2:30 p.m. **No. 2 Notre Dame at Marquette
Pam Ward & Stephanie White
  **No. 22 Oklahoma at Kansas
Holly Rowe & Fran Fraschilla
  **Georgia Tech at NC State
Joe Davis & Deb Antonelli
  **Alabama at Auburn
Clay Matvick & Brooke Weisbrod
  3:30 p.m. No. 4 Stanford at No. 15 UCLA
Rich Cellini & Rosalyn Gold-Onwude
  5 p.m. **No. 7 Maryland at Virginia
Melissa Lee & LaChina Robinson
  **Cincinnati at St. John’s
Bob Picozzi & Rebecca Lobo
  **Vanderbilt at No. 12 Tennessee
Adam Amin & Maria Taylor
  **Iowa at No. 18 Purdue
Beth Mowins & Nell Fortner
Mon, Feb 18 7 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Bud Light: No. 9 Kentucky at No. 11 Texas A&M
Pam Ward & Stephanie White
  9 p.m. Big Monday Presented by Bud Light: No. 1 Baylor at No. 3 Connecticut
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Rebecca Lobo

** – Regionalized telecast

The 2013 Play 4Kay initiative is an opportunity for a nation of coaches to raise breast cancer awareness and funds for research on the court, across campuses, in communities and beyond. Since its inception in 2007, Play 4Kay has raised over $2 million to support women’s cancer research.

Kay Yow Legacy
Yow’s coaching career spanned more than 38 years, including 34 with NC State. She had a record of 737-344, which encompassed 20 NCAA championship bids, a Women’s Final Four appearance in 1998 and four ACC Tournament championships. She also coached the U.S. Olympic women’s team to a gold medal in 1988 and was inducted into the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame in 2000, the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2002 and was inducted in the inaugural NC State Hall of Fame in October, 2012.

About the Kay Yow Cancer Fund
The Kay Yow Cancer Fund is a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization committed to being a part of finding an answer in the fight against women’s cancers through raising money for scientific research, assisting the underserved, and unifying people for a common cause. For more information on the Kay Yow Cancer Fund and the initiative or to make a donation, please visit

About The V Foundation for Cancer Research
The V Foundation for Cancer Research was founded in 1993 by ESPN and the late Jim Valvano, legendary North Carolina State basketball coach and ESPN commentator. Since 1993, The Foundation has raised more than $120 million to fund cancer research grants nationwide. It awards 100 percent of all direct cash donations and net proceeds of events directly to cancer research and related programs. Administrative and fundraising expenses are paid by the Foundation’s endowment. The Foundation awards grants through a competitive awards process strictly supervised by a Scientific Advisory Board. For more information on The V Foundation or to make a donation, please visit

Founded in 1981, the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association promotes women’s basketball by unifying coaches at all levels to develop a reputable identity for the sport and to foster and promote the development of the game as a sport for women and girls. For more information on the WBCA, please visit



Rachel Margolis Siegal

A part of the Internal Communications team at ESPN, I began with the network in 2010 as part of the College Sports PR team. Always an avid sports fan and not an athlete – I grew up a huge fan of the Hartford Whalers, while also watching my brother compete at different levels. I became the manager of several high school sports teams and continued that hobby into college. While at Quinnipiac, I worked in the Sports Information Department, which led me to a summer internship at the New Haven Ravens, a AA baseball team, and an eventual job with the Athletic Communications Department at the University of Connecticut. After my five-year stint at Connecticut, I spent six years as Director of Communications at the BIG EAST Conference in Providence, R.I. before joining ESPN.
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