For the first time in Kentucky basketball history Big Blue Madness will air live in its entirety on national television. SEC Network is slated to carry the popular Wildcat event on Friday, Oct. 16 at 7 p.m. ET. The two-hour show will also stream live via the WatchESPN app on computers, tablets and smartphones.
The annual Big Blue Madness event features a dramatic unveiling of the men’s and women’s basketball teams and their newest roster in front of a sold-out Rupp Arena. Students and fans have been known to campout for days to secure tickets.
ESPN’s Dave O’Brien will be joined by analysts Sean Farnham and Kara Lawson to preview both the men’s and women’s line-up. The men’s team is currently ranked No. 3 in ESPN.com pre-season and went undefeated in the regular season last year, before advancing to their fourth trip to the Final Four in the last five years. The women’s team is coming off its sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.
Big Blue Madness is the first unofficial unveiling of the 2015-16 teams, including the introduction of freshman Skal Labissiere, Jamal Murray and Isiah Briscoe collectively ranked as the ESPN No. 2 men’s recruiting class in the country. The Kentucky women’s team will introduce the nation’s 13th-best recruiting class according to espnW.com. The night includes team scrimmages, drills, former players, special guests and surprise acts.
In addition to SEC Network’s coverage of Big Blue Madness, ESPN3 will carry No. 5 Kansas’ Late Night in the Phog (Friday, Oct. 9 at 8 p.m.) and at least three additional basketball tipoff events live over the next two weeks, while an ESPNU will air #MidnightMadness on Friday, Oct. 23 at 9 p.m. The one-hour television special will utilize social media and web-based videos to provide a sampling of college basketball’s annual preseason parties from campuses around the nation and preview the upcoming season (more details).