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ESPN will continue to serve as the college basketball leader with the industry’s most extensive package of game and studio coverage in 2015-16 – approximately 1,200 exclusive games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, SEC Network and Longhorn Network. The addition of ESPN3 exclusive games and its lineup of outermarket contests will be included in future releases resulting in a record number of games this season.
In addition, content will live throughout the year on ESPN.com, ESPN Radio, ESPN the Magazine and many more ESPN platforms.
The season gets underway in world-wide fashion on Friday, Nov. 13, with the fourth annual Armed Forces Classic – this year staged from Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan and showcasing Pittsburgh vs. Gonzaga at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Just prior, Colorado travels to South Dakota’s Samford Pentagon to take on Iowa State for a 5 p.m. tilt on ESPN2, while action continues throughout the night with an SEC Network doubleheader, an ESPNU doubleheader, including an early-round game of the 2K Classic featuring Siena at Duke and closing the night on ESPN with Texas versus Washington in Shanghai, China.
All telecasts will be streamed live on WatchESPN, accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
New this year:
- ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU will combine to air every game of the third annual Big 12/SEC Challenge Presented by Sonic – staged for the first time on the common bye date of Saturday, Jan. 30, 2016, during the conference schedule. The field is headlined by four preseason top-10 teams in the ESPN.com’s revised too-early top 25 – No. 3 Kentucky, No. 5 Kansas, No. 7 Iowa State and No. 8 Oklahoma – and matches all 10 of the Big 12 members against 10 teams from the Southeastern Conference.
- College GameDay Covered by State Farm will be live for the first time from the annual Jimmy V Classic presented by Corona on Tuesday, Dec. 8, at Madison Square Garden in New York City.
- The launch of ESPN College Extra, a new college sports service that will bring hundreds of ESPN3 exclusive live college sports events to the TV. Live events will be accessible to customers of AT&T U-verse and DIRECTV – which is now part of the AT&T family – Bright House Networks, Cox, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS and select NCTC members.
- ESPN will televise two games of the inaugural Gavitt Tipoff Games as part of the Tip-Off Marathon presented by Constant Contact on Tuesday, Nov. 17, showcasing DePaul at Penn State at 5 p.m. on ESPNU and top-ranked Maryland hosting Georgetown at 9 p.m. on ESPN2.
- Also new to ESPN’s programming this season is the ARS Hoophall Miami Invitational featuring Kentucky vs. USF and Ohio State vs. Memphis at 5 p.m. on ESPN and 7:30 on ESPN2.
- Continuing off of last year’s theme, College GameDay Covered by State Farm – originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecasts – will feature several options each week to choose from in order to follow storylines as the season develops. The sites for the seven-week series – January 23 to March 5 – will be announced the week prior. The morning edition of the show will begin at 11 a.m. on ESPN and conclude with a one-hour version will air on ESPN leading into the game-of-the-week telecast.
- For the fifth straight year, ESPN will showcase four of the all-time winningest programs in the State Farm Champions Classic doubleheader to close out the 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon Presented by Constant Contact on Tuesday, Nov. 17. The games from the United Center in Chicago will showcase four teams in an early ESPN.com preseason poll: No. 3 Kentucky at No. 6 Duke at 7:30 p.m. followed by No. 5 Kansas vs. No. 19 Michigan State at 10 p.m. College Football Playoff: Top 25 – ESPN’s exclusive reveal of the College Football Playoff weekly rankings – will air from the United Center between games with host Rece Davis and analyst Kirk Herbstreit onsite.
- The eighth annual Tip-Off Marathon presented by Constant Contact will celebrate the start of the basketball season with 18 men’s and women’s college basketball games beginning Monday, Nov. 16, and continuing through Tuesday, Nov. 17, across ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU. After the women’s game of top-ranked UConn at Ohio State at 5:30 p.m., ESPN2’s Marathon schedule will include nine games tipping off about every two hours, followed by ESPN’s schedule of five consecutive games starting at 1 p.m. on Tuesday and concluding with the State Farm Champions Classic. ESPN2 will also televise a Tuesday men’s primetime game featuring top-ranked Maryland against Georgetown at 9 p.m. as part of the Gavitt Tipoff Games. In addition, ESPNU will feature a doubleheader on Monday beginning at 7 p.m.
- ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game on an ESPN television network every day but eight from November 13 to March 6 (November 14, 18 and 28; December 11, 14, 24 and 26; and January 11).
- The sixth season of the ESPN Buzzer Beater network will offer live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. beginning Wednesday, Jan. 6.
- SEC Network will present more than 120 SEC games exclusively, highlighted by weekly Tuesday and Wednesday doubleheaders and an extensive lineup every Saturday.
- Longhorn Network, ESPN’s 24-hour network devoted to The University of Texas, will air nine games, including three featuring a Big 12 opponent.
- The regular-season will culminate with ESPN’s 31st consecutive season of Championship Week presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods wall-to-wall conference tournament coverage March 3-13.
ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS and SEC Network will combine to offer top games throughout the season, including many in regular time slots beginning Monday, Jan. 4, highlighted by (conference assignments can vary):
- Monday: Big Monday doubleheader will again showcase the ACC and Big 12 at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m., respectively, mainly on ESPN. In addition, ESPNU will present a regular schedule of night games, primarily involving the Big 12, ACC, MEAC and SWAC.
- Tuesday: Super Tuesday presented by Hotels.com will highlight an ESPN Big Ten and SEC doubleheader as well as a weekly ESPN2 prime-time matchup featuring the Big 12. Tuesday will also include a doubleheader on ESPNU at 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. showcasing primarily the ACC and SEC, as well as select 11 p.m. games from the Mountain West. SEC Network will also provide a 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. doubleheader.
- Wednesday: Wednesday Night Hoops will feature ACC, American, Big Ten, Big 12, Pac-12 and SEC games on ESPN2 or ESPNU. SEC Network will televise games in a 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. doubleheader.
- Thursday: Thursday Night Showcase will feature selection from the American, ACC, Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC on ESPN and ESPN2, as well as games a tripleheader games on ESPNU.
- Saturday: Coverage as part of the Saturday Showcase (11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. tip times) includes multiple conferences across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS with weekly netflex selections. The Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game-of-the-week on ESPN, and site of College GameDay Covered by State Farm series, will return for a 12th season. SEC Network will televise multiple games every Saturday during conference play as well.
- Sunday: The weekly ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series will return for a fifth season and be joined by the Pac-12 for a third straight year and the Missouri Valley on most Sundays.
ESPN’s franchise weeks consisting of top matchups around notable times in the schedule will return on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS:
- Tip-Off Marathon presented by Constant Contact on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU (Nov. 16-17)
- Feast Week presented by Lowe’s on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS (Nov. 19-29)
- Holiday Hoops presented by Kay Jewelers on ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPNU (Dec. 15-23)
- My Home Court on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS (Jan. 18-24)
- Rivalry Week presented by Wendy’s on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPNEWS (Feb. 15-21)
- Championship Week presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods (March 3-13)
Events and Tournaments
Special tournaments and events:
- Armed Forces Classic (Nov. 13)
- State Farm Champions Classic (Nov. 17)
- Gildan Charleston Classic (Nov. 19-22)
- Puerto Rico Tip-Off (Nov. 19-22)
- 2K Classic (Nov. 20-22)
- Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off Classic (Nov. 20-22)
- CBE Hall of Fame Classic (Nov. 23-24)
- FanDuel Legends Classic (Nov. 23-24)
- Maui Jim Maui Invitational (Nov. 23-25)
- MGM Grand Main Event (Nov. 25)
- Battle 4 Atlantis (Nov. 25-27)
- AdvoCare Invitational (Nov. 26-29)
- DIRECTV Wooden Legacy (Nov. 26-29)
- NIT Season Tip-Off (Nov. 26-27)
- ARS Hoophall Miami Invitational (Nov. 27)
- Big Ten/ACC Challenge presented by The United States Marine Corps (Nov. 30-Dec. 2)
- MGM Grand Showcase (Dec. 4)
- Jimmy V Men’s Classic presented by Corona (Dec. 8)
- Gotham Classic (Dec. 20)
- Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic (Dec. 22-25)
- Big 12/SEC Challenge presented by Sonic (Jan. 30)
- The official preseason power rankings and picks for player of the year, coach of the year, Final Four and national champion by ESPN.com experts.
- Jay Bilas’ preseason college basketball opus, which covers the serious and silly heading into another year of college basketball.
- Annual #CBBrank, which ranks the top 100 players in college basketball.
- Joe Lunardi will be at it again, giving an early look at Bracketology and updating it as the season goes on.
- Insider conference previews will give a detailed, in-depth look at every conference in the country.
ESPN The Magazine
A variety of topics in The QB Crucible issue relating to college basketball – available on newsstands beginning Friday, Nov. 14. Content includes:
- Metrics-based look at No. 1 Maryland
- Top 25 Power Rankings
- Feature on Ben Simmons, a 6-9 Australian who will play his freshman year at LSU
2015-16 ESPN Networks Men’s Basketball Schedule (subject to change)
ESPN media contact: Rachel Margolis Siegal at 860-766-2798 or [email protected]