The 64-team NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship field will be exclusively unveiled on ESPN during the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One on Monday, March 14, at 7 p.m. ET. ESPN’s Final Four studio team of host Kevin Negandhi and veteran analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo will be on hand for in-depth analysis. An additional hour of analysis and discussion will be part of ESPNU’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capital One at 8 p.m.
Interviews and features will be rolled in throughout both shows, including an exclusive interview during the 7 p.m. hour with Chris Dawson, Chair of the NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Committee.
Creative elements for the 2016 Women’s Championship will feature the song “Strong Enough” by J’Kahi featuring Raign, which will highlight the strength and capability of the women basketball players. Graphical elements and use of bold color treatment will complement the scripts and the words from the women themselves to tell the stories of the tournament and the journey from the selection show to the title game.
- Bracket insight with analysis of each region and team, plus the players to watch as they vie for a Final Four spot in Tamp.
- Live look-ins SEC Champion South Carolina, Big 12 Champion Baylor and ACC Champion Notre Dame, plus the integration of photos from Selection Monday watch parties around the nation.
- Live interviews expected with Baylor’s Kim Mulkey, UConn’s Geno Auriemma, Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw and South Carolina’s Dawn Staley.
- An exclusive interview with NCAA Chair Dawson.
ESPN to Air All 63 NCAA Championship Games
ESPN networks will continue to carry all 63 games of the 2016 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship presented by Capital One, culminating with the NCAA Women’s Final Four from Indianapolis, on April 3 and 5. This is the 11th consecutive year ESPN has televised complete coverage of the championship.
ESPN and ESPN2 will present regionalized telecasts with home market protection through the first two rounds. ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT, the pay-per-view package, will offer first- and second-round games in their entirety as a supplement to ESPN and ESPN2’s coverage. The final 15 games, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2.
espnW will provide fans with extensive coverage of Selection Monday from its team of analysts and experts. Highlights:
- Staff writers Charlie Creme, Graham Hays and Mechelle Voepel will provide in-depth analysis of the bracket.
- Voepel takes a look at UConn, the overwhelming favorite to win a fourth consecutive NCAA title – and what might stand in the Huskies’ way.
- Hays answers Five Burning Questions off the newly released bracket, including toughest/easiest region, toughest path for a No. 1 seed and the best place to be for the early-round games.
- Expert picks, from predicted Final Four matchups, to the best first-round games.
- Video highlights such as overall bracket breakdown and region-by-region analysis.
- Social Live Stream will follow all the #SelectionMonday action from teams that fans can monitor throughout the day.
- On Tuesday, Creme will follow up with 1-through-64 power rankings of the entire NCAA field.
- Before the games open Friday, espnW’s continued coverage will include features on top teams and players, as well as region-by-region previews.
FiveThirtyEight will feature an interactive bracket calculating the probabilistic projections for the NCAA Women’s Championship. In addition to updating the data in the bracket throughout the week, FiveThirtyEight’s sportswriters will deliver a variety of data-driven stories tied to the tournament.
College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Special
Host Beth Mowins, along with analysts Debbie Antonelli, Chiney Ogwumike and Brooke Weisbrod, will take part in a two-hour ESPNU show: College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Special on Tuesday, March 15, at 1 p.m. The program will be highlighted by interviews with some of the top players in the nation, including South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson and Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, plus in-depth analysis of the bracket, to be announced a later date. Additional interviews are still being scheduled.
SEC Now will also air for two hours on Monday at 9 p.m. to continue the men’s NCAA and NIT discussion, as well as examine the women’s NCAA selections.
ESPN.com Tournament Challenge
ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge and ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge both return for their 19th seasons and will once again be free for entrants to submit up to 10 entries on ESPN.com. At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries that finish in the top 1% are entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2016 Maui Invitational and a $10,000 Amazon Gift Card prize. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries that finish in the top 1% are entered in a random drawing for a $3,000 Amazon Gift Card. Entries for the Men’s Tournament Challenge game will be accepted until just prior to the tip-off of the Tournament’s first game on Thursday, March 17. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 18
Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with more than 11.57 million brackets, a new all-time mark that surpasses last year’s record. At the peak period, fans registered 7,791 brackets per minute (129 brackets per second), among those of which was a bracket from President Barack Obama.