ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the 2016 WNBA Finals presented by Verizon featuring the top two teams in the league – defending WNBA champions Minnesota Lynx and the Los Angeles Sparks — will tip off Sunday, Oct. 9, at 3 p.m. ET on ABC. All other games in the best-of-five series will be played on ESPN or ESPN2. Ryan Ruocco and analyst Rebecca Lobo will call the Finals, with reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson rotating games on the sidelines. Robinson will also serve as a pregame analyst. The matchup between the Lynx and Sparks will feature the highest combined winning percentage for a Finals series in WNBA history (.794, 54-14) after Minnesota went 28-6 (.824) and Los Angeles was 26-8 (.765) for the regular season.
The head coaches of both teams – Minnesota’s Cheryl Reeve, the 2016 Coach of the Year, and Los Angeles’ Brian Agler — and select players will wear microphones during the games. Additionally, ESPN will air the full Top [email protected] ceremony honoring the top players in WNBA history, during halftime of Game 1.
The series will be a historic matchup, with the Lynx looking to become the first team to win consecutive WNBA titles since the Sparks’ back-to-back championships in 2001 and 2002. Minnesota, with three WNBA titles under its belt (2015, 2013, 2011), will look to match the record set by the Houston Comets with four championships. Los Angeles returns to the title game for the first time since 2003. The Sparks are coming off a strong season that produced an MVP-winning performance from forward Nneka Ogwumike and the Sixth Woman of the Year Jantel Lavender.
espnW.com will supplement ESPN’s schedule with comprehensive live coverage and analysis throughout the WNBA Finals:
- Mechelle Voepel will cover each game of the WNBA Finals, providing on-site reporting and storytelling.
- Columnist Kate Fagan and ESPN.com Senior Writer Ramona Shelburne will contribute in-depth features on top players from each team.
- Contributor Pat Borzi will provide additional game coverage.
- Playoff game video highlights along with previews, postgame video and analysis.
- Postgame analysis from ESPN’s analysts.
All ESPN and ESPN2 telecasts will also be available through WatchESPN, available to subscribers across all major television providers in households nationwide. It is accessible on computers, smartphones, tablets and connected devices to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
|Sun, Oct 9||3 p.m.||WNBA Finals Game 1: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, LaChina Robinson
|Tue, Oct 11||8 p.m.||WNBA Finals Game 2: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ruocco, Lobo, Holly Rowe
|Fri, Oct 14||9 p.m.||WBNA Finals Game 3: Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks
Ruocco, Lobo, Robinson
|Sun, Oct 16||8:30 p.m.||WNBA Finals Game 4**: Minnesota Lynx at Los Angeles Sparks
Ruocco, Lobo, Rowe
|Thu, Oct 20||8 p.m.||WNBA Finals Game 5**: Los Angeles Sparks at Minnesota Lynx
Ruocco, Lobo, Rowe
** If necessary
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