ESPN Takes on Men’s Final Four with Multiplatform Coverage Starting Friday from Glendale

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ESPN Takes on Men’s Final Four with Multiplatform Coverage Starting Friday from Glendale


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  • Pregame Editions of College GameDay on Friday, Saturday and Monday
  • Play-by-Play Veteran Sean McDonough, Analysts Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale on ESPN International Telecasts
  • Former Indiana Coach Tom Crean to Join SportsCenter and College GameDay Monday-Sunday
  • Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class Announcement on ESPN2 Saturday

ESPN will have extensive on-site coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Final Four with multiplatform content from around Glendale, Ariz., including a set located at Westgate Entertainment District adjacent to the University of Phoenix Stadium – site of the semifinals and championship. In addition, ESPN will have the live game telecasts of the semifinals – South Carolina vs. Gonzaga and Oregon vs. North Carolina, plus the National Championship game – across ESPN International networks.

ESPN will offer multiple, two-hour pregame editions of College GameDay Covered by State Farm for the semifinals and championship from Westgate: National Semifinal preview on Saturday, April 1, at 4 p.m. ET (ESPN) and Championship preview on Monday, April 3, at 7 p.m. (ESPN2). A special 90-minute College GameDay will air from the University of Phoenix Stadium on Friday, March 31, at 1:30 p.m. (ESPN). 

Former Indiana head coach Tom Crean will join SportsCenter and College GameDay throughout the weekend.

Final Four Games around the World
ESPN International will televise the semifinals and championship to fans in 176 countries and territories across 26 networks outside the United States.

  • Sean McDonough is on play-by-play, alongside Bilas on the second semifinal (Oregon vs. North Carolina) and Vitale for the first semifinal (South Carolina vs. Gonzaga) and championship.
  • Coverage in Latin America (Caribbean, Mexico and Central and South America), Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands, and via TSN in Canada.
  • Additionally, worldwide, ESPN Syndication has completed deals to distribute the NCAA Men’s Basketball Championship to local television clients reaching tens of millions of homes in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.
  • ESPN broadband services around the world – under the ESPN Player, WatchESPN, ESPN Play and ESPN3 brands – are also providing live and on-demand coverage of some, or all, of the tournament in more than 148 countries in the Europe, Middle East, Africa, Latin America and Australia.
  • Distributed via Econet/Kwese in sub-Saharan Africa

Live from Glendale… College GameDay, SportsCenter, Russillo & Kanell, ESPNU’s The Experts and more
Several ESPN shows will have an on-site presence from Glendale, with daily analysis, news, reports and interviews across multiple platforms from Friday, March 31 to Tuesday, April 4. Highlights:


  • Anchor Sage Steele will host segments from 9 a.m. to noon on both Friday and Saturday from ESPN’s Westgate set and will host the 6 p.m. SportsCenter live on Monday from courtside
  • Davis will anchor post-game segments on both Saturday and Monday with select analysts
  • Katz will interview the head coaches of the teams in the championship game for SportsCenter on Sunday
  • Williams will contribute reports from Glendale throughout the weekend

ESPN Radio

  • Russillo & Kanell will be broadcasting live from Westgate Entertainment District in Phoenix on Monday, from 1-4 p.m.

ESPNU Lineup
The 24-hour college sports network will help preview the national title game on Monday.

  • The Experts show will include a panel of ESPN analysts reviewing the National Semifinals and previewing the National Championship at 1 p.m.
  • Back-to-back 30-minute editions of Tournament Countdown: Road to the Championship will highlight the journey of the teams to the National Championship at 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m.
  • A special Katz Korner at 3:00 p.m. from Glendale
  • College Basketball Live from ESPN’s Charlotte studios will air Monday at 5:30 p.m., as well as another edition on Tuesday at noon

ESPNU Men’s Final Four Programming

Date Time (ET) Show
Mon, Apr 3 1 p.m. The Experts (Glendale, Ariz.)

Andy Katz, Jim Calhoun, Seth Greenberg, Jay Williams

  1:30 p.m. The Road to the Championship (Team 1)

Anish Shroff, Dino Gaudio, Malcolm Huckaby

  2 p.m. The Road to the Championship (Team 2)

Anish Shroff, Dino Gaudio, Malcolm Huckaby

  3 p.m. Katz Korner (Glendale, Ariz.)

Andy Katz with select analysts

  5:30 p.m. College Basketball Live

Matt Schick, Dino Gaudio, Malcolm Huckaby

Tues, Apr 4 Noon College Basketball Live

Matt Schick, Dino Gaudio

State Farm Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships
The State Farm College Slam Dunk & 3-Point Championships will air Thursday, March 20, at 10 p.m. (ESPN) from Grand Canyon University Arena in Phoenix.

Hall of Fame Class Announcement
The Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Class Announcement will air Saturday, April 1, at noon (ESPN2) from ESPN’s set at Westgate Entertainment District in Glendale.

  • The hour telecast will be hosted by Davis and Bilas
  • Select members of the Class of 2017 and special guests will also be available
  • Finalists announced on February 18, 2017 can be found here
A host of reporters will be in Glendale, covering the days leading up to the national semifinals and title game, offering reaction and news before, during and after the Final Four.

SEC Network
SEC Network studio shows are hitting the road for special coverage surrounding the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Final Fours, both of which feature at least one Southeastern Conference team. Additional information can be found here.

ESPN’s Men’s Tournament Challenge
Of the record 18.8 million completed brackets in ESPN’s Men’s Tournament Challenge, only 657 (0.003 percent) picked Gonzaga, North Carolina, Oregon and South Carolina for the Final Four. Last year, nearly twice as many brackets (1,140) picked the correct Final Four, which was 0.009 percent of the 13 million brackets.

The following are the percentage of brackets picking each team to reach the Final Four, advance to the championship game and win the national championship.

  • Gonzagawas picked to make the Final Four in 35 percent of brackets

o   National Championship: 15 percent

o   Winning the national title: 8 percent

  • 43 percent of brackets had North Carolinain the Final Four

o   Championship game: 26.5 percent

o   Winning the national championship: 15.2 percent

  • 11 percent of brackets had Oregon in the Final Four

o   Championship game: 3.5 percent

o   Win the national title: 1.6 percent

  • South Carolinawas picked to reach the Final Four in 0.6 percent of brackets

o   Championship game: 0.25 percent

o   Win the national title: 0.13 percent

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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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