Third Time’s a Charm: ESPN’s 25-Hour Tournament Challenge Marathon Returns Monday, March 18

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Third Time’s a Charm: ESPN’s 25-Hour Tournament Challenge Marathon Returns Monday, March 18

ESPN’s Tournament Challenge Marathon presented by Boost Mobile is back for the third straight year, with 25 consecutive hours of men’s and women’s college basketball analysis, bracket advice and more, beginning at 6 p.m. ET on Monday, March 18, from the network’s studios in Bristol, Conn. The Tournament Challenge Marathon will present TCM-themed editions of popular ESPN shows across ESPN and ESPN2, culminating on Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. All programs during the marathon will be streamed on the ESPN App.

The College GameDay crew – Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams – will be featured through the marathon, as well as Dan Dakich, LaPhonso Ellis, Chris Fallica, Sean Farnham, Andy Landers, Rebecca Lobo, and Maria Taylor. The Marathon’s overnight programming will include Mike Golic Jr., Jason Fitz, Sarah Spain and college basketball analyst Dalen Cuff.

SportsCenter’s Marty Smith will take his Marty Party on the road again this year, as he heads to a number of schools as part of the Tournament Challenge Marathon, bringing inside access from campuses as they prepare for the tournament.

Additional content highlights

  • Deep analysis of the NCAA bracket (Cinderella teams, possible upsets, top players in each region, bracket predictions, film breakdown)
  • VSAs: Analyst Dick Vitale returns with his Vitale Service Announcements
  • Bracket philosophies: Celebrities and athletes explain how they fill out their brackets

2019 Tournament Challenge Game
The 22nd edition of ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game will once again allow fans to compete with friends, family and others by predicting the winner of each tournament game from the Round of 64 through the Championship Game. As with all ESPN Fantasy games, Tournament Challenge is free to play, and fans can submit up to 25 brackets and join up to 10 groups each for the men’s and women’s tournaments at or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App for iOS and Android.

New features in the ESPN Tournament Challenge App include redesigned bracket cards that allow fans to easily navigate between brackets and sort them by total points, maximum points or alphabetically. The TC App also gives fans advanced live scoring and bracket results through Bracketcast, expert analysis and matchup previews, opt-in push notifications for up-to-the-second scores, news and video updates, and the ability to pre-fill brackets before Selection Sunday.

Last year, the ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge collected 17.3 million completed brackets, the second-most ever behind only 2017’s explosion of 18.8 million. At the peak period of entries just before the start of the Round of 64, fans registered a record 33,472 brackets per minute, and ESPN set new all-time marks for fan sign-ups and completed brackets on a tip-off Thursday. Also, at the end of last year’s Tournament Challenge Marathon, ESPN had collected more than 8.2 million brackets, as well as two of the top six sign-up days in the history of the game.

Exclusive Tools and Content for ESPN+ Subscribers – For fans looking for an inside edge while filling out their brackets, ESPN offers three tools now available on both and the Tournament Challenge app exclusively for ESPN+ subscribers. The ESPN+ Bracket Predictor uses advanced data to helps fans evaluate each of the 63 matchups in the men’s tournament and imports those picks directly into the ESPN Tournament Challenge game. The ESPN+ Bracket Analyzer provides a round-by-round forecast of the odds of survival for each pick in a fan’s bracket, projecting the number of correct picks through the tournament.

ESPN Tournament Challenge Prizes – At the end of the tournament, all Men’s Tournament Challenge entries finishing in the top 1 percent based on overall points will be entered in a random drawing to win a trip for two to the 2019 Maui Invitational and $10,000 in Gift Cards. 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 21. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries finishing in the top 1 percent will be entered in a random drawing for $5,000 in Amazon Gift Cards. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 22.

Additionally, 100 fans who join one of the top three Tournament Challenge groups, based on the highest group average at the end of the Men’s Tournament Challenge, will be randomly selected to receive a 12-month subscription to ESPN+. Fans can also test their skills using the ESPN Streak game to pick all the NCAA tournament games and more, while competibg for $35,000 in guaranteed prizes each month. Plus, on both March 21 and March 22, the fan who achieves the longest streak on each of those days can win $5,000.

Tournament Coverage on and ESPN App – In addition to all of the data, information and tools for ESPN’s Tournament Challenge game, ESPN will provide comprehensive coverage of the men’s and women’s tournaments including scores, news, analysis and feature pieces on and the ESPN App. In addition, ESPN+ subscribers will have access to exclusive in-depth analysis and insights from ESPN college basketball writers including ESPN Bracketologist Joe Lunardi and others.


Date Time (ET) Show Network
Mon, Mar 18 6 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  7 p.m. NCAA Women’s Selection Show Special Presented by Capital One ESPN
  8 p.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon ESPN2
  11 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN2
Tue, Mar 19 Midnight SportsCenter ESPN2
  1 a.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon ESPN2
  2 a.m. Now or Never ESPN2
  2:30 a.m. Daily Wager (Reair) ESPN2
  3 a.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon (Reair) ESPN2
  4 a.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon ESPN
  6 a.m. Golic & Wingo ESPN
  7 a.m. SportsCenter ESPN
  8 a.m. Get Up! ESPN
  10 a.m. First Take ESPN
  Noon SportsCenter ESPN
  1 p.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon ESPN
  2 p.m. Jalen & Jacoby ESPN
  3 p.m. The Jump ESPN
  4 p.m. Tournament Challenge Marathon ESPN2
  6 p.m. SportsCenter ESPN


Anna Negron

It was always a dream of mine to work at ESPN, and here I am! I joined the College Sports PR team in March 2016. Hailing from the great Garden State, I graduated from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) with a degree in sport management, where I not only sang the National Anthem at games, but was also a member of the Seton Hall Sapphires Dance Team and a student reporter for Pirate Sports Network. Before joining ESPN, I served as a Public Relations Associate for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl.
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