Tourney to Tampa – NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Begins Friday on ESPN2

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Tourney to Tampa – NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Begins Friday on ESPN2

ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Women’s Championship presented by Capital One begins Friday, March 22, with first round games on ESPN2. Tournament action continues through the month of March, culminating in the NCAA Women’s Final Four in Tampa, Fla. (April 5 & 7). Production teams will be located across the country, as the top-16 seeds host first and second rounds. Regional rounds will be played in Albany, N.Y., Portland, Ore., Greensboro, N.C., and Chicago, Ill.

All 63 games will be televised on ESPN or ESPN2, and available to stream via the ESPN App, with regionalized coverage for the first and second rounds on ESPN2. The regional semifinals and finals will air on ESPN and ESPN2.

Host Maria Taylor and analysts Andy Landers and Rebecca Lobo will provide studio updates through the first and second rounds, with Nell Fortner joining Landers and Taylor in studio for the regionals. The crew will travel to Tampa for the Final Four, with Adam Amin, Kara Lawson, Lobo and Holly Rowe returning to call the semis and championship game.

First and Second Round – Regionalized & Home Market Protection
Coverage Highlights
Commentators Highlights
espnW
SEC Network
Tournament Challenge
Schedule

First and Second Round – Regionalized & Home Market Protection

  • In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN2 will televise the game of local interest. While constant updates from the other games will be provided in the home market, the networks will not switch to another game during live action, thereby establishing home market protection.
  • For the first and second rounds, multiple games (as many as four) will begin within one telecast window. During those windows, the coverage will showcase the best action for viewers in the majority of the nation (except in the home markets of the competing teams).
  • Select first- and second-round games will be aired in a full national telecast on ESPN or ESPN2, with supplemental coverage on ESPN App
  • ESPN3 will carry the games in full that are not being aired in a national window.


Coverage Highlights

  • Games to watch in the first round
    • UCLA vs. Tennessee: Tennessee was on the bubble coming into the tournament, but they remain the only team to make every NCAA tournament.
    • Belmont vs. South Carolina: Coming off an upset in the SEC Tournament, the Gamecocks face Belmont.
    • Towson vs. UConn: Welcome to the NCAA Tournament, Towson. Your first opponent is UConn.
    • North Carolina vs. California-Greensboro: Kristine Anigwe leads the league with 31 double-doubles and 16.3 rebounds per game; holds the record for most rebounds with 506, the most of any college basketball player
    • Marquette vs. Rice: Led by BIG EAST Player of the Year, Natisha Hiedeman, Marquette won their conference regular season title outright for the first time in program history; face Rice, who has won 21 straight games
    • Quinnipiac vs. South Dakota State: Quinnipiac enters the NCAA Tournament on a 21-game winning streak, while South Dakota State is currently on a 16-game win streak
  • Features that focus on star players, their stories & programs who make the tournament what it is
    • Using home video provided by her father, ESPN will discuss Oregon guard Sabrina Ionescu’s connection with her twin brother Eddy, and her life-long dream of being a professional basketball player
    • Ionescu has been called a program-changing recruit by her Head Coach, Kelly Graves. During the tournament, ESPN will cover this program’s rise under Graves leadership & the support of the Eugene community
    • As a young girl, Mississippi State star center Teaira McCowan’s height was a burden to her self-esteem. Today, this remarkable young woman is soft-spoken, but anything but shy on or off the court.
    • Baylor’s senior center, Kalani Brown is on a mission to reach a Final Four. Her mother played for Coach Kim Mulkey in college, ultimately leaving the team to get married. Now Kalani has a chance to bring the story full circle by finishing her career at Baylor with a national championship.
    • The Fighting Irish are back, with a loaded starting five & ready to defend their title
    • UConn looking for redemption – after losing in the national semifinals in heart-breaking fashion the past 2 years, the Huskies seek their 12th program title, fueled by expectations & the need for redemption.
  • Social play: From March 18 to April 10, fans can use #ncaaW or #WFinalFour to show their support of the women’s basketball tournament on Twitter. A custom and exclusive Women’s Basketball branded emoji will appear in the tweet

Commentators Highlights

  • From rookies to veterans, ESPN’s coverage is complemented by an array of basketball minds from the college to WNBA level, with both player and coaching experience.
  • No strangers to the tournament, A’ja Wilson and Blair Schaefer make their women’s tournament debut as analysts; Wilson will work with Lowell Galindo from College Station, while Schaefer calls matchups with Sam Gore in Syracuse
  • Adam Amin and Kara Lawson will call the first and seconds in Storrs, before heading to Albany with Lobo and Rowe for the Albany Regional
  • Beth Mowins and Nell Fortner head to Louisville, Ky., for the first and second rounds; Mowins will be joined by Debbie Antonelli for the regionals in Chicago
  • For the third year, Courtney Lyle will serve as an analyst alongside Tamika Catchings for the first and second round (Notre Dame, Ind.); she then heads to Chicago, where she will serve as a sideline reporter
  • Dave Pasch and LaChina Robinson call first- and second- round matchups in Eugene, Ore., before traveling north on the I-5 for the Portland Regionals
  • Roy Philpott and Brooke Weisbrod will be live from College Park for the first weekend of play; Weisbrod will then join Pasch & Robinson, serving as a sideline reporter in Portland
  • In her first season back with ESPN, Carolyn Peck will be joined by Pam Ward; the duo will call games originating from Waco before heading to Greensboro Regionals
  • Other first-and second- round teams include Eric Frede and Christy Thomaskutty (Charlotte), John Brickley and Christy Winters-Scott (Iowa City), Clay Matvick and Julianne Viani (Coral Gables), Paul Sunderland and Steffi Sorensen (Starkville), Melissa Lee and Mike Thibault (Raleigh), Elise Woodward and Dan Hughes (Stanford), Tiffany Greene and Mary Murphy (Corvallis), and Brenda VanLengen and Andraya Carter (Ames)
  • Allison Williams will join Ward and Peck during the Regionals in Greensboro, N.C.

espnW

espnW will have writers embedded at each of the regionals. Content includes:

  • Live analysis, game coverage, highlights and one-plays from each round
  • A nightly wrap each game day of the opening weekend, with the best storylines, social posts, photos and a player of the day
  • Expert picks for the tournament and, once the Sweet 16 is set, for each game
  • Charlie Creme and Mechelle Voepel, as well as ESPN.com staff writers, will continue to provide analysis of the top seeds, upsets and tournament’s biggest storylines
  • espnW longform reads: Liz Merrill goes behind-the-scenes with Oregon star Sabrina Ionescu, and Wayne Drehs gets unprecedented access to Notre Dame’s Muffet McGraw as the Fighting Irish look to defend their title.


SEC Network
SEC Now returns for postseason coverage of the seven men’s and seven women’s teams representing the Southeastern Conference in the NCAA Tournaments. Hosts Peter Burns, Alyssa Lang and Dari Nowkhah will be joined by a rotating cast of analysts throughout the two tourneys. SEC Network will also have live coverage should SEC squads advance to the Final Four.

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 first round 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 ESPN.com/bracket or the ESPN Tournament Challenge App for iOS and Android.

 

 

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
First Round 
Fri, March 22 Noon No. 16 Robert Morris vs. No. 1 Louisville
Beth Mowins, Nell Fortner
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  1:45 p.m. No. 13 Belmont vs. No. 4 South Carolina
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  2 p.m. No. 9 Kansas State vs. No. 8 Michigan
Beth Mowins, Nell Fortner
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 15 Mercer vs. No. 2 Iowa
John Brickley, Christy Winters-Scott
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 12 Rice vs. No. 5 Marquette
Lowell Galindo, A’ja Wilson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  4 p.m. No. 12 Bucknell vs. No. 5 Florida State
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No.10 Drake vs. No. 7 Missouri
John Brickley, Christy Winters-Scott
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 13 Wright State vs. No. 4 Texas A&M
Lowell Galindo, A’ja Wilson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  4:30 p.m. No. 10 Buffalo vs. No. 7 Rutgers
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  6:30 p.m. No. 15 Towson vs. No. 2 UConn
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  7 p.m. No. 12 UCF vs. No. 5 Arizona State
Clay Matvick, Julianne Viani
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 7 Texas
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 9 Clemson vs. No. 8 South Dakota
Paul Sunderland, Steffi Sorensen
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  9 p.m. No. 13 Florida Gulf Coast vs. No. 4 Miami (Fla.)
Clay Matvick, Julianne Viani
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 15 Portland State vs. No. 2 Oregon
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 16 Southern vs. No. 1 Mississippi State
Paul Sunderland, Steffi Sorensen
ESPN2 and ESPN3
Sat, March 23 11 a.m. No. 11 Quinnipiac vs. No. 6 South Dakota State
Sam Gore, Blair Schaefer
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 14 Radford vs. No. 3 Maryland
Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 16 Bethune-Cookman vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
Courtney Lyle, Tamika Catchings
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 11 Princeton vs. No. 6 Kentucky
Melissa Lee, Mike Thibault
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  1 p.m. No. 14 Fordham vs. No. 3 Syracuse
Sam Gore, Blair Schaefer
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 11 Tennessee vs. No. 6 UCLA
Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 8 Central Michigan
Courtney Lyle, Tamika Catchings
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 14 Maine vs. No. 3 NC State
Melissa Lee, Mike Thibault
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  3:30 p.m. No. 9 North Carolina vs. No. 8 California
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 10 Auburn vs. No. 7 BYU
Elise Woodward, Dan Hughes
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 12 Little Rock vs. No. 5 Gonzaga
Tiffany Greene, Mary Murphy
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 11 Missouri State vs. No. 6 DePaul
Brenda VanLengen, Andraya Carter
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  5:30 p.m. No. 16 Abilene Christian vs. No. 1 Baylor
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 15 UC Davis vs. No. 2 Stanford
Elise Woodward, Dan Hughes
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 13 Boise State vs. No. 4 Oregon State
Tiffany Greene, Mary Murphy
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 14 New Mexico State vs. No. 3 Iowa State
Brenda VanLengen, Andraya Carter
ESPN2 and ESPN3
Second Round
Sun, March 24 Noon No. 8 Michigan vs. No. 1 Louisville
Beth Mowins, Nell Fortner
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  2 p.m. No. 5 Florida State vs. No. 4 South Carolina
Eric Frede, Christy Thomaskutty
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 5 Marquette vs. No. 4 Texas A&M
Lowell Galindo, A’ja Wilson
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  No. 7 Missouri vs. No. 2 Iowa
John Brickley, Christy Winters-Scott
ESPN2 and ESPN3
  7 p.m. No. 10 Buffalo vs. No. 2 UConn
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson
ESPN / ESPN App
  No. 5 Arizona State vs. No. 4 Miami (Fla.)
Clay Matvick, Julianne Viani
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  9 p.m. No. 9 Clemson vs. No. 1 Mississippi State
Paul Sunderland, Steffi Sorensen
ESPN / ESPN App
  No. 10 Indiana vs. No. 2 Oregon
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Mon, March 25 7 p.m. No. 9 Michigan State vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
Courtney Lyle, Tamika CatchingsNo. 6 UCLA vs. No. 3 Maryland
Roy Philpott, Brooke WeisbrodNo. 6 South Dakota State vs. No. 3 Syracuse
Sam Gore, Blair Schaefer

No. 6 No. 3 Kentucky vs. NC State
Melissa Lee, Mike Thibault

ESPN / ESPN App
  9 p.m. No. 11 Missouri State vs. No. 3 Iowa State
Brenda VanLengen, Andraya CarterNo. 5 Gonzaga vs. No. 4 Oregon State
Tiffany Greene, Mary MurphyNo. 8 California vs. No. 1 Baylor
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck
ESPN / ESPN App
  11 p.m. No. 7 BYU vs. No. 2 Stanford
Elise Woodward, Dan Hughes
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Regional Semifinals
Fri, March 29 7 p.m. Albany Regional Semifinal #1
No. 6 UCLA vs. No. 2 UConn
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App
  9 p.m. Albany Regional Semifinal #2
No. 4 Oregon State vs. No. 1 Louisville
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN or ESPN2 / ESPN App
  Portland Regional Semifinal #1
No. 5 Arizona State vs. No. 1 Mississippi State
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN or ESPN2 / ESPN App
  11 p.m. Portland Regional Semifinal #2
No. 6 South Dakota State vs. No. 2 Oregon
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Sat, March 30 11:30 a.m. Greensboro Regional Semifinal #1
No. 3 NC State vs. No. 2 Iowa
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, Allison Williams
ESPN / ESPN App
  1:30 p.m. Greensboro Regional Semifinal #2
No. 4 South Carolina vs. No. 1 Baylor
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, Allison Williams
ESPN / ESPN App
  4 p.m. Chicago Regional Semifinal #1
No. 4 Texas A&M vs. No. 1 Notre Dame
Beth Mowins, Debbie Antonelli, Courtney Lyle
ESPN2 / ESPN App
  6 p.m. Chicago Regional Semifinal #2
No. 11 Missouri State vs. No. 2 Stanford
Beth Mowins, Debbie Antonelli, Courtney Lyle
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Regional Finals
Sun, March 31 Noon Albany Regional Final
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App
2 p.m. Portland Regional Final
Dave Pasch, LaChina Robinson, Brooke Weisbrod
ESPN / ESPN App
Mon, April 1 7 p.m. Greensboro Regional Final
Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, Allison Williams
ESPN2 / ESPN App
9 p.m. Chicago Regional Final
Beth Mowins, Debbie Antonelli, Courtney Lyle
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Women’s Final Four
Fri, April 5 7 p.m. Semifinal #1
Tampa, Fla.
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN2 / ESPN App
9 p.m. Semifinal #2
Tampa, Fla.
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN2 / ESPN App
Sun, April 7 6 p.m. Championship Game
Tampa, Fla.
Adam Amin, Kara Lawson/Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe
ESPN / ESPN App

 

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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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