ESPN’s Unprecedented MegaCast Presentation of 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four Tips Off Friday

College Basketball - Women's

ESPN’s Unprecedented MegaCast Presentation of 2022 NCAA Women’s Final Four Tips Off Friday

  • First Televised MegaCast Presentation of NCAA Women’s Final Four to Span Several Platforms
  • The Bird & Taurasi Show Presented by AT&T 5G Set for ESPN2, ESPNU & ESPN+
  • Second Spectrum Tracking Technology Used for MegaCast
  • Full Studio Programming on ESPN, ESPNU, SEC Network, ACC Network & ESPN+
  • ESPN+ Features Multiple MegaCast Feeds, Simulcast of All Televised Feeds

ESPN’s exclusive presentation of the 2022 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship culminates with the most expansive production in ESPN history for the NCAA Women’s Final Four, live from the Target Center in Minneapolis, Minn., April 1-3.

The 2022 championship will air in primetime on ESPN with a full MegaCast presentation across ESPN platforms for both the semifinals and championship game. All televised presentations of the semifinals and championship game will also be simulcast on ESPN+.

The first semifinal tips off on ESPN and ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET on Friday, April 1, featuring South Carolina and Louisville. In the second semifinal on ESPN and ESPN+, Stanford and UConn are slated to showdown at 9:30 p.m. Winners of both games will secure spots in the national championship on Sunday, April 3, at 8 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN+.

ESPN’s main telecast, presented by Capital One, will feature play-by-play commentator Ryan Ruocco, analyst Rebecca Lobo, reporter Holly Rowe and sideline analyst Andraya Carter providing insight, commentary and reporting throughout the weekend. Lobo returns to Minneapolis, the site of her 1995 NCAA Championship title with the UConn Huskies.

MegaCast from Minneapolis
ESPN’s expansive production surrounding the Women’s Basketball Championship is highlighted by a MegaCast presentation across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN+ for both the semifinals and championship game.

The Bird & Taurasi Show Presented by AT&T 5G (BTS) features women’s basketball legends Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi providing their unique perspective and friendly banter live from the Target Center, with semifinal coverage on ESPNU and ESPN+, and championship action on ESPN2 and ESPN+. The duo will have their own set on the concourse level of the arena, joined by various special guests from the worlds of sports, pop culture and more.

Details on BTS Presented by AT&T 5G guests for the semifinals and championship game will be announced in the coming days.

Second Spectrum Player Tracking will be available as a MegaCast feed, as ESPN will be able to select from a suite of data-driven visualizations, including split-second shot probabilities and distances to 3-point special effects, captured through optical tracking technology that identifies and delivers the precise coordinates of every player and the ball, 25 times a second. The option – which has been utilized on select ESPN NBA telecasts – will be carried on ESPN+ for the semifinals and ESPNU and ESPN+ for the championship game. The main ESPN telecast and various studio programming will also have access to Genius Sports’ Second Spectrum technology through its unique Insight tool.

Additional MegaCast feeds include:

  • Beyond the Rim (ESPN+): Provides an aerial camera view with main telecast commentary and replays, with an enhanced statistical feed
  • On the Rail (ESPN+): Tracks game action one full length of the floor from end to end. The stream will feature natural sound and replays

Studio Programming Spotlights Women’s College Basketball’s Greatest Stage
Studio coverage from the Target Center will be hosted by Elle Duncan, joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck and Nikki Fargas. SportsCenter will have live updates and additional coverage throughout the weekend from Minneapolis, featuring analyst Monica McNutt. The NCAA Women’s Final Four Special Presented by Capital One tips off at 6 p.m. on Friday on ESPN, breaking down the storylines and previewing the matchups from the Target Center. The quartet will also share insights on ESPN and ESPNU between semifinals with NCAA Women’s Final Four Update Presented by Capital One.

On Saturday, ESPN will have exclusive coverage of the practice day leading into the championship game for the first time with NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship All Access Practice live on ESPN+ at 2 p.m.

Leading into Sunday’s championship showdown, NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One will prep fans for the season finale of the 2021-22 season. Post-game coverage will be live on SportsCenter following the final buzzer from the Target Center, including presentation of the WBCA Coaches Trophy presented by Invesco QQQ, and the net-cutting ceremony, which will be presented by Werner Ladder. Also featured on Championship Sunday is a Fifty/50 essay written by Dr. Amira Rose Davis.

ESPN.com and espnW
Writers Mechelle Voepel, Alexa Philippou and Katie Barnes will be on site in the Twin Cities. Coverage highlights:

  • Live analysis, news coverage, social posts, game recaps and highlights from Minneapolis
  • Expert picks and predictions for the national semifinals and NCAA title game
  • Analysis of the Final Four’s biggest storylines, each matchup and how each team can win the championship
  • The top 25 players in the NCAA Women’s Final Four
  • Immediately following the national title game, ESPN.com’s Way-Too-Early Top 25 rankings for the 2022-23 season will be published

College Networks Cover the Championship

  • SEC Network
    • SEC Network studio will be on site surrounding South Carolina’s second straight trip to the Women’s Final Four. Host Alyssa Lang and analyst Steffi Sorensen will share insight beginning with The Paul Finebaum Show on Thursday, as well as SEC Now on Friday night leading into the Gamecocks’ matchup with Louisville and recapping the Final Four showdown on the late night SEC Now. Should South Carolina win, Lang and Sorensen will provide practice updates on the 11 p.m. SEC Now Saturday night, as well as pre- and post-game on Sunday surrounding the National Championship.
  • ACC Network
    • ACC Network begins its studio coverage from Minneapolis Thursday evening with a special Nothing But Net with host Kelsey Riggs and analysts Kelly Gramlich, Chelsea Gray and Muffet McGraw at 9 p.m., previewing the Louisville/South Carolina matchup. The ladies are back with a pre-game show at 4 p.m. leading into the national semifinals, and will be back postgame for reaction after the Cardinals take on the Gamecocks. Should Louisville win Friday, Nothing But Net will be back Sunday with a 90-minute NCAA Championship pre-game show at 6 p.m., and will have postgame coverage at 11 p.m.

ESPN Social & Digital
ESPN Social will have on-site producers creating content for Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Facebook in addition to capturing all-access video for multi-platform Stories. On Snapchat, SportsCenter NOW will publish a special Sunday edition dedicated to real-time coverage of the National Championship game. On-site social collaborators include top high school point guard Jada Williams. ESPN Social will also be creating custom social graphics leading into and following each Women’s Final Four matchup.

Countdown to the Final Presented by Invesco QQQ is live at 7:30 p.m. on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and the ESPN App. Christine Williamson will host in studio, joined by Meghan McKeown and several guests from site.

On-Site Activations at Tourney Town Presented by Capital One

  • espnW
    • espnW will host an exciting fan activation this year as part of Tourney Town Presented by Capital One. Building upon espnW’s That’s a W. campaign that celebrates victories of all kinds for women and girls in sports, the activation gives fans the opportunity to experience their own “W.” moment by getting photos and GIFs of themselves participating in the tradition of cutting down the net.
  • ESPN Podcasts
    • On Saturday, April 2, at 2 p.m. ET, ESPN’s LaChina Robinson and Terrika Foster-Brasby will facilitate “Around the Rim Presents: I’m Speaking,” leading a discussion with a distinguished panel around the WNBA’s season-long dedication to the “Say Her Name” campaign in 2020, the role of Black women as leaders in social justice advocacy, and what’s next. The panel will also share insight on what has transpired in the Minneapolis community since the Lynx began the “Change Starts With Us” movement in 2016. Panelists include ESPN special correspondent Angela Rye, Minnesota Lynx guard Layshia Clarendon, espnW writer Katie Barnes, and civil rights attorney/racial justice expert Nekima Levy Armstrong.

ESPN International
ESPN International will present the semifinals and championship to fans in nearly 200 countries, with live coverage available in Latin America (Mexico, Central and South America), Oceania, the Netherlands, Africa, the Caribbean, Europe and the Middle East via ESPN Player.

Date Time (ET) Matchup/Commentators Network
Fri, Apr 1 7 p.m. NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One: Semifinal #1
Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe, Andraya Carter
ESPN/ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: The Bird & Taurasi Show Presented by AT&T 5G
Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi
ESPNU/ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: Player Tracking ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: Beyond the Rim ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: On the Rail ESPN+
  9:30 p.m. NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One: Semifinal #2
Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe, Andraya Carter
ESPN/ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: The Bird & Taurasi Show Presented by AT&T 5G
Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi
ESPNU/ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: Player Tracking ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: Beyond the Rim ESPN+
  Women’s Final Four MegaCast: On the Rail ESPN+
Sun, Apr 3 8 p.m. NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One: National Championship
Ryan Ruocco, Rebecca Lobo, Holly Rowe, Andraya Carter
ESPN/ESPN+
  National Championship MegaCast: The Bird & Taurasi Show Presented by AT&T 5G
Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi
ESPN2/ESPN+
  National Championship MegaCast: Player Tracking ESPNU/ESPN+
  National Championship MegaCast: Beyond the Rim ESPN+
  National Championship MegaCast: On the Rail ESPN+

 

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Amanda Brooks

Amanda is the Director of Communications for ESPN College Football and SEC Network, and oversees publicity for college gymnastics and track & field across all ESPN networks. Amanda is a proud alum of Hendrix College in Conway, Ark., and earned her master's in ethics from Vanderbilt University. A native of Kent, Ohio, she is a die-hard Cleveland sports fan.
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