NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships Return to ESPN, March 21-23, Live from Kansas City

College Sports (Miscellaneous)Wrestling

NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships Return to ESPN, March 21-23, Live from Kansas City

  • Three straight nights of primetime wrestling on ESPN; 19 hours of live coverage overall
  • ESPN+ to present every match and every mat thru the medal round on MatCast, plus simulcasts of all ESPN linear windows
  • ESPN commentator team to feature former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NCAA Wrestling All-American Daniel Cormier and two-time NCAA champion, six-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs

The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships return to ESPN networks with 19 hours of live coverage featuring all 640 matches from the T-Mobile Center in Kansas City, Missouri this weekend, March 21-23. Every mat and every single match will once again be covered from start to finish, including three nights of primetime wrestling action on ESPN. Coverage will also feature a live MatCast viewing option, as well as simulcasts of all linear windows, on ESPN+.

ESPN has presented the NCAA Wrestling Championships since 1980, making it one of the company’s longest-running events.

ESPNU will televise the early sessions over three straight days, beginning with three-and-a-half hours of first-round action on Thursday, March 21, at noon. The Quarterfinal (Friday) and Medal Round (Saturday) will also air on ESPNU. The three nights of primetime sessions on ESPN – including the Second Round (Thurs.) and Semifinals (Fri.) – will culminate Saturday, March 23, at 7 p.m. with the Championship matches in each weight class.

The MatCast option – with every mat and every match – will be streamed live through the Medal Round via ESPN+. The presentation will show multi-boxes of all the mats so fans never miss a single point. ESPN once again has a dedicated announce team to further bolster the MatCast coverage.

Key Storylines

  • Penn State Dominance: The Nittany Lions are vying for their 11th team national title in the last 13 NCAAs. Carter Starocci and Aaron Brooks are both seeking to become four-time National Champions, a feat accomplished by their head coach Cael Sanderson during his career at Iowa State.
  • Repeat Champions: Alongside Starocci and Brooks, five other past champions are in the field. Vito Arujau (Cornell, 133 lbs.) won in 2023, Keegan O’Toole (Missouri, 165 lbs.) won in 2022 and 2023, current 165-pounder David Carr (Iowa State) won at 157 lbs. in 2021, Shane Griffith (Michigan) won at 165 lbs. with Stanford in 2021, and current 174-pounder Mekhi Lewis (Virginia Tech) won at 165 lbs. in 2019.
  • From Silver to Gold: Oklahoma State’s Daton Fix is looking to break through and win a national title after finishing as a finalist in 2019, 2021 and 2022. Matt Ramos (Purdue), Real Woods (Iowa), Levi Haines (Penn State), Parker Keckeisen (Northern Iowa), Tanner Sloan (South Dakota State) and Greg Kerkvliet (Penn State) are all 2023 finalists looking to win their first national title. 2022 finalist Ridge Lovett (Nebraska, 149 lbs.) returns after redshirting last season and is looking to become the first Cornhusker to win a title since Jordan Burroughs – now an ESPN analyst – in 2011.
  • Olympic Year: NCAA individual champions earn an invite to the U.S. Olympic Trials April 19-20 at Penn State.

Commentators

ESPN’s commentator team will feature former UFC Heavyweight Champion and NCAA Wrestling All-American Daniel Cormier and two-time NCAA champion, six-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs. UFC’s lead analyst, Cormier is a former NCAA All-American at Oklahoma State and a former UFC Heavyweight Champion. This is his second NCAA Wrestling Championships for ESPN after debuting in 2022. Burroughs, one of the most accomplished wrestlers in history – who is still competing, joins ESPN’s coverage for the second straight year. The two-time NCAA champion and 2012 Dan Hodge Trophy winner from Nebraska won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games. Both Cormier (Thursday-Saturday) and Burroughs (Friday and Saturday) will join play-by-play voice Mike Couzens, rules analyst Rock Harrison and reporter Quint Kessenich for primetime and Championship coverage on ESPN.

The full roster of ESPN voices on-site at T-Mobile Arena will include:

ESPN (Primetime and Championship Round):

  • Mike Couzens (play-by-play) – A versatile ESPN play-by-play voice calling the Championships for the seventh year.
  • Jordan Burroughs (analyst) – A two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska and Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Also a six-time world champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist at the London Games, Burroughs won his most recent world title in 2022 and set the American record with seven gold medals at the Olympic and World Championship level.
  • Daniel Cormier (analyst) – Current UFC lead analyst is a former NCAA All-American (Oklahoma State) and former UFC Heavyweight Champion.
  • Rock Harrison (rules analyst) – ACC Network’s lead analyst, former Virginia wrestler and a 10-year referee.
  • Quint Kessenich (reporter) – The multi-sport reporter and analyst will cover all daytime and primetime sessions in his 19th year.

ESPNU (Daytime):

  • Shawn Kenney (play-by-play) – ACC Network’s lead wrestling play-by-play voice.
  • Tim Johnson (analyst) – “The voice” of college wrestling for more than three decades. Johnson has evaluated college wrestling for more than 35 years and has called hundreds of collegiate wrestling meets, including the last 19 NCAA Championships. A member of both the Iowa and National Wrestling Halls of Fame.
  • Plus, Harrison (analyst) and Kessenich (reporter)

ESPN+ MatCast:

  • Shane Sparks (play-by-play) – Big Ten Network’s lead wrestling play-by-play voice.
  • Anthony Robles (analyst) – The NCAA Champion from Arizona State returns to ESPN’s NCAA Wrestling coverage.

Fans can follow the action on Twitter through @NCAAWrestling and join the conversation by tagging their tweets #NCAAWrestling. For more information on the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships: http://www.ncaa.com/wrestling

2024 NCAA Championships Schedule on ESPN:

Date Times (ET) Session Networks ESPN+ Mat Feeds
Thu, Mar 21 noon – 3:30 p.m. First Round ESPNU

ESPN+

8 mat feeds

MatCast

  7 – 10:30 p.m. Second Round ESPN

ESPN+

8 mat feeds

MatCast

Fri, Mar 22 noon – 3 p.m. Quarterfinals ESPNU

ESPN+

8 mat feeds

MatCast

  8 – 11 p.m. Semifinals ESPN

ESPN+

6 mat feeds

MatCast

Sat, Mar 23 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Medal Round ESPNU

ESPN+

4 mat feeds

MatCast

  7 – 10 p.m. Championship ESPN

ESPN+

  10 – 10:30 p.m. Trophy Presentation ESPN+

* All linear windows will also be simulcast on ESPN+

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