ESPN Networks Home to Entire NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship

Mar 18, 2015  •  Post A Comment

Press release from ESPN, March 17, 2015:

The NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One will be shown in its entirety across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN3, WatchESPN and ESPN FULL COURT beginning with first-round action on Friday, March 20. Play culminates with the NCAA Women’s National Championship game on Tuesday, April 7, at 8:30 p.m. ET on ESPN from Tampa Bay, Fla.

The top four seeds – Connecticut, Maryland, Notre Dame and South Carolina – are all playing home games for the first and second rounds with the new format of the top 16 seeds hosting (note: No. 3 Louisville will not be hosting due to a conflict at the KFC Yum! Center). ESPN2 is home to all first-round games, including a full national window showcasing top-seeded UConn vs. No. 16 St. Francis Brooklyn on Saturday, March 21, at 9 p.m. Regionalized coverage includes South Carolina against No. 16 Savannah State at 5 p.m. on Friday, March 20, followed by Notre Dame vs. No. 16 Montana at 7 p.m. and Maryland facing No. 16 New Mexico State at 1 p.m. on Saturday, March 21.

The noon and 2:30 p.m. second-round games on Sunday, March 22, will be regionalized on ESPN2, while the 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. games will have full national windows on ESPN (Notre Dame, Ind. & Columbia, S.C. sites) and ESPN2 (Corvallis, Ore. & Berkeley, Calif. sites). Monday’s second-round games will have four regionalized contents at 6:30 p.m., followed by three games at 9 p.m. The Tallahassee site will have a full national window on ESPNU at 6 p.m.

The final 15 games of the tournament, beginning with the Regional Semifinals, will have national telecast windows on ESPN or ESPN2, as well as WatchESPN.

WatchESPN is accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

Additional NCAA Championship content will be available across multiple platforms, including espnW.com, SportsCenter, ESPNEWS and ESPN International.

First and Second Rounds – Regionalized & Home Market Protection

• In the home markets of the competing teams, ESPN or 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, ESPN2 or ESPNU, with supplemental coverage on WatchESPN.

• ESPN3 and ESPN FULL COURT will carry the games in full that are not being aired in a national window.

Coverage Highlights

• Continuing to elevate the tops stars during game telecasts with ESPN’s “Need to Know” highlighting top players throughout the Tournament.

• Vignettes and segments from feature shoots at UConn, Maryland, Notre Dame and South Carolina.

• Creative elements featuring the song “Fire and Gold” by Disney recording artist Bea Miller.

• espnW’s Tourney Snapshots (photos from game sites) featured throughout the telecasts.

• Interact on twitter via @espnW, @ESPN_WomenHoop and #NCAAW for the first, second and regional rounds and #NCAAWFF for the final weekend. Also interact on Facebook at com/espnW.

Commentator Highlights

• Anchor Kevin Negandhi, with analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo, will be part of ESPN’s studio coverage for the early rounds and then on-site at Amalie Arena at the Final Four in Tampa Bay.

• Play-by-play announcer Dave O’Brien and veteran analyst Doris Burke will return for early-round coverage, including No. 9 seed Green Bay vs. undefeated and No. 8 seed Princeton from College Park, Md. The duo will also call the Albany Regional and Final Four.

• Big Monday duo of Beth Mowins and Stephanie White are paired for the first and second rounds in Notre Dame, Ind., and the Greensboro Regional.

• Reporters at each Regional site will include LaChina Robinson, Maria Taylor, Allison Williams and Holly Rowe, who will also work the Final Four with O’Brien and Burke.

• New to this year’s coverage are analysts Sue Bird, Gail Goestenkors, Carol Ross, Katie Smith and Steffi Sorensen.

• Men’s college basketball analyst and studio contributor LaPhonso Ellis will work the first and second rounds from Storrs, Conn., along with Bob Wischusen.

• First- and second-round play-by-play announcers Wischusen and Dave Flemming, as well as analyst Sean Farnham, will also be working ESPN’s coverage of the National Invitational Tournament (NIT) first round.


News, analysis and commentary will be provided throughout the women’s tournament, from Selection Monday through the Women’s Final Four in Tampa Bay.


• Stats, analysis and stories on additional players to watch.

• Columnists will provide live coverage of each round of games from coast-to-coast, with video highlights of the matchups, plus Lobo will also contribute.

• Coverage of the top stars in the women’s game through ESPN’s “3 to See” initiative – Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart (UConn) and Jewell Loyd (Notre Dame), in addition to the “Need to Know” series – Nina Davis (Baylor); Brittany Boyd (Cal); Moriah Jefferson (UConn); Elizabeth Williams (Duke); Lexie Brown (Maryland); Rachel Banham (Minnesota); Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina); Aleighsa Welch (South Carolina); A’ja Wilson (South Carolina) and Amanda Zahui B. (Minnesota).

• Tourney Snapshots, which includes team- and fan-submitted social media photos and video with behind-the-scenes access to teams, players and coaches, will return for the third consecutive season.

• Women’s Tournament Challenge is where fans and experts alike can pick their brackets and earn points throughout the tournament.

• W @ NCAA Final Four is an exclusive espnW franchise devoted to capturing the excitement surrounding the Final Four & Championship games in Tampa Bay. The content will consist of all-access from the behind-the-scenes lens with the use of video interviews, social media activation and television integration.


For the first time, FiveThirtyEight will cover the probabilistic projections for the NCAA Women’s Championship. On Tuesday, March 17, the website will debut an interactive bracket that calculates each team’s chance of advancing through the rounds. In addition to updating the data in the bracket throughout the week, FiveThirtyEight’s sportswriters will deliver a variety of data-driven stories tied to the tournament.

ESPN Women’s Tournament Challenge

The game returns for the 18th season on the digital hard court and will once again be free for entrants to submit up to 10 entries on ESPN.com. Fans complete and submit a bracket of forecasted tournament game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the Tournaments progress. In the Women’s Tournament Challenge, entries that finish in the top one percent are entered in a random drawing for a $5,000 Best Buy Gift Card. The Women’s Tournament Challenge will accept registration until just prior to tip-off of the first game on Friday, March 20.

2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One First- and Second-Round Schedule (subject to change)

Date                   Time (ET)                   Game/Commentators                   Networks

First Round (various sites)

Fri, Mar 20                   Noon                   No. 13 Albany vs. No. 4 Duke (Durham, N.C.)

Tiffany Greene, LaChina RobinsonNo. 10 Iowa State vs. No. 7 Dayton (Lexington, Ky.)

Brenda VanLengen, Carol RossNo. 11 Miami vs. No. 6 Washington (Iowa City, Iowa.)

Clay Matvick, Katie SmithNo. 10 Arkansas at No. 7 Northwestern (Waco, Texas)

Fran Harris, Nell Fortner                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

2:30 p.m.                   No. 12 Tulane vs. No. 5 Mississippi State (Durham, N.C.)No. 15 Tennessee State vs. No. 2 Kentucky (Lexington, Ky.)No. 14 American vs. No. 3 Iowa (Iowa City, Iowa)

No. 15 Northwestern State vs. No. 2 Baylor (Waco, Texas)                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

5 p.m.                   No. 9 DePaul vs. No. 8 Minnesota (Notre Dame, Ind.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie WhiteNo. 16 Savannah State vs. No. 1 South Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)

Pam Ward, Carolyn PeckNo. 14 South Dakota State vs. No. 3 Oregon State (Corvallis, Ore.)

Cara Capuano, Steffi SorensenNo. 12 Western Kentucky vs. No. 5 Texas (Berkeley, Calif.)

Melissa Lee, Mary Murphy                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

7:30 p.m.                   No. 16 Montana vs. No. 1 Notre Dame (Notre Dame, Ind.)No. 9 Nebraska vs. vs. No. 8 Syracuse Carolina (Columbia, S.C.)No. 11 Gonzaga vs. No. 6 George Washington (Corvallis, Ore.)

No. 13 Wichita State vs. No. 4 California (Berkeley, Calif.)                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

Sat, Mar 21                   11 a.m.                   No. 10 Pittsburgh vs. No. 7 Chattanooga (Knoxville, Tenn.)

Paul Sunderland, Gail GoestenkorsNo. 9 Green Bay vs. No. 8 Princeton (College Park, Md.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris BurkeNo. 13 Liberty vs. No. 4 North Carolina (Chapel Hill, N.C.)

Mark Kestecher, Christy Winters ScottNo. 10 Oklahoma State vs. No. 7 Florida Gulf Coast (Tallahassee, Fla.)

Mark Jones, Sue Bird                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

1:30 p.m.                   No. 15 Boise State vs. No. 2 Tennessee (Knoxville, Tenn.)No. 16 New Mexico State vs. No. 1 Maryland (College Park, Md.)No. 12 James Madison vs. No. 5 Ohio State (Chapel Hill, N.C.)No. 15 Alabama State vs. No. 2 Florida State (Tallahassee, Fla.)                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

4 p.m.                   No. 14 BYU vs. No. 3 Louisville (Tampa, Fla.)

Bob Picozzi, Brooke WeisbrodNo. 11 Arkansas-Little Rock vs. No. 6 Texas A&M (Tempe, Ariz.)

Dave Pasch, Deb AntonelliNo. 12 Quinnipiac vs. No. 5 Oklahoma (Stanford, Calif.)

Dave Flemming, Sean Farnham                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

6:30 p.m.                   No. 11 LSU vs. No. 6 USF (Tampa, Fla.)No. 14 Ohio vs. No. 3 Arizona State (Tempe, Ariz.)No. 13 Cal State Northridge vs. No. 4 Stanford (Stanford, Calif.)No. 9 Seton Hall vs. No. 8 Rutgers (Storrs, Conn.)

Bob Wischusen, LaPhonso Ellis                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

9 p.m.                   No. 1 UConn vs. No. 16 St. Francis Brooklyn (Storrs, Conn.)                   ESPN2 / WatchESPN

Second Round (various sites)

Sun, Mar 22                   Noon                   Durham, N.C. & Iowa City, Iowa.                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

2:30 p.m.                   Lexington, Ky. & Waco, Texas                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

7 p.m.                   Columbia, S.C.                   ESPN / WatchESPN

Corvallis, Ore.                   ESPN2 / WatchESPN

9 p.m.                   Notre Dame, Ind.                   ESPN / WatchESPN

Berkeley, Calif.                   ESPN2 / WatchESPN

Mon, Mar 23                   6 p.m.                   Tallahassee, Fla.                   ESPNU / WatchESPN

6:30 p.m.                   Chapel Hill, N.C., College Park, Md., Knoxville, Tenn., & Stanford, Calif.                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

9 p.m.                   Storrs, Conn., Tampa, Fla. & Tempe, Ariz.                   ESPN2 / ESPN3

2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One Regional Schedule (subject to change)

Date                   Time (ET)                   Game/Commentators                   Networks

Fri, Mar 27                   7 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Greensboro, N.C.)

Beth Mowins, Stephanie White, Maria Taylor                   ESPN / WatchESPN

7:30 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Oklahoma City, Okla.)

Pam Ward, Carolyn Peck, LaChina Robinson                   ESPN2 / WatchESPN

9 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Greensboro, N.C.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

9:30 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Oklahoma City, Okla.)                   ESPN2 / WatchESPN

Sat, Mar 28                   Noon                   Regional Semifinal (Albany, N.Y.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe                   ESPN / WatchESPN

2 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Albany, N.Y.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

4:30 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Spokane, Wash.)

Dave Pasch, Debbie Antonelli, Allison Williams                   ESPN / WatchESPN

6:30 p.m.                   Regional Semifinal (Spokane, Wash.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

Sun, Mar 29                   Noon                   Regional Final (Greensboro, N.C.)


8:30 p.m.                   Regional Final (Oklahoma City, Okla.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

Mon, Mar 30                   7 p.m.                   Regional Final (Albany, N.Y.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

9 p.m.                   Regional Final (Spokane, Wash.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

2015 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented By Capital One Final Four Schedule (subject to change)

Sun, Apr 5                   6 p.m.                   NCAA Women’s Final Four Special Presented by Capital One (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo                   ESPN / WatchESPN

6:30 p.m.                   National Semifinal Game 1 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe                   ESPN / WatchESPN

9 p.m.                   National Semifinal Game 2 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)                   ESPN / WatchESPN

Tue, Apr 7                   5:30 p.m.                   College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Championship Special

Matt Schick, Brooke Weisbrod & Steffi Sorensen                   ESPNU / WatchESPN

7:30 p.m.                   NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Kevin Negandhi, Kara Lawson, Rebecca Lobo                   ESPN / WatchESPN

8:30 p.m.                   National Final (Tampa Bay, Fla.)

Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke, Holly Rowe                   ESPN / WatchESPN

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