For a fourth consecutive year, the ESPN family of networks’ college basketball season will commence on ESPNU, with its extensive whip-around coverage of Midnight Madness events from several top college basketball programs around the country on Friday, Oct. 16, from 9 p.m.-1 a.m. ET. ESPN2 will simulcast ESPNU’s coverage from 11:30 p.m. – 12 a.m. ESPN has been covering Midnight Madness events since 1993.
The four-hour ESPNU Midnight Madness special will showcase nine schools, the most teams ever featured in the history of the network’s coverage of the annual event, including defending NCAA National Champion North Carolina and Men’s Final Four participants Michigan State and Connecticut, as well as 2009 Cinderella standout North Dakota State. Of the nine schools to be highlighted, eight are ranked in Andy Katz’s Preseason Top 25: No. 1 Kansas, No. 2 Michigan State, No. 5 North Carolina, No. 7 Kentucky, No. 10 Duke, No. 14 Washington, No. 18 Georgetown and No. 25 Connecticut.
ESPNU anchor Lowell Galindo will host this year’s show alongside ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and college basketball analyst and former University of Maryland standout Adrian Branch, who played for former Terrapin coaching legend “Lefty” Driesell, founder of Midnight Madness. The studio team will provide analysis between look-ins at each Midnight Madness event. Every site will feature ESPN commentators providing coverage of various elements including scrimmages, dunk contests, team skits, three point contests, season previews and interviews with most men's basketball head coaches.
Additional ESPNU Midnight Madness Highlights:
· ESPNU Campus Connection elements from students at Connecticut, Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and North Carolina;
· Coverage of women’s programs, including NCAA Women’s Basketball National Champion Connecticut;
· Bonus reports and interviews from other schools.
In addition, ESPNU will tip off coverage of live college basketball games for the ESPN family of networks, beginning Nov. 9 with three matchups from the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer, including the coaching debut of Isiah Thomas as he leads his Florida International Golden Panthers squad against the defending National Champion North Carolina Tar Heels at 7 p.m. The network will televise more than 300 men’s and women’s college basketball games combined, including action from more than 25 NCAA Division I conferences: the ACC, Atlantic 10, Big 12, BIG EAST, Big South, Big Ten, Horizon League, Mid-American Conference, MEAC, Missouri Valley Conference, Ohio Valley Conference, SEC, Southland, SWAC and more.
ESPNU Midnight Madness Commentators
Duke/Cameron Indoor Stadium
Lou Canellis and Bill Raftery
Kansas/Allen Field House
Dave Armstrong and Fran Fraschilla
Kentucky/ Rupp Arena
Dave LaMont and Jimmy Dykes
Michigan State/Breslin Center
North Carolina/Dean Smith Center
Rob Stone and Hubert Davis
North Dakota State/Bison Sports Arena
Washington/Bank of America Arena
Steve Physioc and Steve Lavin
ESPNU launched March 4, 2005. The 24-hour college sports television network televises more than 550 live events annually, including college football, college basketball and Olympic sports from more than 25 Division I conferences, as well as premier high school content. The network also has a wide-ranging, long-term agreement with the NCAA for enhanced coverage of 22 NCAA Championships.
ESPNU also offers comprehensive studio programming, including live simulcasts of ESPN Radio’s The Herd with Colin Cowherd, and replays the best games of the week from ABC, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN Regional Television. The brand is also available in high definition on ESPNU HD and online at ESPNU.com. In addition, ESPNU Campus Connection, a multi-platform student-generated content initiative, was introduced in August 2007.
ESPNU is available in more than 55 million households and has long-term carriage agreements with nine of the top 10 providers - Charter, Comcast, Cox, DirecTV (Channel 614), DISH Network (Channel 141), Mediacom, Time Warner Cable, Verizon FiOS TV and AT&T U-verse.