ESPN’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm, the eight-week Saturday morning and evening college basketball program originating from the site of ESPN’s Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV telecast, will return for its eighth season beginning Saturday, Jan. 14, at 10 a.m. ET from the campus of Florida State University in Tallahassee, Fla. In a one-time only switch, the season debut will be on ESPN with the second hour on ESPNU. Most other weeks, a two-hour show will air at 10 a.m. on ESPNU, continuing at 11 a.m. on ESPN with a one-hour edition at 8 p.m. on ESPN (except for Jan. 28 and March 3). The Saturday Primetime game-of-the-week series will generally be aired at 9 p.m. (exceptions noted below).
New to the schedule this year is the “flex pick” option for the March 3 game. College GameDay will either stop in Durham, N.C., for North Carolina at Duke in a 7 p.m. Saturday Primetime matchup or in Lawrence, Kan., for the Texas at Kansas 9 p.m. game.
Nick Dawson, director, ESPN programming & acquisitions, said, “We worked to assemble the most exciting conference matchups for Saturday Primetime at sites we are confident will be enthusiastic and welcoming hosts for College GameDay.”
For the eighth year, Rece Davis will serve as point guard for the College GameDay desk, and will be joined by analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight to preview all the day’s action and discuss the biggest storylines in college basketball.
Scheduled sites for College GameDay and Saturday Primetime:
|Date||GameDay Site||Show Times (ET)||Game||Game Time (ET)|
|Jan 14||Tallahassee, Fla.||10 a.m. & 11 a.m.*||North Carolina at Florida State||2 p.m.|
|Jan 21||Pittsburgh, Pa.||10 a.m. & 8 p.m.||Louisville at Pittsburgh||9 p.m.|
|Jan 28||Tucson, Ariz.||10 a.m. & 6 p.m.||Washington at Arizona||7 p.m.|
|Feb 4||Columbia, Mo.||10 a.m. & 8 p.m.||Kansas at Missouri||9 p.m.|
|Feb 11||Nashville, Tenn.||10 a.m. & 8 p.m.||Kentucky at Vanderbilt||9 p.m.|
|Feb 18||Ann Arbor, Mich.||10 a.m. & 8 p.m.||Ohio State at Michigan||9 p.m.|
|Feb 25||Storrs, Conn.||10 a.m. & 8 p.m.||Syracuse at Connecticut||9 p.m.|
|Mar 3||Durham, N.C. or Lawrence, Kan.^||10 a.m. & 6 p.m.||North Carolina at Duke or||7 p.m. or
* ESPNU will televise the first hour of College GameDay with ESPN continuing coverage at 11 a.m. except Jan. 14 when ESPN will televise the first hour and ESPNU will continue coverage at 11 a.m. ESPN will televise the evening edition each week, except Jan. 14 when there is no evening show.
^ Site for March 3 will be determined and announced on the Feb. 25 morning GameDay show
Highlights of this year’s schedule:
- Five of the eight schools visited in 2012 will be first-time College GameDay hosts: Arizona, Florida State, Michigan, Missouri and Vanderbilt.
- Defending national champion Connecticut ranked No.8 takes on familiar Big East foe Syracuse ranked No. 4 in Dick Vitale’s preseason poll.
- Twelve schools on the schedule are top 20 picks in Vitale’s preseason rankings; eight of which are in his top 10.
- Every GameDay site will include at least one men’s team ranked in an early preseason top 25 poll by ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz: No. 1 North Carolina, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 3 Ohio State, No. 4 Syracuse, No. 5 Duke, No. 6 Connecticut, No. 7 Vanderbilt, No. 9 Louisville, No. 10 Arizona, No. 17 Pittsburgh, No. 18 Kansas, No. 21 Florida State, No. 22 Missouri and No. 23 Michigan.
- If GameDay stops at Kansas on March 3, it would be the show’s fifth visit to the school (2004-05, 2006-07, 2007-08, 2010-11), the most of any program.
About College GameDay
College GameDay Driven by State Farm debuted Jan. 22, 2005 from the University of Connecticut, the same season as the debut of the Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game of the week. The eight-week road show is hosted by Rece Davis (since 2005) with analysts Jay Bilas (2005), Hubert Davis (2007), Digger Phelps (2006) & Bob Knight (2009). Thirty-six different campuses have served as College GameDay sites, plus the ACC Tournament Semifinals (March 12, 2005), in a total of 56 stops through 2011. The largest crowd assembled for the show was 22,144 at Kentucky’s Rupp Arena, Feb. 10, 2010.