New ‘Bracket Bound’ App and ESPN Films’ The Fab Five Documentary to Debut
ESPN’s extensive multimedia coverage of Selection Sunday, March 13 – the day the 68-team field for the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament is announced – will serve as a tip off of ESPNU’s Tournament Countdown featuring 71 consecutive hours (Sunday at 8 p.m. ET through 1 p.m. on Friday, March 18) of college basketball discussion, analysis, previews, interviews and more leading up to the first round of the Tournament. ESPN’s Bracketology Presented by Staples at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and a special 5:50 p.m. SportsCenter will give a thorough preview and review of all Tournament-bound teams.
ESPN’s Selection Sunday schedule will include content across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPN Radio, ESPN.com and ESPN Mobile featuring the ESPN Bracket Bound free app for the iPhone and iPod touch devices allowing sports fans to play along in ESPN.com’s Tournament Challenge.
In addition, a new ESPN Films documentary The Fab Five will immediately follow ESPN’s Selection Sunday coverage (approximately 9 p.m. ET). The two-hour film, produced by former Michigan player and NBA star Jalen Rose’s Three Tier Entertainment, will relive the 1991 Michigan team comprised of five star freshman who changed the way the game was played.
ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2’s Selection Sunday and Tournament Countdown Schedule
|Sun, Mar 13||11 a.m.||College GameDay Driven by State Farm||ESPN2|
|noon||College GameDay Driven by State Farm||ESPN|
|3 p.m.||Bracketology Presented by Staples||ESPN|
|7 p.m.||Bracketology Presented by Staples||ESPN|
|8 p.m.||Crunch Time: Championship Week Special||ESPNU|
|9 p.m.||NIT Selection Show||ESPNU|
|9:30 p.m.||The Experts: Tournament Edition Presented by Delta Airlines||ESPNU|
|Mon, Mar 14||1 p.m.||College Basketball Live: Men’s Tournament Coaches Special Presented by Delta Airlines||ESPNU|
|6 p.m.||College Basketball Live: Tournament Edition Presented by Delta Airlines||ESPNU|
|8 p.m.||NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show||ESPNU|
|9 p.m.||The Experts: Tournament Edition Presented by Delta Airlines||ESPNU|
|Tue, Mar 15||1 p.m.||ESPNU Coaches Spotlight: NCAA Women’s Tournament Coaches Special||ESPNU|
|5 p.m.||College Basketball Live: Tournament Edition Presented by Delta Airlines||ESPNU|
|Wed, Mar 16||1 p.m.||ESPNU College Basketball WhipAround||ESPNU|
|Thu, Mar 17||1 p.m.||ESPNU College Basketball WhipAround||ESPNU|
|Fri, Mar 18||1 p.m.||ESPNU College Basketball WhipAround||ESPNU|
|Sat, Mar 19||Midnight||SportsCenterU||ESPNU|
|Sun, Mar 20||Midnight||SportsCenterU||ESPNU|
Schedule subject to change
ESPN, ESPNU and ESPN2’s Selection Sunday show details include:
- A two-hour College GameDay Driven by State Farm will begin at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 and continue on ESPN at noon. Host Rece Davis, analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Dick Vitale (via satellite), and ESPN.com Bracketologist Joe Lunardi. will preview the day’s conference championships and discuss who could be in and out of the Tournament, as well as potential bracket seeding.
- ESPN will provide extensive, in-depth analysis with a three-hour Bracketology Presented by Staples at 3 p.m. Host Ryan Burr, analysts Dan Dakich, Fran Fraschilla, Mark Gottfried, Doug Gottlieb and Jay Williams, and Lunardi, will discuss their predictions for No. 1 seeds, the last teams in and out, interview coaches of teams on the bubble and more. In addition, Lunardi will reveal his bracket projections during the show and the GameDay crew will provide insights from the “war room” where monitors show feeds from all concluding conference championships.
- In addition to reporting on the latest sports news, the 6 p.m. SportsCenter – which will hit air at 5:50 p.m. – hosted by Dari Nowkhah and Steve Bunin, will provide up-to-the-minute updates of the Tournament selections with GameDay host Rece Davis and analysts Bilas, Hubert Davis and Phelps evaluating the brackets shortly after they are announced. Vitale will also contribute (via satellite).
- Bracketology Presented by Staples at 7 p.m. on ESPN will include extensive, in-depth analysis of the bracket in each region. Host Rece Davis will be joined by Bilas, Hubert Davis, Gottlieb and Phelps in studio with Vitale (via satellite) to discuss multiple Tournament topics and reveal their Elite Eight, Final Four and Championship teams.
- For the sixth straight year, ESPNU will televise the live announcement of the NIT field at 9 p.m. The NIT Selection Show, hosted by Mike Yam with analyst Miles Simon, will feature comprehensive analysis of the matchups and discuss what teams were left out. The show will include a live interview with NIT Chair C.M. Newton about the bracket and selection process.
- The Experts: Tournament Edition Presented by Delta Airlines, live three-hour specials hosted by Lowell Galindo at 9:30 p.m. on ESPNU (and at 9 p.m. Monday, March 14) will provide the opinions and perspectives on all the First Round matchups from an array of analysts including Adrian Branch, Dino Gaudio, Mark Gottfried, Andy Katz, Mike Kelley, Simon and Bob Valvano.
- College Basketball Live: Men’s Tournament Coaches Special Presented by Delta Airlines will see host Andy Katz interview all 68 coaches from the Men’s Tournament via phone and satellite from the ESPNU studios in Charlotte, N.C.
- ESPNU College Basketball WhipAround debuting Wed., March 16, will whip viewers around to various press conferences around the Men’s Tournament previewing upcoming and reviewing completed games with analysts, Branch and Gaudio.
The Fab Five is a two-hour film (9 p.m. on ESPN) about one of the most famous—and infamous—teams in college basketball history. Arriving on the campus of the University of Michigan in the fall of 1991, the five freshmen— Juwan Howard, Jimmy King, Ray Jackson, Jalen Rose and Chris Webber — not only electrified the game, but also brought new style to the masses with their baggy shorts, black socks and brash talk. Now, in their own words, the Fab Five relive those days: the recruitment process that got them to Ann Arbor, the cultural impact they made, the two runs to the NCAA title game, the Webber “timeout” that cost them the 1993 championship and the scandal that eventually tarnished their accomplishments. Forget what you remember about the Fab Five — this film will show them in an entirely new light.
ESPN Radio will present a SportsCenter Sunday “Selection Sunday Special” on March 13 at approximately 6:30 p.m., immediately following the network’s live broadcast of the Orlando Magic-Phoenix Suns NBA game. Chuck Wilson and Dari Nowkhah will co-host the special until 10 p.m. It will feature the announcement of the 68-team field, and interviews with the day’s top college basketball newsmakers, including Men’s Selection Chairman Gene Smith at 8:43 p.m. Texas coach Rick Barnes, Pittsburgh coach Jamie Dixon, and ESPN “Bracketologist” Joe Lunardi are among those expected to join Wilson and Nowkhah.
As part of its extensive Tournament coverage, ESPN.com will provide updated “National Bracket” information on Selection Sunday, reflecting real-time collective tournament predictions of sports fans nationwide. Within minutes of team selections, complete brackets will be available, along with profiles of all teams, interactive polls and a special NCAA Tournament edition of Pat Forde’s “Forde Minutes” column. A breakdown of each regional by Andy Katz will be available Monday, March 14. Highlights:
- Tournament Challenge: The ESPN Men’s Tournament Challenge presented by State Farm and Sprint will return. Once again, the Challenge is free for entrants, who can submit up to 10 brackets. Fans submit a bracket of game outcomes and points are awarded for each correct pick, with point values increasing as the Tournaments progress. Last year, the Men’s Tournament Challenge game was again the most popular bracket game in the nation, with nearly 5.4 million entries, up 8 percent compared to the previous year and setting a new record. Among the millions of participants in 2010 was President Barack Obama, who failed to predict any of the Final Four teams but in 2009, correctly picked the North Carolina Tar Heels to win the title.
- Cover It Live: A four-hour live chat session on Selection Sunday gives fans an opportunity to consult experts and add to the nationwide dialogue and debate, featuring ESPN.com analysts Eamonn Brennan, Forde, Katz, Diamond Leung, Dana O’Neil and Mark Schlabach.
- News, Information, Analysis: ESPN.com will have full coverage of news, insight, analysis and commentary on the latest developments surrounding Selection Sunday.
ESPN’s mobile initiatives will deliver in-depth coverage and interaction leading up to and through Selection Sunday, including:
- ESPN Bracket Bound: Fans won’t be far from checking their brackets with the new ESPN Bracket Bound app for iPhone and iPod touch devices. The app, available now at no cost to fans in the App Store, will allow fans to sign up for Tournament Challenge, join groups, create and manage their brackets and follow all the action in real-time on the go. Additionally, it includes news, video and a premium layer of exclusive content.
Mobile Web: ESPN’s industry-leading mobile web site will have special sections analyzing each region, including immediate access to stats and analysis of all 68 NCAA Tournament teams. Interactive features will include the ability to submit Tournament Challenge picks directly through the wireless site, and to participate in SportsNation chats and polls on Selection Sunday and throughout the NCAA Tournament.
- ESPN Alerts: Fans can sign up to receive Tournament Alerts that deliver up-to-the-minute news and scores directly to their wireless devices on all major carriers. Beginning with Selection Sunday, the top four seeds from each region will be sent to subscribers via text message moments after the announcement. Throughout the tournament, subscribers will receive scores, upset watch alerts, and the latest news, as well as expanded in-game updates during the regional finals and Final Four. Tournament Challenge players can also sign up to receive an alert reminding them to fill out their brackets as soon as they are available. Fans can signup for Alerts on ESPN.com or the ESPN Mobile Web.