ESPN’s 2014-15 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,600 games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, ESPN FULL COURET, SEC Network and Longhorn Network – will showcase a deep roster of experienced commentators.
ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game every day but three from November 14 to March 8 (December 24 and 26 and January 12). The wealth of experience working games on ESPN networks include former Division I coaches and NBA, WNBA and collegiate players, along with versatile and veteran play-by-play voices.
Non-conference coverage of more than 700 contests gets underway Friday, Nov. 14, with a full slate of games including the Armed Forces Classic pitting No. 8 Louisville, and head coach Rick Pitino, against Minnesota, and his son Richard, fromUnited States Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico, at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.
- Analyst Jay Bilas, entering his 21st season at ESPN, will be paired with Dan Shulman and reporter Shannon Spakeon the Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV game that host’s that day’s College GameDay Driven by State Farm.
- Bilas and Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale, who enters his 36th season calling games for the network, will each call key ESPN weekday matchups across multiple conferences. Vitale will also work a marquee game each Saturday.
- College GameDay gets a fresh look in its 11th season as host Rece Davis and Bilas are joined by first-year GameDayanalysts Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams. The foursome will help carry out a new flexible schedule that will give theSaturday morning show more ability to react to storylines as the season develops to better ensure visits to top games on ESPN networks each week, beginning on the road Saturday, Jan. 17.
- Davis will also call a Thursday Night Showcase game involving Big Ten teams.
- Shane Battier, fresh off a lengthy and successful NBA career, will join play-by-play veteran Sean McDonough and reporter Allison Williams on the ACC Big Monday package.
- The trio of Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe return to work the second half of the Big Mondaydoubleheader featuring Big 12 programs.
- Mike Tirico, one of ESPN’s most versatile commentators and the voice of Monday Night Football, pairs again with analyst Dan Dakich and reporter Samantha Ponder for the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday game. Dakich will also call aSaturday Big Ten contest with Bob Wischusen.
- ESPN’s weekly Super Tuesday SEC telecast, will see the return of Brad Nessler and Spake, and adds analyst Sean Farnham. Farnham will join Joe Tessitore on the Thursday SEC telecast.
- Kara Lawson will work with Mark Jones to call the Saturday SEC window.
- Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again have the call of Pac-12 games on Wednesday and Thursday nights with Dave Pasch.
- ACC games will also be covered by Dave O’Brien and Doris Burke (Saturday), as well as Bob Wischusen andLaPhonso Ellis (Wednesday).
- Big 12 Tuesdays will be called by Dave Flemming and Miles Simon, in addition to the league’s Saturday games called by Jon Sciambi and Fraschilla.
- American games will see Mike Patrick on Thursdays and Saturdays with Len Elmore and Bob Knight, in addition to O’Brien and Burke working select AAC Thursday games.
- Several analysts return to ESPN and ESPN’s studio coverage – with a consistent presence from Battier, Greenberg and Williams.
- Naismith Memorial Hall of Fame member and former UConn head coach Jim Calhoun joins ESPN provide insight and analysis, including studio programming, joining select game telecasts and conducting sit-down interviews with top figures in the game.
- New faces on ESPNU include former coaches Craig Robinson and Stan Heath, and former college and pro standoutBrad Daugherty, who returns to work ESPN games after several years as a NASCAR analyst. He will call select ACC college basketball games, including the ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series with Adam Amin.
- SEC Network will televise 118 men’s games in its inaugural season and will include analysts Dane Bradshaw, Barry Booker, Joe Dean, Jr., Tony Delk, Daymeon Fishback, Darrin Horn, Jon Sundvold and Will Purdue, as well as play-by-play commentators Dave Neal, Tom Hart and Dave Baker.
- Longhorn Network will surround the network’s 10 exclusive Texas men’s basketball games with studio programming that includes a simulcast of Coach Rick Barnes weekly radio show and original content such as LHN All-Access. Paul Sunderland and Lowell Galindo will call play-by-play for the network with analysts Lance Blanks and Reid Gettys.
In addition to Greenberg, Battier and Williams, ESPN and ESPN2 studio programming will also include Dakich, Ellis, Farnham, Fraschilla, Jeff Goodman, Andy Katz, Lawson and Miles Simon.
ESPNU will rotate its studio coverage including analysts Dino Gaudio and Adrian Branch, along with hosts Brendan Fitzgerald, Matt Schick and Anish Shroff.
ESPN Buzzer Beater
Analyst Tim McCormick will be seen on ESPN Buzzer Beater – which offers live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon ET to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., beginning Saturday, Jan. 10.
Katz, Goodman, Eamonn Brennan, Myron Medcalf, Dana O’Neil, C.L Brown and John Gasaway will provide reporting, analysis and original video on ESPN.com throughout the season, while Paul Biancardi, Jeff Borzello, Adam Finkelsteinand Reggie Rankin will break down what is going on in college basketball recruiting. Also, Bracketologist Joe Lunardi will keep an eye on what the NCAA Championship field might look like come March.
Announcers across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, SEC Network and Longhorn Network will call games involving more than 300 teams from all 32 Division I conferences.
Commentators can also be seen during ESPN’s popular weekly series’ beginning in January – Big Monday Presented by Verizon, Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops, Thursday Night Showcase, College GameDay Covered by State Farm,Saturday Primetime Presented by DIRECTV and ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball – plus a full slate of games throughout the season.