March Madness Countdown: From Brackets Unveiled to Tip Off

DukeFrom Sunday, March 14, at 7 p.m. ET – right after the brackets are revealed for the Men’s Basketball Tournament – to tip off of the first game on Thursday, March 18, at noon, college sports network ESPNU will present 89 continuous hours of college basketball discussion, analysis, previews, interviews and more, including up to four first-round NIT games.

The hoops extravaganza will begin with Bracketology, a two-hour discussion of the brackets hosted by Rece Davis with Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas and Dick Vitale, examining which teams got in, the matchups and which teams fell just short. The show will be simulcast from ESPN and will be followed by the NIT Selection Show at 9 p.m.

• The Bracket: a live two-hour studio show Monday, March 15 – Wednesday, March 17, at 6 p.m. Scott Van Pelt will host, joined by a variety of ESPN college basketball analysts for hard-core discussion aimed at fans planning their brackets. In addition, the show will lighten the mood with some fun surprises including brackets filled out by a variety of celebrities from sports and entertainment. A special edition of The Bracket will air Thursday, March 18, at 10 a.m. with last-minute updates and news leading directly into the start of play at noon.

• The Bracket: All Nighter: a live three-hour studio show at midnight (9 p.m. PT) late Sunday, March 14, to Wednesday, March 17, with ESPNU anchor Lowell Galindo and analysts Mike Kelly and Jay Williams leading a “late-night study session.” All four shows will see the clock strike midnight in four time zones and include live reports from the ESPNU Road Trip crew from college campuses of tournament schools to capture the excitement and planning of college students. In addition, Campus Connection student reporters will follow teams during preparations, from game film to student travel plans, giving the fans insights into what the tournament is like for those who play and those who cheer for them.

• The Experts: a live studio show hosted by Kevin Connors on Sunday, March 14, at 9:30 p.m. (following the NIT Selection Show and simulcast on ESPN2 from 9 p.m. to midnight) and Monday, March 15, at 9 p.m. for three hours with the feel of eavesdropping on the conversation of two four-person panels of analysts. Every half hour, the two groups will switch places, with one on the air while the other services ESPN’s digital and social networking platforms. Analysts expected to participate include Stephen Bardo, Adrian Branch, Jimmy Dykes, LaPhonso Ellis, Len Elmore, Fran Fraschilla, Mark Gottfried, and Tim Welsh while Andy Katz provides insight to the reactions from coaches and players to their seeding and draw.

• NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show: An additional exclusive hour on ESPNU on Monday, March 15 at 8 p.m. following ESPN’s announcements at 7 p.m. This show, hosted by Trey Wingo, Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson with contributions from Doris Burke and Rebecca Lobo, takes more time to analyze the women’s bracket announcement and its impact on the NCAA Women’s Tournament.

• The Herd with Colin Cowherd: the simulcast of the popular ESPN Radio program, seen weekdays on ESPNU from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., will air in its usual time slot Monday, March 15 – Wednesday, March 17, with extensive discussion and guest interviews related to the tournament.

• Coaches Spotlight: Katz Marathon – ESPN college basketball reporter Andy Katz will attempt to interview all 65 coaches in the NCAA Men’s Tournament in a four-hour show Monday, March 15 at 2 p.m. Last year, in his first attempt, he spoke to 63 head coaches and one assistant.

• Coaches Spotlight: NCAA Women’s Tournament: a three-hour in-depth preview of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Tuesday, March 16 at 3 p.m. with Beth Mowins, Cara Capuano and Abby Waner, and a segment each from Carolyn Peck and Kara Lawson.

• NCAA Press Conferences: press conferences with coaches and players in Thursday’s games will be aired live Wednesday, March 17, from 2 – 6 p.m.

• NIT First-Round Action: up to four live games will be televised Tuesday, March 16, and Wednesday, March 17, at 8 p.m. and 10 p.m., subject to change.

ESPNU Tournament Countdown – Highlights

Date Time (ET) Program
Sun, March 14 7 p.m. Bracketology
  9 p.m. NIT Selection Show
  9:30 p.m. The Experts
  Midnight – 3 a.m. The Bracket:  All Nighter
Mon, March 15 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd
  2 p.m. Coach’s Spotlight: Katz Marathon
  6 p.m. The Bracket
  8 p.m. NCAA Women’s Tournament Selection Show
  9 p.m. The Experts
  Midnight – 3 a.m. The Bracket:  All Nighter
Tue, March 16 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd
  3 p.m. Coach’s Spotlight: NCAA Women’s Tournament
  6 p.m. The Bracket
  8 p.m. NIT First Round Game
  10 p.m. NIT First Round Game
  Midnight The Bracket:  All Nighter
Wed, March 17 10 a.m. The Herd with Colin Cowherd
  2 p.m. NCAA Press Conferences
  6 p.m. The Bracket
  8 p.m. NIT First Round Game
  10 p.m. NIT First Round Game
  Midnight The Bracket:  All Nighter
Thurs, March 18 10 a.m. The Bracket