Aug. 22, 2011
SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The West Coast Conference and ESPN have announced that a minimum of 30 men's basketball games involving WCC schools will air nationally on the ESPN Networks this season as part of the 2011-12 conference schedule. The increase in national exposures is a result of the new eight-year extension of the WCC's partnership with ESPN.
"We are pleased to showcase more West Coast Conference basketball than ever before thanks to our unique relationship with our partners at ESPN," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. "Our competitive level has never been stronger, and with the addition of yet another Sweet 16 program in BYU, we're confident the WCC will continue as a formidable, national conference. We expect a tight race throughout the season as we head towards the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championships in Las Vegas."
The West Coast Conference will once again be a centerpiece to ESPN's Thursday night coverage, with weekly appearances on ESPN2 and ESPNU. In all, there will be a total of 21 conference games showcased on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU in 2011-12, including the Zappos.com WCC Basketball Championship quarterfinals (Friday, March 2, ESPNU), semifinals (Saturday, March 3, ESPN2) and the championship game on Monday, March 5 (ESPN/ESPN2).
The WCC's national telecast package is highlighted by a pair of clashes between Gonzaga and Saint Mary's - the teams that shared the 2011 WCC regular season title. In addition, the Bulldogs will square off twice against WCC newcomer BYU on ESPN2. Overall, Gonzaga will appear on ESPN2 or ESPNU seven times during conference play. The Cougars will play on the networks six times during the conference season, as will Saint Mary's. The Gaels will host BYU in the conference opener on Thursday, December 29 (ESPN2). In its first-ever West Coast Conference test, the Cougars will meet a Gaels team that won 25 games last season.
In addition to the conference games, ESPN has announced it will televise nine non-conference games that are a part of the WCC's national television package. Additional WCC non-conference games (including tournaments, special events, and/or non-conference road games) on the ESPN Networks will be announced at a later date.
As the season approaches, check the interactive schedule on WCCsports.com or follow the West Coast Conference on Twitter (@WCCsports) for additional non-conference telecasts along with local and regional telecast information from the conference and its member institutions.