March 8, 2006
For the first-ever Selection Monday, ESPN will present the exclusive, live announcement of the women's 64-team field on the NCAA Women's Basketball Selection Special March 13 at 4 p.m. (PT). Stacey Dales-Schuman will return to provide analysis alongside newcomers Kara Lawson and host Trey Wingo. The one-hour show will mark ESPN's 14th consecutive year of announcing the pairings days before it begins complete coverage of the NCAA Division I Tournament March 18 - April 4 on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN FULL COURT. In addition to the Selection Special, women's NCAA Tournament content will be featured across other ESPN entities, including SportsCenter, Around The Horn, Pardon The Interruption, College GameNight, ESPNEWS and ESPN.com.
Right before the women's bracket is announced, a special College GameNight at 6:30 p.m. on ESPN2 will provide an overview of the Women's NCAA Division I Championship from ESPN college basketball analysts and a recap of the men's bracket determined the previous day. ESPN's Around The Horn (5 p.m.) and Pardon The Interruption (5:30 p.m.) will also include special segments, with SportsCenter and ESPNEWS providing coverage throughout the day.
"Selection Monday expands our commitment to the women's game by seizing an entire day to focus on the sport's most exciting time of the year across multiple ESPN entities," said Carol Stiff, ESPN senior director of programming and acquisitions. "This program enhancement will allow college basketball fans to center their attention on the women, while also contributing to our ongoing efforts to grow the sport."
A SNEAK PREVIEW OF THE NCAA WOMEN'S SELECTION MONDAY SPECIAL (March 13, 7-8 p.m.):· Immediate analysis and thoughts by Dales-Schuman and Lawson as the brackets are announced on the program
· Exclusive interview with NCAA Women's Tournament Chair Joni Comstock from NCAA headquarters in Indianapolis by Wingo via satellite
· Dales-Schuman and Lawson picking their Final Four teams
· A look at the "Sleeper Teams" - teams ranked outside the Top10
· The unveiling of moment #11 from the list of top 25 moments in NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament's 25-year history. The remaining top 10 will be announced throughout NCAA Championship coverage - with number #1 unveiled during the Championship game on April 4
· In addition, encore presentations of the show will air on ESPNU at 10:15 p.m. and 12:15 a.m.
SELECTION MONDAY ON ESPN.COM
ESPN.com will provide complete coverage of Selection Monday online, bringing fans in-depth information, analysis and interaction, as well as the popular ESPN.com Tournament Challenge bracket games for the Men's and Women's NCAA Tournaments.
The coverage will begin long before the actual selections are made. ESPN.com women's bracketologist Charlie Creme will post his final bracket prediction on the site. After the Selection Special airs, fans can chat with Creme, NCAA selection chair Joni Comstock and ESPN analyst Nancy Lieberman. In addition, ESPN.com's "Bubble Watch" will be updated right up until the tournament selections are announced. The brackets will then be available within minutes of the selection announcement, along with profiles of all 64 teams, including in-depth breakdowns of each region by ESPN.com columnist Mechelle Voepel and analysts Beth Mowins and Lieberman.
25TH ANNUAL NCAA DIVISION I WOMEN'S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP
For the fourth consecutive year, ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN FULL COURT will combine to present all 63 games from the NCAA Women's Basketball Championship. During the first two rounds, ESPN and ESPN2 will present 48 games within 12 telecast windows in a whip-around format with home market protection. ESPN FULL COURT, ESPN's out-of-market pay-per-view package, will offer complete game telecasts of all 48 games, while ESPNU will offer 11 of the 48 early-round games on ESPN or ESPN2 in their entirety. The final 15 games (regional semifinals on) will all have national telecasts windows on ESPN or ESPN2. In addition to the Final Four, all four regional sites and women's basketball studio specials will be available in high definition on either ESPNHD or ESPN2HD. The complete schedule will be announced on a later date.