Behind The ScenesNCAAB

ESPN college basketball analyst Brooke Weisbrod has all courts covered during Championship Week

Brooke Weisbrod and Beth Mowins during the Women's Big East Championship. (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
Brooke Weisbrod (C) and Beth Mowins (R) during the Women’s BIG EAST Championship. (Joe Faraoni / ESPN Images)
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Brooke Weisbrod’s itinerary

Arrived in Hartford, Conn., on Friday, March 8

BIG EAST Women’s Championship, Hartford, Conn.
· Second Round (March 9) on ESPN3 – Games 4 & 5
· Quarterfinals (March 10) on ESPNU – Games 8 & 9
· Semifinals (March 11) on ESPNU – Games 12 & 13

Traveled to Brooklyn, N.Y., on Tuesday, March 12

Atlantic 10 Men’s Championship, Brooklyn, N.Y.
· First Round (March 14) on NBCSN – Games 1-4

Atlantic 10 Women’s Championship, Brooklyn, N.Y.
· Championship Game (March 16) on ESPNU

Traveling to New Haven, Conn., on Sunday, March 17

Northeast Conference Tournament, Hamden, Conn.
· Championship Game (March 17) on ESPNU

Fly to Chicago on Monday, March 18
Selection Monday – UPS Total Performance Index Report for The Sporting News

Fly to Charlotte at 5:45 a.m. on Tuesday, March 19
College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Special 1-5 p.m. on ESPNU

Fly back to Chicago 8 p.m.

Brooke Weisbrod traveled often during her college basketball playing days, but that pales in comparison to her current schedule as a women’s basketball analyst.

Weisbrod is calling games in four conference tournaments in a one-week span, including six contests from the BIG EAST and title games for both the Northeast Conference and Atlantic 10.

A 2001 Coastal Carolina graduate, Weisbrod was the 2001 Big South Player of the Year and just the second player in her alma mater’s history to amass at least 1,000 points, 300 rebounds and 200 assists. She was also named the Big South Scholar-Athlete of the Year and the NCAA Woman of the Year for South Carolina.

After her collegiate career, Weisbrod joined ESPN in 2003 as a women’s college basketball analyst, and she has since added men’s basketball to her responsibilities. In addition to calling more than 25 regular-season games in 2012-13, she also works on college football, high school and studio programming.

In the midst of unquestionably her busiest week of the year, Weisbrod spoke with Front Row about her job and the experience of covering so many college tournaments during Championship Week.

How do you prepare for four tournaments in a one-week time span?
I do a lot of reading, make calls and watch game clips. ESPN has a great research and news department that sends daily emails to keep us dialed in. I also try to work ahead whenever I can. It is amazing how much you get done in the 20 minutes while waiting to board your plane.

How do you make it work not knowing the teams until the last minute?
I follow the main storylines from the conferences and know the big picture stories. There is a good chance I’ve already seen a couple of the teams, which also helps. I also take a deep breath and remind myself to enjoy the moment. I love the magic of the tournaments.

Do you lean on other announcers for advice?
Absolutely, they are my lifeline. A few weeks ago, while in Charlotte, I needed help with some West Coast notes for the taping of The Experts. Coordinating producer Chris Farrow and I dialed up [play-by-play commentator] Roxy Bernstein and [analyst] Sean Farnham, and within 10 minutes, I was good to go. I try to then pay it forward.

Is using Twitter beneficial during the week of cramming?
It can hurt and help. I don’t want to read through play-by-play on a Twitter feed, it is way too much information. But it is the first place I can go to find out what’s going on.

Does the travel catch up with you?
I’ve been lucky so far this season — I just jinxed myself. Winter storm Nemo almost got me, but I made it to Storrs, Conn., just in time to call the DePaul-Connecticut women’s ESPNU game. I get used to the pace, but once I slow down, I’m toast.

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