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UConn-ND telecast will feature tributes to women’s basketball player Lauren Hill

On Saturday, No. 3 Connecticut will face No. 2 Notre Dame in the 13th annual Jimmy V Women’s Classic presented by Corona (3:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) as part of Jimmy V Week for Cancer Research from Purcell Pavilion in Notre Dame, Ind. The game will feature ESPN’s “3 to See” matching up UConn’s Kaleena Mosqueda-Lewis and Breanna Stewart against Notre Dame’s Jewell Loyd.

A donation of $100,000 for pediatric brain cancer research is being made by The V Foundation for Cancer Research in honor of Lauren Hill, the Mount St. Joseph’s women’s basketball student-athlete who has courageously shared her fight against cancer with the world. Hill has become an inspiration to many and reminds all of us to Never Give Up.

While Hill will not able to attend the presentation, which will take place at halftime of the UConn-ND game, she taped a special message which will be shown during halftime.

Head coaches Muffet McGraw of Notre Dame and Geno Auriemma of UConn, as well as Mosqueda-Lewis and Stewart, taped inspirational messages for Hill. The video above contains samples of the messages.

O'Brien, Burke call Notre Dame 'doubleheader' this week
ESPN commentator Dave O’Brien and analyst Doris Burke will call the UConn-Notre Dame women’s basketball game Saturday in Notre Dame, Ind.

The pair might consider having mail forwarded to Purcell Pavilion, Notre Dame’s home court. From the same venue on Wednesday night, O’Brien and Burke called the Notre Dame-Michigan State men’s game, which the Irish won in overtime, 79-78. O’Brien shared his thoughts with Front Row.

After calling an exciting men’s game, how do you prepare to now call a women’s game?
Wednesday night was a thriller, and because UConn-Notre Dame is such a huge women’s game, with the rivalry developing as it has, the transition for us as broadcasters will be seamless. I have every expectation it will be a terrific game, with the same intensity we saw between the Spartans and Irish this week.

What are some of the challenges of knowing ins and outs of both men’s and women’s games? How do you compartmentalize each?
We’re very fortunate that we call the men’s games ACC Saturday games, as well as the top women’s games. The challenge is following not one, but two national storylines, two top-25 polls and so many talent student-athletes, but the payoff is we see so much good basketball, with these high caliber men’s and women’s games.

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