ESPNU ready to help you build better brackets
ESPN will have exclusive coverage of the entire 32-team National Invitation Tournament (NIT) beginning with the first round (March 15-16) and culminating with the semifinals (March 29) and championship game (March 31) from Madison Square Garden. The first round, along with the second round (March 17-21) and quarterfinals (March 22-23) will be from campus locations. The complete field for the 79th edition NIT was announced on ESPNU’s NIT Selection Special (March 13) and the bracket is available here.
Today is a day to ponder. What No. 12 seed will beat a No. 5 seed? How many one seeds will advance to the Final Four? Which No. 2 seed is the most vulnerable? One bracket; so many questions.
ESPNU has been the place to find answers.
ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz kicked off 10 hours of Tournament Countdown programming earlier today with a five-hour edition of his weekly Katz Korner program. Throughout the afternoon, Katz along with Adrian Branch and Tim Welsh were joined by numerous head coaches including Duke’s Mike Krzyzewski, Michigan State’s Tom Izzo, Syracuse’s Jim Boeheim, Texas’ Shaka Smart and Villanova’s Jay Wright as well as players including Kansas’ Perry Ellis, Oklahoma’s Buddy Hield and Virginia’s Malcolm Brogdon.
“We created a wish list of guests heading into the weekend,” says coordinating producer Baron Miller. “Once the field was announced, we made some additions and changes as necessary and then went to work contacting the sports information departments at the schools.
“We want to fans to hear from the people who truly make the month of March memorable,” he says. “It takes an incredible amount of coordination and cooperation from the schools and our staff; we are very thankful for the access the school provides and the time our staff puts in.”
Katz Korner leads into ESPNU’s College Basketball Live: Tournament Countdown (6 p.m. ET). Former head coaches Dino Gaudio and Craig Robinson and former Duke assistant coach Chris Spatola join host Matt Schick for more analysis of the tournament’s field including their best matchups, potential upsets and Final Four projections. Plus the program will have a unique perspective from Jungle Jack Hanna; his “Jungle Jack-etology” will look at the bracket from a real animal perspective.
ESPNU will cap off the marathon day with Tournament Countdown: The Experts (9 p.m.) with Gaudio, Robinson and Welsh returning. The trio, along with Schick, will look at why teams will advance, debates on the best matchups and analysts picking this year’s national champion.
Hurry and up and finish your men’s bracket because the drama is about to begin on the women’s side. ESPN will exclusively reveal the 64-team NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship field during tonight’s NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Presented by Capital One (7 p.m. ET).
Following the one-hour unveiling, ESPNU will have an additional hour of coverage on the NCAA Women’s Basketball Selection Special Extended Coverage Presented by Capital One (8 p.m.) with analysts Kara Lawson and Rebecca Lobo.
On Tuesday, the bracket breakdown continues with ESPNU’s two-hour College Basketball Live: NCAA Women’s Special (1 p.m.) with Beth Mowins, Debbie Antonelli, Chiney Ogwumike and Brooke Weisbrod. The program will be highlighted by interviews with some of the top players in the nation, including South Carolina’s A’ja Wilson and Maryland’s Shatori Walker-Kimbrough, plus in-depth analysis of the bracket.
“It is a great time of year,” says coordinating producer Baron Miller. “There is a large appetite for March Madness information and ESPNU is a great place for those fans.”