Networks Plan Full-Court Coverage of Selection Sunday
Come Sunday, March 11, 31 teams will have guaranteed spots in the Big Dance thanks to championship victories in their respective conference tournaments. A lucky few will enter the day confident in their chances of an at-large bid. Many more will spend the day on pins and needles, hoping to hear their team called to the Field of 68.
All will tune into the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show.
Coverage of Selection Sunday — when teams and their fans learn their seed, region, and most importantly, their first-round opponent – will play out over CBS Sports, Turner Sports, CBS Sports Network, ESPN, and ESPNU.
CBS Sports will broadcast the exclusive, live announcement of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Field of 68 at 6 p.m. The NCAA Basketball Championship Show features a first look at the pairings and regions for the Tournament.
“I feel that we did a great job last year, but we still have an awfully big job to do because we set the bar incredibly high,” said CBS Sports President Sean McManus. “In a recent survey, 91% of the respondents said they like the tournament better last year than the way it was done in the past. But David [Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System] and I, and our production teams, have challenged ourselves to do an even better job this year. We are not resting on our laurels. We are going to challenge ourselves to try add new aspects now and over the next 13 years.”
CBS Sports’ Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis will host the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show live from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York. Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg, and Turner Sports’ Steve Kerr will join Gumbel, Anthony and Davis via satellite from the site of the Big Ten Championship at Conseco Fieldhouse in Indianapolis, IN. In addition, Jeff Hathaway, Chairman of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee, joins live from Indianapolis to provide an in-depth look into the selection process.
Additionally, the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show will be available online and mobile via NCAA March Madness Live, which can be launched from NCAA.com, CBSSports.com, and SI.com.
Immediately following the Selection Show, truTV will air NCAA Hardcore Brackets at 7.p.m, NCAA Hardcore Brackets is a new one-hour show providing in-depth analysis, including the public release of the Selection Committee’s 1 to 68 team rankings for the first time in NCAA Championship history.
“We are very excited about Hardcore Brackets,” said Levy. “It will go deeper as a selection show, and will go deeper into the selection process as a whole. I’m excited for this year and the continued growth both on linear and mobile.”
Gumbel is slated to host the show, and will be joined by Turner Sports’ Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith, as well as Anthony and Davis. Hathaway and Mike Bobinski, Vice Chair of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Committee for the 2012-13 season, will join the show to discuss both the bracket and the committee’s deliberations throughout the weekend. The show is part of the NCAA’s expanded educational initiative to enhance understanding of the championship selection process.
CBS Sports Network
The college-oriented network will tip off its Selection Sunday coverage with
Bracket Breakdown from 4 to 6 p.m. Following the NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show on CBS, a special live edition of the Tim Brando Show will broadcast on CBS Sports Network at 7 p.m., featuring interviews with coaches from across the country. Bracket Breakdown returns at 8:00 p.m. with additional Selection Sunday coverage.
Leading up to Tournament tip-off, the Network will return College Hoops Confidential, an all-access series bringing fans behind-the-scenes with top teams from across the country. College Hoops Confidential debuts on Monday, March 12, at 8 p.m. with an inside look at Ohio State and Baylor.
ESPN’s multiplatform coverage of Selection Sunday will be highlighted by more than 13 hours of television programming across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2, and ESPNU.
Many of the top men’s college basketball experts will contribute throughout the day, including Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, and Dick Vitale.
The day will tip off with a two-hour College GameDay beginning at 11 a.m. on ESPN2 and continuing on ESPN at noon. The show will review Championship Week action and provide a preview of the ACC and SEC championship games at 1 p.m. on ESPN and ABC, respectively.
ESPN’s studio coverage will include two editions of Bracketology – a three-hour show at 3 p.m. and a two-hour show at 7p.m. – as well as a special SportsCenter at 6 p.m. that will give a thorough preview and review of all Tournament-bound teams.
ESPNU’s lineup will include a one-hour Crunch Time: Championship Week Special at 8 p.m. followed by the NIT Selection Show at 9 p.m. After selections are made on Sunday, ESPNU’s panel of experts will convene in a three-hour Tournament Countdown: The Experts special at 9:30 p.m. to breakdown each first and second round game, and provide viewers insight into filling out their own brackets.
Overall, ESPNU will televise more than 60 hours of comprehensive Tournament Countdown studio programming beginning Selection Sunday and extending past the last dribble of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Championships on Tuesday, April 3.