ESPNU Names Commentators for Midnight Madness Special on Oct. 15 ESPNEWS anchor Bram Weinstein will host this yearís telecast. He will be joined in studio by ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis and ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz
News-Sports.net - Oct 14,2010 - ESPNU has announced the commentator lineup for the four-hour ESPNU Midnight Madness special set for Friday, Oct. 15, at 9 p.m. ET on ESPNU HD. The special will feature extensive whip-around coverage from top college basketball programs around the nation. ESPNEWS anchor Bram Weinstein will host this yearís telecast. He will be joined in studio by ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis and ESPN.com senior college basketball writer Andy Katz. The studio team will provide analysis between look-ins at each Midnight Madness event. ESPNís Dick Vitale will also join in the season-opening hoopla via satellite.
As previously announced, coverage will focus on several menís programs including defending national champion Duke, and NCAA Championship participants Kentucky, Memphis, Gonzaga and Kansas State. The Connecticut womenís program Ė the two-time defending national champion, which is riding a 78-game winning streak, 10 short of the UCLA men's record for consecutive victories in NCAA Division I basketball Ė will also be featured. The Huskies will be the first womenís team to be showcased during Midnight Madness coverage on ESPNís networks. Also, the St. Johnís menís basketball program, behind new head coach and former ESPN analyst Steve Lavin, is a recent addition to the ESPNU Midnight Madness lineup.
ESPN.comís Katz has five of the menís programs featured during ESPNU Midnight Madness ranked in his early menís preseason top 25 poll Ė No. 1 Duke, No. 5 Kansas State, No. 9 Gonzaga, No. 13 Kentucky and No. 19 Memphis. The Connecticut women are expected to be ranked in the top five nationally heading into the 2010-11 season.
Each site will feature some of ESPNís top college basketball analysts Ė Fran Fraschilla (Kansas State), Jay Williams (Duke), Doug Gottlieb (St. Johnís), Jimmy Dykes (Kentucky), Stephen Bardo (Memphis) and Kara Lawson (Connecticut), as well as Sean Farnham (Gonzaga), who will join the ESPN family this season.
The on-site commentators will provide coverage of various elements including scrimmages, interactive games with fans, player introductions, skill and dunk contests, team skits and season previews. Interviews will be conducted with both reigning national championship head coaches Mike Krzyzewski (Duke) and Geno Auriemma (UConn), along with John Calipari (Kentucky), Lavin (St. Johnís) and others.
The four-hour special will visit Midnight Madness events throughout the country with ESPNU Campus Connection, allowing students to contribute their personal perspective. Coverage on SportsCenter will begin at 3 p.m. and will run through the evening, adding exposure to the Midnight Madness events.
ESPNU will open the season with a two-hour college basketball Schedule Release Show on Tuesday, Oct. 19 beginning at 10 p.m. In addition, three Media Day Specials will air on Wednesday, Oct. 20, Thursday, Oct. 21 and Thursday, Oct. 28, from 1-4 p.m., tapping into the top menís and womenís basketball conferences in the nation including interviews with more than 60 head coaches. Live action begins Monday, Nov. 8, with two matchups from the 2K Sports Classic benefitting Coaches vs. Cancer. Tipping off the season is NIT semifinalist Rhode Island at Pittsburgh at 7 p.m.,