Gonzaga, WCC Part Of ESPN 'Big Monday' Package
Oct. 5, 2005
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - Gonzaga University will be a part of four ESPN "Big Monday" men's basketball television broadcasts this season as the West Coast Conference will be switching to a Saturday-Monday format throughout the WCC season, WCC Commissioner Michael Gilleran announced Wednesday.
Gonzaga's four "Big Monday" telecasts are part of 13 regular-season ESPN telecasts involving the Bulldogs.
"The West Coast Conference is honored to compete on ESPN's `Big Monday' television package," said Gilleran. "We are excited about the added exposure that a well-branded television package like `Big Monday' will bring to our student-athletes, our institutions and the WCC as a whole." The WCC will share the "Big Monday" stage with the Western Athletic Conference. The WCC and the WAC inhabit the 9 p.m. PST slot. The lead-in games to the WCC-WAC time slots will be Big East Conference and Big 12 Conference contests.
Gonzaga's four "Big Monday" telecasts will begin Jan. 9 when the Bulldogs travel to Santa Clara University. Other games are Jan. 17 when Loyola Marymount University visits the McCarthey Athletic Center, Feb. 6 when Gonzaga entertains Saint Mary's College and Feb. 20 when the Bulldogs are at Pepperdine University. The Gonzaga-SMC clash is also part of ESPN's Rivalry Week. Gonzaga's game on Feb. 18 at LMU will be televised regionally on ABC-TV at 3 p.m. PST. Last year Gonzaga hosted an ABC regional broadcast. ABC is part of the ESPN family of sports media.
Two WCC games will also be aired on ESPNU, the newest station of the ESPN family that launched last March. Gonzaga will meet Saint Mary's on Jan. 7 in Moraga, Calif., and host Pepperdine on Jan. 14 in a pair of ESPNU games that will start at 8 p.m. PST.
Gonzaga's three games from the Maui Invitational Nov. 21-23 will also be aired by the ESPN family of stations, as for the first time in the history of the Maui Invitational all 12 will be televised. Gonzaga opens against the University of Maryland on Nov. 21 on ESPN2 at 2 p.m. PST. Additional ESPN telecasts for the Bulldogs are Dec. 27 at the University of Memphis on ESPN2 at 4 p.m. PST, Dec. 31 from the McCarthey Athletic Center when Saint Joseph's visits for a New Year's Eve matinee at 3 p.m. and Feb. 11 when Stanford University visits Gonzaga for a 6 p.m. tip that is part of the ESPN College Game Day extravaganza.
For the third consecutive year, ESPN is slated to televise both WCC Tournament semifinals on March 5 and the championship game on its family of networks on March 6. A change from previous years, however, will see the title game moved to 6 p.m. PST from the 9 p.m. time slot normally afforded the tournament title game. The WCC Tournament is at Gonzaga this season.
The WCC is coming off of a banner 2004-05 season in which the conference established itself as one of the best men's basketball conferences in the country. Last season the WCC reached an all-time high Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) of No. 7 among the 31 NCAA Division I conferences. The WCC finished the season ranked ahead of other highly regarded conferences such as Conference USA, the Missouri Valley Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Atlantic-10 Conference and the Western Athletic Conference. The only conferences listed ahead of the WCC were the six "BCS" conferences.
The WCC was rewarded with three teams advancing to post-season for the fifth time in conference history, including sending two teams to the NCAA Tournament for the third time in the last four seasons. Gonzaga and Saint Mary's earned bids to the NCAA Tournament, while the University of San Francisco accepted an invitation to participate in the National Invitational Tournament (NIT).
The remainder of Gonzaga's men's basketball television schedule will be announced soon.
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