Midnight Madness On ESPNU Coming To Gonzaga
Oct. 8, 2008
BRISTOL, Conn. - Gonzaga University will be one of five stops as ESPNU will televise four hours of Midnight Madness basketball coverage beginning at 6 p.m. PT on Friday, Oct. 17, expanding its coverage 30 minutes from last season and showcasing more schools.
The network will present extensive whip-around coverage of several Midnight Madness events, including those at Gonzaga, Davidson, Kansas, Georgetown and Indiana, which will be the five primary men's basketball programs highlighted. Several of ESPN's top men's college basketball analysts will be on hand at each of the sites, such as Jay Bilas, Fran Fraschilla, Bill Raftery and Steve Lavin, providing practice coverage, analysis, and courtside interviews with the head coach and key players from each team.
Greg Heister, the play-by-play talent for Gonzaga's games televised locally on KHQ-TV during the regular season, will be the Gonzaga host. Stephen Bardo, who has been the analyst for the West Coast Conference Big Monday telecasts on the ESPN family of stations, will team with Heister in the McCarthey Athletic Center broadcast.
"This is a great opportunity to showcase our program outside of a normal game," Gonzaga head coach Mark Few said. "We're appreciative ESPNU chose us to be one of the highlighted schools. I think it shows the respect our program and our university has gained nationally."
Gonzaga athletic director Mike Roth is also looking forward to the event.
"We want the McCarthey Athletic Center jumping for this event just like it is for all of our home games," Roth said. "The public is definitely invited to attend and be a part of what will be a high energy event. It also gives fans their first real look at this year's team."
Activities in the McCarthey Athletic Center begin at 6:30 p.m. Doors will open at 5:30 p.m. for the general public and admission is free. There will be slam dunk exhibition, a 3-point shooting contest and a scrimmage involving the men's basketball team, as well as several interactive activities for the fans.
The first 6,000 fans into the McCarthey Athletic Center will also receive a Midnight Madness commemorative towel.
All five schools appeared in the 2008 NCAA Division I Championship. This season, Kansas will defend its National Championship, while Davidson is coming off its first Elite Eight NCAA Tournament appearance, and will be once again be led by top junior point guard Stephen Curry. Gonzaga, Georgetown and Indiana all look to improve upon last year's NCAA Tournament runs. Gonzaga made its 10th straight NCAA Tournament appearance in 2008.
Through ESPNU's Campus Connection, students will contribute to the Midnight Madness coverage with reaction and perspective from their respective institutions, including Maryland, the birthplace of Midnight Madness, Kentucky, North Carolina and more.
Complementing on-site coverage, ESPNU signature anchor Lowell Galindo will be joined in studio by college basketball analyst Adrian Branch and ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz, who will preview the season and respond to viewer e-mails and comments. In addition, the show will feature interviews with UNLV head coach Lon Kruger, Siena head coach Fran McCaffrey and hall of fame Tennessee Lady Vols head coach Pat Summitt, plus "Katz Corners" with Andy Katz talking to several coaches about the upcoming season. Some of the schools will include UCLA, Pittsburgh, Wake Forest, Wisconsin, Alabama, Notre Dame, Baylor and Miami.
ESPNU Video-on-Demand will also offer coverage of Midnight Madness with four 20-minute segments featuring Gonzaga, Georgetown, Kansas and Davidson.
This season, ESPNU will televise more than 200 men's and women's college basketball games combined, including coverage from a variety of Division I conferences, including the West Coast Conference.
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