ESPN Announces Details For 2015, 2016 Armed Forces Classic

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The NCAA has officially released the details for the 2015 and 2016 Armed Forces Classic.

The NCAA announced the teams, locations and dates for the 2015 and 2016 Armed Forces Classic today.  Today’s announcement revealed that next year’s Armed Forces Classic–a matchup of two NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball teams that is held on a rotating list of military bases around the world each year—will see powerhouses Gonzaga and Pittsburgh face off against each other aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Snedley D. Butler in Okinawa, Japan.  That game is scheduled to be played on Friday, November 13th, 2015.  The teams’ matchup will mark the first time that the powerhouses have faced each other in the Armed Forces Classic.

In 2016, the game will move to Joint Base Pearl Harbor-Hickam in Honolulu, HI.  The game is scheduled to be played Friday, November 11th, 2016.  That year, four teams will face off against each other.  Indiana will take on Kansas in one of that year’s games.  The last time that the Hoosiers and Jayhawks faced each other in the series was in 1995.  Currently, Kansas leads Indiana 7 – 6 in the teams’ previous AFC series matchups.  The other game scheduled for the 2016 AFC is a matchup of Arizona and Michigan State.  The Wildcats lead the Spartans 4 – 2 over the course of their meetings in the AFC.  The last time that the two teams met was in 2005.  All four programs together have combined for a total of eleven NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball titles.  They have collectively advanced to the Men’s Final Four thirty-four times.

The 2016 installment of the Armed Forces Classic will be an especially significant game.  That is because not only of its location, but for its date.  It will be played on Veterans Day in 2016.  November 11th, 2016 is also just one month shy of the 75th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor.

Each of the games announced for the Armed Forces Classic will air on ESPN.  They will run as part of the network’s America’s Heroes initiative.  The America’s Heroes initiative honors America’s men and women in uniform around the world.

This year’s AFC will come live from U.S. Coast Guard Air Station Borinquen in Puerto Rico.  It will feature #8 Louisville taking on Minnesota.

More information on ESPN’s coverage of the Armed Forces Classic is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegeBasketball

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ESPN To Offer Extended Coverage Of NASCAR’s Season Ender All Week

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The final round of NASCAR’s “Chase for the Championship” is officially upon us. Eight drivers have been cut to only four. In anticipation of the season’s final race, the Ford Ecoboost 400, ESPN will follow all four contenders—Denny Hamlin, Kevin Harvick, Ryan Newman, and Joey Logano—all week. ESPN will have reporters with each team—Dave Burns with Joey Logano, Marty Smith with Kevin Harvick, Ryan McGee with Denny Hamlin, and Mike Massaro with Ryan Newman –early this week. And SportsCenter will air multiple live reports from the shops of each of the contenders’ teams Monday and Tuesday. They will air between 9:30am and 2:00pm ET. ESPN will offer extended coverage on each team and their preparations during the 6pm and 11pm editions of SportsCenter.

On Wednesday, there will be a press conference live from Miami featuring all four of the championship contenders and their team owners. SportsCenter will have interviews and reports from the day’s events. On Thursday, ESPN will head back to the shops with the championship contenders. ESPN’s reporters will follow the drivers’ pre-race preparations before things pick back up on track this Friday. Sunday’s season-ending race will be broadcast live on ESPN. It will be preceded by a special two-hour edition of NASCAR Countdown beginning at 1pm ET. The green flag is expected to fly at 3:16pm ET. All four of the championship contenders will appear on Countdown from the ESPN Pit Studio.

ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven will be on SportsCenter frequently throughout the race weekend with insight into the race and the championship contenders. He will also have an interview with the newly crowned champion after the race Sunday night.

None of the four final drivers in this year’s championship hunt have won a championship at NASCAR’s top level before. All four come from multi-car race teams. And they each represent one of NASCAR’s car makers—Ford, Chevy, Toyota.

More information on ESPN’s coverage of the 2014 NASCAR Championship week and weekend is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/racing/nascar

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

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Eagles, Panthers Close Out Week 10 Of NFL’s 2014 – 2015 Season

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

Week 10 of the 2014 – 2015 NFL season closes out Monday night on ESPN when the Carolina Panthers come in to Philadelphia to face the Eagles.

The conference matchup is an important one for both teams.  Both teams will be looking to add another notch to their “W” column.  Philadelphia is currently 6 – 2 on the season.  Carolina on the other hand, is currently 3 – 5 on the season.  So a win will mean just as much for both teams.  For Carolina, it would mean being one game closer to getting back in the black.  For Philadelphia, it would be another important step towards the team’s playoff hopes for this season.  Philadelphia is 3 – 1 in its last five games and 3 – 2 against conference opponents.  Against non-conference foes, Philly is 3 – 0.  Carolina is 3 – 3 so far in conference play and have gone 0 – 3 – 1 in its last five games.  It has lost its last three games, too.  So a win against a conference foe Monday night would be just as big for the Eagles as for the Panthers as the season progresses.

Adding to the storylines for Monday’s game, Philadelphia is undefeated at home so far this season, going 4 – 0 at home.  Carolina on the other hand is 1 – 2 – 1 on the road.  That means that Carolina will come in to Monday night’s game very much the underdog.  Interestingly enough, Cam Newton is a perfect 2 – 0 on Monday Night Football as are the Eagles and head coach Chip Kelly.  This makes Monday night’s matchup all the more exciting for fans.

Mike Tirico will have the call for Monday night’s game.  He will be joined in the booth by analyst Jon Gruden.  ESPN will have more than five hours of coverage for Monday night’s game before kickoff.  It all leads up to Monday night’s pregame coverage on Monday Night Countdown at 6pm ET.  Suzy Kolber will anchor that broadcast.  She will be joined by NFL analysts Trent Dilfer, Ray Lewis, and Steve Young.  Studio host Chris Berman will be joined by NFL analysts Cris Carter, Mike Ditka, Tom Jackson, and Keyshawn Johnson and ESPN NFL Insiders Chris Mortensen and Adam Schefter.

More information on Monday Night’s broadcast andpre-game coverage is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/nfl/mnf
http://espn.go.com/nfl

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MNF

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ESPN Networks Kick Off 2014 – 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Broadcast Schedule This Weekend

Courtesy:  ESPN/ESPNU

Courtesy: ESPN/ESPNU

ESPN and the ESPN family of networks will kick off their coverage of the 2014-2015 college hockey season tomorrow.

Officials with ESPN announced this week that ESPN will kick off coverage of the 2014-2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Season Sunday, November 9th.  This year’s coverage opens with a matchup of #15 Notre Dame (5 – 2 – 1) and #1 Minnesota (5 – 1). The game will be broadcast tomorrow live beginning at 5pm ET on ESPNU.  The game will be broadcast live from the campus of the University of Minnesota.

John Buccigross will anchor tomorrow’s broadcast.  He will be joined in the booth by Barry Melrose.

More information on the ESPN networks’ coverage of the 2014-2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Hockey Season is available online at

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-sports/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPNU

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espnu

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PBS Announces Release Date For “Finding Your Roots Season 2″

Courtesy:  PBS

Courtesy: PBS

PBS will release the second season of its hit celebrity-based historical series Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. this fall.

Officials with PBS announced this week that Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season 2 will be released on Tuesday, December 16th.  Gates meets some of the country’s biggest names in the series and examines their ancestry in each hour-long episode.  In the series’ second season, Gates studies the ancestry of big names such as: Derek Jeter, Ben Affleck, Jessica Alba, Sting, Tina Fey, Sally Field, Stephen King, Nas, and many others.  In all, twenty-nine celebrities are featured throughout the course of Season Two.

Gates goes into even more depth with his guests in Season Two than was possible in the show’s premiere season. He studies his guests’ specific ethnic roots, cultural traditions, and the inner works of his guests’ families. New advancements in DNA testing even allows for study of genetic genealogy. The advancements allowed for revelations linked to questions of paternity, geographic origins of his guests’ ancestors, and even tribal Native America ancestry in other cases. It is all revealed over ten episodes spread across three discs.

Finding Your Roots With Henry Louis Gates, Jr. Season Two will be available only on DVD Tuesday, December 16th. It will retail for MSRP of $39.99 and can be ordered online direct from PBS’ online store at http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=46207086&cp=&sr=1&kw=finding+your+roots&origkw=Finding+your+roots&parentPage=search#Details. Audiences can access more information on the series, and watch videos from the show online now at:

Website: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/finding-your-roots

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/FindingYourRootsPBS

Twitter: http://twitter.com/henrylouisgates

 

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Brad Paisley To Serve As Guest Picker On ESPN’s CGD Broadcast This Week

College GameDay Logo

Courtesy: ESPN

Country music superstar Brad Paisley is set to appear on ESPN’s College GameDay this weekend.

Paisley will be a guest picker on this Saturday’s broadcast of College GameDay presented by Home Depot when host Chris Fowler and the rest of the CGD crew rolls into Morgantown, West Virginia on the campus of West Virginia University. Chris Fowler will anchor Saturday’s live broadcast of the Emmy Award-winning show. He will be joined by analysts Lee Corso , Kirk Herbstreit, and Desmond Howard at the desk. The group will offer more picks and insight for this weekend’s slate of college football matchups. The show will broadcast live from the patio of the Mountainlair Student Union on the campus of WVU. Saturday’s broadcast marks only the second time that ESPN’s College GameDay presented by Home Depot has been broadcast live from WVU. The Mountaineers’ matchup against the Horned Frogs of TCU will be broadcast live on ABC at 3:30pm ET.

Brad Paisley Promo Pic

Photo Credit: Jim Shea

In regards to the announcement of Paisley’s appearance, ESPN coordinating producer Lee Fitting discussed the network’s excitement at having Paisley, who is himself from West Virginia, appear live ahead of WVU’s matchup later Saturday afternoon. Anytime we can get a star of Brad Paisley’s stature on the show it is a huge win,” said Fitting. “On top of that, Brad is a West Virginia native and huge Mountaineers fan. GameDay’s been on a great run this season with celebrity guest pickers and Saturday morning in Morgantown with Brad on our set should be very entertaining.” Paisley released his latest full-length studio album Moonshine in the Trunk on August 25th.

More information on this weekend’s edition of ESPN’s College GameDay is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com/college-football

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/collegegameday

Twitter: http://twitter.com/CollegeGameDay

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Daugherty, Others Staying With ESPN After 2014 NASCAR Season Ends

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

ESPN and NASCAR are parting ways at the end of the 2014 season. Despite this change, there’s good news for audiences and ESPN’s NASCAR broadcast team. ESPN announced this week that analyst and team owner Brad Daugherty will remain with the worldwide leader in sports.

ESPN announced this week that Daugherty will join ESPN’s basketball broadcast team beginning Monday, December 1st. Daugherty is a former five-time NBA All-Star and college basketball standout. He will serve as an analyst on ESPN’s NBA Tonight, NBA Coast to Coast, and SportsCenter regularly. He will also make appearances on ESPNU’s ACC Sunday Night package along with other other programming across the ESPN family of networks.

Before joining ESPN’s NASCAR broadcasts, Daugherty served as a reporter for ESPN and ABC’s college basketball from 1999 – 2001. Prior to joining ESPN’s ranks, he also served as a game analyst for the NBA’s Cleveland Cavaliers and San Antonio Spurs local broadcasts. His playing career included eight seasons as a member of the Cavaliers after being selected in the first round of the NBA Draft in 1986. He averaged 19 points and 9.5 rebounds per game during his career. His love for NASCAR showed throughout his career as he wore the number 43 in honor of “The King” Richard Petty. The Cavs retired his number in 1997.

Daugherty is a graduate of UNC-Chapel Hill at the age of 16 and graduated from the university in 1986. He was named an All-ACC player twice during his college career and a first-team All-American in his senior year at the university. He averaged 20.2 points and 9 rebounds per game during his senior year at UNC.

Daugherty’s is not the only move that ESPN has announced in regards to the network’s NASCAR broadcast team. Veteran racer and long-time ESPN NASCAR analyst Ricky Craven recently signed a new deal with ESPN that will see him remain with the network as a NASCAR analyst for SportsCenter and other ESPN news platforms. Nicole Briscoe, it was announced last month, will serve as an anchor on SportsCenter and will also take on additional assignments. And reporter Marty Smith will stay on board with ESPN, too. He will remain with ESPN as a Bureau Reporter for ESPN. Allen Bestwick, who has led ESPN’s NASCAR coverage each week, will remain with the network, too. He will stay on to call ESPN’s IndyCar races and to cover tennis and golf coverage. He will also anchor some programming on ESPN’s new SEC Network.

More information on ESPN’s on-air staff and all of the latest sports headlines from ESPN is available online at:

Website: http://espn.go.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ESPN

Twitter: http://twitter.com/espn

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at http://philspicks.wordpress.com.