ESPN Family Of Networks Covering Entire Men’s 2014 NIT

Courtesy:  ESPN

Courtesy: ESPN

The 77th annual National Invitation Tournament (NIT) tips off tonight and the ESPN family of networks will have exclusive coverage of the entire tournament.

Every game of the annual NIT will be carried across the ESPN family of networks and online on ESPN3 via WatchESPN.  Round One tips off tonight at 7pm with games on ESPN, ESPN2, and ESPNU.  The Mountaineers of West Virginia will take on the Georgetown Hoyas on ESPN, while the Florida State Seminoles will face Florida Gulf Coast on ESPN2.  The third of the 7pm games sees Robert Morris on the road against St. John’s on ESPNU.  St. John’s is making a record 30th appearance in this year’s NIT and is one of six teams in this year’s tournament that also made an appearance in the 2013 NIT.  The other five teams on that list are: Florida State, Indiana State, Louisiana Tech, Robert Morris, and Southern Miss.

Illinois and Boston University lead off coverage of Day Two at 7pm on ESPN2 with Iona and Louisiana Tech following at 7:30pm on ESPN3 at 7:30pm ET.  Florida Gulf Coast reached the NCAA Tournament’s “Sweet Sixteen” round in 2013.  This year marks the first time that the school will play in the NIT.  It is one of three schools that will make its first ever appearance in the NIT this year.  The other two schools making their first appearance in the NIT this year are High Point and Utah Valley.

Round Two of the NIT is March 20th – 24th.  Quarterfinals are scheduled for March 25th – 26th.  Semifinals are April 1st and the NIT Championship follows April 3rd.

The complete NIT First Round coverage schedule is listed below.

2014 NIT First Round Schedule:

Date Time (ET) Game Network
Tue, March 18 7 p.m. NIT First Round: West Virginia at Georgetown
Mike Patrick & Dan Dakich
ESPN
7 p.m. NIT First Round: Florida Gulf Coast at Florida State
Mark Jones & Darrin Horn
ESPN2
7 p.m. NIT First Round: Robert Morris at St. John’s
Dave Pasch & Tim Welsh
ESPNU
8:15 p.m. NIT First Round: High Point at Minnesota
Clay Matvick & Mark Wise
ESPN3
8:15 p.m. NIT First Round: Belmont at Green Bay
Jim Barbar & Sean Harrington
ESPN3
9 p.m. NIT First Round: Indiana State at Arkansas
Brad Nessler & Jimmy Dykes
ESPN
9 p.m. NIT First Round: Davidson at Missouri
Bob Wischusen & Malcolm Huckaby
ESPN2
9 p.m. NIT First Round: Georgia State at Clemson
Tom Hart & Bob Valvano
ESPNU
11 p.m. NIT First Round: Utah at St. Mary’s
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
ESPN2
Wed, March 19 7 p.m. NIT First Round: Illinois at Boston University
Sean McDonough & Tim Welsh
ESPN2
7:30 p.m. NIT First Round: Iona at Louisiana Tech
Brett Dolan & Daymeon Fishback
ESPN3
8 p.m. NIT First Round: Vermont at Georgia
Joe Davis & Dino Gaudio
ESPNU
8:30 p.m. NIT First Round: Toledo at Southern Miss
Roy Philpott & Joe Dean
ESPN3
9 p.m. NIT First Round: UC Irvine at SMU
John Saunders & Fran Fraschilla
ESPN2
10 p.m. NIT First Round: LSU at San Francisco
Roxy Bernstein & Bill Walton
ESPNU
10:30 p.m. NIT First Round: Utah Valley at California
Trey Bender & Jon Crispin
ESPN3

 

More information on the ESPN family of networks’ coverage of the NIT is available online at http://www.facebook.com/ESPNCollegeBasketball and http://espn.go.com/mens-college-basketball.  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 in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

WNBA Draft Airs On Primetime Tonight

Courtesy:  ESPN/WNBA

Courtesy: ESPN/WNBA

The 2013 WNBA Draft will be held tonight on ESPN2.  This year marks the first time ever that the WNBA has held the draft in primetime.  It will be highlighted by the “3 To See”, Elena Delle Donne (University of Delaware), Skylar Diggins (Notre Dame), and Brittney Grinor (Baylor).  The broadcast—presented by State farm—will air at 8pm/7pm CT tonight.  It will be held at ESPN’s Bristol, CT headquarters.  The league’s second and third rounds will air live on ESPNU from 9-10:30pm.  Fans can watch all three rounds online and via mobile devices on WatchESPN and the WatchESPN app. Each round consists of twelve picks each.  WNBA fans can get even more content throughout the day today on ESPN’s SportsCenter and on espnW.

Kevin Negandhi will host the draft.  He comes into tonight’s broadcast fresh off the heels of a successful broadcast of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship.  It marks the first time that he will host the annual draft.  He will be joined by analysts Rebecca Lobo and Carolyn Peck.  Reporters Holly Rowe and LaChina Robinson will also be on hand to bring viewers the latest news and more live.  Guards and forwards highlight this year’s top draft crop.  Among the top guards expected to be on hand are:  Alex Bentley (Penn State), Layshia Clarendon (California), Kelly Faris (Connecticut), Tayler Hill (Ohio State), Lindsey Moore (Nebraska) and Sugar Rodgers (Georgetown).  The league’s top prospective forwards include:  Tianna Hawkins (Maryland) and Toni Young (Oklahoma State); and center Kelsey Bone (Texas A&M).

The Phoenix Mercury is at the top of this year’s draft for the third time in the history of the franchise.  The Chicago Sky, Tulsa Shock, Washington Mystics, and New York Liberty round out the top five teams in the draft this year.

ESPN and the WNBA are now in the seventeenth year together.  And heads of both organizations recently signed a new contract that will extend the pair’s partnership through the 2022 season.  This year’s season opens with a special Memorial Day doubleheader that pits the league’s top four draft picks against one another.  Washington and Tulsa will face off at 3pm.  Chicago and Phoenix follow that game at 5pm. 

To keep up with all the latest from the WNBA and ESPN, fans can go to the official WNBA Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/wnba and its official website, http://www.wnba.com or the official ESPN2 Facebook page, http://www.facebook.com/ESPN and its official website, http://www.espn.com.

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news, 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 https://philspicks.wordpress.com.