ESPN Ready to Cover the NCAA Tourney, Not As Well As Last Year

Last season, there was a few games on ESPNU and ESPN Classic.  This year, it’s all ESPNU and ESPN360.com.  Bucci and Barry will call a regional, Thorne and Melrose have the Frozen Four, as it’s been for the past few years.  Here are all the details for the one time of the year ESPN pretends to care:

Head Coaches Enrico Blasi (Miami of Ohio), George Gwozdecky (Denver) Join Sunday’s NCAA Hockey Selection Show on ESPN2 HD

ESPNU, ESPN, ESPN2 and ESPN360.com will combine to present all 15 games live from the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship, Friday, March 26-Saturday, April 10. ESPNU will telecast eight regional games exclusively, while ESPN360.com, ESPN’s broadband sports network, will supplement the coverage by offering seven games live, including the Frozen Four. Select regional games on ESPN360.com may also be available via local syndication.

The Frozen Four, live from Ford Field in Detroit, will be presented in high definition on ESPN HD and ESPN2 HD, as well as ESPN360.com.

Coverage of the tournament begins with the NCAA Hockey Selection Show on Sunday, March 21, at 11:30 a.m. ET on ESPN2 HD. John Buccigross will host the show with analysts Barry Melrose and former University of Michigan hockey standout Sean Ritchlin.

Joining the show will be Miami (Ohio) head coach Enrico Blasi, whose team has dedicated this season to the late Brendan Burke, the former team manager who was killed in a car accident in February and also was openly gay and considered a pioneer in young athletes coming out; and Denver head coach George Gwozdecky, Blasi’s former college coach at Miami and the only coach in NCAA history to win a national title in ice hockey as a player/assistant coach and head coach. Buccigross recently received the GLAAD award for Outstanding Digital Journalism Article for his piece on Brendan Burke.

ESPNU will present two regional rounds entirely in high definition Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28. Also, on Friday, April 9, at 7 p.m., ESPNU HD will feature the Hobey Baker Award presentation live from Ford Field. The award honors college ice hockey’s top men’s player. The presentation will be hosted by ESPN’s Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose.

ESPN HD, ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com will showcase the Frozen Four live from Detroit, with the first national semifinal Thursday, April 8, at 5 p.m. on ESPN2 HD and ESPN360.com and the second national semifinal at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN2 HD, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile. The national championship will air Saturday, April 10, at 7 p.m. on ESPN HD, ESPN360.com and ESPN Mobile.

Frozen Four telecasts will feature Gary Thorne (play-by-play), Barry Melrose (analyst), Clay Matvick (ice-level reporter) calling all the action from Detroit. At regional semifinals and finals, commentators include play-by-play announcer John Buccigross and analyst Barry Melrose (NHL) at the East Regional in Albany, N.Y.; Matvick and Jim Paradise (Colorado College) at the West Regional in Saint Paul, Minn.; Dan Parkhurst and Damian DiGiulian (Hamilton College) at the Northeast Regional in Worcester, Mass.; and Ben Holden and Ritchlin (Michigan) at the Midwest Regional in Fort Wayne, Ind. Also during coverage of the regional rounds, the ESPNU studio will be anchored by Lowell Galindo and Bob Norton (Rutgers).

NCAA Div. I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship Schedule

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Sun, Mar 21 11:30 a.m. NCAA Selection Show ESPN2 HD
Date Time Event Network
Fri, Mar 26 3 p.m. East Regional Semifinal #1 – Albany ESPNU HD
5:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal #1 – Saint Paul ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU HD – Tape delay, 11:30 p.m.
6:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal #2 – Albany ESPNU HD
9 p.m. West Regional Semifinal #2 – Saint Paul ESPNU HD
Sat, Mar 27 1:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal #1 –  Worcester ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, Sun., 9:30 a.m.
4 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal #1 – Fort Wayne ESPNU HD
5 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal #2 – Worcester ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, Sun., noon
6:30 p.m. East Final – Albany ESPNU HD
7:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal #2 – Fort Wayne ESPN360.com – Live / ESPNU – Tape delay, 11:30 p.m.
9 p.m. West Final – Saint Paul ESPNU HD
Sun, Mar 28 5:30 p.m. Northeast Final – Worcester ESPNU
8 p.m. Midwest Final – Fort Wayne ESPNU

Frozen Four, Ford Field, Detroit

Date Time (ET) Event Network
Thu, Apr 8 5 p.m. National Semifinal #1 ESPN2 HD / ESPN360.com
8:30 p.m. National Semifinal #2 ESPN2 HD / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile
Fri, Apr 9 7 p.m. Hobey Baker Award ESPNU HD
Sat, Apr 10 7 p.m. National Championship ESPN HD / ESPN360.com / ESPN Mobile
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About stevelepore
Steve Lepore is the Managing Editor of Puck the Media. His work has been featured in The Hockey News. Feel free to contact him at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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