ESPN Brings In Some Big Names For the NCAA Tournament

For the eighth consecutive year, ESPN will present every glass-crushing moment of the 2012 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship starting with the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show on Sunday, March 18, and culminating with the Men’s Frozen Four in Tampa, Fla., April 5 and 7. All 15 games will air live on ESPN2, ESPNU or ESPN3. Four regional games will be shown on ESPN3 with additional coverage on ESPNU in tape delay. For 2012, ESPN will debut its Advanced Replay Tool (ART) which allows graphics to be used in a replay, a first in the network’s coverage of NCAA hockey.

 

 

Video: ESPN Advanced Replay Tool Example

As in past years, the tournament brackets will be announced on the NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show by SportsCenter anchor John Buccigross, analyst Barry Melrose and new to the selection show this year, three-time Stanley Cup champion Aaron Ward. Airing Sunday, March 18, at noon ET on ESPNU, Ward’s three-consecutive NCAA Championship appearances while playing at Michigan brings a second layer of expertise to the passion and enthusiasm Melrose infuses into the 30-minute special. The show will also include features from current NHL standouts reflecting on their own NCAA memories, including Tampa Bay’s Martin St. Louis, Buffalo’s Ryan Miller, New Jersey’s Zach Praise and Ottawa’s Matt Gilroy.

 

The ART, developed by ESPN Emerging Technology, allows graphics to be instantaneously embedded within a replay, providing commentators greater visual resources to communicate analysis to viewers. It has seen previous success in ESPN’s coverage of basketball, football and golf telecasts (see video).

 

Melrose, Gary Thorne and Clay Matvick will utilize the tool during ESPN’s Frozen Four telecasts. Former NCAA players Sean Ritchlin (Michigan), Dave Starman (Hartford) and Billy Jaffe (Michigan) will also contribute analysis throughout the two week coverage span. ESPN has aired games from the men’s championship since 1980 and recently extended its commitment to the NCAA, which includes airing the entire Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship through 2024.

 

Date Time (ET) Game/Commentators Network (s)

Sun, Mar 18 noon NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Selection Show

John Buccigross, Barry Melrose and Aaron Ward ESPNU

Fri, Mar 23 3 p.m. East Regional Semifinal 1 (Bridgeport, Conn.)John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

5:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 1 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPN3

6:30 p.m. East Regional Semifinal 2 (Bridgeport, Conn.)John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

9 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 2 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU/ESPN3

11:30 p.m. Midwest Regional Semifinal 1 (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU*

Sat, Mar 24 1:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 1 (Saint Paul, Mass.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPN3

4 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 1 (Worcester, Mass.)

Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU/ESPN3

5 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 2 (Saint Paul, MN)

Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPN3

6:30 p.m. East Regional Final (Bridgeport, Conn.)

John Buccigross and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

7:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 2 (Worcester, Mass.)Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPN3

9 p.m. Midwest Regional Final (Green Bay, Wis.)Ben Holden and Sean Ritchlin ESPNU/ESPN3

11:30 p.m. Northeast Regional Semifinal 2 (Worcester, Mass.)Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU**

Sun, Mar 25 12:30 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 1 (Saint Paul, Minn.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU**

3 p.m. West Regional Semifinal 2 (Saint Paul, Minn)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU**

5:30 p.m. West Regional Final (Saint Paul, Minn.)Clay Matvick and Dave Starman ESPNU/ESPN3

8 p.m. Northeast Regional Final (Worcester, Mass.) Dan Parkhurst and Billy Jaffe ESPNU/ESPN3

Thu, Apr 5 4:30 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal 1 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPNU/ESPN3

8 p.m. Frozen Four Semifinal 2 (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPN2/ESPN3

Sat, Apr 7 7 p.m. NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Championship (Tampa Bay, Fla.)Gary Thorne, Clay Matvick and Barry Melrose ESPN2/ESPN3

*Tape Delayed from earlier March 23 live game on ESPN3

**Tape Delayed from earlier March 24 live game on ESPN3

 

Additional coverage via ESPN Front Row on ESPN.com’s David Albright and his Frozen Four experience.

 

About Steve Lepore
Contact me at stevemlepore@gmail.com

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