PROVIDENCE, R.I. â€“ Coming off a season which saw a league-record 13 teams advance to postseason play for a second straight year, the BIG EASTâ€™s 2010-11 womenâ€™s basketball television schedule features all 16 teams for the fifth consecutive year and continues to be one of the top television slates in the nation. The leagueâ€™s overall exposure includes one game on CBS Sports, 14 appearances on ESPN/ESPN2, 27 on ESPNU and 25 on CBS College Sports Network.
The Conference will have a presence on CBS Sports for the 16th straight year. Notre Dame will host Connecticut on January 8 at 2 p.m. ET, in what is primed to be a top-25 matchup.
The BIG EASTâ€™s 14 appearances on ESPN/ESPN2 include three conference games. All of the games also will be simulcast on ESPN3.com. The title game of the 2010 BIG EAST Womenâ€™s Championship Presented by American Eagle Outfitters on March 8 will again be the only womenâ€™s basketball conference final in the nation aired on ESPN. The BIG EAST is one of two conferences to be featured on the channel this season.
This yearâ€™s schedule also is highlighted by a pair of ESPN2 events, the Tip-Off Classic and February Frenzy. Connecticut faces an early-season test against Baylor on ESPN2 in the State Farm Womenâ€™s Tip-off Classic on Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. It is a rematch of last yearâ€™s Final Four showdown won by Connecticut 70-50 in San Antonio, Texas. This yearâ€™s game will be played at the XL Center in Hartford, Conn., and is the only womenâ€™s contest on the ESPN College Hoops Tip-off Marathon slate.
ESPNâ€™s annual February Frenzy will feature five BIG EAST teams on ESPN2. On Feb. 13, Georgetown will travel to St. Johnâ€™s and Louisville will host West Virginia. Oklahoma will play at Connecticut on Feb. 14 in one of five BIG EAST appearances on ESPNâ€™s Big Monday. The BIG EAST-Big Monday schedule begins on Jan. 17 as UConn travels to North Carolina. The Huskies also will host Duke on Jan. 31 at Gampel Pavilion.
The Georgetown at St. Johnâ€™s and West Virginia at Louisville games on Feb. 13 will be a part of ESPNâ€™s February Frenzy to support cancer research. Both will be televised on ESPN2 along with the Oklahoma at Connecticut contest on Feb. 14.
A conference showdown between St. Johnâ€™s and West Virginia in Morgantown wraps up the regular season on Feb. 28.
The Conference will have â€œGame of the Weekâ€ packages on the CBS College Sports Network and the BIG EAST Regional Sports Network. ESPNU also will televise numerous games on Sundays during the regular season.
The BIG EAST will appear on ESPNU 27 times, including six regular-season games, three nonconference matchups and the BIG EAST Championship Quarterfinal and Semifinal rounds on March 6 and 7, respectively. ESPNU can now be seen in more than 73 million homes and will showcase 11 BIG EAST teams throughout the conference season.
The fifth-annual Maggie Dixon Classic at Madison Square Garden will take place on Dec. 19. Rutgers will square off against Texas A&M at noon, while UConn takes on Ohio State at 2 p.m. All four participating head coaches â€“ Rutgersâ€™ C. Vivian Stringer, Texas A&Mâ€™s Gary Blair, UConnâ€™s Geno Auriemma and Ohio Stateâ€™s Jim Foster - are ranked in the top 20 in winning percentage among active coaches, while three of the four are in the top 10 in total victories.
Conference action on ESPNU begins on Jan. 9 and runs most Sundays through Feb. 20.
The CBS College Sports Network will continue its â€œConference Game of the Weekâ€ broadcasts. The record-tying 25 appearances will consist of 12 conference games, including three doubleheaders. The schedule begins on Nov. 12 with a highly-anticipated matchup between Tennessee and Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center in Louisville, Ky. It will be the first game in Louisvilleâ€™s new $238-million arena.
The CBS College Sports Network â€œGame of the Weekâ€ package will be seen mostly on Tuesday and opens on Jan. 4 with St. Johnâ€™s at Louisville. On Jan. 11, the first of three league doubleheaders takes place when Syracuse hosts Rutgers at 7 p.m. and DePaul hosts USF at 9 p.m. The games run through Feb. 28, the last day of the regular season. DePaul hosts Notre Dame at 9 p.m. to wrap up the league schedule. The CBS College Sports Network schedule features 13 BIG EAST schools with six schools having multiple appearances.
The BIG EAST Network Game of the Week Regional Television Package is in its fifth year and will feature a total of 24 appearances by league schools on Saturdays, including all four games of the BIG EAST Championship Second Round on March 5. ESPN Regional Television will once again produce every game and SportsNet New York (SNY) will carry the entire package live in the nationâ€™s No. 1 media market.
For the third time in four years, all 16 BIG EAST schools are featured in the BETV Game of the Week package on Saturdayâ€™s. The weekly airings will begin on Jan. 8 and run every Saturday until the end of the regular-season on Feb. 26. Every game will air on the leagueâ€™s flagship regional sports network, SNY (SportsNet New York), as well as numerous local affiliates across the country. The weekly game will air immediately preceding or following the BIG EAST menâ€™s Game of the Week allowing many affiliates to carry a doubleheader. RSNs in various markets are still in the process of committing to the package, which will also be available via RSN-sports packages on DirecTV and DISH Network. Some BETV games also will be available on ESPN Full Court.
The BIG EAST will continue to expand its womenâ€™s basketball website coverage in 2010-11. For the third straight year, fans can watch both the first and second rounds of the Conference championship live on BIGEAST.tv, the leagueâ€™s online home for live and on-demand streaming audio and video. Both days of coverage, as well as the Saturday Game of the Week package, will be free to viewers. Users should visit www.bigeast.tv for more information.