* On Wednesday, ESPN introduced the first-ever Spanish-language spot in the iconic This is SportsCenter franchise. New York Yankees second baseman obinson Cano was the main character of the spot. Handshakes depicts how Cano’s ritual greetings have consequences.
* Take a look into Front Row’s “photo booth” capturing some fun moments of the Women’s Final Four teams during their time in front of the camera. Learn what inspired this unique idea, which aired during our coverage.
DENVER — ESPN’s top analysts got together to dish on all things related to tonight’s NCAA Women’s Basketball National Championship title game and other top storylines surrounding the tournament.
Host Trey Wingo, along with analysts Doris Burke, Rebecca Lobo, Kara Lawson and Carolyn Peck, spent an hour talking Notre Dame, Baylor, recapping the National Semifinal games from Sunday and Pat Summitt’s future with Tennessee.
An original episode of ESPNU’s The Experts: NCAA Women’s Championship Special will air at 5 p.m. ET, prior to the College Basketball Live: Women’s Championship Special at 6 p.m., also on ESPNU.
Then switch over to ESPN or ESPN3 for the NCAA Women’s Championship Special Presented by Capital One — an hour-long preview special, also hosted by Wingo, Lawson and Peck, from the Pepsi Center at 7:30 p.m.
At 8:30 p.m. on ESPN and ESPN3, the 2012 NCAA National Championship title game will pit Baylor against 2011 national runner-up Notre Dame. Dave O’Brien will have the play-by-play call with Burke, and Lobo will work as an on-court analyst, as well as conducting on-court interviews with players and coaches, along with Holly Rowe.
In addition, ESPN will feature additional content across its platforms, including SportsCenter, espnW, ESPN.com, ESPNEWS, WatchESPN and ESPN International.
DENVER — The idea to wrap a photo booth into the NCAA Women’s Final Four motif was inspired by attending weddings, where getting your picture taken in goofy props and acting silly has become a staple at friends’ nuptials. It shows people having fun and their personalities come to the forefront.
This project is the brainchild of Tara Baker, who started at ESPN in September 2006 and is currently an associate producer working on a variety of sports from basketball to soccer to tennis to the Heisman, to name a few.
This novelty is something Baker would have loved to do with her soccer teammates at Northern Michigan, where she was a four-year letterwinner for the Division II program.
Fast-forward many years and Baker is reliving this through the 2012 NCAA Division I Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One, a project she has immersed herself in along with additional ESPN staffers who were instrumental in bringing this to fruition – Kathryn Monahan, producer; Jay Fiedler, editor; Brian Girardin, creative services and Kevin Wilson and Phil Hanson from the music department.
The “photo booth” has been seen throughout the championship during the telecasts as part of ESPN’s exclusive coverage, culminating with the Final Four at the Pepsi Center . The games will air on ESPN HD, ESPN3 and on the WatchESPN app starting with the semifinals tonight at 6:30 p.m. ET (Notre Dame vs. Connecticut) and 8:30 p.m. (Baylor vs. Stanford), followed by the national title game on Tuesday, April 3, at 8:30 p.m. continue reading…
In the video above, Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III discusses NCAA women’s basketball’s most dominant player, Brittney Griner, on his visit to Gruden’s QB Camp.
RGIII’s episode will air on ESPN on Monday, April 2 at 9 p.m.
In an NCAA Women’s Final Four semifinal, Griner will lead her undefeated Bears against the Stanford Cardinal on Sunday, April 1 at 8:30 p.m. on ESPN.
* Do you think you know where the top quarterbacks in the NFL draft will end up? Want to know who your team might be interested in selecting? Gruden’s QB Camp dissects 10 of the top QB’s in the country to give us all some more insight on the minds and skills of the next wave of signal callers. continue reading…
KINGSTON, R.I. — So much goes into the production of all 63 games of the 2012 Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One.
Front Row gives you an inside look into the ESPN production behind the Kingston Regional from March 25 and 27, where No. 1 seed Connecticut, No. 2 Kentucky, No. 4 Penn State and No. 11 Gonzaga contended for a Final Four berth.
ESPN’s own Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke and Holly Rowe had the call of the games and spent much time preparing for the telecasts — between player interviews, production meetings, time at practice evaluating the teams, all leading up to the Regional Semifinals.
ESPN’s exclusive coverage of the NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship Presented by Capital One has reached its peak as all four No. 1 seeds will meet at the Final Four in Denver Sunday, April 1 and Tuesday, April 3.
ESPN and ESPN3 will full studio and game coverage throughout the weekend, starting with the National Semifinals: Connecticut versus Notre Dame at 6:30 p.m. ET, followed by Stanford versus Baylor at 8:30 p.m. The championship game will air Tuesday, April 3, at 8:30 p.m.
Days before he was set to arrive in Virginia today, Joe Tessitore’s presence was felt.
From pre-Thanksgiving conversations between Tessitore and officials in the Virginia Tech athletic department, he emerged with a new nickname: “The Dragon Slayer.”
It was meant in good fun, no doubt.
Still, the VaTech camp has to wonder if Tessitore’s presence in Charlottesville, Va. this afternoon might spell doom for its No. 5 ranked Virginia Tech football team’s visit to Virginia (3:30 ET, ABC, ESPN2, ESPN3).
Based on his track record dating back at least a year and covering three different sports, Tessitore seems to be the underdog’s best friend and a heavy favorite’s arch nemesis.
“Among the players, coaches, athletic directors, and other media, this has not gone unnoticed at all,” said Tessitore (pictured right), who will call the Virginia Tech-Virginia game with analyst Rod Gilmore just hours after having described the Pitt-West Virginia game in Morgantown on Friday (also, of course, decided late for the 21-20 WVU win).
“They see that it’s our crew broadcasting the game, and there’s the expectation that something outrageous is going to happen, that the upset is going to happen,” he said.
No one should blame VaTech for being a bit nervous with Tessitore in the house.
Since November 2010, the versatile play-by-play announcer has been on the mic for huge upsets in horse racing, boxing and most notably college football.
Now he’s a week removed from describing huge upsets in Ames, Iowa and Waco, Texas in a 24-hour span.
In Week 12, double-digit underdogs Iowa State, Baylor and USC made a mess of the BCS with upsets of then-No. 2-ranked Oklahoma State, then-No. 4 Oklahoma and then No. 5 Oregon, respectively.
On Nov. 18, Tessitore and longtime colleague Gilmore called the host Cyclones’ double-overtime shocking win over 3-plus score favorite Oklahoma State.
The next night, Tessitore and analyst Matt Millen were in Texas to call Baylor’s first-ever win over Oklahoma.
Before the nation could stomach that 1-2 punch, USC shocked host Oregon.
Perhaps it was fitting that the voice of ESPN2′s boxing series Friday Night Fights was delivering the details of two of the stunning knockouts.
“To think that I called two of the three, and two of the three that were the most massive upsets, it seems I was at the right place at the right time,” Tessitore said.
Experts described Week 12 as ‘”the most outrageous and wild weekend college football has seen in the modern era,’” he said.
Even he would like to temper the hyperbole a bit: “When [people] make statements like that, it’s challenging to put it into perspective because it just happened.
“But it was pretty outrageous,” he said.
Still, it seems calling upsets is Tessitore’s calling.
It’s not just limited to this season — or this sport, for that matter.