March 20, 2014
MADISON, Wis. -– ESPN will cover the entire 2014 NCAA Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament beginning this Sunday with the NCAA selection show on Sunday at 11 a.m. CT on ESPNU. That is when Wisconsin and the rest of the country will await the announcement of the 16-team field for this year’s tournament.
Wisconsin looks to make its second consecutive NCAA tournament appearance, its seventh under Head Coach Mike Eaves and its 25th official appearance in school history. Wisconsin has captured six NCAA championships, including in 1973, 1977, 1981, 1983, 1990 and 2006.
In regional action, ESPNU will televise eight games, including the Midwest, Northeast and West regional finals. ESPN2 will televise the East regional final and West regional semifinal. ESPN3 will exclusively carry a Northeast and Midwest regional semifinal. On Thursday, April 10, ESPN2 will televise the Frozen Four semifinals and on Saturday, April 12, ESPN will televise the Frozen Four Championship Game. Every game of the tournament will be available on WatchESPN.
ESPN’s lead hockey play-by-play commentator John Buccigross teams up with lead hockey analyst Barry Melrose to call the action in the East regional (Bridgeport, Conn.) and the Frozen Four. This is the second year the tandem has worked the tournament together, including their second Frozen Four. Quint Kessenich will be the reporter with Buccigross and Melrose at both the regional and Frozen Four.
Other ESPN broadcast tandems: Joe Beninati and Darren Eliot in the Midwest regional (Cincinnati, Ohio), Joe Davis and Billy Jaffe in the Northeast regional (Worcester, Mass.), and Clay Matvick and Sean Ritchlin in the West regional (St. Paul, Minn.).
ESPN and NCAA Collaborate to Reveal No. 1 Seeds on Twitter Prior to NCAA Hockey Championship Selection Show
On Sunday, March 23 at noon ET, ESPNU will televise the NCAA Hockey Championship Selection Show. In a unique, online collaboration, ESPN and the NCAA will announce the four No. 1 seeds and which region they will play in one-hour prior to the show.
At 11 a.m., @NCAAIceHockey will tweet out – in alphabetical order – the four No.1 seeds. Moments later, after receiving the official bracket from the NCAA, Buccigross will take to his twitter account to announce the numerical order of the No.1 seeds and the region in which they will be located in.
Buccigross and Dave Starman anchor the 30-minute Selection Show to announce the other 12 teams which make up the field with all the matchups. Select head coaches will join the show after their team has been named to the field. Fans are encouraged to participate by tweeting questions and comments to the @ESPNU handle, with a portion of them being answered on air.
Buccigross Takes over @NCAAIceHockey Handle During Conference Championship Games
On Saturday, March 22 -- the night before the Selection Show -- Buccigross will take over the @NCAAIceHockey handle to conduct a live twitter chat starting at 8 p.m. As six conferences are in the midst of their championship game, with an automatic bid to the tournament on the line, Buccigross will interact with fans, answer their questions and react to the live game action.
ESPN has televised every Frozen Four Championship Game since 1980 and televised the entire Frozen Four, live since 1995.