ESPN covering every round, every match of NCAAs

3/14/2014
Derek Volner, ESPN

With all six sessions televised and every match carried on ESPN3 for the first time, ESPN will provide unprecedented coverage of the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships from Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Okla., on March 20-22. ESPN will televise the semifinals and finals, while ESPNU televises the first and second sessions, the quarterfinals and medal round. Digitally, ESPN3 will carry individual mat feeds throughout the entire tournament and debut a special -- Inside the Mat -- during the finals. All six sessions are available on WatchESPN.

ESPN Commentators:

ESPN's coverage will be anchored by accomplished wrestlers and prominent personalities in the sport:

  • Kyle Dake: The four-time national champion at Cornell University (2010-2013) will join ESPN as a guest analyst for the first time. Dake is one of three wrestlers to win four NCAA National Championships, but is the only wrestler to accomplish the feat in four different weight classes.

  • Anthony Robles: The Arizona State graduate is a three-time All-American and a 2011 NCAA National Champion. Robles returns for his third year as an ESPN analyst.

  • Jim Gibbons: The former NCAA Wrestling Coach of the Year will join ESPN's television coverage for the first time after covering the Championship on ESPN3 previously. Gibbons is a three-time All-American, two-time Big Eight winner at Iowa State and later won a NCAA National Championship as the Cyclones head coach. He was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.

  • Tim Johnson: "The voice of college wrestling" returns once again to ESPN's coverage. Johnson has been evaluating the college wrestling scene for more than 25 years and has called more than 250 matches as an analyst.

    Adam Amin and Shawn Kenney will call the action and Quint Kessenich will be the reporter.

    Digital Coverage on ESPN3:

    ESPN3 has expanded its individual mat feed which allows fans to watch every match throughout the tournament, including the wrestleback bracket, accompanied by live commentary. Additionally, for computer users, ESPN3 will once again offer multi-mat simultaneous viewing which allows fans to watch up to four different mats at one time.

    Screen Shots:



    In addition to all the individual mat coverage, ESPN3 debuts a scoreboard/navigation page which will keep viewers up-to-date on current action and which mats each wrestler is on. When applicable, updates on up to eight mats will be provided on this page:

    For viewers watching a particular mat feed, ESPN3's new scroll provides score updates on other ongoing matches, including the matchups coming up next:





    ESPN3 will have a reporter stationed at each mat providing commentary for each specific feed to further enhance the digital experience.

    Inside the Mat -- ESPN3 Special During Championship Finals:

    Also debuting this year, ESPN3 will offer a special -- titled Inside the Mat -- during the Championship finals on Saturday, March 22 at 8 p.m. ET. Four of college wrestling's most decorated athletes -- Dan Gable, Jim Gibbons, Lee Kemp and Pat Smith -- join Shawn Kenney from inside the arena to bring fans a unique perspective of the Championship final session. While also bringing viewers live action, the analysts -- unrestricted by television parameters -- will discuss each match from a tactical and mental standpoint, describing the wrestlers' thought process before, during, and after a finals match. Inside the Mat will go behind-the-scenes to show medal ceremonies and will be joined by an array of guests throughout the night, including newly crowned NCAA National Champions and their coaches.

    Inside the Mat Analysts:

  • Dan Gable: Won an Olympic gold medal at the 1972 games in Munich, Germany, before leading Iowa to 16 NCAA National Championships as head coach.

  • Lee Kemp: Won three NCAA National Championships as a wrestler at Wisconsin and three gold medals in the World Championships. He was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1990.

  • Pat Smith: As an Oklahoma State Cowboy, Smith was the first wrestler to win four NCAA National Championships, a feat that has only been matched by Cael Sanderson and Kyle Dake. Smith was inducted into the National Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2006.



    NCAA Winter Championship Coverage

    In addition to the NCAA Wrestling Championships, ESPN provides exclusive coverage of 10 additional NCAA Winter Championships which NCAA Women's Basketball Championship, Men's Ice Hockey, the Men�s and Women's Indoor Track and Field Championship Fencing Championship, Swimming and Diving Championship, Women's Gymnastics Championship and Women�s Bowling Championship.
  • Comments

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    Jeremy (1) about 9 months ago
    Fantastic to hear about his coverage from ESPN. Wrestling fans should send thanks to them to let them know how much the coverage is appreciated.

    I did however spit my coffee when I saw the graphic of Ramos vs. Graff in the 2nd round of the wrestle backs!
    greff (1) about 9 months ago
    why? its likely the way these two have looked this year