SAN BRUNO, Calif. -- The nationally-prominent Saint Mary's men's basketball program will appear on an ESPN network at least 11 times this season, according to a West Coast Conference and ESPN release yesterday.
The WCC and ESPN announced yesterday that a minimum of 36 men's basketball games involving WCC schools will air nationally on the ESPN networks this season, including additional exposure during the 2014 West Coast Conference Basketball Championship in Las Vegas.
Additional television appearances for all 10 institutions will be announced when the WCC's regional television package is finalized.
The West Coast Conference will once again be a centerpiece to ESPN networks’ Thursday night and Saturday coverage. In all, 22 conference games will be showcased on ESPN, ESPN2, or ESPNU in 2013-14 – up from 20 last season. West Coast Conference basketball will be featured on ESPN’s popular Championship Week coverage in 2014, with five live telecasts from Las Vegas: two quarterfinal games (Saturday, March 8, ESPN2), the WCC semifinals (Monday, March 10, ESPN and ESPN2) and the championship game on Tuesday, March 11 (ESPN).
“The longstanding, deep relationship between the West Coast Conference and ESPN has been a cornerstone of our success in men’s basketball and this season we will see continued growth,” said Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich. “In particular, the opportunity to feature our conference championship quarterfinal telecasts on ESPN2 and one of our semifinals on ESPN is a huge benefit. That added exposure will ensure that our terrific atmosphere in Las Vegas, and quality brand of basketball can be seen by more fans than ever as our teams push towards the postseason.”
The WCC's national telecast package is highlighted by a pair of clashes between Saint Mary's and Gonzaga - teams that have met in the last five WCC championship games. In addition, both teams will face conference foe BYU – a 2013 NIT semifinalist – and 2013 WCC semifinalist San Diego in nationally-televised showdowns.
In addition to the conference games, ESPN has announced it will televise four nonconference games that are a part of the West Cast Conference's national television package – including three WCC teams participating in the popular College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Gonzaga (EA SPORTS Maui Invitational) and Saint Mary’s (Hawaiian Airlines Diamond Head Classic) will also participate in holiday tournaments on ESPN networks. Additional WCC nonconference road games on the ESPN networks will be announced at a later date.