ESPN’s Announcing Teams for 2015-16 College Basketball Season

With college basketball ready to start in earnest this weekend, ESPN has unveiled its announcing teams for the upcoming season. Once again, Dan Shulman and Jay Bilas will be the main team. And after being on the Big Monday early game (Big East or ACC) for several years, Bilas will no longer be on that package. Instead, Sean McDonough and Doris Burke will be the team on the ACC early game.

Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe remain on the Big 12 late game on Monday nights.

The Dave & Bill Show, Dave Pasch and Bill Walton return for Pac-12 games this season.

Here’s how some other teams shape up:

Dan Shulman/Jay Bilas//Shannon Spake — Saturday Primetime
Sean McDonough/Doris Burke — ACC Big Monday
Brent Musburger/Fran Fraschilla//Holly Rowe — Big 12 Big Monday
Mike Tirico/Dan Dakich//Allison Williams — Big Ten Tuesdays
Brad Nessler/Sean Farnham//Shannon Spake — SEC Tuesdays
Dave Flemming/Miles Simon — Big 12 Tuesdays & Saturdays
Joe Tessitore/Sean Farnham — SEC Wednesdays & Thursdays
Dave Pasch/Bill Walton — Pac-12 Wednesdays, Thursdays & Saturdays
Dave O’Brien/Dick Vitale//Allison Williams — ACC Saturdays
Bob Wischusen/Dan Dakich — Big Ten Saturdays
Jon Sciambi/Fran Fraschilla — Big 12 Saturdays
Anish Shroff/Cory Alexander — ACC Sundays

ESPN brings in Jason Capel, Antawn Jamison and Chris Spatola as new studio analysts. Former UConn coach Jim Calhoun will join Rece Davis on Big Ten games.

Jenn Hildreth who has been with Fox will join ESPNU to call selected basketball games.

The entire list of pairings is listed below in the official ESPN press release:

ESPN Returns Experienced Roster for 2015-16 Men’s Basketball Coverage

ESPN’s 2015-16 men’s college basketball telecasts – more than 1,900 exclusive games across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, ESPN College Extra, SEC Network, SEC Digital Network and Longhorn Network – will showcase a deep roster of commentators. The wealth of experience working games on ESPN networks include former Division I coaches and NBA, WNBA and collegiate players, along with versatile and veteran play-by-play voices.

Non-conference coverage of more than 750 contests get underway in world-wide fashion on Friday, Nov. 13, with the fourth annual Armed Forces Classic – this year staged from Camp Foster in Okinawa, Japan and showcasing Pittsburgh vs. No. 9 Gonzaga at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN.

College GameDay will make an early-season appearance on Tuesday, Nov. 17, at the fifth annual State Farm Champions Classic, the neutral-site, early-season men’s doubleheader on ESPN that matches four of the winningest programs against each other: No. 2 Kentucky vs. No. 5 Duke at 7:30 p.m. and No. 4 Kansas vs. No. 13 Michigan State at 10 p.m.

ESPN will provide fans with live coverage of at least one game on an ESPN television linear network every day but eight from November 13 to March 6 (November 14, 18 and 28; December 11, 14, 24 and 26; and January 11).

Commentator Highlights

  • A new pairing this season is play-by-play veteran Sean McDonough and analyst Doris Burke on the ACC Big Monday
  • The trio of Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla and Holly Rowe return to work Big 12 Big Monday
  • Analyst Jay Bilas, entering his 22nd season at ESPN, will be paired with Dan Shulman and reporter Shannon Spake on the Saturday Primetime that host’s that day’s College GameDay.
  • College GameDay returns for its 12th season as host Rece Davis, Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams will follow the top storylines as the season develops with a schedule that features several options each week to choose from each Saturday, beginning January 23.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Dick Vitale, who enters his 37th season calling games for the network, will join with Dave O’Brien and reporter Allison Williams each Saturday mainly for the marquee ACC matchup.
  • Davis will pair with Hall of Fame coach Jim Calhoun on a Big Ten Thursday Night Showcase
  • Mike Tirico, the voice of Monday Night Football, pairs again with analyst Dan Dakich, in addition to Williams for the weekly Big Ten Super Tuesday Dakich will also call a Saturday Big Ten contest with Bob Wischusen.
  • ESPN’s weekly Super Tuesday SEC telecast will see the return of Brad Nessler, Sean Farnham and Spake. Farnham will also join Joe Tessitore on the Thursday SEC telecast.
  • Analyst Kara Lawson and Mark Jones will call the Saturday SEC window, plus Lawson will make a weekly appearance in ESPN’s Bristol, Conn., studios on Thursday nights.
  • Basketball Hall of Famer Bill Walton will again have the call of Pac-12 games on Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday with Dave Pasch.
  • ACC games will also be covered by Wischusen and LaPhonso Ellis (Wednesday/Thursday) and on Saturdays by Mike Couzens and Cory Alexander.
  • Big 12 Tuesday and Saturday games will be called by Dave Flemming and Miles Simon, in addition to a Saturday contest called by Jon Sciambi and Fraschilla.
  • American games will see Mike Patrick and Len Elmore on Thursday nights and Allen Bestwick and Tim Welsh on Saturdays.
  • Additional Saturday pairings include Rich Hollenberg and Mark Adams on Missouri Valley telecasts, Adam Amin and Craig Robinson working Atlantic-10 games and Beth Mowins and Brad Dougherty paired for West Coast Conference games.
  • The ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball series will be called by Anish Shroff and Cory Alexander.
  • New to ESPNU, Ted Emrich, Alex Faust, Kevin Fitzgerald and Jenn Hildreth bring a depth of play-by-play experience, in addition to analysts Jason Capel, Antwan Jamison and Chris Spatola joining the 24-hour college sports network.
  • SEC Network will present more than 120 SEC games exclusively, and will include analysts Dane Bradshaw, Barry Booker, Joe Dean, Jr., Tony Delk, Andrew DeClerq, Daymeon Fishback, John Pelphrey and Jon Sundvold, as well as play-by-play commentators Dave Baker, Tom Hart, Mike Morgan, Dave Neal and John Saunders.
  • Longhorn Network will surround the network’s nine exclusive Texas men’s basketball games with studio programming that includes Game Plan with head coach Shaka Smart, as well as a simulcast of his weekly radio show. Texas GameDay will air from non-conference home games against North Carolina and UConn, in addition to select conferences games. Lowell Galindo will call play-by-play for the network with analyst Lance Blanks.

Studio Coverage

In addition to Greenberg, Lawson and Williams, ESPN and ESPN2 studio programming from Bristol will also include Dakich, Ellis, Farnham, Fraschilla, Jeff Goodman, Andy Katz and Simon.

ESPNU will rotate its studio coverage including analysts Cory Alexander, Adrian Branch and Dino Gaudio, as well as newcomers Jason Capel, Antawn Jamison and Chris Spatola. Studio hosts include Brendan Fitzgerald, Matt Schick and Anish Shroff.

ESPN Buzzer Beater

Analyst Tim McCormick will be seen on the sixth season of ESPN Buzzer Beater – which offers live cut-ins and highlights from numerous top college basketball games Saturdays from noon to 11 p.m. and Wednesdays from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m., beginning Wednesday, Jan. 6.

Katz, Goodman, Eamonn Brennan, Myron Medcalf, Dana O’Neil, C.L Brown and John Gasaway will provide reporting, analysis and original video on throughout the season, while Paul Biancardi, Jeff Borzello, Adam Finkelstein and Reggie Rankin will contribute to college basketball recruiting coverage. Also, Bracketologist Joe Lunardi will keep an eye on what the NCAA Championship field might look like come March.

Season Overview

Announcers across ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU, ESPNEWS, ESPN3, SEC Network and Longhorn Network will call games involving more than 400 teams from all 32 Division I conferences.

Commentators can also be seen during ESPN’s popular weekly series’ beginning in January – Big Monday, Super Tuesday, Wednesday Night Hoops, Thursday Night Showcase, College GameDay, Saturday Primetime and ESPNU ACC Sunday Night Basketball – plus a full slate of games throughout the season.

Day Conference Network Commentators
Monday ACC ESPN Sean McDonough, Doris Burke
  Big 12 ESPN Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla, Holly Rowe
Tuesday ACC ESPNU Mike Couzens, Len Elmore
  Big Ten ESPN Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich, Allison Williams
  SEC ESPN Brad Nessler, Sean Farnham, Shannon Spake
  Big 12 ESPN2 Dave Flemming, Miles Simon
  SEC ESPNU Rich Hollenberg, Dino Guadio
Wednesday Big 12 ESPNU Clay Matvick, Tim Welsh
  Pac-12 ESPNU Roy Philpott, Adrian Branch
Wednesday & Thursday ACC ESPN2 Bob Wischusen, LaPhonso Ellis
  SEC ESPN/ESPN2 Joe Tessitore, Sean Farnham
Thursday American ESPN/ESPN2 Mike Patrick, Len Elmore
  Big Ten ESPN/ESPN2 Rece Davis, Jim Calhoun
  Big Ten ESPNU Adam Amin, Craig Robinson
  West Coast ESPNU Roxy Bernstein, Corey Williams
Wednesday, Thursday, Saturday Pac-12 ESPN/ESPN2 Dave Pasch, Bill Walton
Saturday Saturday Primetime ESPN Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Shannon Spake
  American ESPN2 Allen Bestwick, Tim Welsh
  American ESPNU Ted Emrich, Mark Wise
  ACC ESPN Dave O’Brien, Dick Vitale, Allison Wiliams
  ACC ESPN2 Mike Couzens, Cory Alexander
  Atlantic-10 ESPN2 Adam Amin, Craig Robinson
  Big Ten ESPN Bob Wischusen, Dan Dakich
  Big Ten ESPNU Clay Matvick, Sean Harrington
  Big 12 ESPN Jon Sciambi, Fran Fraschilla
  Big 12 ESPN2 Dave Flemming, Miles Simon
  Big 12 ESPN2 Mark Neely/Adam Amin, TBD
  Big 12 ESPNU Jason Benetti, Reid Gettys
  Big 12 ESPNU Mitch Holthus, Bryndon Manzer
  Missouri Valley ESPN2 Rich Hollenberg, Mark Adams
  SEC ESPN Mark Jones, Kara Lawson
  SEC ESPNU Mike Morgan, Chris Spatola
  West Coast ESPN2 Beth Mowins, Brad Daugherty
Sunday American ESPNU Roy Philpott, Brooke Weisbrod
  ACC ESPNU Anish Shroff, Cory Alexander
  MVC ESPNU Mitch Holthus, Mark Adams
  Pac-12 ESPNU Roxy Bernstein, Corey Williams

And that will do it.

About Ken Fang

Ken has been covering the sports media in earnest at his own site, Fang's Bites since May 2007 and at Awful Announcing since March 2013. He provides a unique perspective having been an award-winning radio news reporter in Providence and having worked in local television. Fang celebrates the three Boston Red Sox World Championships in the 21st Century, but continues to be a long-suffering Cleveland Browns fan.