Here is the full text of the release from the Horizon League on its new game of the week package with ESPNU. As was noted on the main site here, UWM is in the debut game with Green Bay Jan. 9.
The Horizon League’s first national basketball game-of-the-week package highlights the League’s 2008-09 broadcast schedule on ESPN networks, Commissioner Jonathan B. LeCrone announced Monday (Oct. 20).
Seven Horizon League match-ups featuring all 10 men’s teams and two women’s on Fridays in January and February on ESPNU are part of 17 games involving League teams scheduled to be shown on ESPN networks during the coming season.
“We are excited to expand our ESPN partnership with our first national basketball game-of-the-week,” said LeCrone. “More fans will now be able to follow our teams on a regular basis during the regular season. This is another important step in the growth of the League.”
The Friday night game-of-the-week schedule will tip-off Jan. 9 with an intrastate battle when the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee plays host to the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay at 9 p.m. ET.
“Showcasing the Horizon League in a consistent Friday primetime window is a great addition to ESPN’s college basketball schedule,” said Rosalyn Durant, vice president and general manager, ESPNU. “This agreement also allows us to enhance the number of live events we offer on ESPNU with quality intra-conference competition.”
The following Fridays in January will feature Wright State University at the University of Detroit Mercy on Jan. 16 (9 p.m.), preseason League favorite Cleveland State University at Youngstown State University on Jan. 23 (9 p.m.) and Valparaiso University at defending champion Butler University on Jan. 30 (7 p.m.).
February’s Horizon League game-of-the-week schedule on ESPNU starts with a women’s match-up when Wright State plays at Butler on Feb. 6 (9 p.m.). Men’s action resumes with Butler playing host to the University of Illinois at Chicago on Feb. 13 (7 p.m.), followed by UIC at cross-town rival Loyola University Chicago on Feb. 27 (9 p.m.). There will be no scheduled League game on Feb. 20 due to all 10 teams participating in the annual ESPNU BracketBusters that weekend.
ESPN2 will televise two regular-season men’s games, including Butler at UIC on Saturday, Jan. 17 (2 p.m.). Again this season, the final Saturday of the regular season (Feb. 28, 12 p.m.) will feature a men’s wildcard game that will be selected in early February. Games scheduled that day are Green Bay at Wright State, Milwaukee at Detroit, Cleveland State at Butler and Youngstown State at Valparaiso. Both ESPN2 games also will be streamed live on ESPN360.com.
Two non-conference Horizon League games also will be broadcast on ESPNU this season. Valparaiso will host the University of North Carolina on Dec. 20 (2 p.m.) at the United Center in Chicago, and Butler will play at Xavier University on Dec. 23 (7 p.m.). A third game will be streamed live on ESPN360.com when Detroit opens the season at Purdue University on Nov. 14 (9 p.m.).
ESPNU will air the Horizon League Men’s Basketball Championship semi-finals on March 7 at 7 and 9 p.m. and the Women’s Basketball Championship on March 15 at 1 p.m. The Men’s Basketball Championship remains in its usual spot on Tuesday (March 10) at 9 p.m. on ESPN as part of “Championship Week.” That game also will be available on ESPN360.com.