ESPN2’s Big Monday Presented by Verizon – entering the ninth season of the seven-week women’s college basketball series – will showcase the nation’s top programs beginning January 19. A robust schedule of teams ranked in the espnW 2014-15 preseason top 25 poll, including the top five programs, it also features 17 ranked teams, five 2013-14 All-Americans and a grouping of the top incoming freshman in the country.
- Seven of the top eight teams in the espnW preseason top 25 poll will participate in the nine Big Monday games and 17-of-18 teams on the schedule are ranked the early-season poll.
- 1 Connecticut, No. 2 South Carolina, No. 3 Tennessee, No. 4 Texas A&M, No. 5 Notre Dame, No. 7 Duke, No. 8 Michigan State, No. 14 Maryland and No. 16 Louisville round out the list.
- Four conferences featured on the schedule: Atlantic Coast (ACC), American Athletic, Big Ten and Southeastern (SEC).
- All 18 teams advanced to the 2013-14 postseason, including three Final Four participants:
- Connecticut won its second-straight national title and Notre Dame played in the national championship game and its fourth-straight Final Four.
- Maryland also advanced to the Final Four.
- Texas A&M and Louisville earned Elite Eight berths, Tennessee and South Carolina advanced to the Sweet 16 and Duke and Michigan State played to the second round.
- USF earned a trip to the WNIT Semifinals, a year after capturing the programs’ first-ever NCAA tournament win.
- The schedule features four 2013-14 All-Americans, including Women’s Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA) members Jewell Lloyd (Notre Dame), Tiffany Mitchell (South Carolina) and Breanna Stewart (Connecticut), as well as Associated Press Women’s All-America Third Team honoree Elizabeth Williams (Duke).
- 10 players in the top 25 of the 2014 HoopGurlz Recruiting Rankings – espnW 100 join their respective teams in the Monday night lineup: A’ja Wilson (South Carolina); Brianna Turner (Notre Dame); Jaime Nared (Tennessee); Jatarie White (South Carolina); Lynee’ Belton (Duke); Gabby Williams (Connecticut); Sierra Calhoun (Duke); Sadie Edwards (Connecticut); Kathryn Westbeld (Notre Dame) and Azura Stevens (Duke).
Big Monday schedule highlights:
- Two-time defending national champion Connecticut will be featured twice: at home versus South Carolina on Feb. 9 and at USF to close the regular season on March 2.
- South Carolina appears a total of three times, including two home games: versus Texas A&M as part of the We Back Pat initiative on January 26 and against Tennessee in the second game of the Play 4Kay doubleheader on February 23.
- New ACC rivals Louisville and Notre Dame battle in the early Play 4Kay tilt at 7 p.m.
- Notre Dame – also on the schedule three times – hosts a non-conference tilt against Tennessee on January 19 and plays at home against Duke as part of a Rivalry Week doubleheader on February 16.
- Also participating in Rivalry Week, new Big Ten opponents Maryland at Michigan State, as the Terrapins are playing in their first year in the league.
espnW.com will provide season-long original content and supporting material for ESPN’s top games, including leading into games with espnW’s national player-of-the-week and updated Bracketology from Charlie Creme. The espnW season preview will run November 3-7.
All Big Monday telecasts will also be available through WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, and streamed on televisions through Amazon Fire TV, Apple TV, Chromecast, Roku, Xbox 360 or Xbox One to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.
2015 ESPN2 Big Monday Women’s Hoops Schedule (subject to change)
|January 19||7 p.m.||No. 3 Tennessee at No. 5 Notre Dame|
|January 26||7 p.m.||We Back Pat: No. 4 Texas A&M at No. 2 South Carolina|
|February 2||7 p.m.||No. 16 Louisville at No. 7 Duke|
|February 9||8 p.m.||No. 2 South Carolina at No. 1 Connecticut|
|February 16||7 p.m.||Rivalry Week: No. 14 Maryland at No. 8 Michigan State|
|9 p.m.||Rivalry Week: No. 7 Duke at No. 5 Notre Dame|
|February 23||7 p.m.||Play 4Kay: No. 16 Louisville at No. 5 Notre Dame|
|9 p.m.||Play 4Kay: No. 3 Tennessee at No. 2 South Carolina|
|March 2||7 p.m.||No. 1 Connecticut at USF|