ESPN is a U. S.-based sports television channel owned by ESPN Inc. a joint venture owned by The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Communications. The company was founded in 1979 by Bill Rasmussen along with his son Scott Ed Egan. ESPN broadcasts from studio facilities located in Bristol, Connecticut; the network operates offices in Miami, New York City, Seattle and Los Angeles. James Pitaro serves as chairman of ESPN, a position he has held since March 5, 2018 due to the resignation of John Skipper on December 18, 2017. While ESPN is one of the most successful sports networks, there has been much criticism of ESPN, which includes accusations of biased coverage, conflict of interest, controversies with individual broadcasters and analysts; as of January 2016, ESPN is available to 91,405,000 paid television households in the United States. Nielsen has reported a much lower number in 2017, below 90,000,000 subscribers, losing more than 10,000 a day. In addition to the flagship channel and its seven related channels in the United States, ESPN broadcasts in more than 200 countries, operating regional channels in Australia, Latin America and the United Kingdom, owning a 20% interest in The Sports Network as well as its five sister networks in Canada.
In 2011, ESPN's history and rise was chronicled in Those Guys Have All the Fun, a nonfiction book written by James Andrew Miller and Tom Shales and published by Little and Company. Bill Rasmussen conceived the concept of ESPN in late May 1978, after he was fired from his job with the World Hockey Association's New England Whalers. One of the first steps in Bill and his son Scott's process was finding land to build the channel's broadcasting facilities; the Rasmussens first rented office space in Plainville, Connecticut. However, the plan to base ESPN there was put on hold because a local ordinance prohibiting buildings from bearing rooftop satellite dishes. Available land area was found in Bristol, with funding to buy the property provided by Getty Oil, which purchased 85% of the company from Bill Rasmussen on February 22, 1979, in an attempt to diversify the company's holdings; this helped the credibility of the fledgling company, however there were still many doubters to the viability of their sports channel concept.
Another event that helped build ESPN's credibility was securing an advertising agreement with Anheuser-Busch in the spring of 1979. Taped in front of a small live audience inside the Bristol studios, it was broadcast to 1.4 million cable subscribers throughout the United States. ESPN's next big break came when the channel acquired the rights to broadcast coverage of the early rounds of the NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament, it first aired the NCAA tournament in March 1980, creating the modern day television event known as "March Madness." The channel's tournament coverage launched the broadcasting career of Dick Vitale, who at the time he joined ESPN, had just been fired as head coach of the Detroit Pistons. In April of that year, ESPN created another made-for-TV spectacle, when it began televising the NFL Draft, it provided complete coverage of the event that allowed rookie players from the college ranks to begin their professional careers in front of a national television audience in ways they were not able to previously.
The next major stepping stone for ESPN came over the course of a couple of months in 1984. During this time period, the American Broadcasting Company purchased 100% of ESPN from the Rasmussens and Getty Oil. Under Getty ownership, the channel was unable to compete for the television rights to major sports events contracts as its majority corporate parent would not provide the funding, leading ESPN to lose out for broadcast deals with the National Hockey League and NCAA Division I college football. For years, the NFL, NBA and Major League Baseball refused to consider cable as a means of broadcasting some of their games. However, with the backing of ABC, ESPN's ability to compete for major sports contracts increased, gave it credibility within the sports broadcasting industry. In 1984, the U. S. Supreme Court ruled that the NCAA could no longer monopolize the rights to negotiate the contracts for college football games, allowing each individual school to negotiate broadcast deals of their choice.
ESPN took full advantage and began to broadcast a large number of NCAA football games, creating an opportunity for fans to be able to view multiple games each weekend, the same deal that the NCAA had negotiated with TBS. ESPN's breakthrough moment occurred in 1987, when it secured a contract with the NFL to broadcast eight games during that year's regular season – all of which aired on Sunday nights, marking the first broadcasts of Sunday NFL primetime games. ESPN's Sunday Night Football games would become the highest-rated NFL telecasts for the next 17 years; the channel's decision to broadcast NFL games on Sunday evenings resulted in a decline in viewership for the daytime games shown on the major broadcast networks, marking the first time that ESPN had been a legitimate competitor to NBC and CBS, which had long dominated the sports television market. In 19
Bridgestone Arena is an all-purpose venue in downtown Nashville, completed in 1996, is the home of the Nashville Predators of the National Hockey League. Designed by HOK Sport in conjunction with the Nashville-based architecture/engineering firm Hart Freeland Roberts, INC. it was designed at an angle on the corner of Broadway and 5th Avenue in Nashville in physical homage to the historic Ryman Auditorium, the original home of the Grand Ole Opry. Bridgestone Arena is owned by the Sports Authority of Nashville and Davidson County and operated by Powers Management Company, a subsidiary of the Nashville Predators National Hockey League franchise, its primary tenant since 1998; the Predators hosted the NHL Entry Draft here in 2003. In 1997, it was the venue of the United States Figure Skating Championships, in 2004 hosted the USA Gymnastics National Championships, it was the home of the Nashville Kats franchise of the Arena Football League from 1997 until 2001, hosted the team's revival from 2005 to 2007, when the Kats folded.
The arena has hosted college basketball events, including both men's and women's tournaments of the Southeastern Conference and the Ohio Valley Conference. Nashville will serve as a primary venue for the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament nine times between 2015 and 2025 after the SEC signed a long-term agreement with the Nashville Sports Council in 2013, it hosted the 2014 NCAA Women's Final Four and will host women's tournaments in 2018, 2022, 2026. In odd-numbered years, the arena was one of eight sites to host the first and second rounds of the men's NCAA Basketball Tournament for the first ten years of its existence, though it was taken out of the rotation for several years due to the obsolete octagonal mid-1990s-style scoreboard that hung above the arena floor, it was replaced in the summer of 2007 by digital control room. The NCAA Tournament returned to Nashville in 2012. Since 2002, the arena has hosted a Professional Bull Riders Built Ford Tough Series event every year until 2010; the event moved to the Arena in 2002 after having occupied the Municipal Auditorium from 1994 to 2001.
The venue has hosted numerous concerts and religious gatherings. Beginning in 2006, the Country Music Association Awards have been held in the arena, after the awards show moved from the Grand Ole Opry House with a one-year stop in New York City at Madison Square Garden in 2005. Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, the Predators did not host any games that season until January 19, 2013. Instead, the arena hosted a Southern Professional Hockey League preseason game between the only other Tennessee pro hockey franchise, the Knoxville Ice Bears, their cross-border rivals Huntsville Havoc on October 20. Bridgestone Arena has a seating capacity of 17,113 for ice hockey, 19,395 for basketball, 10,000 for half-house concerts, 18,500 for end-stage concerts and 20,000 for center-stage concerts, depending on the configuration used, it has hosted several professional wrestling events and a boxing card since its opening. The seating configuration is notable for the oddly-shaped south end, which features two large round roof support columns, no mid-level seating, only one level of suites, bringing the upper-level seats much closer to the floor.
The arena can be converted into the 5,145-seat Music City Theater, used for theater concerts and Broadway and family shows, by placing a stage at the north end of the arena floor and hanging a curtain behind the stage and another to conceal the upper deck. The arena features 43,000 square feet of space in a trade show layout. Mumford & Sons set the attendance record on March 2019, with 19,047 fans in attendance. During construction of the arena there was a major time loss accident October 5, 1995 when a temporary column collapsed. Lead ironworker connector Daniel Lane Foreman suffered a shattered pelvis and was hospitalized for 10 days at Vanderbilt University Hospital. Ironworker Raymond Vance Foreman was treated and released. Besides hosting the Nashville Predators, Bridgestone Arena has seen many other famous performers and events: CMA Awards CMT Music Awards 2003 NHL Entry Draft June 21, 2003 61st National Hockey League All-Star Game January 31, 2016 2017 Stanley Cup Finals Game 3, 4 and 6.
This is the fourth time. The first was in 1998 as the Nashville Arena, in 1999 and 2000 as the Gaylord Entertainment Center. In 2017 it was named loudest arena in sports; the arena's original name when opened in 1996 was Nashville Arena. In 1999, the arena was renamed Gaylord Entertainment Center after a 20-year, $80 million naming rights contract was signed between the Predators and Nashville-based Gaylord Entertainment Company, which at the time was a minority owner of the team. In February 2005, it was announced that the Predators and Gaylord had reached an agreement terminating any further involvement between them, that the Gaylord name would remain on the building only until a new purchaser could be found for the naming rights; as a result, many in the Nashville media reverted to calling the facility by its original name. With the beginning of the
The Mercedes-Benz Superdome referred to as the Superdome, is a domed sports and exhibition venue located in the Central Business District of New Orleans, United States. It serves as the home venue for the New Orleans Saints of the National Football League, the home stadium for the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Bowl in college football and the longtime rivalry football game of the SWAC Conference’s Southern University and Grambling State University, known as the Bayou Classic, it houses their schools’ Battle of the Bands between The Southern University "The Human Jukebox" and Grambling State’s Tiger Marching Band. Plans were drawn up in 1967 by the New Orleans modernist architectural firm of Curtis and Davis and the building opened as the Louisiana Superdome in 1975, its steel frame covers a 13-acre expanse and the 273-foot dome is made of a lamellar multi-ringed frame and has a diameter of 680 feet, making it the largest fixed domed structure in the world. It is adjacent to the Smoothie King Center.
Because of the building's size and location in one of the major tourist destinations of the United States, the Superdome hosts major sporting events, including the Super Bowl, College Football Championship Game, the Final Four in college basketball. The stadium was the long-time home of the Tulane Green Wave football team of Tulane University until 2014 and was the home venue of the New Orleans Jazz of the National Basketball Association from 1975 until 1979; the Superdome gained international attention of a different type in 2005 when it housed thousands of people seeking shelter from Hurricane Katrina. The building suffered extensive damage as a result of the storm, was closed for many months afterward, it was decided the building would be refurbished and reopened in time for the Saints' 2006 home opener on September 25. On October 3, 2011, it was announced that German automaker Mercedes-Benz purchased naming rights to the stadium; the new name took effect on October 23, 2011. The Superdome is located on 70 acres including the former Girod Street Cemetery.
The dome has an interior space of 125,000,000 cubic feet, a height of 253 feet, a dome diameter of 680 feet, a total floor area of 269,000 square feet. The Superdome has a listed football seating capacity of 76,468 or 73,208 and a maximum basketball seating capacity of 73,432. However, published attendance figures from events such as the Super Bowl football game have exceeded 79,000; the basketball capacity does not reflect the NCAA's new policy on arranging the basketball court on the 50-yard line on the football field, per 2009 NCAA policy. In 2011, 3,500 seats were added, increasing the Superdome's capacity to 76,468; the Superdome's capacity was 78,133 for WWE WrestleMania 34. The actual capacity is 73,208 people; the chronology of the capacity for football is as follows: The Superdome's primary tenant is the NFL's New Orleans Saints. The team draws capacity crowds; the NFL has hosted seven Super Bowls at the Superdome, most Super Bowl XLVII in 2013. The Superdome is scheduled to host its eighth Super Bowl in 2024.
The 1976 Pro Bowl was held at the Superdome on Monday, January 26, 1976. It was the NFL's 26th annual all-star game. Tulane University played their home games at the stadium from 1975 to 2013 before moving to on-campus Yulman Stadium; the BCS National Championship Game was played at the Superdome four times. The College Football Playoff semifinal game is played every three years in the stadium. Two other bowl games are played there annually: the Sugar Bowl and New Orleans Bowl; the Superdome hosts the Bayou Classic, a major regular-season game between two of the state's black colleges and universities, Grambling State and Southern. In 2013, the Arena Football League New Orleans VooDoo played their last six home games of the season at the stadium. From 1991 to 1992, the New Orleans Night of the AFL played at the stadium; the annual Louisiana Prep Classic state championship football games organized by the Louisiana High School Athletic Association have been held at the Superdome since 1981, except in 2005 following the extreme damage of Hurricane Katrina.
The first state championship game in the stadium matched New Orleans Catholic League powers St. Augustine and Jesuit on December 15, 1978; the Purple Knights won their second Class AAAA title in four seasons by ousting the Blue Jays, 13–7, in front of over 42,000 fans. Home field advantageSince the Superdome's reopening in the wake of Hurricane Katrina and the increased success of the New Orleans Saints, the Superdome has developed a reputation for having a strong home field advantage. While all domed stadiums possess this quality to some degree, the Superdome is known to get loud during games during offensive drives by the visiting team. During a pregame interview before the Minnesota Vikings' opening game of the 2010 NFL season against the Saints, Brett Favre, reflecting on the Vikings' loss to the Saints in the 2009–10 NFC Championship Game, said of the Superdome: "That was, by far, the most hostile environment I've been in. You couldn't hear anything." It was during that loss. It was the first game of the season.
When the plaza level seats remained moveable, the capacity for baseball was 63,525 and the field size was as followed: 325 feet to both left field and right field, 365 feet to both left-center field and right-center field, 421 feet to center field, 60 feet to the backstop. The bowl
Rupp Arena is an arena located in downtown Lexington, Kentucky, U. S. Since its opening in 1976, it has been the centerpiece of Lexington Center, a convention and shopping facility owned by an arm of the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government, located next to the Lexington Hyatt and Hilton hotels. Rupp Arena serves as home court to the University of Kentucky men's basketball program, is named after legendary former Kentucky coach Adolph Rupp. With an official capacity of 23,500, it is the largest arena in the United States designed for basketball. In Rupp Arena, the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team is second in the nation in college basketball home attendance. Rupp Arena regularly hosts concerts and shows; the arena's primary tenant is the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, but the Kentucky Wildcats women's basketball team has hosted games there in recent years. Rupp Arena was the host of the 1985 NCAA Final Four, won in an upset by eighth-seeded Villanova, it formerly hosted the Kentucky Thoroughblades and the Lexington Men O' War minor-league hockey teams, the Lexington Horsemen arena football team, numerous concerts and other events.
It is named after University of Kentucky coaching legend Adolph Rupp, opened in 1976, a little more than a year before Rupp's death in late 1977. Since the 1985 Final Four, Rupp Arena has hosted a number of NCAA Tournament regional games, most in 2013 when it hosted second and third round NCAA Tournament games. Rupp Arena is home to Kentucky's high school boys' basketball Sweet Sixteen, a single-elimination tournament which determines the state champion with sixteen teams representing each of Kentucky's regional high school champions; the arena has an official capacity for basketball of 23,500, but has packed in more than 24,000 for many UK basketball games. This is possible because less than half of the seating consists of chair-back seats, all of them in the lower seating bowl; the lower bowl incorporates a student standing-room area called the "eRUPPtion Zone" behind one goal. The upper bowl is made up of bleacher bench seats that allow more capacity than chair-back seats. Unlike many arenas built in the following years, it has no luxury suites, has never been renovated to add them.
However, in 2001, the arena received some minor renovations including four oversized video boards, new lower bowl seating, new locker rooms, a new court. The first act to perform at Rupp Arena was Lawrence Welk on October 17, 1976; the performance attracted 20,000 people to the newly opened facility. The ceremonial first basket in the new facility was sunk by Adolph's young grandson Chip, who went on to play college basketball at Southeastern Conference rival Vanderbilt. Rupp Arena is the home court of the Kentucky Wildcats men's basketball team, which boasts an overall record in Rupp Arena of 529-64 since beginning play there on November 27, 1976; the court itself is named Cawood's Court after longtime University of Kentucky football and men's basketball radio broadcaster Cawood Ledford. Rupp staged three Southeastern Conference men's basketball tournaments between 1982 and 1993, it hosted WWE Backlash in 2006. The Rupp Arena attendance record was set on January 2, 2010, when 24,480 people watched #3 Kentucky play rival Louisville.
The final score was a 71-62 victory by the Kentucky Wildcats. The UK men are the only basketball program in the SEC that plays home games in an off-campus facility. All of the other programs play on campus, including the UK women, who play in the men's former home of Memorial Coliseum. However, when the women's program expects an unusually large crowd, it will shift an occasional game to Rupp. Rupp is home to the annual KHSAA State Basketball Championship and trademarked as the Sweet Sixteen, with 16 boys' basketball teams from throughout the commonwealth appearing for a shot at the state title; the KHSAA girls' Sweet Sixteen will join the boys' event at Rupp in 2019. The University of Kentucky has led the nation 25 times in NCAA men's basketball home attendance since the 1976-77 season, including 17 out of the last 20 seasons, eight of the last 10 seasons. On December 21, 2009, in Rupp Arena, the Kentucky men's basketball team became the first college basketball program to win 2,000 games, in an 88-44 win against the Drexel University Dragons.
On November 8, 2010, ESPN ranked Rupp Arena as the third-loudest venue in college basketball. Rupp Arena hosted the August 2, 2011, tapings of SmackDown and WWE Superstars, with the former set to air on August 5, 2011, the latter having aired on August 4, 2011; the arena hosted several TV tapings for various WWF shows in the 1990s. The 500th win in Rupp Arena came on November 27, 2013, against Eastern Michigan, with Kentucky winning 81-63, it is Kentucky's largest arena and has hosted concerts by many performers, including Paul McCartney, Elton John, The Rolling Stones, George Strait, Billy Joel, Guns N' Roses, Tim McGraw, Garth Brooks, CKY, Bob Seger, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, in recent years, Pearl Jam, Taylor Swift, Brad Paisley, Miranda Lambert. On January 28, 2017, with #4 Kentucky hosting #2 Kansas at Rupp Arena, the Guinness Book of World Records measured the loudest indoor crowd roar at 126.4 dB. It lasted 17 days before Guinness recorded a roar of 130.4 dB at Allen Fieldhouse when West Virginia played at Kansas.
Rupp Arena was approved for various reno
University of Tennessee
The University of Tennessee is a public research university in Knoxville, Tennessee. Founded in 1794, two years before Tennessee became the 16th state, it is the flagship campus of the University of Tennessee system, with ten undergraduate colleges and eleven graduate colleges, it hosts 28,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 foreign countries. In its 2019 universities ranking, U. S. News & World Report ranked UT 115th among all national universities and 52nd among public institutions of higher learning. Seven alumni have been selected as Rhodes Scholars. James M. Buchanan, M. S.'41, received the 1986 Nobel Prize in Economics. UT's ties to nearby Oak Ridge National Laboratory, established under UT President Andrew Holt and continued under the UT–Battelle partnership, allow for considerable research opportunities for faculty and students. Affiliated with the university are the Howard H. Baker Jr. Center for Public Policy, the University of Tennessee Anthropological Research Facility, the University of Tennessee Arboretum, which occupies 250 acres of nearby Oak Ridge and features hundreds of species of plants indigenous to the region.
The university is a direct partner of the University of Tennessee Medical Center, one of two Level I trauma centers in East Tennessee. The University of Tennessee is the only university in the nation to have three presidential papers editing projects; the university holds collections of the papers of all three U. S. presidents from Tennessee—Andrew Jackson, James K. Polk, Andrew Johnson. UT is one of the oldest public universities in the United States and the oldest secular institution west of the Eastern Continental Divide. On September 10, 1794, two years before Tennessee became a state and at a meeting of the legislature of the Southwest Territory at Knoxville, the University of Tennessee was chartered as Blount College; the new, all-male, non-sectarian institution struggled for 13 years with a small student body and faculty, in 1807, the school was rechartered as East Tennessee College as a condition of receiving the proceeds from the settlement devised in the Compact of 1806. When Samuel Carrick, its first president and only faculty member, died in 1809, the school was temporarily closed until 1820.
When it reopened, it began experiencing growing pains. Thomas Jefferson had recommended that the college leave its confining single building in the city and relocate to a place it could spread out. Coincidentally, in the Summer of 1826, the trustees explored "Barbara Hill" as a potential site and relocated there by 1828. In 1840, the college was elevated to East Tennessee University; the school's status as a religiously non-affiliated institution of higher learning was unusual for the period of time in which it was chartered, the school is recognized as the oldest such establishment of its kind west of the Appalachian Divide. Tennessee was a member of the Confederacy in 1862 when the Morrill Act was passed, providing for endowment funds from the sale of federal land to state agricultural colleges. On February 28, 1867, Congress passed a special Act making the State of Tennessee eligible to participate in the Morrill Act of 1862 program. In January 1869, ETU was designated as Tennessee's recipient of the Land-Grant designation and funds.
In accepting the funds, the university would focus upon instructing students in military and mechanical subjects. ETU received $396,000 as its endowment under the program. Trustees soon approved the establishment of a medical program under the auspices of the Nashville School of Medicine and added advanced degree programs. East Tennessee University was renamed the University of Tennessee in 1879 by the state legislature. During World War II, UT was one of 131 colleges and universities nationally that took part in the V-12 Navy College Training Program which offered students a path to a Navy commission. African-American attorney Rita Sanders Geier filed suit against the state of Tennessee in 1968 alleging that its higher education system remained segregated despite a federal mandate ordering desegregation, she claimed that the opening of a University of Tennessee campus at Nashville, Tennessee would lead to the creation of another predominantly white institution that would strip resources from Tennessee State University, the only state-funded Historically black university.
The suit was not settled until 2001, when the Geier Consent Decree resulted in the appropriation of $77 million in state funding to increase diversity among student and faculty populations among all Tennessee institutions of higher learning. The University of Tennessee at Knoxville is the flagship campus of the statewide University of Tennessee system, governed by a 26-member board of trustees appointed by the Governor of Tennessee; the campus is headed by a Chancellor who functions as the chief executive officer of the campus, responsible for its daily administration and management. The chancellor reports to the president of the university system and is elected annually by the UT Board of Trustees at the recommendation of the system president. Joseph A. DiPietro has been system president since January 1, 2011 until December 2018. Randy Boyd, a former candidate for governor, was appointed interim president while a search has been convened. Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs Susan D. Martin is responsible for the academic administration of the Knoxville campus and reports directly to the Chancellor.
On December 15, 2016, the UT Board of Trustees confirmed Beverly J. Davenport as the next Chancellor of the Knoxville campus, succeeding Jimmy Cheek, she began her role on February
2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament
The 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament took place on March 13–16, 2008 in Atlanta, Georgia. The first and semifinal rounds were televised by Raycom/LF Sports, the SEC Championship Game was produced by CBS and televised by ESPN2; the University of Georgia, the improbable winner of the tournament, earned the Southeastern Conference's automatic bid to the 2008 NCAA Tournament. The tournament was scheduled to be played at the Georgia Dome, but a tornado struck downtown Atlanta on the night of March 14, while the third of four quarterfinal games was in overtime. While that game was completed, SEC officials decided not to risk playing the fourth game, between the University of Kentucky and University of Georgia; that quarterfinal was subsequently postponed until Saturday morning. That game and all subsequent games were played at Alexander Memorial Coliseum on the campus of Georgia Tech, a school in the Atlantic Coast Conference. Due to the smaller capacity, only the players' families, credentialed media, school officials and 400 fans from each school were allowed to attend the rest of the tournament.
Georgia, which had a sub-.500 record going into the tournament and had to win the title to secure an NCAA Tournament bid, was forced to play and win three games in the space of 30 hours, including two games on Saturday — the original quarterfinal game against Kentucky, postponed by the tornado and venue change, the subsequent semifinal game. Coincidentally, Georgia won the SEC tournament championship on the home court of its bitter rival, Georgia Tech; this was Georgia's first SEC men's basketball tournament championship since 1983. * Denotes game ended in overtime. † Game scheduled for 9:45 p.m. the day before. Postponed due to tornado. ‡ - Game was to have been telecast on CBS. Sundiata Gaines, Georgia Terrance Woodbury, GeorgiaCharles Thomas, ArkansasDarian Townes, ArkansasMykal Riley, Alabama During overtime of the Friday night quarterfinal between Mississippi State and Alabama, a tornado hit the Georgia Dome at 9:40 p.m. The National Weather Service had issued a tornado warning at 9:26 p.m. because radar indicated a thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado.
The storm tore open a panel on the north side of the dome. After the storm passed, the teams completed the game; the Kentucky–Georgia basketball game scheduled for Friday night, was postponed. It was rescheduled for Saturday at noon. Due to the severe damage suffered at the Georgia Dome, the remainder of the tournament was moved to Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum; the semifinals began at 6:00pm Saturday in Alexander Memorial Coliseum. Because the games were moved to a smaller arena, only players' families & friends, bands and persons with working credentials were admitted; the SEC looked at several possible scenarios. However, tournament officials were told by the NCAA tournament selection committee that it had to finish the tournament in order to preserve the league's automatic bid to the NCAA tournament; the championship game was slated to be televised by CBS but was bumped to ESPN2 after the SEC opted to move the tip time to 3:30 p.m.. The move to ESPN2 was because CBS televised the Big Ten tournament final at 3:30 p.m. However, CBS still produced the game, with announcers Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery calling the game.
All CBS affiliates in the finalists' home markets carried the game. Tournament homepage