2000-01 Basketball TV Schedules
Cleveland (Oct. 18) - Following a successful television package last year, Mid-American Conference commissioner Rick Chryst announced on Oct. 18 a 39-game television schedule for men's and women's basketball for the 2000-01 season. This year's package is an increase of nine televised games from a year ago to be carried between ESPN2, ESPN Plus Syndication and FOX regional sports network affiliates.
Two signature rivalries headline the MAC's national television package. On Jan. 6, the 108th meeting in Akron-Kent State history will be carried on ESPN2. Tip-off is at 5 p.m. (ET) from Memorial Athletic and Convention Center on the KSU campus with Kent State leading the overall series 54-53. ESPN2 will also air the Miami at Ball State contest on Feb. 11, featuring a re-match of last year's MAC Tournament championship game won 61-58 by Ball State. Tip-off for the game at Worthen Arena in Muncie is at 1:00 p.m.
With the men's tournament games at Gund Arena in Cleveland moving to NCAA Tournament selection weekend, the 2001 First Energy MAC Men's Basketball Tournament coverage will be highlighted by an ESPN2 national telecast of the championship game on Mar. 10, at 7:00 p.m. The semi-finals on Mar. 9, will be televised by ESPN Plus at 7:00 p.m. and 9:00 p.m. First-round tournament games will be carried by FOX RSN affiliates on Mar. 5.
The MAC men's teams featured a league-record five 20-win teams last year, just one of six conferences nationwide to accomplish that feat. Bowling Green won the regular-season title and East Division by one game over Kent State while Ball State and Toledo tied for the West Division trophy.
The 2001 Kraft MAC Women's Basketball Tournament also benefits with a move to selection weekend, as the championship game on Saturday, March 10, and semi-finals, scheduled for Friday, March 9, at Gund Arena, will air on the FOX RSN package.
"I firmly believe our on-court success is beginning to translate on the television front. This is the broadest package in league history - national exposure, every MAC Arena, extensive post-season coverage for both our men's and women's tournaments," said Chryst. "We greatly appreciate the efforts of all those partnering with us as we collectively grow MAC Basketball."
On the men's package, 13 games will be syndicated by ESPN Plus in the six-state MAC footprint, while nine contests will air on FOX RSN affiliates. Each MAC team will receive a minimum of three appearances and will host at least one televised game.
For the first time ever, each of the 13 women's teams will appear at least once on the eight-game regular season conference television package, which will air predominately on the FOX RSN affiliates.
The games carried by ESPN2 are the result of last year's signing of a comprehensive three-year partnership agreement involving production and syndication rights with ESPN, Inc., and ESPN Regional Television. Distributing under the brand ESPN Plus, ESPN Regional Television presently serves as the multi-media rights holder for the Big Ten (football and basketball), Big East (football and basketball), Conference USA (basketball) and the Big 12 (basketball) conferences.