Oct. 2, 2008
NOTRE DAME, Ind. - The University of Notre Dame women's basketball team will have a minimum of 19 games on television during the 2008-09 regular season, according to the full BIG EAST Conference television package and other arrangements announced Thursday. This year's Irish TV slate, which includes eight nationally- or regionally-televised contests and all 13 home games, is one of the most extensive in the program's 32-year history and keeps Notre Dame among the nation's elite in terms of television coverage.
It also will mark the eighth consecutive season that the Irish will have at least eight games on broadcast television. Notre Dame has made a total of 118 TV appearances in the previous eight campaigns, an average of nearly 15 broadcasts per year, and additional games this season could be selected to be shown on either a regional or local basis, with further announcements pending.
The premier game on the Irish television docket this year is the season opener at '08 NCAA Final Four participant LSU on Nov. 16 in the State Farm Tip-Off Classic, a game that will air live nationally on ESPN2 at 1:30 p.m. CT (2:30 p.m. ET in South Bend). Notre Dame will be making its first visit to Baton Rouge, La., since the 1999 NCAA Tournament, when the Lady Tigers ousted the Irish in the second round, 74-64 at the Pete Maravich Assembly Center.
The LSU game is the first of four regular-season appearances for Notre Dame on the ESPN family of networks. Three other Irish games will be broadcast live on ESPNU -- the Dec. 28 non-conference game at Charlotte, as well as BIG EAST games on Feb. 8 vs. DePaul (home) and Feb. 22 vs. Connecticut (away at Hartford's XL Center). All three games slated for ESPNU coverage will tip off at 2 p.m. (ET).
In addition, the Irish are in line to make three national appearances on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV) as part of that network's BIG EAST Game of the Week package -- Jan. 6 at DePaul, Jan. 13 at Marquette and Jan. 27 vs. Rutgers. The DePaul and Marquette games will tip off at 8 p.m. CT (9 p.m. ET), while the Rutgers contest will start at 8 p.m. ET. CBS College Sports is available on most cable systems around the country, including Comcast Cable in South Bend (digital tier Channel 418), and also can be seen on satellite via DirecTV (Channel 610) or DISH Network (Channel 152).
Notre Dame will play at least one regionally-televised game during the upcoming season, with its Dec. 10 visit to Michigan airing live around the Midwest on the Big Ten Network. The Irish made their inaugural appearance on that outlet last year, posting a 61-48 win at Purdue.
Besides these TV announcements, a handful of additional tip times have been finalized from the originally-released Irish women's basketball schedule. The Dec. 30 game at Vanderbilt has been announced as a 7 p.m. CT (8 p.m. ET) start, while the Jan. 10 home game vs. Georgetown has been moved to a 7 p.m. ET start at the Joyce Center. In addition, the Feb. 3 game at Pittsburgh will be played at 7 p.m. ET, while the Feb. 8 home game vs. DePaul (televised on ESPNU) has been moved to 2 p.m. ET. As of this release, the tipoff for the Jan. 3 game at Seton Hall has not yet been announced.
Outside of the commercial television agreements, Notre Dame is slated to show its remaining 11 home games (as well as its Nov. 5 exhibition contest against Gannon) live free of charge on its official athletics web site, UND.com. The Irish have had 20 games broadcast live on the Internet during the past two seasons through the Fighting Irish All-Access package on UND.com, which has consistently ranked as one of the top two CBS College Sports Online university web sites in the country with nearly three million page views per month.
Besides its regular-season TV slate, nearly every one of Notre Dame's postseason contests will be televised live nationally on the ESPN family of networks, with only the BIG EAST Championship second-round games (March 7) shown regionally on the BIG EAST-Regional Sports Networks package (check local listings). The conference tournament quarterfinals and semifinals (March 8-9) will air on ESPNU, while the March 10 BIG EAST title game will be shown on ESPN (7 p.m. ET). What's more, ESPN and ESPN2 will show all 63 games from the 2009 NCAA Tournament, which gets underway March 21 (Notre Dame will host NCAA first- and second-round games on March 22 & 24 at the Joyce Center) and culminates with the NCAA national championship game April 7 from the Scottrade Center in St. Louis, Mo., the site of Notre Dame's 2001 NCAA title game victory over Purdue.
The Irish will open the '08-09 preseason on Tuesday, Oct. 14 with their annual Media Day activities, scheduled for 3 p.m. (ET) at the Joyce Center. Notre Dame will hold its first practice of the season on the evening of Oct. 17, beginning preparations for its exhibition opener at home Nov. 5 at 7 p.m. (ET) against Gannon.
The Irish have seven monogram winners and three starters returning from their 2007-08 squad that compiled a 25-9 record (11-5 in the BIG EAST/fourth place) and made its 13th consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance. The Irish then advanced to the Sweet 16 of the NCAA Tournament for the seventh time, knocking off SMU (75-62) and Oklahoma (79-75 OT), and giving eventual national champion Tennessee one of its toughest postseason challenges before the Lady Vols pulled out a 74-64 win in Oklahoma City.
Notre Dame returns more than two-thirds of its offensive production from that club, led by senior guard Lindsay Schrader (Bartlett, Ill./Bartlett) and junior guard Ashley Barlow (Indianapolis, Ind./Pike), both of whom were honorable mention all-BIG EAST selections last season. Barlow is Notre Dame's top returning scorer (12.1 ppg.) and also was tops in steals last year (2.0 spg.), while Schrader is the team's No. 2 returning scorer (10.3 ppg.) and was its top rebounder last season (6.2 rpg.). The Irish also expect to have sophomore forward Devereaux Peters (Chicago, Ill./Fenwick) back at full strength when practice tips off, after the BIG EAST All-Freshman Team pick missed the final month of the '07-08 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) in her left knee. Prior to her injury, Peters was averaging 9.0 points, 5.6 rebounds and a BIG EAST-best 1.96 blocks per game with a .522 field goal percentage.
Single-game and season ticket packages for Notre Dame women's basketball are available by contacting the Irish Athletics Ticket Office at (574) 631-7356, by visiting the ticket windows on the second floor of the Joyce Center (via Gate 1) or on the official Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com (click "tickets" at the top of the main page for details). Single-game tickets are $8 (adults) and $5 (youth/seniors), with Notre Dame/Saint Mary's/Holy Cross students admitted free when showing their ID. Season ticket packets for the full 14-game regular-season home schedule are $58 (individuals) and $46 (faculty/staff), with four-ticket fan packs available for $162 (individuals) and $130 (faculty/staff).
What's more, all-session ticket packages for the 2009 NCAA Tournament first- and second-round games at Notre Dame's Joyce Center (March 22 & 24) are on sale at a cost of $32 (adults) and $22 (youth/students). Should they be selected for NCAA Tournament play, the Irish would likely play at home for those first two rounds.
2008-09 NOTRE DAME WOMEN'S BASKETBALL ON BROADCAST TELEVISION
Nov. 16 at LSU (ESPN2/State Farm Classic) 1:30 p.m. CT/2:30 p.m. ET Dec. 10 at Michigan (BTN) 7 p.m. ET Dec. 28 at Charlotte (ESPNU) 2 p.m. ET Jan. 6 at DePaul* (CBS CS) 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET Jan. 13 at Marquette* (CBS CS) 8 p.m. CT/9 p.m. ET Jan. 27 RUTGERS* (CBS CS) 8 p.m. ET Feb. 8 DEPAUL* (ESPNU) 2 p.m. ET Feb. 22 at Connecticut* (ESPNU) 2 p.m. ET March 7 BIG EAST Second Round (BIG EAST TV) TBA March 8 BIG EAST Quarterfinals (ESPNU) TBA March 9 BIG EAST Semifinals (ESPNU) 6/8 p.m. ET March 10 BIG EAST Championship (ESPN) 7 p.m. ET March 21- NCAA Tournament (ESPN/ESPN2) TBA April 7Home games in ALL CAPS // * - BIG EAST Conference game
(ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU) - Games to be televised on ESPN/ESPN2/ESPNU
(CBS CS) - Games to be televised on CBS College Sports (formerly CSTV)
(BIG EAST TV) - Games to be televised as part of the BIG EAST-Regional Sports Networks package (check local listings)
(BTN) - Game to be televised on Big Ten Network
NOTE: All other home games not selected for broadcast TV will air live and free of charge on the Notre Dame athletics web site, UND.com.