BRISTOL, Conn. – ESPN is bringing a "Smart perspective" to Final Four weekend as the worldwide leader announced late Wednesday that VCU Head Coach Shaka Smart will be one of two head coaches serving as a guest analyst for the network's coverage of this weekend's festivities in Atlanta.
Smart, along with legendary Michigan State coach Tom Izzo, will join the ESPN set in Atlanta to provide analysis across various ESPN shows that will run all day Saturday.
This marks the second straight year that Smart will be a part of TV coverage as the fourth-year head coach joined CBS/Turner in its Atlanta studios last year during the Sweet 16/Elite Eight weekend.
ESPN will provide extensive NCAA Men's Final Four analysis, news and interviews from Atlanta, site of the championship, across multiple shows and platforms Thursday, April 4, to Monday, April 8. Shows and segments will originate from the Central Park area of the Atlantic Station shopping center with reports coming from the Georgia Dome, site of the Final Four games.
Content from Atlanta will be highlighted by daily SportsCenter segments Thursday, April 4, to Monday, April 8; a three-hour College GameDay Covered by State Farm before the semifinals on ESPN (Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. ET) and a two-hour edition prior to the championship on ESPN2 (Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m.); and a SportsCenter special between the semifinal games Saturday, April 8, at 8 p.m. ESPN will also provide extensive post-game coverage for the semifinals and title game.
ESPN will have at least 12 hosts, analysts and reporters in Atlanta for the five days of coverage: John Anderson, Jay Bilas, Rece Davis, Jeannine Edwards, Seth Greenberg, Andy Katz, Bob Knight, Brad Nessler, Digger Phelps, Jalen Rose, Dick Vitale and Jay Williams.
ESPN's men's college basketball studio host Rece Davis and SportsCenter anchor John Anderson will share hosting duties. Dick Vitale, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Seth Greenberg, Jay Williams, Bob Knight and Jalen Rose will provide analysis. ESPN.com senior writer Andy Katz and reporter Jeannine Edwards will provide news and updates from Atlanta.
ESPN will televise two day-of-game editions of College GameDay: a three-hour show Saturday, April 6, at 3 p.m. previewing the National Semifinal matchups and a two-hour Championship preview Monday, April 8, at 7 p.m. Davis and Anderson will host the programs with analysis from Vitale, Bilas, Phelps, Greenberg, Knight and Williams. Katz and Edwards will provide reports.
Saturday's show will include a feature on the 75th anniversary of the NCAA Tournament. The segment will provide an oral history of the still-growing phenomenon from former players and coaches such as Bob Knight, Bo Kimble and Harry Flournoy. The Monday edition of College GameDay will include a segment on buzzer beater shots. As dramatic as the shot can be, it is often a set play that has been designed, diagrammed and practiced. The feature includes appearances by Jim Calhoun, Homer and Bryce Drew, Tyus Edney, Christian Laettner, Grant Hill, Dereck Whittenberg and Thurl Bailey.