Big Rapids, Mich. - For the first time in school history, the Ferris State University men's and women's basketball programs have been selected to host and compete in the NCAA Division II National TV Showcase "Game of the Week" on ESPN3 this season.
The Bulldogs' Feb. 7 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) hoops doubleheader against Ashland will be televised via ESPN3 and the ESPN app across the country from FSU's Jim Wink Arena. It will represent the first live national TV broadcast in the building's history.
NCAA Division II today announced the 24 regular-season men's and women's basketball games that will be highlighted in January and February and showcased live on ESPN3 or NCAA social media as part of a new media agreement intended to highlight Division II athletics events on several platforms throughout the year. An additional four flex doubleheaders will be finalized in February and the games are expected to highlight premier and pivotal matchups toward the end of the season.
Previously, the Bulldog football program has been chosen to compete in the Division II National Showcase Game of the Week package and played host to a live national TV broadcast each of the past four seasons.
The matchups between FSU and Ashland will feature some of the nation's top programs. The Bulldog men's basketball squad won the NCAA Division II National Championship a year ago while the Eagles' women's team reached the national title game. This year, AU's men's squad was unbeaten heading into this week's play while the Bulldog women's team continues to build after reaching the GLIAC Semifinals last year.
The new media agreement features two distribution models for basketball and football. For basketball, 18 games will stream exclusively on ESPN3, available on the ESPN app. Eighteen additional games are part of the hybrid model, and they have the flexibility to be distributed on TV and online. The division will work with the TV partners of participating conferences and schools on the opportunity to air games on TV. These games also will be distributed online through NCAA social media accounts — specifically, Division II Facebook (facebook.com/ncaadivisionii) and Twitter (@NCAADII) — and could be distributed through conference or school digital networks.
"We are excited for the second half of the basketball season and look forward to featuring the accomplishments of Division II basketball student-athletes on ESPN3 and in the division's hybrid model," said Terri Steeb Gronau, vice president of Division II. "Fans will continue to watch talented student-athletes who make a difference in the classroom and in their communities."
The current schedule, which spans December through February, features 14 of the 24 basketball-sponsoring conferences in Division II and is created from a pool of conference nominations. One conference declined to participate due to an existing media rights agreement.
ESPN3 is ESPN's live multiscreen sports network, a destination that delivers thousands of exclusive sports events annually. It is accessible on the ESPN app across mobile and TV-connected devices to fans who receive their high-speed internet connection or video subscription from an affiliated service provider. ESPN3 also is available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel via computers, smartphones and tablets connected to on-campus educational and on-base military broadband networks.
Stay tuned for additional information regarding the live national TV doubleheader from Wink Arena. For tickets, please call (231) 591-2888 or visit FerrisStateBulldogs.com for additional information.