20-game package of women’s MVC basketball to air on ESPN

Published: Oct. 5, 2021 at 3:58 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Ill. (KWQC) - The Missouri Valley Conference has selected a 20-game women’s basketball package for distribution on ESPN’s networks during the 2021-22 academic year, including the tournament in the Quad Cities.

The 2022 MVC Women’s Basketball Tournament will make Conference history, as the title game on Sunday, March 13, will be aired on ESPNU for the first time. The first eight tournament contests will be shown exclusively on ESPN+. The 2022 tournament finale will also be shown on linear television for the first time since the 2014 event, when the title tilt between Wichita State and Drake aired on other networks.

“Our women’s basketball continues its ascent, and we are grateful for the recognition by ESPN with its clearance of our tournament title game on ESPNU,” said MVC Commissioner Jeff Jackson. “Our women’s programs set a new league record for the highest RPI/NET conference ranking (7th) in 2020-21 and had five teams in the NET Top 100 for a second-straight season.”

The Valley -- in its eighth year of a 10-year agreement with ESPN -- will also clear an 11-game regular-season slate via ESPN3 as well as ESPN+ streaming service. Additional regular-season women’s basketball games produced by MVC institutions will be delivered exclusively by The Valley on ESPN.

The league-selected package has four pre-determined appearances by Missouri State -- which finished 14th in the final 2021 USA Today/WBCA,Coaches Poll -- followed by three each for Drake -- 2021 WNIT participant -- and Northern Iowa -- 2021 WNIT semifinalist.

Coverage of the women’s basketball tournament from the TaxSlayer Center in Moline, Illinois, begins on Thursday, March 10, with two opening-round contests, four quarterfinal telecasts on Friday, March 11 and two semifinal games on Saturday, March 12.

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