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Somerset, NJ --
Over the last 15 years, Northeast Conference (NEC) basketball fans have become accustomed to following their favorite teams via the league’s comprehensive regional television package. For the first time ever in 2012-13, each of the 23 broadcasts that comprise the NEC-TV slate will be available on a national basis as well.
The 2012-13 schedule is comprised of 18 men’s games and five women’s contests, including four men/women doubleheaders. The Conference will receive nine prime time exposures and four NEC Tournament games are on tap come March. The majority of the broadcasts will air in HD.
Most notably, there are five national broadcasts scheduled on the ESPN family of networks, including the NEC Men’s and Women’s Championship games. ESPNU is also slated to air a pair of marquee regular season men’s contests. The first is perhaps the most anticipated game on the schedule, as two-time defending champion LIU Brooklyn hosts Robert Morris on February 2nd in a rematch of the last two NEC title games. Tipoff is at 3:00 pm. LIU returns to the ESPNU airwaves on February 24 at 8:00 pm in a special Sunday night prime-time affair at Wagner. The two NYC teams battled last year on ESPNU with the Blackbirds coming out on top, 73-66, at the Spiro Center.
The NEC will also partner with ESPN3, the network’s broadband network for live and on-demand sports programming. ESPN3 will exclusively broadcast the LIU Brooklyn-Robert Morris women’s matchup on February 2nd at noon, and pick up 12 games over the course of the regular season and playoffs. These games may also air on the ESPN Full Court package.
The NEC will once again team up with Fox College Sports (FCS) to air 18 games nationally on its Atlantic, Central or Pacific regional channels. FCS games are typically picked up on DirecTV as well.
The 2012-13 lineup also features 13 regionally produced games. Longtime partner Madison Square Garden Network (MSG) will serve as the NEC’s flagship network, with games also airing on Root Sports (Pittsburgh), Cox Sports (CT/RI) and Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN).
“We are very pleased about the increased exposure our men’s and women’s basketball teams will receive this season via the regional and national reach of our television package,” said Noreen Morris, NEC Commissioner. “Through our partnerships with ESPN and Fox College Sports, fans from coast to coast will be able to follow what promises to be a banner year for NEC hoops. Further, with nearly every home game available through the NEC Front Row digital platform, there will be unprecedented access to our basketball programs this season.”
MSG/MSG+ has nine NEC games on tap this year beginning with the package opener on January 12th as Robert Morris visits Monmouth at 7:00 pm. Likewise, MSG2 will be the home to the annual “Battle of Brooklyn” matchup on January 24th at 7:00 pm. Perhaps the league’s most compelling rivalry, LIU Brooklyn makes the one mile trip to St. Francis (NY) in a game that will not only pack the Pope Center, but historically never fails to deliver on the court.
This year’s NEC-TV slate also features the return of the “wildcard” game. On the final day of the regular season, one of the following men’s matchups with playoff implications will air at 11:30 am on MSG and FCS: Bryant-Saint Francis (PA), CCSU-Robert Morris, FDU-Mount St. Mary’s, LIU Brooklyn-Quinnipiac, Monmouth-Wagner or Sacred Heart-St. Francis (NY).
The NEC women’s regular season package consists of four doubleheaders, highlighted by defending champion Sacred Heart taking on perennial power Saint Francis (PA) in Loretto on January 19th at 11:30 am. FCS and ESPN3 are set to air the game live.
Come the postseason, MSG2, FCS and ESPN3 will carry both NEC men’s semifinal playoff games on Saturday, March 9th at 12 and 2:30 pm. Additional regional networks may also broadcast the semifinals pending the matchups. As part of the network’s Championship Week coverage, the NEC men’s title game runs live on ESPN or ESPN2 for the 26th straight year on Tuesday, March 12th at 7:00 pm. For the sixth year running, ESPNU is set to air the NEC Women’s Championship game on Sunday, March 17th at 3:00 pm.
Root Sports Pittsburgh will broadcast four NEC games live or on delay, including a western Pennsylvania showdown between Robert Morris and Saint Francis (PA) on February 6th at 7:00 pm. Cox Sports (CT/RI) has scheduled five NEC games involving Bryant or Central Connecticut State, while Mid-Atlantic Sports Network (MASN) will carry a pair of Mount St. Mary’s contests. WWCP-Fox 8 (Johnstown/Altoona) may pick up one or more Saint Francis (PA) telecasts.
Now in his 13th season, Dave Popkin will serve as the primary play-by-play announcer on men’s broadcasts, with Paul Dottino (14th year) and Matt Harmon (fourth year) filling in. Tim Capstraw (14th year), Terry O’Connor (11th year) and Joe DeSantis (sixth year) will split color analyst duties. Dottino and John Schmeelk (third year) are the NEC’s sidelines reporters.
Dottino will once again serve as the play-by-play voice of women’s telecasts. Phyllis Mangina enters her second season as women’s color analyst with Pam Roecker, now in her 11th year with the league, filling in.
Eric Singer is the longtime Producer of NEC basketball telecasts.
About The Northeast Conference
Now in its 32nd year, the Northeast Conference is an NCAA Division I collegiate athletic association consisting of 12 institutions of higher learning located throughout six states. Media coverage of the NEC extends to four of the largest markets in the United States - New York (#1), Pittsburgh (#23), Baltimore (#27), and Hartford/New Haven (#30). Founded in 1981 as the basketball-only ECAC Metro Conference, the NEC has grown to sponsor 23 championship sports for men and women and now enjoys automatic or play-in access to 14 different NCAA Championships. NEC member institutions include Bryant, Central Connecticut State, Fairleigh Dickinson, LIU Brooklyn, Monmouth, Mount St. Mary’s, Quinnipiac, Robert Morris, Sacred Heart, St. Francis (NY), Saint Francis (PA) and Wagner. For more information on the NEC, visit the league’s official website (www.northeastconference.org) and digital network (www.necfrontrow.com), or follow the league on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube @NECsports.
2012-13 NEC Basketball Television Schedule
Date Matchup Time Carriers
Sat., Jan. 12 Robert Morris at Monmouth (m) 7:00 pm MSG, FCS (Delay),
Root Pitt. (Delay-1/13 at 8:30 pm)
Sat., Jan. 19 Sacred Heart at Saint Francis (PA) (w) 11:30 am FCS, ESPN3,
Root Pitt. (Delay- 1/20 at 7 pm)
Sacred Heart at Saint Francis (PA) (m) 2:00 pm FCS, ESPN3,
Root Pitt. (Delay- 1/20 at 9 pm)
Thu., Jan. 24 LIU Brooklyn at St. Francis (NY) (m) 7:00 pm MSG2, FCS
Sat., Jan. 26 FDU at Quinnipiac (m) 12:00 pm MSG, FCS
FDU at Quinnipiac (w) 2:30 pm FCS, ESPN3
Monmouth at Sacred Heart (w) 4:00 pm FCS, ESPN3
Monmouth at Sacred Heart (m) 7:00 pm MSG+2, FCS (Delay)
Thu., Jan. 31 Bryant at FDU (m) 7:00 pm FCS, ESPN3, Cox (RI)
Sat., Feb. 2 Robert Morris at LIU Brooklyn (w) 12:00 pm ESPN3
Robert Morris at LIU Brooklyn (m) 3:00 pm ESPNU
Wed., Feb. 6 Saint Francis (PA) at Robert Morris (m) 7:00 pm Root Pitt., FCS (Delay), ESPN3
Mount St. Mary’s at Wagner (m) 7:00 pm FCS, ESPN3, MASN (Delay- 11:30 pm)
Thu., Feb. 7 St. Francis (NY) at Bryant (m) 7:00 pm FCS, ESPN3, Cox (RI)
Sat., Feb. 9 Quinnipiac at CCSU (m) 4:00 pm MSG, FCS, Cox (CT)
Sat., Feb. 16 CCSU at Mount St. Mary’s (m) 11:30 am MSG, FCS, Cox (CT), MASN
CCSU at Mount St. Mary’s (w) 2:00 pm FCS (Delay), ESPN3, Cox (CT)
Sun., Feb. 24 LIU Brooklyn at Wagner (m) 8:00 pm ESPNU
Sat., Mar. 2 Wildcard Game (m) 11:30 am MSG, FCS
Sat., Mar. 9 NEC Men’s Semifinal #1 12 or 2:30 pm MSG2, FCS, ESPN3
NEC Men’s Semifinal #2 12 or 2:30 pm MSG2, FCS, ESPN3
Tue., Mar. 12 NEC Men’s Basketball Championship 7:00 pm ESPN or ESPN2
Sun., Mar. 17 NEC Women’s Basketball Championship 3:00 pm ESPNU