NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships return to ESPN, March 16-18, live from Tulsa
by Bill Hofheimer, ESPN
* Three straight nights of primetime wrestling on ESPN; 19 hours of live coverage overall
* ‘MATCAST’ to present individual feeds of every mat thru the medal round on ESPN+
* Two-time Nebraska NCAA champion, six-time world champion and Olympic gold medalist Jordan Burroughs joins coverage for the first time as primetime and Championship round analyst
The NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships return to ESPN networks with 19 hours of live coverage from the BOK Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma this weekend, March 16-18. ESPN will cover every mat and every single match from start to finish, including three nights of primetime wrestling action on ESPN’s flagship network. Coverage will also feature a live ‘MATCAST’ viewing option on ESPN+.
ESPN has presented the NCAA Wrestling Championships since 1980, making it one of the company’s longest-running events.
ESPNU will televise the early sessions over three straight days, beginning with three-and-a-half hours of first-round action on Thursday, March 16, at noon. The Quarterfinal (Friday) and Medal Round (Saturday) will also air on ESPNU. The three nights of primetime sessions on ESPN – including the Second Round (Thurs.) and Semifinals (Fri.) – will culminate Saturday, March 18, at 7 p.m. with the Championship matches in each weight class.
The ‘MATCAST’ option will be streamed live through the Medal Round via ESPN+. The presentation will show multi-boxes of all the mats so fans never miss a single point. ESPN once again has a dedicated announce team to further bolster the “MATCAST’ coverage.
Jordan Burroughs, one of the most accomplished wrestlers in history – and still competing, joins ESPN’s NCAA Championship coverage for the first time. The two-time NCAA champion and 2012 Dan Hodge Trophy winner from Nebraska who won a gold medal at the 2012 Olympic Games, will join Mike Couzens and Jim Gibbons for primetime and Championship coverage on ESPN. Tim Johnson, “the voice” of college wrestling for more than three decades, also returns as an analyst for daytime presentations on ESPNU.
The full roster of ESPN voices on-site at BOK Arena will include:
ESPN (Primetime and Championship Round):
Mike Couzens (play-by-play) – A versatile ESPN play-by-play voice calling the Championships for the sixth year.
Jim Gibbons (analyst) – An NCAA Champion as both wrestler and coach (Iowa State), the current Big Ten Network lead analyst was inducted in the Iowa Wrestling Hall of Fame in 2003.
Jordan Burroughs (analyst) – A two-time NCAA champion at Nebraska and Dan Hodge Trophy winner. Also a six-time world champion and 2012 Olympic Gold Medalist at the London Games, Burroughs won his most recent world title in 2022 and set the American record with seven gold medals at the Olympic and World Championship level.
Quint Kessenich (reporter) – The multi-sport reporter and analyst will cover all sessions in his 18th year.
Shawn Kenney (play-by-play) – ACC Network’s lead wrestling play-by-play voice.
Tim Johnson (analyst) – “The voice” of college wrestling for more than three decades. Johnson has evaluated college wrestling for more than 35 years and has called hundreds of collegiate wrestling meets, including the last 18 NCAA Championships. A member of both the Iowa and National Wrestling Halls of Fame.
Rock Harrison (analyst) – ACC Network’s lead analyst, former Virginia wrestler and a 10-year referee.
Shane Sparks (play-by-play) – Big Ten Network’s lead wrestling play-by-play voice.
Anthony Robles (analyst) – The NCAA Champion from Arizona State returns to ESPN’s NCAA Wrestling coverage.
* Thursday’s coverage will combine the daytime and primetime announce teams
Fans can follow the action on Twitter through @NCAAWrestling and join the conversation by tagging their tweets #NCAAWrestling. For more information on the NCAA Div. I Wrestling Championships: http://www.ncaa.com/wrestling
2023 NCAA Championships Schedule on ESPN:
Date/Times (ET)/Session/Networks/ESPN+ Mat Feeds
Thu, Mar 16
noon – 3:30 p.m. - First Round ESPNU (8 mat feeds), ESPN+ (MATCAST)
7 – 10:30 p.m. - Second Round ESPN (8 mat feeds), ESPN+ (MATCAST)
Fri, Mar 17
noon – 3 p.m. - Quarterfinals ESPNU (8 mat feeds), ESPN+ (MATCAST)
8 – 11 p.m. - Semifinals ESPN (6 mat feeds), ESPN+ (MATCAST)
Sat, Mar 18
11 a.m. – 2 p.m. - Medal Round ESPNU (4 mat feeds) ESPN+ (MATCAST)
7 – 10 p.m. - Championship ESPN Trophy Ceremony