Big West Signs New Deal With ESPN

Good news for all of you basketball fans clamoring to see those UC Riverside vs. UC Davis games. ESPN and the Big West have come to a new agreement to broadcast a minimum of 12 games each season.

ESPN immediately apologized.

There was a time when the Big West -- more to the point UNLV -- was the highlight of the network's Big Monday television package. There was nothing better than watching a game at 9 p.m. from the Thunderdome at UC Santa Barbara where the festive Gaucho fans had a full day to, uh, get prepared for the games.

And to buy some tortillas.

The Big West is not quite the same powerhouse conference it once was, but the games are still entertaining.

The agreement, which runs through the 2013-14 season, includes:

  • A minimum of five annual men's regular season conference basketball games, including four on ESPNU and one on ESPN2;
  • The men's basketball tournament semifinals at the Anaheim Convention Center annually on ESPNU;
  • The men's basketball tournament championship game at the Anaheim Convention Center annually on ESPN2;
  • At least four additional Olympic sport events on ESPNU.

Great news for those of you that have ESPNU. For the rest of you still living in 1998, you are kind of out of luck. The Big West gets a lot of grief from its fans -- all 16 of them -- for not being progressive enough, but this is a positive step. Of course, grabbing that Big Monday spot vacated by the WCC would have been pretty cool.

When you look at the package, combined with the 76 Classic, the profile of the Big West looks a little bit better. There is still some work to be done, but hey, they will be on ESPN more than the Pac-10. So there is that.

Assist: Titan Central

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