ESPN Gameday to hold UT hoops DH

The Tennessee Vols and Lady Vols basketball teams will be featured in the ESPN College GameDay Driven by State Farm series' first-ever doubleheader on Jan 15, 2011, in Knoxville with Vanderbilt as the opponent in both games.

It will mark the first time the show has originated from a site that has featured a men's and women's game played in the same day and kicks off ESPN's eight-week GameDay slate.

The Lady Vols will host Vanderbilt at 8 p.m. ET in Thompson-Boling Arena after the Vols' matchup with the Commodores opens the day at noon ET.

"The opportunity to have ESPN GameDay in Knoxville is tremendous for the University of Tennessee," said Lady Vol Head Coach Pat Summitt. "It will be an all Vol day taking on SEC and cross-state rival Vanderbilt.

"GameDay wraps around the men tipping off at noon against the Commodores and concludes that evening with the Lady Vols facing Vandy in the nightcap at 8 p.m. This will be a treat for Tennessee basketball fans and great exposure for both the Lady Vols and the Vols."

This is the fourth year in a row that the UT men's basketball team has been a part of a GameDay matchup. Two years ago, Summitt was featured as a part of the program, when the ESPN crew interviewed her in front of a raucous crowd before a home win over Florida on Jan. 31, 2009. This season's game versus Vanderbilt will mark the Lady Vols' inaugural appearance in the franchise.

"The opportunity to host GameDay and share the national spotlight with Pat Summitt and the Lady Vols is really going to draw attention to a combined basketball program that's as good as any in the nation," Vol Head Coach Bruce Pearl said.

"Our rivalry with Vanderbilt often flies under the radar, in comparison to Kentucky or Florida, and this will be an opportunity for ESPN to demonstrate the rich traditions of both schools here in Tennessee."

The Lady Vols have won eight national titles and swept the SEC regular season and tournament titles last season en route to an NCAA Tournament No. 1 seed and an appearance in the Sweet Sixteen.

The Vols advanced to the Elite Eight for the first time in school history and have made three Sweet Sixteen appearances in the last five years.

It's clear that Rocky Top has become one of the premier destinations for hoops in the country.

"With the fan passion and dedication for its men's and women's programs, Tennessee was a natural fit to be our doubleheader site," said Nick Dawson, director, ESPN programming and acquisitions. "We are confident the university and coach Pearl and coach Summitt will have the fans fired up and ready to go for GameDay and the national game telecasts."

The College GameDay telecasts, a two-hour morning show each Saturday from 10 a.m.-noon ET as well as a one-hour evening show, originates from the site of the Saturday Primetime game for eight consecutive weeks from Jan. 15 to March 5 and is generally presented from inside or around the home team's arena.

College GameDay will feature show host Rece Davis with returning analysts Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight.

The Lady Vols schedule has been released and the the Vols' complete 2010-11 schedule is expected to be released in the coming days. Season tickets go on sale Sept. 8 at 8:30 a.m. ET and can be purchased online at UTtix.com.

The athletic department will host a "Meet Your Seats" event at Thompson-Boling Arena on Sept. 7 - one day before the public sale begins, during which fans can see the available inventory for both men's and women's basketball season tickets and "test drive" their seats.

The event runs from 3-7 p.m. ET, free parking will be available in the G-10 garage (directly east of the arena) and the ticket office will process all new orders on site.


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