KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WATE) — College GameDay is hitting the road for three women’s college basketball games this season beginning with the Lady Vols’ upcoming home game against UConn in conjunction with ESPN’s annual We Back Pat initiative.
The one-hour pregame show will be hosted live from inside Thompson-Boling Arena beginning at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 26 ahead of the historic rivalry game between Tennessee and No. 5 UConn.
We Back Pat is an annual initiative to bring awareness to the Pat Summitt Foundation‘s mission to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. The foundation was founded in 2011 by the legendary Lady Vols coach and her son Tyler after her diagnosis of early onset dementia.
UConn head coach Geno Auriemma was the first to donate to the organization when he contributed $10,000 in 2012.
This will be the second time College GameDay will be on-site in Knoxville after previously making a stop in 2011. The last broadcast from a women’s basketball game was last year when South Carolina hosted Tennessee in a Top-15 clash.
“We are excited to welcome ESPN’s College GameDay back to the University of Tennessee and make our third all-time women’s appearance as we host UConn,” Lady Vol head coach Kellie Harper said. “It just feels right to have College GameDay here to showcase one of the most historic rivalries in sports, and I know the atmosphere inside Thompson-Boling Arena and the energy of our fans will be incredible.”
Elle Duncan will host the show alongside former Lady Vol Andraya Carter, former UConn great Rebecca Lobo, Carolyn Peck and Holly Rowe. Peck served as an assistant coach under Summitt from 1993-1995. Rowe will join play-by-play voice Ryan Ruocco on the call for the game.
“We are thrilled to continue integrating women’s college basketball into the College GameDay brand with additional shows this season,” said Patricia Lowry, ESPN vice president of production. “UConn-Tennessee is one of the preeminent rivalries in women’s college basketball and Pat Summitt remains the sport’s north star, while Geno Auriemma continues his historic run with the Huskies. Having the first show of 2023 at Tennessee for this matchup while supporting We Back Pat, with one of Summitt’s former players, Kellie (Jolly) Harper, now leading the Lady Vol program, it couldn’t be more fitting.”