A Shocker by ESPN

BY BRANDON SHRIDER,

ESPN aired a collegiate basketball game between storied program Indiana and 14th ranked Wisconsin.

Under most circumstances, this would be just another night of college basketball, but unranked Bradley tipped off against undefeated, and number two ranked Wichita State on ESPN2.

This game, not only features the only undefeated left in Divison-1A college basketball, but it showcases a team that has the chance to become the first team in over two decades to start the season 30-0.

However, for some reason, ESPN decided to air the rather unappealing matchup of IU v. UW on their primary network as opposed to the intriguing game featuring the Shockers.

ESPN seemingly prefers to feature an illustrious program, such as Indiana or North Carolina, during a season in which they are no more than an average team, who is not likely to be admitted into the famous tournament.

It is this coverage, or lack thereof, that has ultimately contributed to the miniscule attention that small schools receive in the world of sports. Without coverage, these unknown programs remain as such, no matter their current season accomplishments.

In order for these teams to become relevant, the media, specifically ESPN, will need to adjust their notion that history shall impact viewership, and take the liberty to showcase talented teams, no matter their school history.

It will be this liberation that will allow Wichita State and the like, to be more than just annual tournament “Shockers”.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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