For the second time in five months, the UCF Knights will be on ESPN’s College Gameday show. This time though, it’s not football, nor will it take place at UCF. But that does not mean it’s not a significant moment for university.
ESPN announced on Saturday that the traveling pregame college basketball show hosted by Rece Davis with analysts Jay Bilas, Seth Greenberg and Jay Williams, will originate from the Fertitta Center in Houston, which is the site for UCF’s March 2 matchup at the #9 Houston Cougars on Saturday. The show starts at 11 a.m.
The Knights-Cougars game will air on ESPN at 4 p.m. with Davis and Bilas calling the action with Maria Taylor courtside.
This is the first time either Houston or UCF have been part of a basketball edition of GameDay. UCF hosted the football version back on November 17.
Sources tell Black and Gold Banneret that ESPN decided to go to Houston over the Gonzaga-Saint Mary’s game as well as Baylor-Kansas State.
UCF Basketball Head Coach Johnny Dawkins played with Bilas at Duke, as they were part of the Blue Devils’ 1986 Final Four team. Bilas was the guest speaker for the UCF Basketball Tipoff Luncheon in 2017.
This is a huge opportunity for the Knights’ basketball program as they can make a national case to be in the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 2005 with a win at Houston. It is also another huge showcase for the American Athletic Conference as it showcases its top basketball team.
This week we may also hear of a TV deal with American Athletic Conference and ESPN, at least if you believe what Memphis president David Rudd said on the radio last week.
On our show, @UofMemphisPres says that an announcement on the new AAC television contract will come within the next week or so. Says he's pleased.— John Martin (@JohnMartin929) February 22, 2019
Regardless, Saturday is a significant day in the UCF basketball program’s history both on and off the court.
Keep it here on Black and Gold Banneret for extensive coverage of the UCF-Houston basketball game as our own Brian Murphy will be Houston for College Gameday and the game on Saturday.