RALEIGH, N.C. — The nation's oldest black athletic conference will have its men's basketball tournament games televised nationally for the first time this season under a three-year deal with ESPN announced Tuesday.
Central Intercollegiate Athletic Association
championship game will be shown on ESPN2 on March 5, live from Raleigh, N.C. ESPN Classic also will show the men's quarterfinals March 2, and the semifinals March 4.
It also will be the first NCAA Division II conference to be part of the network's championship week. The CIAA drew a record 104,500 fans to its 2004 tournament, the third-most attended college hoops tourney.
"It has been said the CIAA is the best-kept secret because of the history, the fans, the players," commissioner Leon Kerry said. "After today it will no longer be the best-kept secret."
ESPN Classic will show seven CIAA tournament games live. ESPN regional television also will show five regular-season CIAA games in local markets.
The conference's 12 schools are Bowie State, Elizabeth City State, Fayetteville State, Johnson C. Smith University, Livingstone, North Carolina Central, St. Augustine's, St. Paul's College, Shaw, Virginia State, Virginia Union, and Winston-Salem State.