With conference play underway, the CIAA announced Thursday that dozens of men’s and women’s basketball games will expand its national broadcast reach.
This year’s schedule of games will be televised live through HBCU GO and the Black College Sports Broadcasting Network (BCSBN). Meanwhile, the 2023 CIAA Men’s and Women’s Basketball Tournament, which will take place February 21-25 in Baltimore, MD at CFG Bank Arena, will be shown on ESPN platforms for the second consecutive year.
In the regular season, HBCU GO will showcase five men’s and women’s doubleheaders for a total of 10 conference matchups. BCSBN will be televising 14 men’s basketball games in the regular season.
This is the second season of a partnership that grants HBCU GO cable, linear, streaming, broadcast, VOD, and pay-per-view rights to CIAA contests. This is also the first season in a collaboration between the conference and PRC Communications, which started with the 2022 football season.
Additionally, the entire conference slate, all regular season home games, and tournament games are available through pay-per-view (live and on-demand) on the conference’s very own CIAA Sports Network.
The top matchup on HBCU GO’s schedule might be the Jan. 26 doubleheader between Claflin and Fayetteville State. Currently, the Broncos (8-3) and Panthers (7-4) are 1-2 in the Southern Division in women’s basketball. On the men’s side, Claflin (10-1) has a chance to make a defining statement against the defending conference champions ahead of the tournament.
On Feb. 9, Claflin and Winston-Salem State go head-to-head on the HBCU GO platform in a doubleheader that could have a direct impact on seeding entering the conference tournament. The Panthers and Rams are the only two men’s teams with winning records in the Southern Division and two of three women’s teams with winning records in the division.
For the next five Saturdays, BCSBN will be televising (check out the local listing) a pair of men’s basketball games, beginning Jan. 7 with Johnson C. Smith versus Elizabeth City State and Claflin against Bowie State.
The premier game on BCSBN’s schedule is probably the Jan. 14 contest between Virginia State and Virginia Union. Fighting for supremacy atop the Northern Division and the CIAA, the Panthers are 11-3 and their 11 overall wins lead the conference, followed by the Trojans’ 10 wins.
The matchup will feature six preseason all-conference selections, Virginia Union’s Robert Osborne, Raemaad Wright, Keleaf Tate, and Virginia State’s Francis Fitzgerald, Terrence Hunter-Whitfield, and James Love III.
Osborne currently leads the CIAA in scoring with 19 points per game, followed by Hunter-Whitfield averaging 18.1 points. It would not be a surprise if one of those six players uses the Jan.14 contest to bolster their campaign for postseason honors.