More than 1,000 teams across the country will participate in this year's Pink Zone initiative, a unified effort to raise breast cancer awareness on the court and across high school and college campuses.
Formerly known as Think Pink, the 2009 Pink Zone will run from Feb. 13-22. Schools playing games during that nine-day span might opt to wear pink uniforms or shoelaces, pass out pink ribbons or invite breast cancer survivors to games to help promote awareness and encourage fans to contribute to the Kay Yow/WBCA Cancer Fund.
The Jimmy V Foundation for Cancer Research, in collaboration with the Women's Basketball Coaches Association, launched the initiative in 2007. It honors former NC State women's coach Kay
Yow, who died in January after a decades-long fight with cancer. Yow worked alongside Jim Valvano at NC State before he succumbed to cancer in 1993. Yow was first diagnosed with breast cancer in 1987.
Teams playing in Sunday's February Frenzy also are expected to participate. ESPN2 will showcase eight regionalized games within two telecast windows at 1 p.m. ET and 3:30 p.m. ET. The Frenzy is a dress rehearsal for ESPN's upcoming coverage of the 2009 NCAA tournament and one of the biggest days of the regular season.
In 2008, more than 1,200 teams and organizations participated in the Pink Zone, raising more than $930,000 for breast cancer awareness and research.
A look at Sunday's ESPN2 schedule*:
1 p.m. ET: Marist at Hartford, Rutgers at Maryland, Illinois at Purdue, Georgia at Vanderbilt
3:30 p.m. ET: Virginia at NC State, Southern Miss at Marshall, Texas at Iowa State, Pittsburgh at Connecticut
Sunday's West Virginia-Marquette contest (ESPNU, 2 p.m. ET) and the Big Monday matchup between Duke and Tennessee (ESPN2, ESPN360.com, 7:30 p.m. ET) also will be part of the Pink Zone.
* All 16 teams will be home-market protected; the markets with no team affiliation will be moved in and out of the most compelling games' action.