‘Gonzaga: The March to Madness’ Debuts Feb. 16
NEW YORK – HBO Sports is teaming up with IMG’s Original Content unit for an unscripted five-episode series chronicling the Gonzaga University men’s basketball team during its 2015-16 season. “Gonzaga: The March to Madness” debuts Tuesday, Feb. 16 at 10 p.m. (PT) with other episodes airing on subsequent Tuesdays at the same time. The finale debuts March 15, the first day of the 2016 NCAA Championship Tournament.
The series joins the team at the start of this season, chronicling the hard work and high expectations game-by-game in the highly competitive West Coast Conference with the goal of a berth in the NCAA Tournament. The series features exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, offering a unique look at the program’s personalities that reveals how a small college in Spokane, Washington, has achieved success against all odds, capturing the hearts of America each March.
The Bulldogs (Zags), consistently one of college basketball’s leading programs, won their most games ever last season (35-3). In his 17th season at the helm, head Coach Mark Few has been instrumental in building and maintaining this success, leading the Zags to 16 consecutive NCAA Tournaments.
The Zags have appeared in 17 consecutive NCAA Tournaments overall, placing them fourth in active streaks behind Kansas, Duke and Michigan State, and tying for sixth all-time behind such other major programs as North Carolina and Kentucky. The Zags have also won the WCC Tournament 13 times since 1999 and are 13-4 this season, with a 5-1 WCC record.
“We are always looking for fascinating stories that will appeal to our subscribers, and this project will shine a spotlight on one of the most successful basketball programs in America,” says Rick Bernstein, executive producer, HBO Sports. “Gonzaga University has built a tremendous program, but so many of its accomplishments and backstories are largely unknown.”
“Every March, Gonzaga rallies the global basketball community around them,” notes Mark Shapiro, chief content officer, WME | IMG. “The Zags are a team with incredible leadership, dedicated players and a history like no other. Having spent months documenting their journey, we could not be more excited to share this unique, all-access story in partnership with HBO.”
“Coaches, players and staff have enjoyed the process so far and look forward to the rest of the season,” says Coach Few. “This is a great product that will give our fans a first-class look at our program.”
For more than a decade, HBO Sports has been responsible for some of the most compelling unscripted sports programming, with a stylish and contemporary approach keyed by unrestricted access. “Hard Knocks,” launched in 2001 in partnership with NFL Films, has won 12 Sports Emmy Awards, and the groundbreaking all-access reality franchise “24/7” has earned 18 Sports Emmy Awards. “Gonzaga: The March to Madness” marks the first HBO Sports reality series featuring a collegiate sports program.
The show will also be available on HBO NOW, HBO On Demand and HBO GO.