Welcome to the ESPN College GameDay blog. Throughout Friday and Saturday, the blog will be updated with photos, videos and tidbits of information regarding College GameDay and the Kentucky game on Saturday night (8 p.m. CT) at Memorial Gym. ESPN College GameDay will air live from 9-11 a.m. CT Saturday morning with the first hour being carried on ESPNU and the second on ESPN, beginning at 10 a.m. CT.
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Follow the Commodores from the locker room onto the floor and witness the electricity of the student section moments before tipoff against No. 1 Kentucky.
ESPN's Dick Vitale made his usual rock star appearance Saturday evening. Surrounded by photographers, Vitale entered the gym and headed directly to the student section where he crowd surfed.
ESPN analyst Jay Bilas spoke with the media following the ESPN GameDay telecast from Memorial Gym. Here his thoughts on the GameDay environment at Vanderbilt.
Vanderbilt's women's basketball was among those who posed for photos behind the ESPN College GameDay desk after the show had ended. The team was heading to practice in the practice gym before departing for Georgia later this afternoon.
ESPN closed its broadcast with Hubert Davis, Digger Phelps and Jay Bilas making their picks for tonight's game. Phelps selected the Commodores and Davis and Bilas picked Kentucky.
Vanderbilt student Frank Shapiro was selected as the show's contestant to make the State Farm Half-Court Shot for a chance to win $18,000. He had 20 seconds to make the shot and came close on two occasions, hitting the front rim on the first attempt and firing another off the back of the rim. However, despite missing he still walked away with $1,800.
Lance Goulbourne and Jeffery Taylor spoke with Digger Phelps before the two were filmed for the "Know Your Teammate" feature on GameDay. The two each answered four of the questions correctly about one another. The final question asked the two what the headline will read after tonight's game? Watch the video below to see their answers.
Vanderbilt's student section was loud and energetic throughout ESPN's telecast.
Head Coach Kevin Stallings got the crowd fired up when he stepped onto the overlook on the third floor of Memorial Gym and waved at the crowd. A few moments later, seniors Lance Goulbourne and Jeffery Taylor appeared from the overlook on the second floor.
ESPN college football analyst Kirk Herbstreit stopped by the College GameDay set on Saturday. Herbstreit is a part of ESPN's College GameDay show for football and now resides in Nashville. Above, Herbstreit speaks with Vice Chancellor David Williams.
Vanderbilt's men's basketball team made its appearance during the ESPN College GameDay telecast Saturday morning.
Vanderbilt Vice Chancellor David Williams was at the GameDay telecast Saturday morning and he discussed what it has been like to have the national spotlight on Vanderbilt University.
After making a rousing entrance onto the court, Coach Stallings was interviewed by ESPN's Rece Davis in front of the student section.
Head Coach Kevin Stallings made his entrance to the gym through an inflatable Star V tunnel and past a line of Vanderbilt cheerleaders at 9:30 a.m.
The ESPN GameDay crew filmed a live SportsCenter hit from Memorial Gym at approximately 8:30 a.m. CT Saturday morning.
The Vanderbilt student body has turned out early Saturday morning to get a seat for ESPN's College GameDay telecast which begins at 9 a.m. CT on ESPNU. Here is a brief video of the student section at 8 a.m. Saturday morning.
ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Digger Phelps made their first appearances of the day shortly after 8 a.m. After back-and-forth chants between Vanderbilt and Kentucky fans, Phelps took the mic and addressed the crowd.
Phelps said: "This is Vandy's home game. We've been to Kentucky and this is Vandy's opportunity. I don't want any incidents. Don't ruin this for College GameDay. Let's be respectful of each other."
Phelps then introduced a military veteran, who had just returned from Afghanistan to chants of, "USA, USA." Phelps, wearing a green tie, then helped lead the students in Vanderbilt cheers.
Hubert Davis | Jay Bilas
When ESPN College GameDay comes to town, it brings a national television audience and nationally recognized college basketball analysts with it. But even though the ESPN GameDay crew is far from hurting for publicity, the analysts still take time to meet with the local media at their stop each week to discuss a wide range of topics.
Late Friday afternoon, ESPN analysts Jay Bilas and Hubert Davis spoke to the local media. Bilas a former Duke player and Davis a former North Carolina player broke down Saturday's game and also discussed Vanderbilt's team among a host of other topics.
See what each think of Vanderbilt's team and the Commodores' chances tomorrow.
ESPN's production crew was going over final preparations Friday night at Memorial Gym as cameramen worked on specific shots and others discussed the specifics of Saturday's events.
Former Commodore Head Coach Eddie Fogler attended part of Vanderbilt's practice on Friday afternoon and spoke with Head Coach Kevin Stallings beforehand.
Part of the marketing staff's preparation for Saturday included setting gold shakers on the bleachers in the student section.
Friday afternoon, there was a basketball floor buried somewhere under the mass of cameras that filled Memorial Gym. ESPN leaves no stone unturned for its College GameDay production, dedicating a throng of resources to the show and game.
To prepare for Saturday's show, ESPN personnel had a walkthrough where they went through every camera shoot on the court. The ESPN GameDay set was positioned in front of the student section and had three cameras dedicated to the set (see photo above). There was also a jib camera (see photo below), which sets on a crane and is typically used for swooping shots of the crowd.
Before Friday's practice, Vanderbilt senior forward Steve Tchiengang showed his 'VU' hand sign during an interview on the court.
ESPN GameDay's famous bus has arrived on campus. The bus serves as the talent's broadcast command center in between the ESPN GameDay telecast and the night's featured game. The broadcasters gather on the bus to iron out final details regarding the night's broadcast and to watch the day's games unfold around the country.
The back of the bus features seven televisions, two large couches, four chairs and a four-person booth.
Friday afternoon Vanderbilt students met on Alumni Lawn to form a Star V logo for the ESPN cameras. ESPN College GameDay will air footage from the shoot during its broadcast from 9-11 a.m. CT Saturday morning.
The camera crew used a lift to elevate approximately 30 feet off the ground for the videos and photos. The photo above is courtesy of Vanderbilt photographer John Russell, who was strapped himself into a harness and climbed onto the lift.
The students in attendance were able to tour the ESPN College GameDay bus and were also provided with free lunch from Jim 'N Nick's Bar-B-Q.
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