BTN and BTN Originals today announced First Dance, chronicling the historic 2016-17 Northwestern men’s basketball season, will premiere on Tuesday, Jan. 23 at 11 p.m. ET/10 p.m. CT following NU’s game against Minnesota on BTN. The documentary takes an inside look at the Wildcats’ resilience, struggles and triumphs en route to the first NCAA Tournament berth in program history. The trailer can be found here: www.btn.com/firstdance.
For the first 78 years of the NCAA Tournament, which began in 1939, the Northwestern Wildcats watched March Madness at home with the rest of America. As a new season dawned in the fall of 2016, a group led by fourth-year head coach Chris Collins sought to change the course of the program and finally earn a bid to the Big Dance. After a 23-win season that featured both thrilling wins and painful losses, the Wildcats experienced Selection Sunday not as spectators, but as participants. Surrounded by thousands of fans in Welsh-Ryan Arena, Northwestern was selected as a No. 8 seed and went to its First Dance in the 79th NCAA Tournament.
“It’s hard to imagine any Northwestern or Big Ten basketball fan will ever forget the thrilling ride the Wildcats had in 2016-2017,” said Bill Friedman, Coordinating Producer for BTN Originals. “First Dance captures the range of emotions that the Northwestern players, coaches and loyal fan base endured throughout a season that will be remembered forever.”
First Dance walks fans through the history of Northwestern basketball and its breakthrough season with a series of highlights, stories and interviews from players, coaches and prominent alumni. The list includes Collins, his father Doug Collins, Dr. Jim Phillips, Bryant McIntosh, Scottie Lindsey, Vic Law, Sanjay Lumpkin, Michael Wilbon, Mike Greenberg, Rachel Nichols, Darren Rovell, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Christine Brennan, Billy McKinney and others surrounding the program.
First Dance is directed by Matt Engel, Kevin Shaw and Julian Darnell and edited by John Castelli.
A joint venture between the Big Ten Conference and Fox Networks, BTN is the first internationally distributed network dedicated to covering one of the premier collegiate conferences in the country. With more than 1,500 events across all platforms, the 24/7 network is the ultimate destination for Big Ten fans and alumni across the country, allowing them to see their favorite teams, regardless of where they live. BTN2Go is the digital extension of the Big Ten Network, delivering live games and on-demand programming to Big Ten Network customers via the web, smartphones, and tablets. Events include football, men’s and women’s basketball games; dozens of Big Ten Olympic sports and championship events; studio shows; and classic games. Original programming highlights activities and accomplishments of some of the nation’s finest universities. The groundbreaking Student U initiative provides real-world experience for students interested in careers in sports television. The network is in more than 60 million homes across the United States and Canada, including carriage by all the major video distributors, such as DIRECTV, DISH, Verizon FiOS, AT&T U-Verse, Charter Communications, Comcast Xfinity, Time Warner Cable, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Mediacom, RCN, WOW!, and approximately 300 additional video providers across North America. For additional information, go to www.btn.com.