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Interactive hoops

When the Jimmy V Classic basketball tourney gets under way on Dec. 19 on ESPN, it will offer Web visitors a chance to listen to an audio broadcast as well as ask questions during breaks in the action because the audio broadcast won't feature commercials. ESPN Radio's Bob Valvano, whose late brother, coach and broadcaster Jim Valvano, is memorialized by the tournament, will provide play-by-play with senior writer Andy Katz doing the color commentary. The broadcast will be treated as an extended audio chat, with play-by-play, analysis and interaction. Because ESPN owns the rights to the event, there were no rights issues, clearing the way for an interactive experiment that, if it goes well, could be done again, according to an ESPN representative.