Monday, March 11, 2013

NCAA Tournament Announcers Released With Who I Think Should Call The Games

You know the NCAA Tournament is near when the commentating teams are announced. Here are the announcers for CBS/TBS/TNT/TruTV who will broadcast games beginning on March 19 with the First Four.

Announcing Crews: ( Credit to: CBS Press Express)

Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr (Final Four)/ Sidelines: Tracy Wolfson*#
Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/ Sidelines: Craig Sager**
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery/ Sidelines: Rachel Nichols*
Kevin Harlan/Len Elmore/Reggie Miller/ Sidelines: Lewis Johnson*
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel/ Sidelines: Allie LaForce
Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner/ Sidelines: Marty Snider
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski/ Sidelines: Otis Livingston
Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb/ Sidelines: Jaime Maggio

*#- Final Four and Regionals
**- First Four (March 19) and Regionals

Former ESPNers Doug Gottlieb and Rachel Nichols (now with CBS/Turner respectively) make their NCAA Tournament debuts along with Allie LaForce from the show Lead-Off on the CBS Sports Network. LaForce has been on the sidelines for select Mountain West games on CBSSN this season.

The first four announcers in Dayton for March 20 is TBD but that crew will be at the same site for the March 22 & 24 games.

Studio - New York
Greg Gumbel & Ernie Johnson (1st weekend), Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Doug Gottlieb (2nd weekend)

Studio - Atlanta
Matt Winer (1st weekend)/Ernie Johnson (2nd weekend), Seth Davis, Steve Smith

Selection Sunday - CBS
Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Seth Davis, Doug Gottlieb

Selection Sunday - truTV
Ernie Johnson, Kenny Smith, Charles Barkley, Rex Chapman

Here are the announcing teams that I think would be best suited to cover the Tournament. Note: All CBS and Turner announcers are eligible in this pool.

My Announcing Crews:

Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg/Steve Kerr (Final Four)/ Sidelines: Tracy Wolfson and Craig Sager (Final Four)

- No changes need on the top tier announcing team as Kerr and Kellogg complement each other’s styles and with Nantz in the mix, it has become one of the better trios to listen to in sports.
- In terms of sidelines, Craig Sager has earned the right to be the second sideline reporter and not because of his flashy suits, but for his ability to keep the viewer(s) interested with great reports in-game.

Marv Albert/Steve Kerr/ Sidelines: Craig Sager

- As with the top team, these two do not miss a beat from their telecasts on the NBA on TNT and make the viewer forget that the duo cover few college games a year.

Ian Eagle/Bill Raftery/ Sidelines: Rachel Nichols
- With his energetic and timely calls over the last decade and a half, Eagle has earned the right to move up to the second week of the tournament and what better partner to have than Mr. “Send It In Jerome” himself in Bill Raftery.

Kevin Harlan/Greg Anthony/ Sidelines: David Aldridge

- Anthony is the odd man out in the New York studio with Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith’s dynamic personalities overshadowing his conservative opinions during the game. He is more equipped as an in-game analyst as he is allowed to showcase his expertise.

- TNT’s David Aldridge is very underrated in his role as an analyst and insider. He deserves more recognition by being bumped up to the big stage.

Verne Lundquist/Jim Spanarkel/ Sidelines: Allie LaForce

- Lundquist will forever be known as the announcer who called the legendary Kentucky/Duke game in 1992 when Duke’s Christian Laettner hit the turn-around jumper as time expired, but it is time for him to slowly phase out of the announcing rotation. He has had numerous slip-ups this season, most recently the Michigan State/Michigan contest from two weeks ago. Lundquist will always be one of my all-time favorite announcers but it is time to give some younger talents the opportunity.

Brian Anderson/Dan Bonner/ Sidelines: Marty Snider

- A quality pairing to hear during the tournament. No changes necessary to this team.

Tim Brando/Mike Gminski/Reggie Miller/ Sidelines: Otis Livingston

- Reggie Miller is better suited in the lower-tier of analysts, enough said.

Spero Dedes/Doug Gottlieb/ Sidelines: Jaime Maggio

- No changes necessary to this team.

Studio Teams:

New York:
Greg Gumbel, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith, and Seth Davis

Ernie Johnson, Chris Webber, Steve Smith, and Shaquille O’Neal