20 January 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Announcers

We already know that the 2011 Men's Basketball Tournament will be televised on CBS as well as the Turner networks TBS, TNT, and TruTv. And now we know who will be calling the games once March Madness begins on March 15 through the Final Four on April 2 and 4. Along with many CBS regulars from tournaments past, many Turner Sports personalities will be part of the telecasts as well. Here are the eight pairings for the tournament this year.

*Semi-final and regional final crews
8. Spero Dedes/Bob Wenzel
Dedes is underrated. Wenzel is pretty awful
7. Tim Brando/Mike Gminski
Brando is mediocre and his pitiful puns make him worse. Gminski is a good analyst but is dull though.
6. Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel
Very solid crew, both have worked together for years and deftly combine knowledge and analysis with humor.
5. Kevin Harlan/Reggie Miller/Dan Bonner
A very odd three-man. Harlan's explosive voice makes him a fun listen but Miller has always been an underwhelming analyst and Bonner is not great either.
4. Gus Johnson/Len Elmore*
These two guys are opposites. Johnson is the most exciting broadcaster in sports while Elmore is more reserved but this is still a solid crew.
3. Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery*
Raftery is the best analyst and Lundquist has been a strong broadcaster for years.
2. Marv Albert/Steve Kerr*
Albert is the best basketball play-by-play of all time and Kerr is a very good analyst. A really sound crew.
1. Jim Nantz/Clark Kellogg*
Nantz has been doing the Final Four for seemingly forever and while he isn't Johnson, is a very good college basketball play-by-play in his own right. Kellogg is another solid analyst.

Nantz, Kellogg, and Kerr will be calling the Final Four on CBS.
Reporters during the tournament will be Craig Sager, Tracy Wolfson, Lesley Visser, David Aldridge, Sam Ryan and Marty Snider.
There will be two studio crews, one in Atlanta and one in New York. The Atlanta studio crew will be hosted by Matt Winer with analysts Seth Davis and Steve Smith. The New York crew will be hosted by Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson, who will share hosting duties, with analysts Greg Anthony, Kenny Smith and the legend Charles Barkley. Reggie Miller and Davis will join the studio rotation during the second week of the tournament.
Overall I like the moves, with the exception of the exclusion of one of the best college basketball analysts right now in Jay Bilas. The studio crew with Gumbel/Johnson, Anthony, "The Jet" and Sir Charles is a terrific one. Should be an exciting tournament.

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