Monday, March 19, 2007
I know this has been said a thousand times already, but it sucks that there weren't that many upsets the first two days. Sure it proves that the NCAA Selection Committee ultimately did an adequite (LLo reference...hope two of you get it), but baby wanted some upsets. Oh well. At least all 4 of my final four teams are alive.
So enough about my brackets....you could care less right? Right.
Overall I thought the Announcing for the first two days wasn't THAT bad. Sure there was a heck of a lot of sexual innuendo, but I really only noticed those comments because I have the maturity of a five year old.
So onto the grading (after the jump). Remember this is just one man's opinion. Please feel free to leave yours in the comments.
I was debating whether to give out gold stars at first, but I think I'm going with the standard English Paper Grading.......
Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery: A-
The two of them just love basketball, and that comes through over the air. Their best attribute is that they can joke with each other, AND have it be relevant to the game. They are never so distracting that you listen to them more than pay attention to the action.
I got emails and comments saying that Raftery doesn't analyze as much as he should. I thought he toned down the noises and grunts just enough that he was exciting and informative at the same time. It was the perfect level for him.
As a PbP guy Lundquist is always overlooked. He conveyed the action perfectly, and had the moxie to stay with Raftery for every game.
Bravo to them.
Gus Johnson and Dan Bonner: B+
(Sorry Dan....you don't have many photos on the intraweb. Michelle Bonner will have to do)
They would have had an A if it wasn't for the Louisville favoritism they showed in the second round matchup versus A&M. I'm not sure where that came from, but I noticed it part of the way through the second half. Others that emailed seemed to think it was the whole game though.
From the last post: Anonymous said...Gus Johnson is the WORST--Doesn't question if the Oden's foul was intentional, doesn't even bring up that Xavier should foul before the 3-point shot attempt. He's just a screamer like Dickie V with lots of sound and fury and signifying nothing. He belongs at the high school level.
Here's the thing. While he should have mentioned it that's not really his job....Bonner should have been the one to say something. With that said he did give out a "whoa" when it happened, so at least he acknowledged it. I really didn't think the foul was THAT bad, and neither did Xavier.
Some Announcers are "Energy Guys" and some are "Numbers Guys". I personally gravitate to the Energy Guys as long as they keep their energy focused on the game at hand (unlike Vitale). The college game is supposed to be exciting, and he's just a fan in the booth. I, and I think most of you, would rather it be this way.
Ian (Eye-in) Eagle and Jim Spanarkel: B-
They really only got the minus because Spanarkel sounded too much like Bob Ryan to me. In all seriousness they surprised the heck out of me, and did a great job out West.
Ian Eagle has to be (if not is) the most underrated Play by Play guy going. Check out his work with the Nets and in the playoffs (NBA TV) after the tournament.
Kevin Harlan and Bob Wenzel: C+
Normally it's the color guy dragging the Play by Play guy down (Troy Aikman the exception), but this one goes the other way. While I like Kevin Harlan's voice and enthusiasm......he rarely gets a call right. Maybe it's because he's so used to all of the "Offensive Player Preferential Treatment" in the NBA, but I don't think he called a foul correctly in the 4 day span.
Wenzel is rough around the edges and moved from Craig Bolerjack to Harlan this year. Some of you thought he was a little gregarious during the VCU game, but I thought it was warranted.
Dick Enberg and Jay Bilas: C-
I debated this one for awhile because I didn't really catch that many of their games (2 compared to 3 and 4 from the other pairs). I guess it boils down to whether you care for Dick Enberg or not. I of course....don't. I think he's past his prime, and awfully boring when he's calling games.
With that said....Bilas carried him through the first two rounds. He's just funny enough to make light of situations when light is needed, and he is by far and away the best "Numbers Guy". His X's and O's are above and beyond the best in the business.
Bilas could only carry Dick so far though (yes that was intentional), and I think he got dragged under by the UNC-Michigan State game. So much so that they were both drooling over UNC with the game on the line. Yeah, we all know they're a great team, but when they possibly COULD lose.....let's talk about the game.
Tim Brando and Mike Gminski: D+/C-
Chalk this up to the fact that they probably got the most boring set of games, but nothing they did stood out to me. I've been watching Gminski for years on local ACC games and I don't think he's said one thing insightful.....Ever.
Jim Nantz and Billy Packer: D+
I just can't like Jim Nantz anymore. Don't know what it is. At one point he was one of my favorites, and then he all of sudden became spineless and gets led around the broadcast by whoever his Color guy is. Maybe it's because he's a company guy, but for once I'd just like him to tell Simms or Packer to shut the hell up and let him call the game.
Billy Packer....what else can I say? I think the part that infuriated me the most was this moment in the UNLV-GT Game. It's been close the whole way, and the Rebs are up two and at the line with a chance to ice the game with two Free Throws.
They hit the first. Packer then says, "That makes the lead 2. Oh wait...that makes it a two possession game."
No and No! I'm glad you finally decided to correct yourself, but can you add??? Come on Billy.
Jim Brown and Len Elmore: F+
Chalk this up with some of the other predictions that I was completely wrong about (kind of like my ND and GW picks). Elmore was pretty good with Gus Johnson last year, but this time around he almost put me to sleep every time he opened his mouth.
Jimbo is a great Studio Host, and I never actually found out if he was sick or not. The odd part was that I saw him do a regular season Georgetown game for CBS before the tourney, and he was actually pretty good.
I was so disappointed with them during the Vandy-Washington State Double OT Game that I almost changed the channel. The fact that they get two more games kills me. Especially with Oregon/UNLV possibly being the game of the tourney.
So there you have them. I know some of you will disagree, but you have that right. Get a debate going in the comments and I'll see you there.