CBS Unveils March Madness Announcing Teams

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I am not happy with you CBS. Sure you've added some good players to the mix, but you've once again ruined the GJE (Gus Johnson Experience) by pairing him with the most boring analyst you could find. You couldn't have given me Gus and Raftery just once?

Oh well here they are....

Studio: Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, and Seth Davis

Jim Nantz/Billy Packer
Dick Enberg/Carter Blackburn/Jay Bilas
Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery
Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner
Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel
Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel
Tim Brando/Mike Gminski

Gus' partner from last year, Dan Bonner, now gets Harlan while most everyone else stays pretty much the same. I like the addition of Bolerjack but Kevin Harlan and Bob Wenzel were a pretty good team last year. Not a bad lienup, but I don't understand one thing....Carter Blackburn?!?! Why? Three person booths just never work and especially in Basketball.

Also, if we're led to believe that this is in order that means that Gus Johnson's DOES get to call the Sweet Sixteen. So we've got that going for us....which is nice.

Update: For those of you guessing that Carter Blackburn wasn't a third member of that team, but a replacement for Enberg on some are correct.


I don't know about you, but I am so very happy James Brown isn't on this list... he is most excellent as studio host... he is not at all good as a basketball play by play guy... not at all...

LeeZy said...
Mar 11, 2008, 11:53:00 AM nailed it Leezy. Hopefully Len will be better since he's not with JB.

Mar 11, 2008, 11:54:00 AM  

Carter Blackburn is a pbp guy for CSTV. Perhaps it is Carter will do the early games while Enberg does the later rounds heading into the elite 8?

TJX said...
Mar 11, 2008, 11:55:00 AM  

And CSTV is a branch of CBS so that's why Blackburn got the nod.

TJX said...
Mar 11, 2008, 11:57:00 AM  

I know all of you love Gus, but I don't need him treating a Duke/Belmont game like it's Villanova/Georgetown

J.J. said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:09:00 PM  

How would Gus not get the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 if this is in order? He's 4th in the list. There are four regions. There are 4 announcing teams in the second weekend. Wouldn't that mean he'd be at one of the regional sites?

Elmore's a good commentator. Not as "thrilling" as Gus, but maybe CBS is trying to make Gus a little more mainstream by countering his enthusiasm with Elmore. Just a thought.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:12:00 PM  

He knows how to make a blowout exciting dude....

TJX said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:12:00 PM  

You know're right Nick. I thought it was only two for some reason.

Mar 11, 2008, 12:15:00 PM  

And JJ....that's exactly WHY you need him on that game.

Mar 11, 2008, 12:17:00 PM  

I have to come to the defense of Lenny, I think that he and Vern Lundquist did a great job on the greatest college basketball game in history, 1992 Duke/Kentucky. But it is good news we have Gus back in the fold.

kitibo said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:33:00 PM  

Best team I see on that list is Lundquist/Raftery. I'm a big fan of both. Brando/Gminski did the UVA-MD game on Sunday, and by halftime, I was ready to make the 65 mile trip to Charlottesville and punch Brando in the neck. He got really annoying with his catch phrases.

UnHoly Diver said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:34:00 PM  

Plus Gus and Len called one of the greatest NCAA Tournament games in recent memory - the UCLA/Gonzaga Sweet 16 game. "UNBELIEVABLE!!!" That was a great call by Gus and Len.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:37:00 PM  

Congrats to Gus...I'm sure getting kicked out of the Sweet 16 pissed him off somewhat last year.

Elmore was good with him the last 3years, so I'm gonna guess he can pull it out again...

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:39:00 PM  

No, AA, you cannot have Gus and Raftery, as that would mess up my all-time favorite announcing team (Lundquist/Raftery). Not even just once.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:39:00 PM  

Dick Enberg's like 806. I guarantee that Blackburn's only doing one or two of the first round games because at Enberg's age, he simply can't handle a full slate.

And I like Elmore. Maybe I'm weird in the fact that I like information from my analysts and not random babblings about fucking nothing. Raftery's intolerable.

and bruce, I'll never like Brando. He was doing the Pitt/Wisconsin tourney game a few years ago, and in lieu of talking about the game, he made a borderline creepy comment about Jamie Dixon's "boyishly young good looks" and how old Bo Ryan looked in comparison literally a dozen times. Even as a Pitt fan, it was very annoying.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:41:00 PM  

Actually wouldn't mind James Brown on PxP this year.

I mean if it was only one round, and he did it instead of Bolerhack, I wouldn't be too pissed.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 12:45:00 PM  

AA - McDonough, Bilas & Raftery have their moments, but you mean to tell me the three person booth of Tim Brando, Mike Gminski & Stephen Bardo didn't sound good for CBS during the Tournament a couple of years ago?

Mar 11, 2008, 1:23:00 PM  

I actually have a weird question. In the past I've noticed ESPN guys (I think mostly Trey Wingo and Jay Bilas) doing College Basketball work on CBS. Jay does the men's tournament and Trey does some Women's stuff. How come they are allowed to do this? ESPN and CBS are not affiliated at all and, actually, are kind of competitors in sports broadcasting. Why is it they are allowed to share announcers?

Not that I mind because I actually like Jay Bilas sometimes. He takes his job seriously, and despite some really bad hyperbole, usually does a nice job with the color during broadcasts. And Trey, well, he's ok, he isn't as good as when he is on NFL Live but I don't watch all that much Women's basketball.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 1:54:00 PM  

Don't the networks have to ask permission? I think CBS asked to use Dick Vitale in the Tournament and ESPN said no. When was the last time CBS had the women's Tournament? Ten years ago? Not that it matters.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 1:58:00 PM  

Anon- It all depends on the contracts the agents put together before they were signed to ESPN. Most networks still ask for permission, but in the case of Bilas they probably don't have to.

Mar 11, 2008, 2:05:00 PM  

I still don't understand why Kevin Harlan doesn't take Dick Enberg's spot with Bilas in one of the Regional crews.

Yes, I know Harlan is Westwood One's radio guy and that he starts the second weekend to get the rust off, but I think he'd sound great cold turkey in the Final Four as well. He's got radio roots. He'd certainly be a great addition.

This goes back to CBS not wanting to promote a guy who does another sport for another network, but Harlan is too good not to use on TV up until the Final Four, then let him switch to radio.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 2:58:00 PM  

Thankfully, JB is not returning as a PxP guy. He is in the Menefee category: good studio host, but cant keep up with live action.

In essense, theyre reverting to the same lineup they had prior to last season. Solid teams throughout, IMO.

[pbielka] said...
Mar 11, 2008, 3:05:00 PM  

This goes back to CBS not wanting to promote a guy who does another sport for another network, but Harlan is too good not to use on TV up until the Final Four, then let him switch to radio.

...doesn't Kevin Harlan do NFL games for CBS?

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 3:36:00 PM  

I thought one of the reasons JB moved to CBS was so that he could do the tournament. Also, last year's excuse for JB replacing Gus Johnson was that it was in his contract. (NOT THAT I'M COMPLAINING...I LOVE GUS JOHNSON!!!)

Also, who the hell is Carter Blackburn? With a name like that, I doubt he's ever picked up a basketball in his life.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 3:54:00 PM  

Yes, Harlan does, Inge Sucks, but it's on the #4 crew behind Nantz/Simms, Gumbel/Dierdorf, and Enberg/Cross. He doesn't get proper respect there, either.

I made the italicized post and was implying his NBA commentary for Turner. My apologies for not being clear.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 3:54:00 PM  

Regarding Kevin Harlan, we love him here in Kansas City. However, I've always wondered the same thing why he doesn't do the regional weekend on TV. He actually was on the radio in KC a couple of years ago and explained that because of his contract with Turner, he is only allowed one TV weekend on CBS. Then he does the only two weekends on radio he does all year, and makes the Final Four much more tolerable.

My biggest beef with CBS is how can they have the best pbp man in the business (especially in the NFL) in Kevin Harlan, but he's only considered 4th best at his own network! That's the travesty of it all. I can live with the legalese for the hoops, but football is inexcusable.

Shame on you CBS.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 6:08:00 PM  

Kevin Harlan's off the radio, as well. Someone named Kevin Kugler is doing the final four.

Anonymous said...
Mar 11, 2008, 6:18:00 PM  

Harlan's off radio? Damn. Now I can't do the comparison to Nantz's call in the "Whose Contrived and Prepared Call Was Worse" contest after the National Championship game, and I actually like Kevin Harlan. I heard a very little bit of L'ville-G'town on radio Saturday and Kevin Kugler blows. Worse yet, he was paired with John Thompson. Ugh.

Mar 11, 2008, 8:09:00 PM  

I made the italicized post and was implying his NBA commentary for Turner.
The only reason it wasn't clear (other than someone not thinking things through which I don't know for certain) is that you said he worked "another sport"... and the NBA is technically the same sport.

Morgan Wick said...
Mar 12, 2008, 2:47:00 AM  

at least it wasn't bad as 2 years ago when cbs decided to put brando/gminski/bardo together

Anonymous said...
Mar 12, 2008, 9:30:00 AM  

Well, I just got confirmation from a CBS insider that Harlan's off the Westwood One crew. The reason is his NBA contract demands that he work during the regional weekend, and Westwood One doesn't want someone to only do Final Four weekend. So Harlan is out, Kugler is in, and our ears will never be the same.

I hate you NBA & CBS!

Anonymous said...
Mar 12, 2008, 9:44:00 AM  

Gus Johnson is used to announcing with Len Elmore, they used to do the Knick games together. GJ will be fine, he can announce play by play for senior citizen bocci championships.

Mar 12, 2008, 12:02:00 PM  

Have they released what announcing teams have been assigned to what locations yet?

Anonymous said...
Mar 17, 2008, 1:37:00 PM  

Here's the list:

A couple of possbile upsets for Gus to call

12:20 p.m. -- Washington D.C. I -- Xavier vs. Georgia -- Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel --

12:25 p.m. -- Omaha I -- Kansas vs. Portland State -- Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner --

12:30 p.m. -- Denver I -- Michigan State vs. Temple -- Gus Johnson/Len Elmore --

2:30 p.m. -- Anaheim I -- Marquette vs. Kentucky -- Dick Enberg/Carter Blackburn/Jay Bilas -

12:15 p.m. -- Birmingham I -- Tennessee vs. American -- Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery --

12:25 p.m. -- Raleigh I -- Gonzaga vs. Davidson -- Jim Nantz/Billy Packer --

12:30 p.m. -- Tampa I -- Drake vs. Western Kentucky -- Tim Brando/Mike Gminski --

12:30 p.m. -- Little Rock I -- Miami (Fla.) vs. St. Mary's (Cal.) -- Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel

Anonymous said...
Mar 17, 2008, 9:46:00 PM  

I had no idea a site like this existed, but I'm glad it does. In my humble opinion, commentators can really make or break a televised sporting event.

Anonymous said...
Mar 21, 2008, 2:31:00 AM  

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