True enough, CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV will combine forces (and financial investments) to cover the newly somewhat reshaped NCAA 67-game men’s basketball tournament, starting in a couple of months. It also includes by way of a mix and match of broadcasters using an older, less known version of the pythagorean therum that will result in — ta da — an NCAA finals three-booth team on Monday, April 4 of Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr.
Which now makes sense seeing how Kerr has latched onto as many college basketball game broadcasts as he can — like FSN’s recent UCLA-USC contest?
This will be year one of a 14-year agreement between the NCAA, CBS and Turner. Anything to soften the blow of having Kellogg on board in a game of importance will be welcome — and we almost see this as kind of a Joe Morgan effect, putting someone else in as a second analyst who’ll point out the many things that Morgan misses during the game because of a ridiculous set of simplistic verbs and adjectives available to convey to the smarter viewing audience what’s going on.
Highlights on how the rest unfolds:
== When the tournament starts on Tuesday, March 15, Nantz, Kellogg and Kerr (with Tracy Wolfson as the reporter) on truTV, if you can find it.
== Gus Johnson and Len Elmore, with courtsider outsider Craig Sager, will call the first four games on Wednesday, March 16, on truTV.
== There will be two studios, one in New York with Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson, with Charles Barkley, Greg Anthony and Kenny Smith (plus Reggie Miller and Seth Davis starting the second week). The other, in Atlanta, has Matt Winer with Davis and Steve Smith. On Tuesday’s first four games: Gumbel, Johnson, Barkley, Anthony and Kenny Smith. On Wednesday: Winer, Steve Smith and Davis.
== The broadcast pecking order for the second and third rounds:
Marv Albert-Steve Kerr
Verne Lundquist-Bill Raftery
Kevin Harlan-Reggie Miller-Dan Bonner
Ian Eagle-Jim Spanarkel
Tim Brando-Mike Gminski
Spero Dedes-Bob Wenzel
Courtside reporters: Wolfson, Sager, Lesley Visser, David Aldridge, Sam Ryan and Marty Snider.