The Ultimate College Basketball Broadcaster Draft
Imagine a sports television universe featuring Gus Johnson calling college basketball alongside Bill Walton. How about a studio show staffed by Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Chris Webber? With the NCAA tournament tipping off in a little over two weeks -- and with every television viewer a talent evaluator at heart -- I thought it would be fun to panel a group of sports television watchers together for a mock college basketball broadcaster draft.
The objective: We specifically drafted to staff the NCAA tournament and not the entire college basketball season. You could choose anyone currently working in college basketball broadcasting for each of the positions.
The panel: Randy McClure, the founder and executive editor of the terrific college basketball website,
The positions: Two play by play announcers, two game analysts, one studio/onsite host, three studio/onsite analysts, and one sideline reporter. We also agreed on drafting one wildcard pick consisting of anyone in the sports media.
The 10-round draft was conducted over two days via email, and the results made for interesting booths and studio teams. I asked each of the panelists to explain in why they made each pick, and I gave myself the No. 1 overall pick as an ode to the
Here are the rosters for each group with an evaluation from the panelists:
Play by play: Gus Johnson
Analyst: Bill Walton
Sideline reporter: Jeannine Edwards
Play by play: Ian Eagle
Wildcard/Analyst: Jeff Van Gundy
Analyst: Stan Van Gundy
Host: Rece Davis
Analyst: Greg Anthony
Analyst: Fran Fraschilla
Analyst: Kara Lawson
Play by play: Mike Tirico
Analyst: Dan Dakich
Sideline reporter: Holly Rowe
Play by play: Kanoa Leahey
Analyst: Dick Vitale
Host: Greg Gumbel
Analyst: Charles Barkley
Analyst: Doug Gottlieb
Analyst: Seth Davis
Wildcard: Scott Van Pelt
Play by play: Dan Shulman
Analyst: Doris Burke
Sideline reporter: Lesley Visser
Play by play: Tim Brando
Analyst: Steve Kerr
Host: Ernie Johnson
Analyst: Andy Katz
Analyst: Jalen Rose
Analyst: Seth Greenberg
Wildcard: Bill Simmons
Play by play: Sean McDonough
Analyst: Jay Bilas
Analyst: Bill Raftery
Sideline reporter: Sam Ponder
Play by play: Marv Albert
Analyst: John Thompson
Host: Jim Nantz
Analyst: Clark Kellogg
Analyst: Kenny Smith
Wildcard: Chris Webber
The Noise Report
1. Lesley Visser will no longer work as a sideline reporter for CBS Sports after three decades of reporting during games for the network. CBS said the decision was hers. An on-air pioneer for women in sports broadcasting, Visser will transition to features and enterprise work for CBS Sports. She has been with the network since 2000 after spending seven years with ESPN and ABC in the 1990s.
2. One of the great buzzer-beaters in the history of buzzer-beaters occurred when
The MSG Varsity broadcast team of Keith Irizarry (play by play) and Kevin Devaney Jr. (analyst) called the game and the pair saw their work go viral on Sunday afternoon, including multiple spots on ESPN's SportsCenter. "It's been overwhelming, to be honest," said the 32-year-old Irizarry, who has worked for MSG Varsity since 2009 and also serves as an anchor for SiriusXM Radio, in an email. "I was immediately tweeted and texted by people in the industry, friends, coaches, and players." What was Irizarry's self-assessment of his final call? "I thought that you were able to hear the excitement in my voice throughout without me screaming or going too far over the top," said Irizarry, who said he has called around 700 games as a broadcaster. "In the moment I felt great for the New Rochelle kids because they had just pulled off a miraculous comeback, but in the same breath I felt terrible for Mount Vernon in how their season had just ended. It was the true highs and lows of sports, and I'm so happy that I was able to capture it all in the final 2.9 second of the game and during the celebration."
3. NFL Network analyst Mike Mayock says the depth of this year's draft is very strong. "If you're a playoff team this year, you're laughing because there is so much depth that if you're drafting 20-30, it's not a whole lot different than the fifth or sixth pick," Mayock said. "For me, if you're a playoff team, you're sitting back and going, 'This is pretty good.'
3a. The NFL Network said 7.25 million viewers watched its coverage of the NFL Scouting Combine over its four days of coverage. Viewership was up 11 percent from 2012 (6.51 million total viewers).
3b. Twenty-two current and former NFL players have been selected to take part in the second annual NFL Pro Hollywood Boot Camp at Universal Studios in Universal City, California. The program, which runs from March 11-15, gives participants the opportunity to shoot and edit a short film at Universal Studios. Among those current and former NFL players in the program: Former NFL MVP Shaun Alexander, Raiders wide receiver Darius Heyward-Bey, Browns center Alex Mack, Bucks defensive tackle Gerald McCoy and Dolphins defensive end Jared Odrick.
4. Among the memorable sports pieces this week:
? SI.com's George Dohrmann had a great piece on the
? A co-founder of Bleacher Report
?Impressive reporting by USA Today college basketball reporter Eric Prisbell
5. Miscellaneous: Joe Tess, a first-time starter named for ESPN announcer Joe Tessitore, finished 12th (and last) in a three-year-old Maiden Special Weight race at Santa Anita Park on Saturday.
5a. Sirius XM Radio has added Adam Schein to the all-sports Mad Dog Radio channel. He will host the network's 10 am-2pm ET slot. Schein was previously heard on SiriusXM NFL Radio and can also be seen on CBS Sports Television Network.
5b. This year marks the first time that every Pac-12 women's basketball tournament game will be televised nationally including the first three rounds on the Pac-12 Network. The tournament final airs on March 10 on ESPN2.
5c. MLB Network will air the championship game of the World Baseball Classic on March 19 from AT&T Park in San Francisco. The announcers are Bob Costas, Jim Kaat and SI's Tom Verducci.
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