Splitting up Eagle and Spanarkel? Is nothing sacred anymore?
Turner Sports and CBS Sports will feature a collection of marquee commentators for its fifth consecutive year of combined coverage of the NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship. CBS Sports and Turner Sports will once again provide live, full national coverage of all 67 tournament games across four networks - TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV - as well as NCAA March Madness Live, beginning Tuesday, March 17, with the NCAA First Four on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual.
This year's NCAA Final Four National Semifinals from Indianapolis will be televised Saturday, April 4 on TBS with team-specific "Teamcast" coverage available via TNT and truTV. The National Championship will air Monday, April 6 on CBS.
The networks' commentator lineup includes several new roles for this year's coverage:
--Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will provide game analysis with play-by-play commentator Jim Nantz and reporter Tracy Wolfson throughout the NCAA Tournament, including their first time calling the NCAA Final Four National Semifinals and National Championship on television.
--Chris Webber, Steve Lappas and Steve Smith will contribute to the networks' tournament coverage as game analysts for the first time this year. Webber will join play-by-play commentator Marv Albert, analyst Len Elmore and reporter Craig Sager during the first two weeks of the tournament. Lappas will team with Andrew Catalon and reporter Jamie Erdahl, while Smith will pair with play-by-play commentator Brian Anderson and reporter Lewis Johnson throughout the first week of the tournament.
--Mateen Cleaves will be a studio analyst, joined by host Matt Winer and analyst Seth Davis from Turner Studios in Atlanta.
--Ernie Johnson will once again host studio coverage from the Final Four and National Championship with analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kelloggand Kenny Smith. They will be joined by Greg Gumbel with analysts Reggie Miller, Seth Davis, Steve Smith and college coaches. Gumbel and Johnson will host studio coverage from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York during the first full week of the tournament, with Johnson hosting studio coverage from Atlanta during the second week of tournament action. Steve Smith also joins the studio team in Atlanta following the opening week while Doug Gottlieb joins studio coverage from New York.
Following is the complete list of announcer pairings:
Play-by-Play / Analyst // Reporter
* Regional Weekend Announce Teams
Jim Nantz / Bill Raftery / Grant Hill // Tracy Wolfson*
Marv Albert / Chris Webber / Len Elmore // Craig Sager*
Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel // Allie LaForce*
Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Rachel Nichols*
Ian Eagle / Doug Gottlieb // Evan Washburn
Brian Anderson / Steve Smith // Lewis Johnson
Spero Dedes / Mike Gminski // Jaime Maggio
Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Jamie Erdahl
The tournament will tip off Tuesday, March 17 and Wednesday, March 18 with the NCAA First Four on truTV presented by Northwestern Mutual. Brian Anderson will call Tuesday's games with analyst Steve Smith and reporter Lewis Johnson. Ian Eagle will handle play-by-play on Wednesday alongside analyst Doug Gottlieb and reporter Evan Washburn. Studio coverage for the First Four will originate from Atlanta with Matt Winer and analystsSeth Davis, Mateen Cleaves and Wally Szczerbiak.
Give me Dedes/Gminski all day every day.