NCAA Tournament on CBS: Announcers

    
March 19th, 2009

When you watch as much of the NCAA Tournament as us die-hards do.. you inevitably form close bonds with the announcers on CBS. Some strong congenial bonds.. others I could do without.  Here is the CBS college basketball roster, including links to profiles on CBS.com, their role during the broadcast, and my rating of their recent work. 

 

For 2009, we have a huge change as Clark Kellogg replaces Billy Packer as lead color-man alongside Jim Nantz. Interesting that CBS replaced Packer, who was easily the network's worst commentator for the past handful of years, with Kellogg.. who I've always felt was the second worst CBS had to offer. Give CBS a nod for consistency. Also new this year, we have Greg Anthony replacing Kellogg in the booth, young Carter Blackburn spelling Dick Enberg, and Craig Bolerjack making his D1 tourney debut.

 

C is considered your run of the mill broadcaster, neither exceptional nor annoying. On the most part, CBS does a good job with their coverage, hence mostly respectable grades (as opposed to a similar report card I could do for ESPN...)

 

A Ian Eagle (Announcer)

A- Bill Raftery (Color)

B+ Jim Nantz (Announcer - FF)

B+ Greg Gumbel (Studio)

B Jay Bilas (Color)

B Kevin Harlan (Announcer)

B Verne Lundquist (Announcer)

B Lesley Visser (Sideline)

B- Greg Anthony (Studio, New 2009)

B- Len Elmore (Color)

C+ Stephen Bardo (Color)

C+ Seth Davis (Studio)

C+ Dick Enberg (Announcer)

C+ Gus Johnson (Announcer)

C+ Jim Spanarkel (Color)

C Carter Blackburn (Announcer, New 2009)

C Craig Bolerjack (Announcer, New 2009)

C Dan Bonner (Sideline)

C Tim Brando (Anouncer)

C Mike Gminski (Color)

C Bob Wenzel (Color)

C Tracy Wolfson (Sideline)

D+ Clark Kellogg (Color - FF)

 

Notes:

Gus Johnson is slowly but surely growing on me. Anthony has made a nice transition into his studio role, and continues to improve. A lot of people dislike Nantz and Gumble, but these guys are professionals who consistently get the job done. Dick Enberg's a legend, but his peak days are in the rear at this point.  Crater Blackburn is a young Syracuse guy who seems to be on the network's fast-track.

 

No Longer Part of CBS Team

B- Sam Ryan (Sideline)

D Billy Packer (Retired)