Event Previews

ESPN, CBS, Fox, NBC and sports’ vertical networks will cover tons of college basketball this weekend

Jim Nantz busy at golf; CBS' lead voice will be off the links to bring his tonal qualities to the tournament; Nessler gets a game Saturday on CBS


Unemployment is down in America because there’s always demand for another bracketologist!

Experts say that the unemployment figures are deceptive because we’re counting too many part-time workers. Wait until the labor department begins counting all those seasonal bracketologists hiding in their basements. 

The progenitor, Joe Lunardi was not only the first, he launched a cottage industry! There’s CBS’ Jerry Palm. You might remember him. He’s so busy these days, there’s no time for the barber. He wears his hair in bangs down to his eyelashes. Jerry is just too busy these days with his mental bookkeeping; all those teams and all those seeds. Then there’s Fox and it professorial looking Mike DeCourcy.  

And now that we’ve graduated from bubble-bath to bubble-watch all is good.

But these guys better make their dough quickly. Being a bracketologist is like servicing outdoor pools in Alaska. Not a lot of work most of the year.

Ten broadcast predictions for the weekend:

  1. Dickie V will give John Calipari a big hug when he sees him this weekend covering Florida at Kentucky
  1. Mark Plansky on VCU-Saint Louis will remind someone that he played for Villanova’s 1985 national championship team. Wow. Is it that long?
  1. Announcer for the Canisius-Quinnipiac game, Robert Lee will underscore the fact that his middle initial is not E
  1. Spero Dedes will again demonstrate that he’s among the best basketball announcers in America
  1. Gus Johnson will pierce your ears at least once during his broadcast
  1. Steve Lappas will make sense of the game he’s covering, Texas-Kansas State
  1. Ditto Fran Fraschilla on Memphis-Houston
  1. Bill Walton will call attention to himself working Oregon-Arizona with Dave Pasch on ESPN
  1. Kevin Brown will be happy prepping for UCF-Cincinnati. He was just named lead radio announcer for the Baltimore Orioles radio broadcasts
  1. Another Kevin, Kevin Harlan will get a warm greeting when he checks into the Ohio State press room. Some young admirer and aspiring broadcaster will say, “Hello Mr. Harlan. I always listen to you. Love your work.”

One other interesting note: Thursday night, ESPN ran San Fran @ Gonzaga—It went with two analysts instead of traditional play-by-play + analyst. Early, it was like two coaches just talking the game, Jimmy Dykes and Fran Fraschilla. Wonder if ESPN is up to something!



Friday, Feb. 21

Sacred Heart at Merrimack|5 p.m. | CBSSN,  Dave Popkin, Joe DeSantis

Canisius at Quinnipiac | 7 p.m. | ESPNU,  Robert Lee, Julianne Viani

Buffalo at Kent State| 7 p.m. | ESPN2,  Brock Bowling, Rob Kennedy

VCU at Saint Louis | 9 p.m. | ESPN2,  Mike Corey, Mark Plansky


Saturday, Feb. 22

No. 3 Kansas at No. 1 Baylor | 12 p.m. | ESPN, Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Holly Rowe

Tennessee at No. 13 Auburn | 12 p.m. | CBS,  Spero Dedes, Clark Kellogg

No. 19 Marquette at Providence | 12 p.m. | FOX,  Gus Johnson, Donny Marshall, Andy Katz

Virginia at Pitt | 12 p.m. | ESPN2,  Doug Sherman, Malcolm Huckaby

Tulane at UCF | 12 p.m. | ESPNU,  Anish Shroff, Paul Biancardi

Missouri at Arkansas | 1 p.m. | SEC Network,  Kevin Fitzgerald, Dane Bradshaw

Navy at Army | 1:30 p.m. | CBSSN, Jason Knapp, Mo Cassara

No. 22 Houston at Memphis | 2 p.m. | ESPN2, Rich Hollenberg, Fran Fraschilla

No. 17 West Virginia at TCU | 2 p.m. | ESPNU, Clay Matvick, Bryndon Manzer

Texas at Kansas State | 2 p.m. | CBS,  Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas

Michigan at Purdue | 2 p.m. | ESPN,  Jason Benetti, Robbie Hummelde

No. 12 Villanova at Xavier | 2:30 p.m. | FOX,  Kevin Kugler, Jim Jackson

SMU at Tulsa | 3 p.m. | ESPNN,  Dave LaMont, Mark Adams

Loyola Chicago at Missouri State | 3:30 p.m. | CBSSN, Brent Stover,Tim Doyle

Mississippi State at Texas A&M | 3:30 p.m. | SEC Network, Dave Neal, Mark Wise

North Carolina at No. 11 Louisville | 4 p.m. | ESPN,  Karl Ravech, Jimmy Dykes

No. 8 Florida State at N.C. State | 4 p.m. | ACC Network,  Wes Durham, Jordan Cornette

UCLA at No. 18 Colorado | 4 p.m. | CBS, Brad Nessler, Dan Bonner

Georgia Tech at Syracuse | 4 p.m. | ACC Network Extra, Tom Wereme. Mike Giminski

Oklahoma at Oklahoma State | 4 p.m. | ESPN2,  Mark Neely, Chris Spatola

Saint Joseph’s at George Mason | 4:30 p.m. | NBCSN, Rich Lerner, David Kaplan

Drake at Illinois State| 4:30 p.m. | ESPN3, Tom Ackerman, Kevin Lehman

Rhode Island at Davidson | 5:30 p.m. | CBSSN, John Sadak Steve Wolf

LSU at South Carolina | 6 p.m. | ESPN2 , Beth Mowins, Andy Kennedy

Florida at No. 10 Kentucky | 6 p.m. | ESPN,  Bob Wischusen, Dick Vitale,

Texas Tech at Iowa State | 6 p.m.| ESPNU, Chuckie Kempf, Tim Welsh

California at Washington | 6 p.m. | Pac-12 Network Aaron Goldsmith, Eldridge Recasner

Clemson at Boston College | 6 p.m. | ACC Network, Jay Alter, Dalen Cu

Georgia at Vanderbilt | 6 p.m. | SEC Network,  Richard Cross, Joe Kleine

Richmond at St. Bonaventure | 6:30 p.m. | NBCSN,  Todd Harris, Tim McCormick

UNLV at No. 4 San Diego State | 7:30 p.m. | CBSSN, Jason Horowitz, Pete Gillen

Oregon State at Arizona State | 8 p.m. | ESPNU, Sam Farber, Adrian Branch

Virginia Tech at No. 6 Duke | 8 p.m. | ESPN2, Dave O’Brien, Cory Alexander

Alabama at Ole Miss | 8:30 p.m. | SEC Network,  Mike Morgan, Pat Bradley

No. 14 Oregon at No. 24 Arizona | 9 p.m. | ESPN, Dave Pasch, Bill Walton

Kansas State at Texas Tech | 9 p.m. | ESPN2, Robert Ford, Tim Welsh

Georgetown at DePaul | 9 p.m. | FS1,  Chris Vosters, Stephen Bardo

No. 2 Gonzaga at No. 23 BYU | 10 p.m. | ESPN2, Dave Flemming, Sean Farnham

Fresno State at Nevada | 10 p.m. | ESPNU,  Steve Quis, Ben Braun

Sunday, Feb. 23

No. 9 Penn State at Indiana | 12 p.m. | FS1  Brandon Gaudin, Donny Marshall

Temple at East Carolina | 12 p.m. | ESPNU,  Paul Sunderland, Sean Harrington

American at Boston U | 12 p.m. | CBSSN  Jason Knapp Mo Cassara

Wichita State at Cincinnati | 1 p.m. | ESPN, Kevin Brown, Mark Adams

Rutgers at Wisconsin | 1 p.m. | Big Ten Network   Chris Vosters, Shon Morris

St. John’s at No. 16 Seton Hall | 2 p.m. | CBS,  Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel

South Florida at UConn | 2 p.m. | CBSSN,  Dave Ryan, Bob Wenzel

Southern Illinois at UNI | 2 p.m. | ESPNU, Robert Lee, Julianne Viani

Minnesota at Northwestern | 3 p.m. | Big Ten Network  Drew Carter, Ben Brust

No. 7 Maryland at No. 25 Ohio State | 4 p.m. | CBS, Kevin Harlan, Bill Raftery

No. 21 Butler at No. 15 Creighton | 4 p.m. | FS1  Kevin Kugler, Nick Bahe

New Mexico at Boise State | 4 p.m. | CBSSN, Rich Waltz and Dan Dickau

USC at Utah | 6 p.m. | ESPNU  Eric Rothman, Ben Braun

Miami at Notre Dame | 6 p.m. | ACC Network  Wes Durham, Malcolm Huckaby

Stanford at Washington State | 8 p.m. | ESPNU  Roxy Bernstein, Corey Williams


David J. Halberstam

David is a 40-year + industry veteran who served as play-by-play announcer for St. John's University basketball in New York and as radio play-by-play voice of the Miami Heat in South Florida. He is the author of Sports on New York Radio: A Play-by-Play History and The Fundamentals of Sports Media and Sponsorship Sales: Developing New Accounts.

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