Saint Peter’s moves stunningly to Sweet 16; 8 games scheduled today; Elite 8 begins Thursday

Today’s Broadcasts follow by yesterday’s reviews:

Day Three of the NCAA Tournament remained unpredictable and mesmerizing. Whether it was the first one-seed to lose or a continuation of the biggest Cinderella story of the tournament, yesterday’s announcers brought the energy and analysis to each of the eight games.  With eight teams headed to the Sweet Sixteen, let’s look at how each broadcast crew handled their Round of 32 action.

Baylor vs. North Carolina

Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson, Allie LaForce

In a matchup where there was never a dull moment, the enthusiasm of Brian Anderson was terrific, all with little to no screaming. As the Tar Heels gained traction with each three-point shot from R.J. Davis, Anderson’s energy, and charisma grew, making it difficult not to remain invested in the telecast. The excitement in Anderson’s timbre did not waiver as Baylor came back from down 25 points to force overtime, making for a March thriller.  Jim Jackson provided detailed analysis of particular replay attention, such as a Baylor missed fastbreak layup that turned conveniently into a three-point make. Jackson also snapped a humorous comment when Brady Manek of UNC looked a lot like college basketball legend Bill Walton. The bracket-buster was an enjoyable game to watch. (Anderson, left)

Kansas vs. Creighton

Brian Anderson, Jim Jackson, Allie LaForce

The Fort Worth broadcast crew saw back-to-back games to open the Round of 32, where Brian Anderson’s spirit remained high during this matchup.  Broadcasters when commentating Kansas basketball this season have usually been able to rely on strong performances from Ochai Agbaji to discuss, yet despite his slow start that eventually picked up, Anderson and Jackson did a good job adjusting and still finding points of discussion.  The big issue with Creighton’s play carried over in this game where they could not find bench production, as was pointed out by Anderson.  This did not stop the Blue Jays from keeping this a competitive game, where Jim Jackson continued his analysis of certain game situations.  The Fort Worth crew did not see two one seeds go down as Kansas won the game, but its competitive nature along with Anderson’s broadcasting made this matchup entertaining.

Tennessee vs. Michigan

Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Jamie Erdahl

The Wolverines had a tumultuous season, yet you couldn’t tell based on their play and the call by the Eagle and Spanarkel pair.  Both built energy when Michigan’s Hunter Dickinson got hot, yet the Vols kept this game close through the efforts of Kennedy Chandler.  Spanarkel detailed how even though Michigan has usually thrived off slower paced games, it likely is playing faster since maintaining its energy and matching Tennessee’s attack.

Providence vs. Richmond

Brad Nessler, Brendan Haywood, Evan Washburn

Nessler was very candid in his fashion behind the microphone, not trying to over-romanticize the action. It gave lots of room to Brendan Haywood who offered unique analysis of both the Friars and Spiders and the tactics that the schools used over the course of the game. The game often spoke for itself as there and let the game breathe, mostly occurring mid-play.  The game remained one-sided, yet Haywood gave high praise to Providence for their execution.

UCLA vs St. Mary’s

Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Andy Katz

This game was defined by UCLA’s ability to go on extended runs, all while playing tough defense that held the Gaels below their average team scoring mark.  Andrew Catalon did a nice job capturing  the emotions of the players on the court and sharing their own reactions to certain plays. A good example of it came in the second half when UCLA guard Johnny Juzang went on an impressive scoring run. The Bruins made another Sweet Sixteen, where they will play North Carolina in a battle of iconic college basketball programs.

Murray St. vs. Saint Peter’s

Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel, Jamie Erdahl

This was compellingly competitive, two schools that did not receive much national attention during the regular season. Ian Eagle’s enthusiasm continued to build as the game progressed. Saint Peter’s continued its Cinderella story. The Racers had big runs, keeping the game close, yet when it mattered most, Murray State could not keep up. Head Coach Shaheen Hollaway’s family was beyond happy to see him win.  Sideliner Jamie Erdahl mistakenly identified Halloway as being from New Jersey. He’s from New York. Quick on his feet Halloway gracefully said that New Jersey adopted him. Saint Peters will its next game not too far from campus, in Philly, about an hour an a half, in the Sweet 16.

Arkansas vs. New Mexico St.

Brad Nessler, Brendan Haywood, Evan Washburn

Brad NesslerBoth the Razorbacks and Aggies started slow, with neither team getting to double digit points until there was 7:47 left in the first half.  This defensive matchup matched Nessler and Haywood’s broadcasting style since the game was fast despite the scoring being slow.  Arkansas’ standout player JD Notae still made an impact but fouled out late in the game.  Where in the Round of 64 New Mexico St. guard Teddy Allen was very animated, Allen remained locked in as observed by Nessler.  Allen was gracious in defeat, however, waving to the crowd when he was checked out at the end of the game.  Arkansas was able to win the game, yet the highlight of the broadcast was Haywood’s analysis of the playstyle of both squads. (Nessler, left)

Gonzaga vs. Memphis

Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, Andy Katz

Catalon and Lappas performed in a balancing manner in a tight game between Memphis and Gonzaga. Andy Katz, a one time ESPNer contributed nicely too. In the second half, Gonzaga’s production came through. The big man was irrepressible in the middle. Timme was able to lead the Bulldogs to victory and did not hold back his emotions in the post-game interview. Timme held back the expletives with Andy Katz, saying that at halftime, he motivated his team by saying he “Did not give a flying F” whether they won or lost if they played with no regrets.  Gonzaga will face Arkansas in the Sweet Sixteen, looking to continue their excellent season.


Philip Tepper

Philip Tepper is a sophomore at Syracuse University majoring in Sport Management with a Public Communications minor. After graduation, he hopes to pursue a career in public relations in sports media.

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