How awesome is this news? In an announcement today, CBS and Turner Sports announced that their new #1 college basketball team for the Final Four: Jim Nantz, Grant Hill… and Bill Raftery.
Raftery getting the opportunity to call a Final Four on television is something we’ve lobbied for publicly for a long time and it’s awesome to see CBS and Turner finally reward him for one of the most beloved careers in broadcasting. With the indefinite suspension of Greg Anthony, the network desperately needed some good vibes when it came to their March Madness coverage and naming a new top announce team. The partnership of Nantz, Raftery, and Hill does just that. Here’s the joint network announcement:
Turner Sports and CBS Sports today announced that Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will call the NCAA Final Four and National Championship this year.
Hill and Raftery will join the team of Jim Nantz and reporter Tracy Wolfson to call games together throughout the 2015 NCAA Tournament, culminating with the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four and National Championship from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. This year’s NCAA Tournament marks the first time Raftery and Hill will call the Final Four and National Championship on television.
The full NCAA Tournament commentator line-up will be announced at a later date.
Raftery is entering his 33rd year calling the NCAA Tournament. Hill will debut this year as a game analyst after joining the collective NCAA Tournament coverage last year as a studio analyst.
Nantz, Raftery, Hill and Wolfson will team for the first time to call the Big Ten men’s basketball tournament semi-finals on Saturday, March 14 and championship game on Sunday, March 15 on CBS.
For the fifth consecutive year, CBS Sports and Turner Sports will provide live coverage of all 67 games from the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship across four national television networks – TBS, CBS, TNT and truTV. The Final Four on Saturday, April 4 will be televised on TBS and the National Championship on Monday, April 6 will air on CBS.
Hill, a two-time NCAA basketball champion at Duke University and member of the College Basketball Hall of Fame, joined Turner Sports in 2013 following a 19-year NBA career. He currently serves as a game and studio analyst for Turner Sports, as well as host of NBA TV’s weekly NBA Inside Stuff show.
Raftery joined CBS Sports in 1983. He has been a key member of the Network’s college basketball team serving as a regular-season and NCAA Tournament game analyst for 33 years. Raftery has been a game analyst for radio coverage of the NCAA Final Four for the last 23 years. He also was elected as a 2015 inductee to the National Sportscasters and Sportswriters Association Hall of Fame.
This is the best of all worlds. Not only does Raftery finally get his Final Four, but Turner also gets one of *their* guys in Grant Hill to step onto the big stage. Hill’s been an up and coming analyst at Turner and has been a part of a rotation of analysts stepping in for Steve Kerr in the lead NBA spot. He should be a great fit in the college world as well though given his heroics at Duke.
It’ll be interesting to see how this completely new trio meshes together never having worked together before. But Nantz and Raftery have a lot of experience in three man booths and should be able to work it out. Well done CBS and Turner. This is a decision that took a lot of ONIONS!!!