brad nessler

When CBS Sports unveiled its announcer lineup for the 2017 NCAA Tournament, there was one pretty glaring omission: Brad Nessler.

Nessler came to CBS last year to replace Verne Lundquist as the voice of the network’s SEC football coverage, and since then he has also called some college basketball. But on the list of NCAA Tournament play-by-play men (Lundquist, Jim Nantz, Kevin Harlan, Brian Anderson, Ian Eagle, Spero Dedes, Carter Blackburn, Andrew Catalan), Nessler was nowhere to be found.

“We had our lineup set from last year as far as play by play and we felt it was fair to the current teams for them to come back,” McManus said. “It wasn’t an anti-Brad thing at all. Everybody had earned the right to come back again. We are definitely open and flexible for the future and he has a great resume. I can certainly see him involved in the future.”

It makes some sense that CBS wouldn’t want to tinker too much with its broadcast teams, but you’d think the network would make room for its new star. If CBS wants Nessler to be one of its most recognizable voices, shouldn’t they want him front and center during their marquee event?

And it’s not like Nessler hasn’t been at CBS long enough to find his bearings. He’s been there almost a year and called an entire college football season. He’s had plenty of time to settle into his new role, and CBS has had plenty of time to determine how they want to use him.

It sounds like Nessler will be part of NCAA Tournament coverage in the future, as well he should be.

About Alex Putterman

Alex is a writer and editor for The Comeback and Awful Announcing. He has written for The Atlantic, VICE Sports,, and more. He is a proud alum of Northwestern University and The Daily Northwestern. You can find him on Twitter @AlexPutterman.

  • Caleb Sayre

    If Arkansas fires Jimmy Dykes as their Women’s coach, I hope CBS hires him to team up with Nessler for Basketball. Brad Nessler and Jimmy Dykes was by far my favorite combo at ESPN for SEC games

    • YouAreWrongAndDumb

      They were great! To me, they SOUND like SEC and college basketball.

    • Inyoface

      Jimmy already got canned. You may get your wish.

      • Caleb Sayre

        Oh wow! I had no idea, was hoping he’d do good. But I hope he comes back to TV, if not CBS, then SEC Network. Like @youarewronganddumb:disqus said, he sounds like SEC Basketball.

  • Michael Moats

    Terrible excuse if you ask me. Nantz does 2 basketball games and he gets to be the lead announcer. Verne retired. Time to get Brad in there and let him do this thing.

    • Shawn Diiorio

      I don’t understand why people think Nessler is a god all of a sudden. He’s a fine broadcaster, but he’s not a legend in the booth. Not yet at least. Within 5 years people will want him gone from calling CBS Stuff. Mark My DAMN Words.

      Seniority rules when it comes to broadcasting. You do not force out the old guard, it’s the unwritten law of broadcasting Guys go out when they decide to. Nantz and Verne are names right now who get to call their shots. Nessler has to bide his time. And their message to anyone else is F*ck You if you don’t like it.

      • Inyoface

        Lol whut?? Have you been living under a rock?? Dude had been calling the top games in college football for like 20-plus years, was one of TWO announcers in the country selected to call one of the two football championship playoff games, was a lead announcer for the NBA including the playoffs, called football AND NCAA Tournament basketball games for CBS back in the early NINETIES, and got called over to CBS to take over one of the nations most lucrative football packages full-time.. Oh yeah and he called the Thursday night NFL package for NFL Network. Few announcers can hold his jock (including Nantz–sorry…he isn’t even close to top 5 announcers with all of his company-guy-corny-ness). If it’s about seniority as you say, Nessler has already done his job at CBS decades before. I think he knows what the hell he is doing. He is ALWAYS hands down the announcer that gets the least crap from the twitter trolls because he does his job like a boss. He’s not God “all-of-a-sudden”. He’s been top 2-3 voices in the nation for a very, very long time (tops in my book–and many others).

        • Shawn Diiorio

          You know I do recall a number of times when he was boring.

          Feel free to write another short story I won’t read in reply to that.

          • Inyoface

            That’s too bad. Pretty sure someone needs to tell you you’re a dick with bad info.

      • David

        What about guys like Andrew Catalon and Carter Blackburn. Not exactly old guard They haven’t been around long enough to decide when they do or don’t get an NCAA tournament assignment. Nessler has been calling college basketball (and big time college basketball) since those guys were in middle school. If CBS didn’t want to rock the boat this year, I get that. But Nessler is a big time announcer who they brought in to call a big time package, so it doesn’t make sense to me he didn’t get a tournament assignment. And you can be sure this will be something CBS will look at next year and I would bet he’ll be in and someone else will be out.

        • CarolinaHurricanesFan

          I’d be pretty pissed if I were Brad Nessler. To somehow think the Chairman of CBS Sports (Jim McKay’s son, btw) thinks newbies like Catalon or Blackburn are better than Nessler, he’s nuts!

        • Shawn Diiorio

          Thing is they have been at CBS for some time already. and you just can’t take those spots away from them, remember Blackburn had to sit on the bench his first year coming from ESPN.

          I’m certain Lundquist is just about done. This may or may not be his last year calling games, either way my guess is he steps in for him when he steps out for the last time.

    • David

      Verne didn’t retire. He stepped down from down college football, but he was always still going to do college basketball.

  • D LS

    Why Is Brian Anderson calling regional games? He sucks. Brad should at least call games on radio until he gets a TV opening.

  • Boardman Koko B Ware

    Put Harlan on the bench. Putting aside whether you like him or not (I know I’m in the minority on here who doesn’t care for him), he’s a national NBA guy. When you already have the Thursday TNT gig you don’t need to be doing NCAA. Turner needs to keep their NBA guys confined to studio work.

  • MrBull

    Nessler should replace that ‘wishy, washy’ Nantz….golf is better suited for Nantz’s style…not football and certainly, not college basketball….

  • Lanny Stricherz

    In reading various articles on Jim Nantz, various writers indicate that the press thinks that he is a good announcer. When he started whatever 20 or 25 years ago announcing basketball, he wasn’t too bad, but once he got to be the lead announcer on CBS for all the other sports as well, he became so full of himself, that he is terrible and probably the only reason he keeps the lead job is that he is the only announcer on any network that announces upcoming shows at every break that comes in the action. I find him so irritating that I no longer watch CBS NFL if he is announcing, NCAA tournament basketball or the MAsters. And I am not the only one sport fans of my generation think that he is pathetic.