Since November, we’ve been hearing about CBS/Turner’s plan to offer localized telecasts for the NCAA Men’s Final Four. Just a quick refresher, this is the first of three consecutive years that Turner Sports will offer air the National Semifinals. In addition to the traditional national feed on TBS which will feature Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr on the call and Tracy Wolfson on the sidelines, Turner is producing additional telecasts tailored to fans of the four schools involved in the semifinals. So to handle the additional load, TNT and truTV will be utilized to compliment the national telecast.
For the first game between Connecticut and Florida at 6:09 p.m. ET, fans of UConn can watch truTV while Florida fanatics can turn to TNT to watch their feed.
The announcers for the early game will be as follows:
UCONN on truTV
Play-by-play: Eric Frede, the TV voice of the UConn women’s team on New York’s SNY. He also serves as a co-anchor on Comcast SportsNet New England’s nightly news programs. Frede has previously worked for NESN as a sideline reporter for Boston Red Sox games.
Analyst: Frede’s partner will be former UConn Husky Donnie Marshall. He’s currently working for YES on Brooklyn Nets games.
Reporter: Swin Cash, who was on several UConn women’s championship teams will serve as the courtside reporter.
FLORIDA on TNT
Play-by-play: David Steele is currently the voice of the Orlando Magic, but he has hosted Florida’s basketball and football games on both TV and radio.
Analyst: Mark Wise has been an analyst for the Gators Basketball Network.
Reporter: James Bates, a former Florida football player, has most recently worked an analyst for CBS Sports Network.
The second game between Kentucky vs. Wisconsin at 8:49 p.m. will be split as follows:
KENTUCKY on TNT
Play-by-play: Rob Bromley has been a long-time sports anchor in the Bluegrass State and has called Wildcat games on Kentucky’s UKTV for 30 years.
Analyst: Former Kentucky and NBA player Rex Chapman will serve as Bromley’s partner.
Reporter: SEC TV and Kentucky TV play-by-play man Dave Baker will be the courtside reporter.
WISCONSIN on truTV
Play-by-play: Green Bay Packers radio voice Wayne Larrivee has called basketball games on Big Ten Network and the NCAA Tournament on WestwoodOne Radio.
Analyst: Former Wisconsin Badger Mike Kelley was on the last UW team to reach the Final Four in 2000.
Ernie Johnson will be the main studio host for TBS’ Final Four coverage. He’ll be joined by analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith. Greg Gumbel will serve as secondary host with Seth Davis, Doug Gottlieb, Reggie Miller along with various college coaches.
The local telecasts will feature their own halftime shows that will be manned by the game crews.
Turner will air the Final Four exclusively from 2014-2016 with CBS air it again in 2017.