The NCAA Tournament is built on traditions and one of the most memorable each year is the closing montage set to “One Shining Moment.” The jury remains out on whether or not its actually a good song, but given that we’ve been hearing it since 1987, it is just one of those things we’ve come to expect as part of the tourney experience.

In fact, we like our “One Shining Moment” a very specific way. While David Barrett and Teddy Pendergrass sand early versions of the song, it’s Luther Vandross’ version that has seemingly-become canon to college basketball fans. When CBS deviated and used a new version by Jennifer Hudson in 2010, viewers complained and Luther’s came back the following year. That threat to the sanctity of “One Shining Moment” had been defeated.

Now, the most serious threat of all faces the iconic song. For the first time in 78 years, the NCAA Tournament championship game will be televised on cable with TBS getting the nod over CBS. The change raises a lot of questions and the most important, other than “Why does Charles Barkley keep pretending he knows about college basketball?,” is “What’s going to happen to ‘One Shining Moment’?” The song is presumably the property of CBS Sports so what happens now?

Don’t worry, the song, and the specific version you like, will still be there.

“We had a discussion with Turner about it and it was decided that’s something fans have become used to,” CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus told For The Win, “and it would be a good and appropriate way to finish off the tournament as we have for the last 30 years.”

Turner president David Levy noted that the song is a “piece of history” and while they made their own version, sadly, with Barkley, they’re going to stick with the Vandross version for now.


About Sean Keeley

Along with writing for Awful Announcing and The Comeback, Sean is the Editorial Strategy Director for Comeback Media. Previously, he created the Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician and wrote 'How To Grow An Orange: The Right Way to Brainwash Your Child Into Rooting for Syracuse.' He has also written non-Syracuse-related things for SB Nation, Curbed, and other outlets. He currently lives in Seattle where he is complaining about bagels. Send tips/comments/complaints to

Comments are closed.