College basketball fans are used to NCAA Tournament games not starting exactly on time or as they’re supposed to. However, that’s usually not because of a legitimate power outage.
That was the case Thursday as the Michigan Wolverines and Texas Tech Red Raiders were getting set to tip-off in the Sweet Sixteen when the power apparently went out in CBS’ TV truck. At first, it caused a delayed start of a few minutes.
CBS reports a power outage in Anaheim is delaying tip-off between Michigan & Texas Tech
— Jeanna Trotman (@JeannaTrotmanTV) March 29, 2019
Due to a technical issue in one of the TV trucks, the start of Texas Tech-Michigan will be delayed five minutes.
— Brian Hamilton (@_Brian_Hamilton) March 29, 2019
No big deal. Except, the game needed to get underway and power had not been restored to the truck after that time. That meant that Kevin Harlan and Dan Bonner, who were both sitting courtside to call the game, could not be heard by the broadcast audience. CBS had a backup plan, however, in the form of its studio hosts, Greg Gumbel, Clark Kellogg, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith.
As the game tipped off and without power restored, they began calling the action from the studio.
It wasn’t until the 15:35 mark, with Michigan leading 4-2, that Harlan’s voice was finally heard on the broadcast.
“Alright, we rejoin you from Anaheim, California where we’ve had a major power outage in our truck. The building stayed lit. The game is lit. We are not lit…we may not have all of our 20 cameras and 10 tape machines but we’ve got enough to get underway.”
There are very few broadcasters who can use “lit” in that context and get away with it but we’ll give it to Harlan for being one of them.
Of course, the return on audio in the Honda Center does mean that we were robbed of one potentially nutty experience…
Meanwhile, there's a power outage at the UM/TTU game which means CHARLES BARKLEY CALLING A GAME GET THERE NOW.
— /r/CollegeBasketball (@redditCBB) March 29, 2019