For those expecting (or wanting) changes to the broadcast crews for the 2020 NCAA Tournament, I’ve got bad news: the changes are minimal.
These are the eight broadcast teams for the NCAA Tournament this year, per an announcement from CBS and Turner. The top four teams (the ones with the stars) are the ones that will call the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, with the Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery, Grant Hill, and Tracy Wolfson team taking the Final Four and National Championship.
- Jim Nantz / Bill Raftery / Grant Hill // Tracy Wolfson*
- Brian Anderson / Chris Webber // Allie LaForce*
- Ian Eagle / Jim Spanarkel // Jamie Erdahl*
- Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Dana Jacobson*
- Brad Nessler / Jim Jackson // Evan Washburn
- Spero Dedes / Steve Smith / Wally Szczerbiak // Lisa Byington
- Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Lauren Shehadi
- Carter Blackburn / Debbie Antonelli // John Schriffen
Compared to last year, there are just changes to just three teams, none of which involve the top four teams.
- Steve Lavin won’t return as part of his trio with Brad Nessler and Jim Jackson.
- Len Elmore won’t return as part of his trio with Spero Dedes and Steve Smith.
- Ros Gold-Onwude won’t return as a reporter.
- Wally Szczerbiak moves from the studio to the court, replacing Elmore with Dedes and Smith.
- Lisa Byington replaces Gold-Onwude with Dedes, Smith, and Szczerbiak.
- Lauren Shehadi replaces Byington with Andrew Catalon and Steve Lappas.
And that’s all, folks.
It’s also worth noting that Lavin will still have a role at the NCAA Tournament with CBS and Turner – he’ll be calling all four First Four games. On Tuesday, he’ll reunite with Nessler, Jackson, and Washburn, while on Wednesday, he’ll work with Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, and Byington. Last year, the Tuesday First Four games were called by Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Dan Bonner, and Dana Jacobson, while the Wednesday games were called by Dedes, Smith, Jackson, and Gold-Onwude.
As for studio coverage, Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel return as New York-based hosts for the first week, joined by analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg, and Kenny Smith. The Atlanta-based coverage in Week 1 will be anchored by Adam Zucker (replacing Casey Stern), with returning analysts Brendan Haywood, Seth Davis, and Candace Parker, joined by still to be announced coaches. The Atlanta team will also work the First Four games, and Adam Lefkoe will be the update host. In the second week of coverage, Johnson shifts to Atlanta to serve as the host, while Gumbel will handle updates from New York. Dwyane Wade will also join the studio coverage of the Final Four and National Championship.
With all that being said, I’m still on the fence about doing broadcaster rankings for the NCAA Tournament this year – the change in the rankings from 2018 to 2019 was decided by a vote or two, and only resulted in two teams switching spots.
In further Selection Show news, it’ll again be a one-hour broadcast from CBS, hosted by Gumbel alongside Kellogg, Davis, and Barkley.