This year’s NCAA Tournament broadcaster grades are in, and…they’re nearly identical to last year, with one small change.
Compared to last year, six of the eight teams had a higher overall score. There was actually one tie in the voting, and I had to take it out to four decimal places to break it (and even then, we’re talking about a score difference of 0.0002). We had over 13,000 votes for the eight broadcast teams, and the average score was a strong 2.89.
For context: three of the NCAA Tournament crews had higher scores than the top-rated NFL broadcast crew from November. The five (!) play by play broadcasters that call the NFL on CBS and also called the NCAA Tournament all drew higher scores for their college hoops work than for their NFL work. Five of these eight crews had higher scores than the top-rated MLB Postseason crew from our rankings last October. And when you roll it all the way back to last August, three NCAA Tournament crews achieved higher scores than the highest-rated MLB crew, and six MLB crews had lower scores than the lowest-ranked NCAA Tournament team.
Brian Anderson, featured in the two MLB polls and the NCAA Tournament one, picked up his best score in this post you’re reading right now.
Here are the full vote tallies for all eight broadcast crews.
Onto the rankings!
8. Carter Blackburn, Debbie Antonelli, and John Schriffen – 1.93
Last year: 1.84 (eighth of eight)
Most popular grade: C (43.00% of votes)
Body of work: Vermont-Florida State
Murray State-Florida State
7. Andrew Catalon, Steve Lappas, and Lisa Byington – 2.31
Last year: 2.20 (seventh of eight)
Most popular grade: C (42.54% of votes)
Body of work: New Mexico State-Auburn
6. Spero Dedes, Len Elmore, Steve Smith, and Ros Gold-Onwude – 2.61
Last year: 2.54 (sixth of eight)
Most popular grade: B (43.08% of votes)
Body of work: UC Irvine-Kansas State
Saint Louis-Virginia Tech
5. Brian Anderson, Chris Webber, and Allie LaForce – 2.90
Last year: 2.66 (fifth of eight)
Most popular grade: B (41.02% of votes)
Body of work: Iowa-Cincinnati
4. Brad Nessler, Jim Jackson, Steve Lavin, and Evan Washburn – 2.95
Last year: 3.08 (fourth of eight)
Most popular grade: B (41.93% of votes)
Body of work: Northern Kentucky-Texas Tech
Ohio State-Iowa State
3. Kevin Harlan, Dan Bonner, Reggie Miller, and Dana Jacobson – 3.3586
Last year: 3.41 (second of eight)
Most popular grade: A (58.22% of votes)
Body of work: Minnesota-Louisville