Its relatively early, but CBS and Turner Sports have announced their broadcast plans for the 2014 NCAA National Basketball Tournament. Coverage of the Tournament starts on Tuesday, March 18 at Dayton, Ohio for the two day First Four and conclude with the national semifinals and Championship game from AT&T Stadium in Arlington Stadium. As previously reported, TBS will air the Final Four on April 5th, the first time a cable network will air the national semifinals. This will include 'mega-telecast' coverage on TNT and TruTv. The two sister stations will simulcast the game with broadcast representing the competing teams for each semifinal contest, much like ESPN's experiment during the BCS Title game in early January. CBS will then air the national title game on Monday, April 7th. This arrangement will be in place for the next two tournaments before the two networks alternate the entire final four annually.
This year there will be several changes of note from last seasons pairings. Greg Anthony will be the newest analyst to the Final Four team. Anthony was tabbed this season as the main analyst, swapping the studio position with Clark Kellogg. He joins CBS's Jim Nantz and TNT's Steve Kerr in Arlington, along with court side reporter Tracy Wolfson. Other additions include, CBS Sports Network's Andrew Catalon who will join Mike Gminksi for opening weekend coverage. Catalon will replace Tim Brando who left CBS back in January. Kristine Leahy will also join the tournament as a court reporter replacing Marty Snider, who left for NBCSN. CBSSN's reporter Allie LaForce will get promoted to the Regional round in her second tournament assignment.
TNT's Ernie Johnson will be the new studio host for the Final Four. The Emmy winner will continue to split studio coverage in New York with Greg Gumbel during the first two weeks, but EJ will take over as host in Texas. He will be joined by Kellogg, Charles Barkely and Kenny Smith. Grant Hill will also be a new face to the Tournament broadcast as the former Duke star will join the Atlanta studio. Matt Winer will return as host along with Seth Davis, Steve Smith and Hill. Doug Gottlieb will join them during the Regional semifinals.
In addition, the announcing assignments for the First Four in Dayton will have Brian Anderson and Dan Bonner along with Leahy for the first pair of games on March 18. Kevin Harlan will be joined by Reggie Miller, Len Elmore and reporter Rachel Nichols for the following nights doubleheader.
Jim Nantz, Greg Anthony, Steve Kerr; Reporter: Tracy Wolfson (Final Four)
- Nantz, Anthony; Reporter: Wolfson (Second Round/Regional)
- Marv Albert, Kerr; Reporter: Craig Sager (Second Round/Regional)
- Verne Lundquist, Bill Raftery; Reporter: Allie LaForce (Second Round/Regional)
- Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, Len Elmore; Reporter: Rachel Nichols (First Four/Regional)
- Ian Eagle, Jim Spanarkel; Reporter: Lewis Johnson (Second Round)
- Brian Anderson, Dan Bonner; Reporter: Kristine Leahy (First Four/Second Round)
- Spero Dedes, Doug Gottlieb; Reporter: Jaime Maggio (Second Round)
- Andrew Catalon, Mike Gminski; Reporter: Otis Livingston (Second Round)
Final Four Studio: Ernie Johnson, Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg, Kenny Smith
Contributors: Greg Gumbel, Reggie Miller, Seth Davis, Grant Hill, Doug Gottlieb & college coaches TBA
New York Studio: Gumbel/Johnson, Barkley, Kellogg, Smith
Atlanta Studio: Matt Winer, Davis, Smith, Hill, Gottlieb (2nd week)
Sunday, March 16: Selections Sunday (CBS 6:30 p.m.)
March 18 & 19: NCAA First Four (TruTV 6 p.m.)
March 20-23: NCAA Tournament Second & Third Round (CBS, TBS, TNT, TruTV)
March 27-30: NCAA Tournament Regional Round (CBS, TBS)
Saturday, April 5: Final Four @ AT&T Stadium (TBS* 6 p.m.)
Monday, April 7: National Championship @ AT&T Stadium, Arlington (CBS 9 p.m.)
* - additional coverage on TNT & TruTV