I’m kind of sad that this will be my last NCAA Tournament blog post before they totally screw this thing up with 96 teams next year. Oh, well. Here are the details for Final Four weekend on CBS, including all the pregame shows and features. From CBS:
CBS SPORTS’ “ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR” WINDS INTO INDIANAPOLIS FOR NETWORK’S 29th CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF NCAA MEN’S FINAL FOUR ON SATURDAY, APRIL 3
Duke, West Virginia, Michigan State and Butler Vie for College Basketball’s National Championship
Lead Play-by-Play Announcer Jim Nantz Covering 25th Consecutive Final Four
Duke, West Virginia, Michigan State and Butler are on the road to Indianapolis as CBS Sports culminates its 29th consecutive year as the exclusive network broadcaster of the 2010 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and Final Four with live coverage of the national semi-final games on Saturday, April 3 (6:00-11:00 PM, ET) and the National Championship game on Monday, April 5 (9:00 PM, ET-conclusion) from Lucas Oil Stadium.
Saturday’s Final Four features Butler versus Michigan State, with tip-off scheduled for 6:07 PM, ET. Forty minutes after the game concludes, Duke takes on West Virginia to determine the final participant in Monday night’s championship game. Jim Nantz, who is covering his 25th Final Four, teams courtside with lead analyst Clark Kellogg for the second consecutive year to call all the action.
During Saturday’s Final Four coverage Kellogg goes one-one-one with President Barack Obama in an interview and game of basketball. Kellogg and CBS News’ EARLY SHOW co-anchor Harry Smith challenge the President to a game on the White House basketball court.
CBS Sports’ live coverage from Indianapolis begins with Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony and Seth Davis on THE FINAL FOUR SHOW (4:00-6:00 PM, ET) featuring tournament highlights, analysis of the four participants and interviews with coaches and players. Contributing to the program are Dick Enberg, Lesley Visser and Tracy Wolfson. Included in the broadcast are features on:
* Ride of a Lifetime – Three former Michigan State alumni, NFL Hall of Famer Joe DeLamielleure, the former head of the secret service Eljay Bowron and John Shinsky, went on an 18-day bike ride last spring to raise the final money needed to open an orphanage in Matamoros, Mexico. Shinsky, who himself was an orphan, always wanted to give back. With the help of the Michigan State community he finally realized his goal. This feature parallels the struggles and triumphs that they all endured to help realize a dream 40 years in the making. The feature is narrated by Dick Enberg. Pete Radovich and Deb Boulac produce.
* Gordon Hayward, Butler – As a youngster, Butler’s Gordon Hayward’s basketball coach was his father. Hayward had a major growth spurt in high school, so it’s no surprise that the 6’9’’ Hayward plays like a guard trapped in a forward’s body. The family atmosphere at Butler won the Indiana native over. He had a stellar freshman year and led the Bulldogs to the NCAA tournament. This season, as a sophomore, Hayward was named the 2010 Horizon League Player of the Year. He has helped lead Butler to 24 straight wins and a trip to its first Final Four, which just happens to be 49 blocks from Butler’s campus. Sarah Rinaldi produces.
* The West Virginia Mountaineers – Three years ago, Bob Huggins, a native of West Virginia and former Mountaineer, came back to West Virginia Senior standout Da’Sean Butler leads a team of hard-working teammates who play a style of basketball that revolves around rebounding and defense, or as Coach Huggins preaches, “the right way.” The Mountaineers are carrying the hopes of an entire state from the coal mines to the country roads all the way to Indianapolis. Alanna Campbell produces. with a goal to win a National Championship. The Mountaineers are appearing in the Final Four for the first time since 1959.
* Nolan Smith, Duke – Duke’s Nolan Smith was eight-years-old when his father, Derek, died of a heart attack at the age of 34 on a cruise ship. Nolan carries with him the advice his father gave him of “always playing every basketball game like it was the last one.” Along the way, many of Derek’s basketball friends helped mentor Nolan. The younger Smith was a major recruit coming out of high school. He coincidentally decided to choose Duke over Louisville because he did not want to play in his father’s shadow. It was 30 years ago when Derek led the Cardinals to the National Championship in Indianapolis. In the South Regional Final, Nolan scored a career-high 29 points to get Duke back to the Final Four for the first time since 2004. Now he is on his way to creating his own legacy and honoring his father. Deb Gelman produces.
* The Michigan State Spartans – A year ago, Michigan State lost to North Carolina in the NCAA National Championship Game in its home state. Now, the Spartans are back in the Final Four for the sixth time in the last 12 years under head coach Tom Izzo. It’s been a difficult season for Michigan State.The Spartans were forced to deal with many issues both on and off the court, ranging from team in-fighting, to players simply not playing up to their potential. In addition, there have been significant injuries and suspensions. During the Spartans second-round game against Maryland, they were dealt another damaging blow, losing starting point guard Kalin Lucas with a torn achilles tendon. The Spartans have used his injury to rally together. The rallying cry is, “PPTPW” (Players Play, Tough Players Win.) Michigan State has survived four close games to make it to the Final Four. Can the Spartans win another national championship in the same city where they won in 2000? Jeff St. Arromand produces.
* Crispus Attucks – This is the 100th anniversary of the Indiana State High School Basketball Tournament. It is also the 55th anniversary of Crispus Attucks High School in Indianapolis winning the state championship and becoming what is believed to be America’s first all African-American state championship team. The team was led by future basketball Hall-of-Famer Oscar Robertson and legendary basketball coach Ray Crowe. The feature looks back at that historic era of 1955 as Indianapolis struggled with integration and the Crispus Attucks Tigers played to establish an identity far beyond basketball. Sarah Rinaldi produces
Also on Saturday, CBS Sports broadcasts the COACHES’ ALL-AMERICA TEAM SPECIAL (3:00-3:30 PM, ET) hosted by Ian Eagle and Bill Raftery. ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR OUTSIDE THE GAMES (3:30-4:00 PM, ET) follows with Davis hosting.
PRELUDE TO A CHAMPIONSHIP with Gumbel, Anthony and Davis precedes Monday evening’s National Championship game.
Bob Dekas, coordinating producer of CBS Sports’ NCAA basketball coverage, produces the 2010 Final Four and Bob Fishman directs. Eric Mann produces the preview and halftime programs, and Bob Matina directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
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CBS SPORTS 2010 NCAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Saturday, April 3
3:00-3:30 PM, COACHES’ ALL-AMERICA TEAM SPECIAL
3:30-4:00 PM, THE ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR: “Outside the Games”
4:00-6:00 PM, THE FINAL FOUR SHOW
6:00-11:00 PM, NCAA MEN’S FINAL FOUR: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.
Monday, April 5
9:00-9:18 PM, PRELUDE TO A CHAMPIONSHIP
9:20-11:30 PM, NCAA MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP: Lucas Oil Stadium, Indianapolis, Ind.