By Ryan Berenz
The NCAA Tournament is down to the Final Four, as Kentucky, UConn, Butler and VCU (Wait, how did VCU get in here?) vie to survive and advance to the national championship game on Monday. CBS airs both Final Four games on Saturday, April 2, beginning with Butler vs. VCU at 6pm ET, followed by UConn vs. Kentucky at approximately 9pm ET. Channel Guide‘s Tom Comi has some excellent analysis of the matchups on our blog. Here’s the complete release from CBS and Turner, including features on The Final Four Show, complementing shows on truTV, and more:
CBS SPORTS AND TURNER SPORTS’ “ROAD TO THE FINAL FOUR” TRAVELS TO HOUSTON FOR CBS SPORTS’ 30th CONSECUTIVE YEAR OF EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE OF NCAA® MEN’S FINAL FOUR ON SATURDAY, APRIL 2
Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler and VCU Vie for College Basketball’s National Championship
Connecticut, Kentucky, Butler and VCU are on the road to Houston as CBS Sports and Turner Sports provide exclusive coverage of the 2011 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship and Final Four. For the 30th consecutive year, CBS Sports will broadcast live the national semi-final games on Saturday, April 2 (6:00-11:00 PM, ET) and the National Championship game on Monday, April 4 (9:00 PM, ET-conclusion) from Reliant Stadium.
Saturday’s Final Four features Butler versus VCU, with tip-off scheduled for 6:09 PM, ET. Forty minutes after the game concludes, Connecticut takes on Kentucky to determine the final participant in Monday night’s Championship game. Jim Nantz, Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr call the games along with Tracy Wolfson serving as reporter. Nantz will be covering his 26th Final Four and National Championship, Kellogg will be working his third, and Kerr joins Nantz and Kellogg to call his first Final Four and National Championship.
On Saturday, April 2 (3:00-4:00 PM, ET) “Infiniti NCAA Tip-Off” starts the day’s coverage on truTV. Leading in to the semi-final games, THE FINAL FOUR SHOW (4:00-6:00 PM, ET) on CBS with Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Seth Davis features tournament highlights, analysis of the four participating teams and interviews with coaches and players. Included in the broadcast are features on:
- Matt Howard, Butler – Senior forward Matt Howard embodies Butler basketball. The three-time Academic All-America has been a leader in the Bulldogs Final Four runs the past two years. The values he exhibits on the court and within the Butler community were instilled in him growing up in rural Connersville, Indiana as the eighth of 10 children. The Final Four Show visits with Howard and those closest to him as he prepares for the culmination of his storied collegiate career. Alanna Campbell produces.
- Kemba Walker, Connecticut – A first-team All-America and native of the Bronx, N.Y., Kemba Walker is the heart and soul of the Connecticut Huskies. Walker has led his team to nine straight wins since the end of the regular-season, including five wins in five days to capture the Big East Conference Championship. The Final Four Show sits down with Walker and his mother, Andrea, and learns something special about this NCAA Tournament star. Jeff St. Arromand produces.
- Kentucky – It was only two years ago that Kentucky didn’t make the NCAA Tournament, and after reaching the Elite Eight last season, five Kentucky players left for the NBA, all first-round picks. Other teams might have had to rebuild, but head coach John Calipari has the Wildcats in their first Final Four since 1998, thanks to the leadership of senior Josh Harrelson, juniors DeAndre Liggins and Darius Miller, along with a talented trio of freshmen. Sarah Rinaldi produces.
- VCU Confidential – From the first-ever FIRST FOUR to their first-ever Final Four, the VCU Rams are enjoying a historic tournament run. The feature captures Head Coach Shaka Smart and his team behind-the-scenes as the Rams prepare to take on Butler, and a chance to advance to the National Championship game.
- A Coaching Bond – While working together at Florida to build the Gators’ program into a national powerhouse, Head Coach Billy Donovan and his assistants, John Pelphrey and Anthony Grant, forged a bond as colleagues and close friends. Their relationship grew stronger as they supported each other while coping with shared grief through a series of personal tragedies. Sarah Rinaldi produces.
- John Wooden – Known as “The Wizard of Westwood,” legendary UCLA men’s basketball coach John Wooden stands as one of the most revered and successful college basketball coaches in history. Wooden led his Bruins to 10 NCAA Championships in 12 years. Wooden was more than just a coach, as he projected a unique vision and perspective on life that transcended sports. As a special tribute to Coach Wooden, who passed away last June, this feature looks back at some of the timeless inspirational wisdom he passed on. Charlie Bloom produces.
- David Letterman Breaks down the Bracket with Bill Raftery – As anyone who filled out a bracket this tournament knows, there probably weren’t too many people who successfully chose the Final Four teams. David Letterman puts his unique spin on March Madness, and is joined by CBS Sports’ Bill Raftery. Deb Gelman produces.
Bob Dekas, coordinating producer of CBS Sports’ NCAA basketball coverage, produces the 2011 Final Four and Bob Fishman directs. Eric Mann produces the pre- and post-game and halftime programs, and Bob Matina directs. Harold Bryant is Vice President, Production, CBS Sports.
CBS SPORTS AND TURNER SPORTS 2011 NCAA BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP BROADCAST SCHEDULE
Sat., April 2
truTV: 3:00-4:00 PM – NCAA Tip-Off
CBS: 4:00-6:00 PM – THE FINAL FOUR SHOW
CBS: 6:00-11:00 PM – NCAA MEN’S FINAL FOUR, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
truTV: 11:30 PM-12:30 AM – Inside March Madness
Mon., April 4
truTV: 8:00-9:00 PM – NCAA Tip-Off
CBS: 9:00-11:30 PM – MEN’S BASKETBALL CHAMPIONSHIP, Reliant Stadium, Houston, Texas
truTV: 12:00-1:00 AM – Inside March Madness