College / Apr 5, 2010 / 2:00 pm

Pass The Mic: The NCAA Championship Game Deserves Better

With March Madness wrapping up tonight, the Dime office couldn’t be more excited for the National Championship game. With this in mind, we reached out to college basketball fanatic Trevor Kapp for his thoughts on the announcers for tonight’s game. Enjoy!

Remember back in school when you’d get assigned a group project and the person you were partnered with barely did any work but got just as much credit? That’s how I feel about Jim Nantz calling the Final Four.

During the college basketball regular season, Nantz isn’t there for games like Tennessee-Florida or North Carolina-Boston College. He’s in an NFL stadium or calling a golf tournament.

Then, he shows up on the Saturday of the Big Ten tournament and gets to announce the biggest games of the NCAAs alongside Clark Kellogg, who seems to have an obsession with calling the basketball the “orange” or the “pumpkin.”

I understand Nantz is a friendly face who has been at CBS since before I was born, but those aren’t good justifications for letting him call the most-watched games of the season.

For one, Gus Johnson is a better play-by-play man who has been as big a part of recent classic games as the players themselves. In the past few years alone, he has called UCLA’s 17-point comeback against Gonzaga (the game where Adam Morrison cried), Vermont’s upset over Syracuse in 2005 where T.J. Sorrentine hit the three from “the parking lot,” and this year’s Xavier-Kansas State game that went to double OT.

And yes, he was the one announcing the North Carolina-Boston College game in mid February where the teams had a combined 5-16 conference record.

Beyond all of this, though, Nantz and Kellogg just don’t have much chemistry – to the point I had to put Saturday night’s action on mute. Kellogg talks the entire game and makes points that just aren’t very accurate – for example, saying West Virginia’s John Flowers is a potent three-point shooter (he’s shooting 32 percent for his career) or that Lance Thomas played an outstanding game against Baylor (he grabbed nine boards, but was 2-for-9 from the field). And seriously, count the number of times he says “Jim” or “partner” tonight.

The point is that the semis and national championship are the three most-watched college games of the year. They feature the best teams and many of the best players. They deserve the best announcers to call the games. And right now, they’re not getting that.

What do you think?

Other Must-Read Articles From Trevor Kapp:
Pass The Mic: Top 5 Rule Changes For College Basketball
Word of God Coach Talks Bishop Daniels, C.J. Leslie and John Wall
Pass The Mic: NBA Teams Will Regret Passing On Ty Lawson

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    you’re excited for this game? wow…wish i could say the same

  • phresh

    nit picking, i mean Gus would be better but it isnt like Jim is crappy or any thing

  • thedoc

    Gus is the man. He should be doing the game. Let Nantz stick to the masters.

  • Steve A

    Gus Johnson is better, but it comes down to Nantz longevity at CBS, he’s likeable, and does do a good job. It’s his gig for however long he wants it to be.
    Let’s not confuse him with Joe Buck….UGH

  • Mikey F Baby

    How bout Clark Kellogg constantly referring to fouling out as “Dairy Queening”. That’s not gonna catch on CK. They both need replaced IMO.

  • Detroit Dave

    Does anybody know the name of the one color commentator that mumbles the craziest phrases at the tip off of every game?

  • Steve A

    @6, You’re probably thinking of Bill Raftery

  • Diego

    Can’t stand Kellogg with his pumpkin and orange references. It is just not working. Guy is trying for some colorful catch-phrases/terms that will stick and make him unique (think Dick Vitale), but it just sounds so stupid/horrible. (Please, please never catch on. I still have enough trouble stomaching the omnipresent “bigs” (and “littles” even) terminology.)

  • http://delicious.com/liftmeup Cuc Zona Libre

    Thanks for the entertaining read! Alright playtime is over and back to school work.

  • silky

    announcers were terrible. guusy j or the two fat old dudes woulda made the coronation better