TNT & truTV “Teamcast” Plans Unveiled for Final Four National Semifinal Games
Turner Sports and CBS Sports will provide exclusive coverage of the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Final Four and National Championship from North Texas with Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky and Wisconsin competing for college basketball’s top honor. TBS will televise the National Semifinal games on Saturday, April 5, with coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET, marking the first time in the 76-year history of the event the games will air on a cable network. The network will televise three hours of pre-game coverage beginning at 3 p.m. CBS will broadcast the National Championship on Monday, April 7, with pre-game coverage live from AT&T Stadium beginning at 8:30 p.m., and the game tipping off earlier this year at 9:10 p.m.
Saturday’s Final Four National Semifinals will feature Florida against Connecticut with tip-off scheduled for 6:09 p.m. Wisconsin versus Kentucky will begin 40 minutes following the conclusion of the first game. Jim Nantz will call the action with analysts Greg Anthony and Steve Kerr, along with reporter Tracy Wolfson. Nantz will call his 24th Final Four and National Championship, with Kerr joining Nantz for a fourth consecutive year and Anthony providing analysis alongside them for the first time this year.
Ernie Johnson will host studio coverage from the Final Four and National Championship with analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith – joined by Greg Gumbel and analysts Reggie Miller, Seth Davis, Grant Hill, Doug Gottlieb and college coaches.
In additional to the traditional Final Four National Semifinal game telecast airing on TBS, “teamcasts” or team-specific presentations tailored to the individual teams competing in both games will air simultaneously on TNT and truTV. The innovative teamcast concept – under the banner “Your Team, Your Way” – will present the game with unprecedented local flavor, including comprehensive team and player storylines, custom music, graphics and show packaging, additional cameras and team-specific replays, custom halftimes with school features and more.
Network/Commentators for the Final Four teamcast presentations:
Florida Teamcast at 6 p.m. on TNT
David Steele, who has previously hosted University of Florida basketball and football television and radio coverage and is the current voice of the Orlando Magic, will provide play-by-play for the TNT telecast. Analyst Mark Wise, a 14-year veteran analyst for the Gator Basketball Network, and reporter James Bates, a former member of the Florida football team who played on four consecutive SEC title teams and a national championship team in 1996, will join Steele.
Connecticut Teamcast at 6 p.m. on truTV
Eric Frede, a Connecticut native who covered the UConn men’s program this year as a studio host for CSN New England, will call the action on truTV. Frede is also the current play-by-play commentator for SNY’s coverage of the UConn women’s basketball program. Joining him courtside will be UConn standout Donny Marshall, a member of UConn Men’s Basketball All-Century Team who led the Huskies to the Elite Eight in 1995 while averaging 22.3 points per game. Marshall currently provides analysis for YES Network on the Brooklyn Nets. Additionally, UConn legend Swin Cash – a two-time Olympic gold medalist, three-time WNBA champion and two time NCAA champion at Connecticut – will be the courtside reporter.
Kentucky Teamcast following the first game on TNT
Play-by-play commentator Rob Bromley, a long-time Kentucky sports anchor who has handled play-by-play, sideline and color commentary for basketball and football on UKTV for more than 30 years, will team with former Kentucky star Rex Chapman as the analyst. Chapman was a two-time All-SEC player at Kentucky and a 12-year NBA veteran. Dave Baker, a television play-by-play commentator for UK/IMG telecasts of the University of Kentucky basketball games and long-time sports anchor and reporter at WKYT, will serve as the reporter for the game.
Wisconsin Teamcast following the first game on truTV
Wayne Larrivee, who has called Wisconsin games on the Big Ten Network this season, will provide play-by-play commentary. Larrivee is also the current radio voice of the Green Bay Packers. Larrivee will be joined by former Badger Mike Kelley, who helped guide the team to the Final Four in 2000.