For the first time in several years, there is a lot of shuffling amongst the game analysts during each round of the Big Dance.
Most notably is the Tuesday hire of the former ringleader during Michigan’s “Fab Five” era, as Chris Webber joins Marv Albert, Len Elmore, and the return of Craig Sager to the sidelines (he actually makes his return after sitting out one year with medical issues) tonight for TNT’s NBA game with Oklahoma City in Chicago to take on the Bulls.
The other big changes to the analyst chairs are Jim Spanarkel teaming up with Verne Lundquist and former ESPN analyst Doug Gottlieb will join the always excitable Ian Eagle.
Veteran CBS analyst Dan Bonner will slide into one of the primary Turner Sports crews of Kevin Harlan and Reggie Miller. Brian Anderson will be joined by 1990 Michigan State star Steve Smith. Smith will then be joining the key studio analysts in Atlanta during TBS’ coverage of the Regional round.
The last change affects the early round announcers during the first week, as Mike Giminski will be paired up with Spero Dedes, this after he worked with Andrew Catalon in 2014 after he replaced Tim Brando. Catalon will be joined by Steve Lappas, longtime Westwood One radio analyst and current game analyst for the CBS Sports Network.
To recap the complete roster of announcer pairings for the 2015 NCAA Tournament:
Play-by-Play / Analyst // Sideline Reporter
* Regional Weekend (Sweet 16/Elite Eight) Announce Teams
Jim Nantz / Bill Raftery / Grant Hill // Tracy Wolfson*
Marv Albert / Chris Webber / Len Elmore // Craig Sager*
Verne Lundquist / Jim Spanarkel // Allie LaForce*
Kevin Harlan / Reggie Miller / Dan Bonner // Rachel Nichols*
Ian Eagle / Doug Gottlieb // Evan Washburn
Brian Anderson / Steve Smith // Lewis Johnson
Spero Dedes / Mike Gminski // Jaime Maggio
Andrew Catalon / Steve Lappas // Jamie Erdahl
Jamie is a longtime rinkside reporter for Boston Bruins hockey games.
For the Opening Round games in Dayton, Ohio:
Brian Anderson will call Tuesday’s games (March 17) with analyst Steve Smith and reporter Lewis Johnson. Ian Eagle will take over on Wednesday night alongside Doug Gottlieb and reporter Evan Washburn. Studio coverage for the First Four will originate from the Turner Sports studios in Atlanta anchored again by Matt Winer with analysts Seth Davis, the 2000 Most Outstanding Player at Michigan State in Mateen Cleaves and Wally Szczerbiak, who can be seen normally on the CBS Sports Network cable channel.
Ernie Johnson will once again host studio coverage from the Final Four and National Championship with analysts Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith. They will be joined by Greg Gumbel of CBS Sports with analysts Reggie Miller, Seth Davis, Steve Smith and some college coaches. Gumbel and Johnson will host studio coverage from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York during the first full week of the tournament, with Johnson returning to Atlanta during the second week. Doug Gottlieb will join the studio coverage from New York when CBS splits their Sweet 16 coverage again with TBS.