Turner Sports and CBS Sports Announce Coverage Plans for 2015 NCAA Men’s Final Four
CBS Sports and Turner Sports will provide exclusive coverage of the 2015 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from Indianapolis with Duke, Kentucky, Michigan State and Wisconsin competing for the national championship. TBS will televise the NCAA Final Four National Semifinal games on Saturday, April 4, with game coverage beginning at 6 p.m. ET. The network will feature three hours of pre-game coverage beginning at 3 p.m. CBS will broadcast the National Championship on Monday, April 6, with pre-game coverage starting at 8:30 p.m. and the game tipping off at 9:18 p.m.
Saturday’s NCAA Final Four National Semifinals will feature Duke against Michigan State at 6:09 p.m. on TBS. Kentucky against Wisconsin will follow 40 minutes after the completion of the Duke/Michigan State game. Jim Nantz will call the action with analysts Grant Hill and Bill Raftery with reporter Tracy Wolfson. Nantz will be calling his 25th Final Four and National Championship, with Hill and Raftery working the marquee event 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 analyss Reggie Miller, Seth Davis, Steve Smith and college coaches.
In addition to TBS’ Final Four National Semifinal game coverage, TNT and truTV will feature “Team Stream Presented by Bleacher Report” or team-specific presentations tailored to the schools participating in each game.
The inventive concept will continue to present the game with unprecedented local flavor including comprehensive team and player storylines, custom graphics, music, graphics and show packaging, additional cameras and team-centric replays, custom halftimes with school features and more.
Accompanying the live television coverage, NCAA March Madness Live will once again provide live streaming of the NCAA Final Four National Semifinals — including the Team Stream presentations — and the National Championship Game.
Team Stream commentator teams include:
“Duke Team Stream” on TNT at 6 p.m.
Tom Werme, play-by-play – Werme is a 20-year broadcasting veteran who has hosted the ACC Blitz and has provided commentary for the ACC Network, ACC Digital Network and Raycom Sports, among others.
Alaa Abdelnaby, analyst – Abdelnaby is a former Duke standout that played for the Blue Devils from 1996-2000 and was All-ACC third team during his senior year. He is currently a CBS Sports Network studio analyst and commentator for Westwood One.
Chris Spatola, reporter – Spatola is a former director of basketball operations at Duke and current CBS Sports Network commentator. He is also the son-in-law of Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski.
“Michigan State Team Stream” on truTV at 6 p.m.
Brian Anderson, play-by-play – Anderson is a veteran and versatile Turner Sports commentator who has done play-by-play for leading properties such as the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship, NBA on TNT and MLB Postseason on TBS, among others. He has also previously called games for the Big Ten Network.
Mateen Cleaves, analyst – A former Michigan State legend, Cleaves led the Spartans to an NCAA Championship in 2000 and was names the NCAA Final Four Most Outstanding Player. Cleaves is the only three-time All-American is school history and was named Big Ten Player of the Year twice. Currently a studio analyst for CBS Sports Network, Cleaves’ Michigan State jersey was retired in 2007.
Shireen Saski, reporter – a Michigan State alum, Saski is currently a CBS Sports Network reporter and has previously worked for the Big Ten Network. The veteran broadcaster has also been the recipient of three Michigan Emmy Awards, then working for Fox Sports Detroit.
“Kentucky Team Stream” on TNT (following first game)
Dave Baker, play-by-play – Baker is a long-time sports broadcaster at WKYT in Lexington and television play-by-play commentator for UK/IMG’s University of Kentucky basketball coverage. He has spent more than two decades being involved with broadcasting events surrounding the Southeastern Conference.
Rex Chapman, analyst – A former Kentucky star, Chapman was a two-time All-SEC player who helped lead the team to an SEC Championship and run to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 during his sophomore year. Chapman amassed more than 1,000 points in only two years at Kentucky, which was followed by a 12-year NBA career.
Michael Eaves, reporter – a Kentucky alum, Eaves has previously covered University of Kentucky basketball extensively as a sports anchor, reporter and producer at WKYT in Lexington. He is currently an anchor and reporter for Al Jazeera America.
“Wisconsin Team Stream” on truTV (following first game)
Wayne Larrivee, play-by-play – Larrivee is the radio play-by-play voice of the Green Bay Packers on the Packers Radio Network and has called college basketball for the Big Ten Network. He has also provided play-by-play for Westwood One during the NCAA Tournament.
Mike Kelley, analyst – A former Wisconsin standout, Kelley helped guide the team to the Final Four in 2000 and, during his collegiate career, he helped lead the team to its best four-season win total in school history. Kelley was inducted into the UW Athletics Hall of Fame in 2014.
Phil Dawson, reporter – Dawson is host of the Badger Radio Network, as well as a talk show host in Milwaukee and Wisconsin.