basketball-men-d1 flag | March 31, 2016

Turner Sports and CBS Sports Announce Studio Programming Plans and Special Guests for 2016 NCAA Men’s Basketball Final Four in Houston

TBS’s Pregame Coverage on Saturday, April 2, Begins with At the Final Four presented by Infiniti at 3 p.m. ET, Followed by The Final Four Show at 4 p.m.

Saturday’s Pregame Coverage to Include Live Look-Ins from March Madness Music Festival
with Performances by Kendrick Lamar and Twenty One Pilots

Capital One Championship Central to Start Monday’s National Championship Coverage at 7 p.m. on TBS

CBS Sports and Turner Sports will provide exclusive coverage of the 2016 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship from Houston with North Carolina, Oklahoma, Syracuse and Villanova competing for the National Championship.  TBS will televise the NCAA Final Four National Semifinals on Saturday, April 2, and National Championship on Monday, April 4, with “Team Stream by Bleacher Report” or team-specific coverage airing on TNT and truTV.  National Semifinal game coverage will begin Saturday at 6 p.m. ET, with TBS featuring three hours of pre-game coverage beginning at 3 p.m.

At the Final Four presented by Infiniti (3-4 p.m.) will air live from the tailgate area outside of NRG Stadium. Ernie Johnson will host the show with analysts Kenny Smith and Reggie Miller.  They will be joined by Grant Hill, a game analyst for the Final Four and National Championship, and Hall of Famer Bill Walton, a two-time NCAA Champion and three-time National College Player of the Year, among other guests. 

The Final Four Show (4-6 p.m.), hosted by Johnson alongside Charles Barkley, Clark Kellogg and Kenny Smith will originate from inside NRG Stadium.  They will be joined by Greg Gumbel with analysts Steve Smith, Miller and Seth Davis.  The two-hour Final Four Show will include special guests including Vice President Joe Biden (a graduate of Syracuse University College of Law) and his wife Dr. Jill Biden (a graduate of Villanova University, Master of Arts in English), former heavyweight champion George Foreman and multi-platinum recording artist Kendrick Lamar, who will headline Saturday night’s lineup at the NCAA March Madness Music Festival. David “Big Daddy” Lattin, the starting center for the 1966 UTEP National Championship team that defeated Kentucky, will also appear on the show.  His grandson, Khadeem, is a sophomore forward with Oklahoma.

Saturday’s Final Four coverage will also include live look-ins from the March Madness Music Festival and performances by Twenty One Pilots during the pre-game show and Kendrick Lamar in between the two National Semifinal games.

TBS will televise the National Championship on Monday, April 4, the first time in the 78-year history of the event it will appear on cable television, with Capital One Championship Central pre-game coverage starting at 7 p.m., followed by the opening tip at 9:18 p.m.

Pregame coverage will feature two studio desks from inside the arena (same commentators as Saturday’s The Final Four Show), with Michigan State Head Coach Tom Izzo and UConn Head Coach Kevin Ollie making guest appearances. 

Monday’s coverage will include taped performances from Sunday’s NCAA March Madness Music Festival featuring Maroon 5 and Pitbull, airing as part of the pregame show.

Following the game, Jason Jones, star of the TBS’ The Detour, will join Johnson and team for Inside March Madness presented by Buick.  TBS is offering a sneak peak of The Detour immediately following the post-game show.

Saturday’s NCAA Final Four National Semifinals will feature Oklahoma against Villanova at 6:09 p.m. on TBSNorth Carolina against Syracuse will follow 40 minutes after the completion of the Oklahoma/Villanova game.  Jim Nantz will call the action with analysts Hill and Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson.  Nantz will be calling his 26th Final Four and National Championship, with Hill and Raftery working the marquee event for the second consecutive year.  The 2016 National Championship marks the 25th anniversary of Hill’s first national title with Duke (April 1, 1991, over Kansas in Indianapolis).

In addition to TBS’ Final Four game coverage, TNT and truTV will feature Team Stream by Bleacher Report, team-specific presentations tailored to the schools participating in the Final Four National Semifinals, for the third consecutive year, and the National Championship for the first time. The inventive concept will continue to present the game with unprecedented local flavor including comprehensive team and player storylines, music, custom 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 on desktop computers, tablets, mobile phones and most set-top boxes.

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