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Three-Man Weave: CBS Crew Confident Final Four Broadcasts Will Go Smoothly
Published April 1, 2011
CAUTIOUS OPTIMISM: CBS Sports Chair Sean McManus said that "having two low-seeded teams in the Final Four" in Butler and VCU "won't necessarily mean a poor rating." McManus: "I think it's all going to come down to how close the games are. I'm not going to say we're going to do a bad rating because we have two teams from a mid-major" (VENTURA COUNTY STAR, 4/1). In L.A., Tom Hoffarth writes "based on viewer response to the tight David vs. Goliath/Duke vs. Butler final a year ago, CBS should expect continued ratings increases in both Saturday's Final Four and Monday's championship game" (L.A. DAILY NEWS, 4/1).
PREGAME ENTERTAINMENT: In Houston, David Barron notes the pregame and between-game features that will run during Saturday's coverage will include profiles of Butler F Matt Howard, Connecticut G Kemba Walker, Kentucky's "rebuilding mode after five players were selected in the first round of the NBA draft, the recent on- and off-court ventures of Virginia Commonwealth and coach Shaka Smart, a tribute to John Wooden and David Letterman discussing the Tournament with Bill Raftery" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 4/1). In N.Y., Phil Mushnick writes Saturday's Kentucky-UConn game will feature "two elephants in the room" in Kentucky coach John Calipari and UConn coach Jim Calhoun, "two whose programs' misdeeds likely will be quickly and obligatorily mentioned, then just as quickly dropped." CBS will not be "inclined to make a big issue of it." Mushnick: "You know TV. We're likely to be told that the issues have, by now, been 'well-documented'" (N.Y. POST, 4/1).
ANALYST REVIEW: THE BIG LEAD's Jason McIntyre wrote Kerr has been "very good as an analyst" thus far during the tournament, as he "sounded like someone who had done his work on college basketball." Fellow TNT NBA analyst Reggie Miller "did a terrific job calling out referees," but otherwise "left something to be desired." Miller "struggled at times getting along with his counterparts in the three man booth." Meanwhile, CBS analyst Greg Anthony "provided the most insight" out of the studio team of himself and TNT NBA analysts Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley. McIntyre: "I enjoyed the time he called out Kenny Smith for flip-flopping." Smith's observations were "mundane and obvious and he never got the back-and-forth magic going with Barkley that they have" on TNT's "Inside The NBA." Barkley also "wasn't nearly as effectively as effective as he is on TNT." Barkley either was "sternly told by the CBS suits to clean up his act, or he felt bad going after players/coaches," because he was "pretty light on the criticism" (THEBIGLEAD.com, 3/29).