It is CBS’ turn to carry the Final Four after Turner did the honors in 2016 – a cable-TV first for the championship game of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.
But before we get to that point, there were a few interesting wrinkles in the announcing plans released late last week.
Among them are the additions of Debbie Antonelli and Steve Lavin as game analysts for the first two rounds.
Antonelli, who will work with play-by-play man Carter Blackburn and fellow analyst Mike Gminski, is the first woman in that role at the men’s NCAA Tournament since Ann Meyers in 1995.
Lavin, who will be paired with play-by-play man Ian Eagle, is making his NCAA game analyst debut two years after leaving as coach at St. John’s.
Casey Stern, who grew up in Massapequa, will serve as studio host from Atlanta, where he is based and serves as Turner’s Major League Baseball studio host.
Jim Nantz, Bill Raftery and Grant Hill again will call the Final Four, set for April 1 and 3 in Glendale, Arizona.
The play-by-play roster for the regional finals is unchanged, featuring Nantz, Verne Lundquist, Brian Anderson and Kevin Harlan.
The tournament opens March 14 with the “First Four” on truTV. The bracket will be announced Sunday.