This Final Four is CBS’ 30th since it inherited the event from NBC. That’s a nice run. What is even more impressive is some of the same people have been involved in presenting it all or most of that time.
Jim Nantz is in his 26th year as host or play-by-play man. Which makes him the new guy compared to the team in the production truck.
Producer Bob Dekas and director Bob Fishman are working their 27th Final Four together, believed to be the longest-running such team ever for a major American sports event.
“We must just enjoy spending time together,’’ Dekas said. “I would never say I would do this for free, but sometimes you think, you know, I would do this for free.’’
Said Nantz, “Their minds are so fast. They just make really good decisions. The chemistry from those two is a very powerful thing . . . They have seen it all, done it all.’’
Dekas, 59, said his favorite Final Four memory is from his first: Villanova’s “perfect game’’ against Georgetown in the 1985 final.
Fishman, 61, chose a shot from ’84, the year before Dekas joined him. It was Georgetown coach John Thompson hugging Fred Brown, goat of the ’82 final, as the Hoyas won it all over Houston.
“It was the perfect shot of love and redemption and just to me what all the emotion of this tournament is all about,’’ Fishman said.