There might not be two more distinctly different sporting events on the planet than March Madness and the Masters. Both are truly American and rank nearly at the top of the toughest ticket in sports to get year after year.
CBS Sports lead play by play man Jim Nantz has the unique distinction of calling more NCAA National Basketball Finals than any other broadcaster. Monday night from court-side at the Superdome in New Orleans setting next to Clark Kellogg and Steve Kerr, Nantz will call his 27nd National Championship Game telecast. 24 hours after signing off from the official end of March Madness he be in Augusta where he will serve as the networks lead golf announcer at the Masters.
For CBS this will be there 57 consecutive Masters broadcast for CBS making the relationship between the network and the tournament the longest in sports television history. As for Nantz this will be his 27th year as part of the Masters broadcast team. But it will be his 25th year as the host making this his Silver Anniversary broadcast.
So talking to Nantz the other day via phone he was more than happy to talk about his favorite week of the year.
JW: What is this week like for you?
Nantz: "This is the best week of my year. Really to have the honor to broadcast the Final Four on Saturday then to do the Final on Monday night is amazing. After the broadcast we head to hotel get a good night’s sleep and off we go to Augusta where we get ready for all the history that is the Masters. I am truly a very lucky man.”
JW: Give me a sense of doing March Madness then the Masters?
Nantz: "Well I asked the NCAA if they could push the championships back a week or two but I have not heard back from them. No all kidding aside on Saturday you have the Final Four at the Superdome and it is electric. The fans, the bands, the atmosphere is the essence of college basketball. Monday night in the National Championship Game and the game each year is the focal point of college sports world. The sound in the building is very, very loud with the crowds cheering and the bands playing. It all builds up to a great game and watching the winning team cutting down the nets.
Then you go to Augusta where it is so very quiet and the pace is slower. You have the greatest golfers in the world, playing on a course that is a legend on its own. Leading up to a Sunday finish that more often than not closes with a great storyline and the Green jacket presentation. Two totally wonderful, totally unique events that both in their own way captures the imagination of the entire country.’
Some quick Masters TV information—Thursday and Friday, April 5-6, on the ESPN, plus ESPN 3D Network, extensive coverage on ESPN.com. Early round coverage will air 3p.m. to 7:30p.m both days. With prime time replays.
CBS has the weekend coverage Saturday, April 7 (3:30-7:00 PM, ET). Final-round 18-hole coverage is scheduled for Sunday, April 8 (2:00-7:00 PM, ET).
CBS Producer Lance Barrow will handle the coverage of all the live action for both CBS and ESPN.
Golf Channel will have support coverage starting each day with Morning Drive starting at 6a.m. then from 8a.m. till 3p.m. each day they will air Live From the Masters. The evening version of Live From the Masters will air Thursday through Sunday starting at 7:30p.m.
Radio for the entire tournament will be on Westwood One airing on stations locally. The most comprehensive radio coverage will be on offered all four days on Sirius-XM Radio. Broadband coverage on both CBSSports.com as well as Masters.com