One of the great events on the sports calendar concluded last night with an all-time great game between Kansas and Memphis.
As Kansas overcame a nine point deficit in the final two minutes, I thought to myself that there was only one thing that could make this game even better.
As Mario Chalmers sent the game into overtime with one of the more clutch shots in tournament history, my thought was confirmed.
This game needed Gus Johnson.
This is not at all a knock on CBS's first team of Jim Nantz and Billy Packer. Nantz was excellent as usual, and Packer's reaction to Chalmers was the most excited I have ever heard him.
Nantz, however, is more of a low-key announcer, and Packer is typically more on the critical side when discussing players and coaches.
A game of this excitement level needs a little bit more, and Johnson delivers. This game is the second one this year that I actively thought during the game that Gus would even turn it up another notch (The first being the Super Bowl; just think of Gus announcing David Tyree's catch).
For the color role, I'd let Bill Raftery complement Johnson. A signature "Onions!!!" delivered from Raftery would not only have been expected after Chalmers' shot, but required. Yet again, nothing against Len Elmore, but his reserved demeanor would not give this historical moment its due.
If you have trouble imagining what Gus' call would have sounded like, this might give you an idea. I can only imagine what Gus' reaction would have been like in a tournament final.
For now, we will have to live with a good call from Nantz and Packer, and the team shows little sign of slowing down. One can dream, however, of a day where Gus Johnson is the voice that is heard whenever sports history is made.
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