NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — Popular veteran Bill Raftery and rookie Grant Hill will call the Final Four this season.
Raftery has been telling fans that defenses are in “man-to-man” or that a shot banked in “with a kiss” for more than three decades during the NCAA tournament. But this is his first Final Four for TV after 23 years of handling the radio call.
For Hill, it will be his first season as a game analyst during the tourney, when a replay of his gravity-defying alley-oop from the 1991 title game will no doubt be shown more than a few times. The 42-year-old Hill won two national championships at Duke, then played 19 seasons in the NBA before retiring and joining Turner Sports in 2013.
Hill is taking the place of veteran Greg Anthony, who was suspended for the rest of the season Jan. 17 after he was arrested in Washington on charges he solicited a prostitute.
Anthony called his first Final Four last season after swapping spots with Clark Kellogg, who moved back to the studio show. He and Nantz joined Steve Kerr in a three-man booth. Kerr left broadcasting in the offseason for an NBA coaching gig with the Golden State Warriors, creating a potential opening on the Final Four team even before Anthony’s suspension.
The 71-year-old Raftery joined CBS Sports in 1983. He spent more than three decades at ESPN before following the reconfigured Big East to Fox for last season.
And Raftery looks forward to getting more in-depth with his analysis on TV.
“On radio, you’re a bump in the road for the play-by-play guy,” he said.
Hill, meanwhile, didn’t start doing NBA games until this season and will be making his college basketball debut for Saturday’s Duke-Notre Dame game on CBS that will bring him back to Cameron Indoor Stadium.
“I feel like I’ve come a long way,” he said, “and apparently so did Turner.”
Raftery and Hill will work alongside Nantz and sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson for the first time for the Big Ten tournament semifinals March 14 on CBS.
The NCAA semifinals in Indianapolis are April 4 on TBS and the national championship game is April 6 on CBS.
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