This year's Big Dance will feature a game of musical chairs

ON MEDIA

March 13, 2009|By RAY FRAGER | RAY FRAGER,ray.frager@baltsun.com

Serving up another week of sports media notes while trying to recover from being an hour late for everything for several days before realizing daylight saving time had kicked in:

* Are you sort of the college basketball version of Punxsutawney Phil, just popping up each March for the NCAA tournament? If so, here's a heads-up about Sunday's tournament selection show on CBS (6 p.m., chs. 13, 9): Billy Packer is gone. Clark Kellogg replaced him as the network's No. 1 game analyst. That guy sitting in Kellogg's old studio seat? Greg Anthony. Yes, the same Greg Anthony who used to be an NBA commentator on ESPN.

Wow, you have been in that hole all year.

* Here are CBS' announcing pairings for the NCAA tournament: Jim Nantz/Kellogg, Dick Enberg/Carter Blackburn/Jay Bilas, Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery, Gus Johnson/Len Elmore, Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner, Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel, Craig Bolerjack/Bob Wenzel and Tim Brando/Mike Gminski.

There are several highly listenable pairings listed, but the Johnson/Elmore team is just right for the wild ride of the NCAAs. Johnson's call is excitable, intense and loud - bordering on manic during climactic moments - while former Terps star Elmore is cool, analytical and seemingly unflappable.

* After the NCAA field is announced Sunday, ESPN airs a two-hour Bracketology show starting at 7, with the usual cast - Bilas, Hubert Davis, Rece Davis, Bob Knight, my fellow Rider alum Digger Phelps and Dick Vitale. Joe "Joey Brackets" Lunardi also will be on hand, but once we know the 65 teams, is he really necessary?

* Comcast SportsNet analyzes the tournament during Sunday's SportsNite at 10 with a live roundtable discussion hosted by Brent Harris and featuring Towson coach Pat Kennedy. Once the tournament starts, each Sunday night at midnight, Comcast SportsNet will carry the syndicated Survive and Advance show with Packer and Knight. If the Hall of Fame coach were on that Comcast SportsNet show, it could be Knight's Roundtable.

* No, your eyes weren't deceiving you. That was Steve Davis filling in on Channel 11's sports segments during newscasts this week. The recently deposed WBAL Radio talk host still will pop in when called upon by the station. By the way, does anyone else find it jarring to still hear Davis' voice on the occasional commercial on WBAL?

* A week after he cut loose one of his voices, Casey Willett, WNST (1570 AM) owner/chat host Nestor Aparicio announced a contest seeking a fresh "sports media personality." (I would enter, but I have no personality.) Contestants will be heard on the air starting next month. The winner gets a prize, not a job. Though - who knows? - maybe a job, too. Check wnst.net for details.

* Speaking of WNST, it's interesting how much of a response the news about Willett drew at my blog (baltimoresun.com/ mediumwell), given that, in the last full ratings period (fall 2008), Arbitron measured the station as drawing 0.5 percent - tied for 30th - of Baltimore radio listening. (That's listening, as opposed to listeners. In this measurement, one person listening for 10 hours counts the same as 10 people listening for one hour each.)

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