March Madness: ‘First Four’ Kicks Off Commentary


The NCAA tournament is the time of year where teams achieve their dream of playing in the “Big Dance” and this game was no different between Lamar and Vermont. TruTv televised the “first four” opening round games and did a fantastic job with its commentary.

Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel were the commentators with Lewis Johnson as the on-court reporter giving injury reports and interviewing the coaches before, during, and after the final buzzer. Eagle and Spanarkel did a great job with the play-by-play offering great insight on several set plays executed by both teams. They showed slow motion replays of the play and talked to the viewers about why it was so well executed. When this is done, it gives the viewers a chance to become knowledgeable about the game of basketball.

One of the focuses was on Pat Knight, head coach for Lamar, and how he motivated his team after a Feb. 22 loss by publicly criticizing his seniors about how they are wasting scholarships. A short clip was shown of the press conference and following it there was a comparison of Lamar’s record before the conference then their record after the conference. You could see how well Lamar responded.

This game was just the start of March Madness with more thrilling games to come in the NCAA tournament. One of the big things from these tournaments is the media coverage spanning across four different networks. Each network will bring a different feel to each game and TruTv did a fine job for the Lamar verse Vermont game.

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About The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project

The Richard A. Maxwell Sport Media Project is a hub for teaching, research, and service related to sport media. The Project benefits students and faculty at Bowling Green State University, and offers outreach and media consulting to area and regional groups that work with student-athletes. Through collaborative efforts of the Sport Management program and the School of Media and Communication, BGSU students have the opportunity to learn such skills as sports writing, reporting, broadcasting, announcing, public relations, media relations, communication management and production. Faculty and other scholars have access to resources about the commercial and sociological aspects of sport.

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