CBS will go wire to wire with NCAA


CBS yesterday announced its announcer pairings and telecast schedule for the men's and women's NCAA basketball championships.

The network will, for the fifth straight year, televise every second of all 63 men's games, from the first round on March 16 to the championship game on April 3, with slightly expanded coverage that starts with a one-hour selection show on March 12 and ends with a full evening of prime time coverage from Seattle on the night of the title contest.

The lead tandem of play-by-play man Jim Nantz and analyst Billy Packer will work the regional semifinals and finals, as well as the Final Four games, but not the first weekend of the tournament.

Packer will be teamed with Dick Stockton for the first and second rounds, and Nantz will anchor the prime-time studio shows for the first three days, joined by studio analyst Clark Kellogg. Pat O'Brien will be host for the afternoon studio shows on the first Thursday and Friday of the tournament.

Here's the rest of the first- and second-round announcer tandems, with the play-by-play announcer listed first: Sean McDonough-Bill Raftery, Verne Lundquist-Quinn Buckner, Tim Ryan-Al McGuire, Ted Robinson-Derrek Dickey, Dave Sims-Dan Bonner, Mike Emrick-George Raveling and Mike Gorman and Ann Meyers, who will also analyze the men's Division II championship and the women's Final Four for CBS.

Terps football scores big

The Maryland-Georgia Tech football game next Sept. 28 was one of eight selected by ESPN yesterday for its package of Thursday night College Football Association telecasts, marking the first time the Terps have appeared in a Thursday night game.

The Thursday ESPN series, which has nine teams that played in bowl games last season, begins on Sept. 7 with Boston College meeting Virginia Tech and concludes on Thanksgiving night with Texas playing host to Baylor. The most intriguing matchup is the Florida State-Virginia contest on Nov. 2.

Clearing the hurdles

ABC has nabbed this year's World Track and Field Championships, to be conducted in Gothenburg, Sweden, this summer. The network will present 8 1/2 hours of coverage over two weekends, Aug. 5-6 and 12-13, with its sister networks, ESPN and ESPN2, providing 6 1/2 hours of weekday coverage in between.

In addition, ABC will air the United States outdoor championships from Sacramento, Calif., June 17-18.

NFL and CBS Radio re-up

NFL radio broadcasts will continue to be heard on CBS Radio for the next four years, thanks to a new deal between the parties that have been together since 1978.

CBS Radio will carry 41 regular-season games each season, including 17 Monday night games, 18 Sunday and Thursday night contests, both Thanksgiving Day games, four Saturday games and all 12 playoff games, including the Super Bowl.

WBAL (1090 AM) had been the Baltimore NFL carrier in recent years, but it dropped the Monday night package while Ron Smith was airing in the evenings. Here's hoping that with Smith's return to afternoons, the station can go back to airing Monday night games.

Get a grip, Lawrence

It would appear that one can sell one's dignity for $500,000, especially if one's name is Lawrence Taylor. That's the amount the former New York Giants linebacker will receive to appear in the World Wrestling Federation's next "WrestleMania" against a guy called "Bam Bam Bigelow."

Guess that nickname "LT" stands for "Little Taste."

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