On the whole, CBS and Turner offer tremendous coverage of the tournament. From airing every game on every channel, to the depth and quality of announcers, to the production values. However, there's definitely some areas CBS should think about tweaking ahead of the 2014 NCAA Tournament. Some of those suggested tweaks and other thoughts on last night's coverage of Louisville's victory over Michigan in 5 Takeaways from the National Championship Game...
1) The first area CBS needs to address is the studio. It isn't working.
Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith are fantastic, some of the best and most entertaining in the business at Inside the NBA. I know many readers find Doug Gottlieb grating, but I actually don't find him to be the worst analyst on television. Nevertheless, having all of them on the CBS set produced a jumbled, uninformed, argumentative mess that made CBS's infamous Super Bowl blackout coverage look Emmy worthy. From Kenny Smith mispronouncing names (Spike Allbright? Shane Buchanan?), to Charles Barkley's obvious fatigue, to the panel arguing over Trey Burke's foul trouble while Louisville was cutting down the nets, it was a bad night for the studio.
So what should CBS and Turner do for next year? Move Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley back to Inside the NBA where they excel. Their moonlighting college basketball analyst days should come to an end. Second, move Doug Gottlieb to the booth full time and have him team with Kevin Harlan for two weekends of the tournament where his strong opinions can take better hold. Finally, restore the studio team of Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, and Seth Davis. They aren't flashy by any means, but they get the job done. More networks are taking a "less is more" approach with the studio. There's a reason. It actually works.