And how could those eight games -- perhaps the best all-around day of NCAA Tourney action in a while -- gotten even better? Only if Gus Johnson called all eight of them! (He called the Ohio State/Xavier thriller with video below, and the solid game between A&M and The 'Ville).
We've always found that a good broadcaster can make a dull game exciting and a bad play-by-play guy can ruin the greatest of games.
Johnson made good games that much better Saturday.
One of the open threads over at Deadspin Saturday became the Gus Johnson thread. Some of the better comments:
-From Phony Gwnn: "WOW. Gus Johnson is going to spontaneously combust."
-From Carmen McFanzone: "Gus is now at Defcon 5."
You get the point. Johnson gets waaay excited and puts an exclamation point after pretty much everything he says. IT'S SATURDAY!!! I HAVE TO GO THE BATHROOM!!!!!!! I'LL HAVE THE TUNA MELT!!!11!!!1!!
Simultaneously, NFL pregame host James Brown has gotten out of the studio and has been calling college basketball games for the first time in about 10 years. And as The Big Lead points out, yeah, perhaps Brown would be better off in the studio.
"And plus there’s no Gus Johnson, so that stinks. On the plus side, we won’t have to suffer through the awfulness that is James Brown. He’s great in the studio when NFL is your sport; he may be the worst play-by-play guy in college hoops."Indeed.
Turns out though, that CBS brass has about zero idea what people actually want, and Johnson's duties will be "curtailed," as Brown will take over Johnson's duties calling the Regional Semis and Finals.
Remember how we said above that a bad announcer can dull even the best of games? Yeah, Brown might just do that when it really matters. At least Gus went out on a high note.
Oh, and CUBDUMB has a great post with some of Johnson's greatest hits. A must read/watch.
THIS IS MARCH MADNESS!!!!!!!
[Update: The Hog Blogger has nice best of Gus, and my boy Mr. Irrelevant has a nice take on this too.]