TBS basketball halftime commentators for NCAA tournaments are Jim Jackson and Steve Smith. They called together in 2023 March Madness.

The National Collegiate Athletic Association made a long-lasting deal with CBS and Turner Sports in April 2016. This agreement was worth a whopping $10.8 billion and will last till 2023.

It gave both CBS and Turner the rights to broadcast the Division I men's college basketball tournament together. Starting from the 2011 tournament, broadcasting began on multiple networks, including CBS, TBS, TNT, and truTV.

CBS and Warner Bros. Discovery have been combining their efforts to provide the best coverage for viewers. Jim Nantz, who works for CBS, remained the primary announcer for the 2023 season but will step down by the end of the year. 

Turner Sports' play-by-play Ian Eagle will replace Nantz starting from the 2024 college basketball season.

TBS NCAA Basketball Studio Announcers

TBS Basketball announcers March Madness comprises of:

  • Brian Anderson
  • Ian Eagle
  • Spero Dedes

Broadcasters from NBA TV and TNT join CBS's studio team to call NCAA March Madness games every season. Brian Anderson, the second play-by-play anchorperson for TNT and the top play-by-play newscaster for TBS's baseball coverage will also be part of the 2023 season panel.

Anderson agreed to join the studio cast for TBS in 2008 as a play-by-play for calling MLB games. For over a decade, Brian has been the voice behind the thrilling moments of the Milwaukee Brewers games on Bally Sports Wisconsin.

Anderson joins ESPN Voice of Bears show in April 2020
Anderson joins ESPN Voice of Bears show in April 2020 ( Source : twitter )

But his expertise doesn't stop there. He lends his voice to the exhilarating NCAA tournament basketball games for Turner Sports, capturing the electrifying atmosphere and memorable plays that make March Madness so special.

In addition, Anderson keeps fans entertained throughout the regular season of NCAA basketball games on FOX Sports and the Big Ten Network.

Not only is he a master of baseball and basketball, but he also brings his A-game to the MLB on TBS, the NBA games on TNT, and even the captivating "The Match" golf franchise on TNT.

Likewise, Ian Eagle, the 54-year-old broadcasting veteran, has announced games since the early 90s. He started his carer with WJPZ FM, covering women's basketball games in 1992. 

Eagle is a voice for NBA, NFL, and NCAA basketball games on TBS, TNT as well as CBS Network. Furthermore, Ian also covers tennis, track and field, and boxing games. 

Ian Eagle replaced Jim Nantz as the play by play for the 2023 NCAA Tournament
Ian Eagle replaced Jim Nantz as the play by play for the 2023 NCAA Tournament ( Source : reddit )

Exciting news emerged in October 2022 when it was revealed that Eagle would be stepping into the shoes of the renowned Jim Nantz. Come 2024, he will take on the prestigious role as the lead play-by-play announcer for CBS and Turner Sports' coverage of the NCAA Tournament.

On the other hand, Spero Dedes is the fourth-best announcer for the NBA on TNT, who also works for CBS and calls college basketball games during March Madness.

Besides, Dedes works with different analysts like Steve Smith and Jim Jackson. He started calling college basketball games for CBS Sports in 2010. He used to announce preseason games for the Los Angeles Chargers and NBA games on Turner.

TBS March Madness Studio Hosts

NCAA March Madness studio hosts for TBS include:

  • Ernie Johnson Jr.
  • Adam Lefkoe

Ernie Johnson Jr and Adam Lefkoe work alongside CBS hosts Greg Gumbel and Adam Zucker to bring viewers the best of both worlds and provide them with an engaging and fun program. 

Johnson began his broadcasting career in 1977 as a sports director at WAGQ-FM. After that, he went on to join Bally Sports South, where he announced Major League Baseball games for the Atlanta Braves from 1993 to 1996.

On top of that, Ernie has a job at Turner Sports, where he hosts a show called "Inside the NBA" for NBA on TNT. He gets to work with some incredible NBA players like Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley, and Kenny Smith.

Ernie Johnson Jr calling games for Turner Sports network.
Ernie Johnson Jr calling games for Turner Sports network. ( Source : facebook )

In 2002, Johnson Jr started working at TBS, hosting college football and MLB games. Then, in 2011, he became part of the NCAA March Madness panel and has been the lead host, cyclic with Greg Gumbel.

Adam Lefkoe, a familiar face to basketball fans, currently serves as the Tuesday host of the NBA on TNT. His association with Turner Sports began in 2013 when he initially worked as a reporter for local stations in Kentucky.

Lefkoe's talent and dedication contributed to the growth of Bleacher Report before he made his way to TNT. Initially, he appeared as a guest host on NBA on TNT, taking over from the Players Only show.

 In addition, whenever Ernie Johnson has been unavailable, Lefkoe has stepped in to fill his shoes on Inside the NBA, including on Thursdays.

TBS March Madness Analysts

TBS March Madness expert team consists of:

  • Charles Barkley
  • Kenny Smith
  • Candace Parker
  • Bill Raftery

The 11 times NBA-All star Charles Barkley remains the primary analyst for the NCAA March Madness on TBS. He is joined by Kenny Smith, Candace Parker, and Bill Raftery. 

After his successful NBA career, Barkley stayed connected to sports even after he retired. Instead of leaving the basketball scene, he took on a new role as a TV personality as he joined TNT as an analyst in the studio immediately after announcing his retirement in 2000.

Charles Barkley signs a new deal with WBD in October 2022
Charles Barkley signs a new deal with WBD in October 2022 ( Source : usatoday )

Since 2011, Barkley has been working as a studio analyst for the joint coverage of the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament, broadcasted by Turner Sports and CBS. 

Starting in 2016, the two times Basketball Hall of Famer has been involved in TBS's coverage of the NCAA March Madness.

Barkley received recognition for his skills in college basketball analysis in 2018 when he was named the top analyst by The Sporting News. His work on TNT's Inside the NBA, where he has been a panelist since 2000, has also earned him praise.

Kenny Smith has been a valuable CBS and Turner broadcasting panel member, providing insightful analysis during the March Madness tournament.

He started working with Turner Sports back in 1998, where he initially focused on analyzing the NBA regular season and playoffs in the studio.

Aside from his work with Turner, Smith showcased his basketball aptitude as a commentator for the 2001 Goodwill Games. In October 2022, Smith agreed to a contract extension deal with Warner Bros. Discovery Sports.

In addition, the two-time WNBA champion Candace Parker also brings her expertise to the TBS NCAA March Madness coverage. 

Starting in 2018, Parker took on a new role as a commentator and pundit for NBA on TNT Tuesday broadcasts. Additionally, she shared her insights as an analyst during the 2019 NCAA Division Basketball Championship Game.

Candice during a paid partnership with Band-Aid Brand in 2021.
Candice during a paid partnership with Band-Aid Brand in 2021. ( Source : instagram )

The following year 2019, Parker made a long-term commitment by signing an extended agreement with Turner Sports. The 37-year-old is currently playing for Las Vegas Aces in WNBA.

The former basketball coach Bill Raftery joined TBS to cover collegiate basketball games since the 2014-15 season. Raftery often teamed up with Verne Lundquist during his March Madness coverage. 

Besides, the former NBA guard has been calling college basketball games for over 30 years. He initiated his career as a radio broadcaster for Seton Hall University and later moved to television.

Furthermore, Raftery has worked for CBS, ESPN, and Turner Sports and called some of the biggest games in college basketball history.

TBS March Madness Commentators

TBS March Madness game commentators are:

  • Jim Jackson
  • Steve Smith

The dynamic partnership of esteemed ex-NBA stars Jim Jackson and Steve Smith takes on the role of astute color commentators, infusing the NCAA March Madness broadcasts on TBS with their incisive analysis and profound understanding of the game.

Jackson, who donned jerseys for 12 NBA teams, including Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Lakers, began his tenure at TBS as a newscaster and analyst in 2019. 

He previously worked beside Spero Dedes and Brad Nessier before partnering with his current announcer Brian Anderson in 2021.

Currently, Jim Jackson is a basketball expert and shares his analysis on various platforms working as an analyst for Turner Sports, Fox Sports 1, and the Los Angeles Clippers on Bally Sports West.

J. Jackson (L) calling a basketball game at Comerica Center, July 2022
J. Jackson (L) calling a basketball game at Comerica Center, July 2022 ( Source : instagram )

Steve Smith is the 2003 NBA champion who serves as a basketball analyst for Turner Sports and its several hubs, such as TBS and TNT. 

Smith began his broadcasting career in 2005, joining the Atlanta Hawks' television network as a studio analyst. He was also employed in color commentary duty for the Hawks' radio broadcasts.

In 2008, Smith became a part of Turner Sports, where he took on the role of a studio analyst for NBA TV. Additionally, he lent his expertise as a color commentator for Turner's NBA broadcasts.