Friday, March 18, 2011

An analysis of Gus Johnson-less end-of-game broadcasts

The first day of March Madness came and went, and for a good portion of the day, every game ended in dramatic fashion. The moments that embody pure drama are the ones that usually stay freshest in our memories the longest. For that to happen, the scenes needed to narrated with the drama and energy of a 12-car pile up.

Since we spent the early parts of the week breaking down the best "Gus Johnson Moments" in college basketball history, we decided to break down the quality of the end-of-game-calls from Thursday's action. Because after all, you guys clearly didn't come here looking for a statistical breakdown of Louisville's sub-par offensive efficiency rating.

(Rating system: 1-5 in terms of "ONIONS" where 1 is "Boom goes the dynamite" and 5 is "SEND IT IN JEROME")

No. 8 Butler 60, No. 9 Old Dominion 58 - Tim Brando/Mike Gminski

First off, we have to remember that all of these calls would be infinitely better if Gus Johnson was on the mic. Nonetheless, Brando did a quality job on this one. True, the catch-phrase was clearly manufactured and prefabricated, but the execution was spot on. Not a bad way to start March Madness.

Rating: 3.5 Onions

No. 13 Morehead State 62, No. 4 Louisville 61 - Vern Lundquist/Bill Raftery

With Raftery on the mic, you were all but guaranteed to get a good call, and that's exactly what happened. The soundtrack to unbridled chaos that he provides makes any end-of-game situation classic. When you add in the bewilderment that Vern Lundquist expresses when Mike Marra hoists up the final shot, this clip becomes an instant-classic. Best call of the day, bar-none.

Rating: 4.5 Onions

No. 7 Temple 66, No. 10 Penn State 64 - Kevin Harlan/Dan Bonner/Reggie Miller

The ending to this game was pretty awesome. But the call was pretty plain. Kevin Harlan did a good job on Talor Battle's 25-footer, but his delivery of the final play was somewhat-unimpressive. It wasn't set up well and, while he did express excitement in his voice, it was certainly nothing special. But thank god Reggie Miller didn't try to chime in. This call would have gone from bad to worse.

Rating: 3 Onions

No. 4 Kentucky 59, No. 13 Princeton 57 - Ian Eagle/Jim Spanarkel

This was nearly as unimpressive as Harlan's call. Yes, the description of Knight's lay-up was nice, but nobody says "With the runner" quite like Gus Johnson. But listen to when Princeton takes their final shot, Eagle's tone of voice is almost somber. There is no place for "somber" in March Madness.

Raing: 2 Onions

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