Jim Nantz will call his last Final Four this weekend in Houston after 32 years on the broadcast.
The longtime announcer revealed back in October that this year would be his last NCAA men’s basketball tournament. He explained at the time that he made the decision because he wants to spend more time with his kids.
Nantz expressed just this week that another reason for ending his 32-year run at the Final Four was so he could focus on Masters coverage. Normally, Nantz would broadcast the Final Four and championship game on Saturday and Monday, and then fly to Augusta National on Tuesday for a full week of Masters coverage.
The 63-year-old said he would be approached about Masters coverage while at the Final Four, and vice versa when he was covering golf the following weekend.
“Listen, it’s always been a bit of a conundrum for me,” Nantz said in an interview with GOLF. “When I’m at the Final Four, all anyone wants to talk to me about is the Masters. I get reminded of it just walking through a restaurant, walking down the street, walking through a lobby—‘who’s gonna win the Masters next week?’ Usually I’m walking around trying to catch up, trying to get some face time with the top players, but all they want to talk to me about is the basketball. It’s never in sync.”
The CBS broadcast this weekend will likely talk about Nantz’s longtime career with the NCAA men’s tournament. To start, Nantz got his name on a commemorative street sign ahead of this weekend’s big games.
One last ride for Jim Nantz at the #MFinalFour 🎙️#MarchMadness pic.twitter.com/FHvYMHZHvX— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) March 30, 2023
But, this shouldn’t be the last fans see of Nantz on Final Four broadcasts. He plans to appear in future broadcasts, just maybe not necessarily in the play-by-play chair.
“[CBS Sports chairman] Sean [McManus] and I agreed we’re going to talk about me having a cameo at the Final Four in the future, I just won’t be doing the meat of the tournament,” Nantz said. “There might be some role for me to go to the Final Four in Phoenix next year and continue my streak of being involved in that event. We’ll see.”
Ian Eagle will take over Nantz’s role next year. He has also been announcing college basketball games for CBS since 1998, and is one of three other broadcasters besides Nantz to call games during the second weekend of the tournament.