Syracuse Orange: A ‘Cuse alumnus calling Final Four is simply beautiful

Syracuse Orange (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
Syracuse Orange (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

Syracuse University has countless of its alumni engaged in broadcasting at the highest levels throughout the country, and one of the best sportscasters out there, who has Syracuse Orange roots, will call the Final Four in the not-too-distant future.

I’m a proud SU alum myself, and I majored in broadcast journalism at the famed Newhouse school when I attended the ‘Cuse from 1996 to 2000. I never ended up in broadcasting, but rather in newspaper journalism and, for the past 15 years, as the owner of a creative agency.

But throughout my time at SU into the present, and really dating back to when I was a teenager, I loved sports broadcasting. It wasn’t for me as a profession, but over the years I’ve adored sportscasters such as Keith Jackson (my all-time favorite), Dick Enberg, Verne Lundquist, Sean McDonough (‘Cuse), Bob Costas (‘Cuse), Mike Tirico (‘Cuse) and Jim Nantz, among others.

Another acclaimed sportscaster with a Syracuse Orange connection, Ian Eagle, has also become one of my favorite announcers in recent years. He’s so smooth, so calming, yet filled with energy. Eagle is a terrific storyteller.

The Syracuse Orange, from a broadcasting perspective, will shine bright at the Final Four.

A few days ago, Andrew Marchand of the New York Post reported that Nantz will call his last NCAA Tournament Final Four this coming spring, at the conclusion of the 2022-23 season that begins for Syracuse basketball at home versus Lehigh on November 7.

Eagle, who graduated from Newhouse in 1990 (10 years before me!), is going to replace Nantz in calling future Final Fours, which is so well-deserved for him and awesome for SU.

Among his other duties, Eagle does NBA games for Turner Sports, and he is the No. 2 play-by-play broadcaster for CBS’ NFL coverage.

"Marchand wrote in part: “Eagle, 53, has previously been like the Dan Marino of play-by-players. Eagle might be the best pure sportscaster in the business, but he was without a major championship.”"

So Eagle is proceeding onward as the No. 1 play-by-play guy for the Big Dance. Tirico is now the lead announcer for NBC’s Sunday Night Football. McDonough is one of the top college basketball/college football broadcasters for ABC/ESPN.

There are way too many illustrious broadcasters out there doing wonderful things who attended Syracuse University, but I’ll run out of space if I list them all here.

A huge congrats to Ian Eagle, and a shout-out to Nantz on calling Final Fours for more than 30 years. The NCAA Tournament is my favorite sporting event. I’ve loved March Madness for decades. Having a fellow Syracuse Orange alumnus calling the Final Four, to me, is magical.

Now we just need to see Syracuse basketball make a run to the national semifinals sooner rather than later (wink, wink), so that Eagle can call a Final Four with his alma mater as a participant.

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