For fans of college basketball’s NCAA tournament, Jim Nantz’s name has become synonymous with the Final Four. The Jim Nantz era came to an end, however, as Nantz emotionally announced his retirement from the event after 32 years as the voice of the Final Four.
Nantz put on another magnificent performance as he called the championship game between Connecticut and San Diego State University, cementing his legacy as one of the greatest sports broadcasters of all time. While UCONN celebrated their victory, Nantz took a break from describing the action on the court to thank his friends, family, and fans for the opportunity that they gave him. He said:
“One thing I learned through all of this is everybody has a dream and everybody has a story to tell. Just try to find that story. Be kind. Can I tell you one other thing? I mean this, and not to try to play off, ‘Hello friends,’ but to you, everybody in the college game. My CBS family, my family, all the viewers. Thank you for being my friend.”
"Thank you for being my friend"
Jim Nantz with some amazing words as he wraps up his final National Title Game ❤️ pic.twitter.com/NtxPkxzcAp
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 4, 2023
CBS Sports released a short documentary on Twitter to commemorate Jim Nantz and his long tenure at the event. For 37 years, the video claims, Nantz has been present at the big game. As the video rolls, showing all of biggest moments from March Madness past, it becomes clear why Nantz was held in such high esteem by fans of college basketball. For every miracle three-point shot and rim-rattling slam dunk, Nantz was there, on the microphone, making the call.
Behind every great sports moment, there’s a storyteller.
For decades, Jim Nantz has been the storyteller of the Men's Final Four. pic.twitter.com/8DPVx2WZki
— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) April 1, 2023
However, while Nantz is stepping away from the Final Four, TheBigLead notes that he plans on sticking with the Masters, saying:
Jim Nantz signed off from his Final Four coverage on Monday night by thanking all of his friends watching on television, capping a 37-year run that saw him get one last iconic call and plaudits from every corner. It’s the end of something yet not the end of everything because the CBS stalwart will be right back in his traditional position at Augusta National Golf Club this weekend calling the Masters.
Because Nantz has given no indication he intends to step away from the responsibilities and privileges associated with golf’s most picturesque stage. In fact, he’s envisioning some remarkable longevity, having previously stated a goal of working through the 100th Masters, which will be played in 2036. Can you even imagine what golf will look like by then? Or if some sort of sentient robot will be the one to ultimately replace the venerable broadcaster? Makes you think.
At 63 years-old, Nantz still has plenty left in the tank and long-term plans. It will be weird to have college basketbal’s big weekend without him, yet that pales in comparison to how odd it will be when someone else is conducting business on Amen Corner.
So, though he’s gone from one of his higher profile and bigger roles, we’ll still get to have him on the Masters for many years to come.
Featured image credit: screengrab from embedded Twitter video
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