Broadcaster Lisa Byington will likely reach another first for women in sports when she takes her seat at the men's NCAA tournament next week.
Byington is believed to be the first woman to do play-by-play in men's tournament history, according to sports media reporters. Byington will call games through the round of 32 for CBS and TNT, the companies announced Thursday.
The tournament begins in one week with the NCAA First Four.
Byington makes another first in broadcasting
Byington will be on a team with analyst Steve Smith as one of 10 pairings. All games will be at one site this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic and safety restrictions.
Byington already has a barrier-breaking moment to her name. She was the first woman to do play-by-play for a collegiate football game on the Big Ten Network in 2017. And she is believed to be the part of the first all-female broadcast team to work a major men's professional game. She called an MLS game in 2018 with Danielle Slaton and Katie Witham.
Debbie Antonelli will serve as an analyst with Carter Blackburn on the call. She is the only female analyst in the groupings.
Elated to be back amongst the Madness with my phenomenal partner @debbieantonelli. Congrats to everyone, including my March 2017 teammate @LisaByington on a breakthrough role. Ballin! https://t.co/qSJcz8lbUD
— Carter Blackburn (@CarterCBS) March 11, 2021
Women hold most of the reporter roles throughout the tournament's games.
NCAA men's tournament broadcasters schedule
The Final Four and championship game will be called by Jim Nantz, Grant Hill, Bill Raftery and reporter Tracy Wolfson on CBS. It's their sixth consecutive season together on the call. Gene Steratore will also return as a rules analyst.
Other broadcasters will work expanded roles this year, including Jon Rothstein serving "as an insider within the controlled environment" at the tournament site in Indianapolis.
There will be two studios this year in each of New York and Atlanta. Members of the NBA on TNT crew will pull some men's tournament work with Ernie Johnson hosting from Turner Studios in Atlanta. He's joined by Charles Barkley, Kenny Smith and Candace Parker with Andy Katz also on board.
Greg Gumbel will host from the CBS Broadcast Center in New York. He will have Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Wally Szczerbiak and Adam Zucker in house.
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