A woman has been tapped to take the mic during the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, better known as March Madness, for the first time in more than two decades.
Debbie Antonelli, a sports analyst and sideline reporter for 29 years, will serve as a CBS Sports analyst for two rounds of the tournament, which begins tomorrow with the first four matchups.
— Tom Hoffarth SCNG (@TomHoffarthSCNG)
Times sports writer Juliet Macur asked Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, why it's taken more than 20 years to see a woman analyst at the NCAA men's basketball tournament:
"I don’t really know the answer to that question, except probably it was easy to keep assigning the cast of regulars to the tournament. It just wasn’t on our radar screen."
Antonelli, meanwhile, says she knows her role comes with pressure to succeed, not only for herself, but women in sports broadcasting who follow her.
"There’s no margin for error if you hear a woman’s voice during a broadcast. If you make a mistake, they’ll say, 'It figures.' And they will blame it on me being a woman."
In other NCAA men's basketball news, Northwestern University* enters the tournament for the first time in its history.
We're going to the dance, boys! making history! pic.twitter.com/TpuoqtvxRV
— Julia Louis-Dreyfus (@OfficialJLD)
(*Editor's note: This particular Spring.St writer is also a completely biased alumnus.)
H/t: The New York Times