CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - March Madness has officially arrived at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte!
Eight teams selected to play this weekend took the court for practice Thursday, and while there's plenty of preparation that goes into each team's game plan leading up to the big game - the same goes for the CBS Sports broadcast team.
WBTV got a behind-the-scenes tour from CBS Sports and had a chance to talk with their broadcast team about how they prepare for the NCAA Tournament.
CBS Sports director Bob Fishman has been covering the Final Four since 1982. "This is the hardest weekend for us. I have a lot of cameras here. The guys are setting those up now. Keeping track of eight different teams, memorizing the names, numbers, faces it's daunting," Fishman said.
"Friday doing 4 games, sitting in that TV truck for 9 hours with a one-hour meal break is tough. It's the hardest day of the year."
This marks CBS Sports broadcaster Jim Nantz's 33rd NCAA Tournament. "I think I'm savoring every single second of it a little more than I did in the past," Nantz said.
For Nantz, getting to come to the Queen City for work is also a highlight. "Being in Charlotte for me is extra special. I get to claim it as my hometown. I was born here and all of my family is from here," Nantz said.
He also gave us the breakdown of what goes into preparing for the tournament and even shares his notes on each team playing in Charlotte this weekend.
Former Duke standout and retired NBA Player turned CBS Sports analyst Grant Hill shares what it's like coming together with the CBS broadcast team each year for the tournament, and what it meant to get to be an analyst when Duke won the 2015 NCAA Tournament.
"When you call your own team you can be positive, you can be negative, you can be honest," Hill said. "When we did the finals against Wisconsin it dawned on me with a minute, a minute thirty left in the game that Duke's gonna win and that's when it got hard and then you still have to do your job and sort of describe the moment and have a responsibility as a broadcaster."
CBS Sports sideline reporter Tracy Wolfson discusses how she prepares for March Madness. "We were flying back from Orlando from the American Athletic Conference Championships and then we found where we were going to be," Wolfson explained.
"Sunday night on the plane I just got busy, started working, I started researching all those articles calling people trying to find out information." "It is a grind. You have 8 teams that you are preparing for."