Behind The ScenesNCAAB

Before Musburger’s final ESPN broadcast tonight, colleagues reflect on working with him

Tonight at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN, Brent Musburger will call his final game for the network when Georgia visits Kentucky for an SEC men’s college basketball contest.

In a career that has spanned almost 50 years, Musburger’s decision to walk away from a job that has seen him voice some of sports’ most defining moments, continues to be met with heartfelt tributes and walks down memory lane.

(Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)
Brent Musburger
(Phil Ellsworth/ESPN Images)

Analyst Jay Bilas will call the game alongside the same voice that narrated his 1986 NCAA Championship game appearance with Duke on CBS – and last game ever as a student-athlete, 31 years ago. Kaylee Hartung will serve as reporter.

Bilas, as well as Musburger’s regular on-air team of Sean Farnham and Hartung, offered these final thoughts heading into tonight.

Bilas: Brent Musburger is a Mount Rushmore legend in sports broadcasting. I grew up with Brent’s voice signifying to me what a big game sounded like, and felt like. Musburger’s voice confirmed you were watching the biggest game, and you were watching it with your friend. I will be profoundly honored and humbled to be alongside Brent for his final call. I’m sure I will spend part of the game talking about basketball, part of it talking about one of the greatest careers in sports broadcasting history, and part of it trying to talk Brent into staying.

Farnham: When I learned I would be working with Brent this season, I was ecstatic. He is an icon and has called every major event in my lifetime. The last three weeks of not just sitting next to him during the games, but getting the chance to spend time with him off air, has been a gift and something I will never forget. I was lucky enough to be, I believe, partner No. 258 in his historic career.

Hartung: It’s hard to believe we’ll only hear “You are looking live. . .” one more time. No matter what the future brings, it will be one of the greatest honors of my career to be a part of Brent’s last broadcast. It will be a game that you’ll hear as little from me as possible. I fully intend to do my job, but I want as much Brent Musburger in that game as we can get. I’d like to shut up, listen and enjoy a master work his craft one more time.

Rachel Siegal produced the video above.

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