SPOKANE, Wash.--NCAA basketball action was set to begin Thursday at the Spokane Veterans Arena.
The teams practiced on Wednesday in preparation for the games.
One national announcer called Spokane one of the ideal places to host an NCAA Tournament. CBS announcer Spero Dedes was busy preparing for the tournament, learning as much as he could about each school on Wednesday.
“I feel like I'm back in college at Fordham, cramming for a midterm because with an exception of one or two teams, you really haven't seen these teams in person,” said Dedes.
Dedes calls NFL, college football and college basketball games. He is also the play-by-play voice for the New York Knicks.
“Every year, there is always something new with this, that's why I kind of love doing it. It gives me a chance to get away from the NBA,” said Dedes. “When we got the assignment on Sunday night that we were coming here, I was as excited as anyone in our group.”
The 2014 tournament is Dedes’ fifth time covering the NCAA Tournament and his first time in Spokane.
“The passion I feel when we go to these cities is greater sometimes and stronger than say Chicago or New York because it's a built in fan base here,” said Dedes. “I know that Gonzaga is not here, but a lot of their fans will be in the building.”
Dedes said he looked forward to Thursday’s games.
“The energy is different. It's a little bit more intimate, and I think combined with the venue, the city, and the teams that we have here, we are super excited with what we have coming up tomorrow,” said Dedes,
Dedes said he plans to study up on some facts about Spokane as part of his preparation.
“I’ll check out the Wikipedia page and try to talk to people in Spokane,” said Dedes.
Dedes said covering college basketball takes him back to why he fell in love with the game as a kid growing up.