Behind the Broadcast: Lee takes deep breath, prepares to call five scholastic games

Robert Lee will handle the TW-3 broadcast on all five boys' state championship games this weekend at
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After calling three Siena men’s basketball games in three days last weekend at the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference tournament, Robert Lee should probably be resting his voice to get ready for the Saints’ NCAA tournament appearance.

Instead, Lee will be very busy this weekend with more basketball, this time on the high school level.

Lee will call all the action of five New York State Public High School Athletic Association boys’ championship games on Time Warner Cable channel 3. Three finals will be today — Class D at 5:30 p.m., Class C at 7:30 p.m. and Class B at 9 p.m. On Sunday, the Class A final is at 1 p.m., followed by the Class AA championship at 3 p.m.

Lee had a very exciting call of the Saints’ 65-63 victory over Loyola in last Sunday’s semifinal, a game in which they rallied from a 17-point deficit. Josh Duell’s game-winning shot with 20 seconds left had Lee going crazy.

“I don’t really tax my voice as much, unless I’m really yelling like with the Loyola game last Sunday,” Lee said. “Monday, I know my voice was kind of shot a little bit because the second half of the Loyola game, I was screaming a lot. I listened back to it, and I was really yelling when Josh made that shot.”

Lee didn’t need to raise his voice too much in the championship game. Siena rolled to a 74-53 victory over Rider to win the MAAC title and the automatic NCAA tournament bid.

Lee has been doing the high school basketball games for five years. He loves the opportunity to call the contests.

“It’s high school sports. It’s great,” said Lee, who also calls high school football games on

TW-3. “Everybody’s excited about it. I get five times more feedback from doing the high school games on Time Warner Cable than I do for the Siena games. I don’t know if it’s [because] more people watch it as opposed to listening. I get people coming up to me, saying, ‘I saw you on Time Warner.’ “

selection shows

The NCAA men’s tournament selection show will be on CBS at 6 p.m. Sunday. WRGB (Ch. 6) will carry it.

ESPN will have its own men’s selection show at 7 p.m.

The NCAA women’s tournament selection show will be on ESPN at 7 p.m. Monday.

ESPNU televises the NIT men’s selection show at 9 p.m. Sunday. ESPN2 will simulcast.

siena special

WXXA (Ch. 23) will have a half-hour special on Siena at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday.

The show, entitled “Saints March Into Madness,” will be hosted by sports director Rich Becker and sports reporter Scott Morlock. Among the highlights is an interview with Siena senior Tay Fisher, and tournament analysis from UAlbany men’s basketball coach Will Brown.

If you miss the initial showing, the program will be on The Var­iety Channel on Time Warner Cable channel 423, or over the air at digital channel 23.2.

video on demand

Time Warner Cable is one of 13 service providers that has signed on to provide CBS Video on Demand content dedicated to the NCAA basketball tournament.

The VOD programming includes NCAA March Madness Highlights, a daily recap of every game featuring extensive highlights along with select postgame interviews and team press conferences. NCAA March Madness Highlights will be made available daily, giving fans immediate access to 63 tournament contests and the ability to search for specific games.

Time Warner-Albany is expected to carry CBS VOD on channel 1086 until Thursday. It is then expected to move to channel 1074. The high definition version will be on channel 1801.

sutcliffe has cancer

ESPN baseball analyst Rick Sutcliffe announced Thursday that he has been diagnosed with colon cancer.

It was discovered during a routine test during a physical. Sutcliffe, the 1984 National League Cy Young Award winner, said he has a treatable and curable form of colon cancer, and will undergo chemotherapy and surgery over the next few months. He is hoping to return later this year.

“I deeply appreciate the support of the ESPN family and my family and friends around the country,” Sutcliffe said in a statement.

“Rick is an integral member of our baseball team, and we wish him a full recovery,” said Tim Scanlan, ESPN vice president, event production. “We will keep him and his family in our thoughts and prayers.”

Sutcliffe joined ESPN in March 1999. He was scheduled to be the analyst for ESPN2’s coverage of the two-game series between Boston and Oakland from Japan March 25-26. Steve Phillips will replace Sutcliffe.

sports emmys

The Sports Emmy Awards candidates were announced Thursday, and HBO led the way with 31 nominations. ESPN was next with 27, followed by NBC (23, the most among the over-the-air networks), Fox (18), CBS (17) and TNT (12).

Other networks with nomin­ations are NFL Network (eight), Fox Sports Net (six), ESPN2 (five), ABC (four), NASCAR Images and PGA Tour Productions (three), MLB Productions, Rush HD and Versus (two each), and one each for 312 Media, ESPN Classic, Golf Channel, NBA TV and Yahoo! Sports.

The awards will be handed out April 28.

MURPHY BACK

Dan Murphy is returning to the Capital Region airwaves.

Murphy has been hired by WNYA-TV (MYTV4), the station announced Friday. Murphy will host a half-hour New York Yankees pregame show for the 21 games MYTV4 will televise this season. MYTV4 took over the free TV rights to Yankees games from WXXA (Ch. 23).

“We have other sports programming and non-sports programming in the works that I’m going to be involved in. I’m going to be the host of those shows,” Murphy said. “I’m basically going to be the face of the station on the air. They don’t have a local on-air presence right now. They sought me out, and we came to an agreement.”

Murphy served as anchor, reporter and sports director at WTEN (Ch. 10) from 1989-2005. After he was let go by WTEN, Murphy hosted a sports talk show on WOFX-AM (980). That show was canceled in December.

“As we grow WNYA, local programming is the next logical step, WNYA general manager Duncan Brown said. “And I’m very pleased to be able to bring in someone with so much experience in the Capital Region.”

There could be some other sports programming that MYTV4 could add. It carries the Southeastern Conference football and men’s basketball packages.

“I’m not going to tip my hand, but we’re talking about another show for the summer, and then stuff in the fall,” Murphy said. “This is going to be ongoing, local programming for the station for the first time.”

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