Kevin Harlan’s ecstatic call of Furman’s shocking upset of Virginia in the men’s NCAA Tournament quickly went viral, as did the broadcast booth view of their reaction. But Harlan admitted that he’s “very uncomfortable” with the footage that was shared.
CBS Sports released a behind-the-scenes look of Harlan, Dan Bonner and Stan Van Gundy’s reaction to No. 13 Furman’s game-winning shot over No. 4 Virginia on Thursday with 2.4 seconds left to advance to the second round in the South Region.
“Did we just see what we think we just saw?” Harlan exclaimed as the others looked on stunned.
During an appearance on Richard Deitsch’s “Sports Media” podcast on Wednesday, Harlan said he “begged” CBS not to share the video, but to no avail: “Kind of embarrassed by it. I’m not comfortable with it.”
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Harlan said he wasn’t aware he was being filmed during the broadcast, calling his reaction “110 percent organic.” He said CBS showed him the clip during a production meeting on Saturday, but despite his concerns, CBS decided to release the clip.
He has not watched it since.
“I don’t know that I’m glad that they caught our expression, but I’m glad the game was on the air,” Harlan said. “I think I join a chorus of other announcers who do not like the camera.”
Harlan explained that his broadcast booth is his “personal space” and that “there are some things you just don’t want to see,” adding that the video takes away from the true star of the broadcast – the student-athletes.
“I understand why CBS would want to use that, and I guess I trust my bosses more than I trust myself in this situation,” he said. “At the same time, if they asked me my preference, I would have said, ‘Please don’t put that up there.’ And I still feel the same way quite frankly.”