Dana Jacobson has held a wide variety of jobs in the sports media industry. She’s been a television reporter, anchor, SportsCenter anchor, and radio host. Now, she’s getting the chance to work the NCAA Tournament as a sideline reporter for the CBS telecasts alongside Brian Anderson and Steve Smith.
After working the games in St. Louis, she’s now headed to Philadelphia to cover the Sweet 16 games between UNC and Indiana and Notre Dame and Wisconsin. She hopped on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence on Wednesday to discuss just how different the preparation is for being a sideline reporter than anything else she’s done.
“I have two pages almost on each team right now, of story lines and I’m going to guess you’ll hear maybe four of them,” said Jacobson on CBS Sports Radio’s After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “It’s really based on, I find all of these story lines because I don’t know who is going to stand out, who’s going to have the great game. Is Demetrious Jackson going to have a great game, is Zach going to have one, will it be Brice Johnson for North Carolina? Who do I need to know about? Is Thomas Bryant going to keep doing what he’s been doing? What else can I tell you about him that will just make whatever B-A and Smitty are saying that much better. Can I tell you one little thing he did differently come second half of the season, which is why he’s doing better than he did in the first half. Everybody looks at sideline reporters and laughs, I actually think it’s one of the more challenging jobs because you’re taking in so much information and trying to find just one thing that’s different to make the broadcast better.”
While in St. Louis, Jacobson had a front row seat to one of the most memorable moments of this tournament thus far, Wisconsin’s win over Xavier to advance to the Sweet 16. If you missed it, Badgers point guard Bronson Koenig hit both the game-tying and game winning shots within the span of 12 seconds. The moment left Jacobson in awe.
“I remember he hit the shot to tie it and I’m standing there with my producer Sam and we’re sort of doing the ‘Okay if he hits it, this, if it goes to overtime, this,'” said Jacobson. “We’re standing court side, he hits that shot, and we look at each other like ‘We have the moment.’ B-A had this amazing call and I say that because he laid out and he let you just hear what was going on in that arena and the emotion after that. It’s the greatest event to me because there is so much emotion, it’s just different than a professional sport. Talking to Greg Gard after, talking to Bronson, his teammates coming up to him–honestly, if I didn’t do another tournament game I’d feel like I was blessed to be able to do something like that because those are the moments you live for.”