In the early days, Vitale was paired with veteran sportscaster Jim Simpson. In , the fledgling channel had a total of 23 tournament games. They intensively covered the early rounds of March Madness, gaining the entire tournament much prestige.
The early rounds of course were not the most ideal time, many games taking place during work hours.
When CBS gained exclusive coverage in , they would largely mimic how their predecessor had covered the event. The network was given critical acclaim for its coverage of the conference tournaments, of bouncing from game to the next.
It also raised the profile of many "mid-major" and "minor" conferences who received their only national attention during a single game, usually the championship game of their conference tournament.
Like everything else with ESPN, the success and expansion of the network led to more games being televised in this made-for-TV event. They showed a total of 2 games.
He was replaced by Jay Bilas on Saturday Primetime. However, CBS production was utilized including talent and graphics.