Sideline reporting does not have the same level of importance as the main broadcasters. No one will ever turn off a basketball game because they were annoyed with the lady saying what Gregg Marshall said in the huddle. Instead, they are more like whipped cream. Pie is fucking awesome no matter what, but add whipped cream and it is a top-level dessert. With that being said, March Madness is a very unique sideline reporting event. Due to the volume of games, Turner Sports needs to dip far into its female announcer pool to make due. At any time, there could be four games on at once and it’s rare a game doesn’t have a sideline reporter. Luckily, it’s hard to go wrong with their roster. Of the six sideline reporters in the tournament, all of them are very good, so this was not easy. But, some are certainly better than the others. Here are the power rankings.
5. Tracy Wolfson
Tracy Wolfson is one of the most popular names in sideline reporting. She’s good at what she does. She is mainly a football reporter for CBS Sports, but March Madness reaches into the reserves. During a football game, Tracy is absolutely the whipped cream you want from a sideline reporter. But, on the sidelines of the court, it’s easier to realize how annoying her voice is and she’s not nearly as good at basketball. Also, she must have a bad vibe or something because someone on Louisville thought she was stealing plays. Is it more realistic to think like Coach Pitino and say it’s due to inexperience from the player? Yes, but I don’t really care because it was hard to rank the bottom three. Tracy Wolfson is scary to some teenage boy, and I simply can’t support her because of that.
5. Lisa Byington
Byington is a free-lance reporter, which is cool. Her main gig is football for the Big 10 network, and I’m sure she’s good at that. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I mean seriously, look at how she’s holding that football. James Harrison isn’t knocking that ball free. She doesn’t really bring a ton to the March Madness Broadcasts, though. Still, I am excited to tune in to Big 10 network in the fall to see her tutorial on how to hold a football.
4. Jamie Erdahl
Here is our first actual basketball reporter. Turner isn’t really reaching deep into the archives to pull out Jamie Erdahl. She does College Hoops throughout the regular season and naturally leaks into the postseason. She played both softball and basketball at NAICU St. Olaf’s College, and used the softball knowledge when she reported for the Red Sox while at New England’s sports network. Basketball and baseball are my two favorite sports, so this was an easy one. Also, look how cute she is. Jamie is the total package. I wanted her to be higher, but the top three are legends so I couldn’t.
3. Ros Gold-Onwude
Ros Gold-Onwude is the best exclusively-basketball reporter on the list. She calls play-by-play for some basketball games on ESPN and the PAC-12 network, so she is a dynamic broadcast presence. Before she decided to go into broadcasting, she was a division one point guard at Stanford. A lock-down defender, she helped lead the Cardinal to three Final Fours. Ros would absolutely shut me out in one-on-one, and that’s gotta be enough to put her in the top three.
2. Dana Jacobson
I will address the picture and confirm its validity. Dana Jacobson did do that in real life, and I think it’s safe to say that is why she is number two on this list. While with ESPN, she basically got plastered at the Mike & Mike Roast and did a bunch of plastered-people stuff. This makes me laugh so hard. This lady is a walking irony. She looks like a soccer mom but drank straight out of a bottle of vodka and talked shit on Notre Dame. That is awesome. She could fart every time they cut to her for a report and she would still be a legend.
1. Allie LaForce
Allie LaForce is perfect in every way and if you don’t think so, I will fight you. DM me your address and I will come there and fight you. If her name is real, that’s the greatest real name ever. I would take her last name if my dreams ever came through and we got married. She always has fantastic insight on the sideline, which is the at the highest level of all the reporters on this list. She is an analyst for the NBA on TNT as her main reporting gig. Overall, don’t even tell me that when she flashes that smile on the sideline you don’t melt. I do every time. She was Miss Teen USA in 2005 (I suggest you google the pictures), and she has only gotten better with age. I would watch this woman do anything, but the fact that it is reporting makes me so happy. If you ever see her, tell her I love her. Thank you.