Jim Nantz Hasn't Given Out a Tie Since 2016
By Kyle Koster
Back in 2017, Jim Nantz told The Big Lead the real story of his tie giveaway. The TL;DR version is this: it was never meant to be a tradition or seen by the public. It was born out of a relationship with then-Florida Gator Corey Brewer, a player on a team full of famous sons, whose own father was unable to attend the Final Four because of a medical issue.
Nantz told the same origin story to Robbie Hummel and Jeff Goodman on The Field of 68 podcast, revealing that the practice ended in 2016 after he lost control of the narrative.
"It became like, who would want Jim's sweaty tie? Well, first off, I don't sweat when I'm calling games. I don't sweat through a tie. It was meant to be a quiet gesture that no one would know about. But once it got hijacked, I thought, you know what? I'm not going to put that burden on anyone where a media guy's going to come up and make fun of it and belittle the kid and take that moment away from him. So I opted not to do it anymore."
If you're scoring at home, that means Villanova's Ryan Arcidiacono was the last college basketball player to get a championship tie. Could be a valuable trivia answer in the future. And it also means Nantz was done with it before people ever heard what the intention was, which was probably a smart choice for everyone involved.
Two things can be true at the same time. It's a bummer that something so positive became a punchline. It's also no surprise it became one in record time and no amount of explanation would be enough to stop the jokes.