A CBS analyst Doug Gottlieb is apologizing after telling an all-black panel that he was giving "the white man's perspective" during coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament on Thursday.

Gottlieb made the awkward joke during pre-game coverage of the Sweet 16 portion of the tournament on Thursday night.

"Cream rising to the top," the CBS analyst quipped. "I don't know why you guys ask me, I'm just here to bring diversity to this set, give kind of the white man's perspective."

After a few moments of nervous laughter from his fellow panelists, analyst Greg Anthony noted that Gottlieb had "jumped right into it."

Gottlieb issued a statement through CBS later in the evening, according to The Associated Press.

"It was not a smart thing to say and I apologize," the statement said.

Fellow analyst Charles Barkley, however, took a moment between game coverage to defend his co-worker against outrage on Twitter.

"I know this has nothing to do with the game; I want to say something about Doug Gottlieb," Barkley began. "He made a joke earlier tonight and people are going crazy. All those idiots on Twitter, which I would never ever do, all you people at home who've got no life and are talking bad about Doug Gottlieb, get a life. It's over with. It's no big deal."

Watch this video from CBS, broadcast March 28, 2013.