NCAA Tournament Thoughts

I didn’t know how the whole four network thing was going to work when they first announced it but after 1 night, it’s a success in my opinion.  I really like that I have all 4 channels in HD on Mediacom.  Love how CBS has the logos of the stations each game are on at the top of the screen.  Made it easier to navigate to all the games. 

I wonder how ESPN/Disney would have accommodated this?  ESPN & ESPN2 are really the only accessible HD channels they have that are freely available.  Would they have made ESPNU and Classic more readily available or put a marquee game on ABC?  ESPN needs to step up their college studio experience I think to get the big dance, or really open their wallet.  CBS does it right, right now. 

I still think that somehow, someway, some day that ESPN is big enough and has enough clout that you will see more major sports and sporting events being broadcast on ESPN.  How much does CBS and Turner really lose in showcasing the games for what they pay?  Sure they get to promote their other shows, but other than that, you got to think they lose more than they gain, money wise.

One negative, to me, is the infusion of NBA talent from Turner to the NCAA.  I don’t need Charles Barkley, Marv Albert or Craig Sager (and his suits) for a quick dip into pool and then back after a week or so run.  Give me Jay Bilas and Seth Davis.  Jay Bilas by the way had a great read posted yesterday you can read here.

The biggest negative is the First Four…really do we need them?  In a word, NO.  It’s confusing to us as fans and to the non-fans who just want to do the brackets.  Go back to 64 or expand it all to 96 and dump the NIT.

My other big negative on the NCAA is the locations.  Look at the empty seats in the arenas.  Hello NCAA!  Go to some new sites!  Des Moines would SELL OUT!  Quit going to these same towns over and over.  Does St. Petersburg or Greensboro need a regional every other year.  Rotate these things more and incorporate new cities and venues.  And for the Final Four do we always have to be in a football stadium?  Go to these great arenas in the nation.  Madison Square Garden is getting a million dollar make over, get the Final Four there.  Put a Final Four in Chicago’s United Center instead of a regional.  Not to mention these great cities with actual basketball arenas, but for a player, shooting with a football stadium backdrop is a hell of a lot different than shooting in a basketball arena. 

The games the first day were amazing.  For all the flack that the selection committee has got (and seems to always get every year) day 1 was really entertaining.  Hopefully Day 2 and the rest of the days keep it up.

I mostly have chalk today, minus the 8/9 or 7/10 games which I don’t consider upsets, to evenly matched, other than Oakland over Texas.  (Texas up 10+ as I write this).  My son and wife are on top of the Wide Right pool after day 1 too, so good for them.  My bracket I went 10-6 yesterday, I hope I can at least match that today.  So enjoy the games, enjoy the weekend!

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