NCAA Tournament No Longer Stingy.

No Longer Necessary.

Who wants to talk some college basketball?  Before I get to the story, perhaps I should mention that last night was a banner night for blown leads.  North Carolina was throttling Duke in the first half and let it all slip away.  Perhaps more embarrassing, your own top-10 ranked Villanova Wildcats took an inexcusable loss at Rutgers.  Up 13 with about five minutes left, the Wildcats went into ‘Nova mode and the lead vanished.  Rutgers hit what was probably the most unlikely succession of 3-pointers in the history of the sport, but still ‘Nova was holding a 3-point lead with six ticks left on the clock.  So, they survived.  Worst case scenario, they take the punch and kill them in OT, right?  Wrong. When Corey Fisher is on the floor anything can happen.  He fouls a guy shooting a 3, you can figure out the rest, Rutgers wins by one point.  Why does it always seem like Jay Wright never has complete control of these guys?  My early advice? Don’t put ‘Nova past the 2nd round of your pool.  If they happen to get hot, enjoy the run as a fan not as a bettor, otherwise, you’re looking at the double gut punch.

But, speaking of the tournament, the real news is that it will be plastered on your TV sets much better this year.  The NCAA has always exclusively broadcast their games on CBS.  To see them all you needed to get the “package,” and even then there was usually 3 or 4 games going on at once for the first 4 days of the tournament.  No longer.  The NCAA and CBS are spreading the wealth.  This year, the games will be featured on TNT, TBS and TruTV as well.  They will also be more staggered so there is less overlap between games.  To top it off there will be Sunday night prime time action on the first weekend.  I have to say, that’s a great feature, because every single year I forget the games are over at 5 pm on that first weekend and it gets a little depressing for a minute.

I don’t know exactly how much this will change your viewing experience.  The most important thing will still be the final five minutes of most of these games, and I have to say CBS always did a decent job of showing tight finishes.  They wouldn’t stick with a blowout if a game outside your regional coverage was coming down to the wire.  Of course, I guess if you are a Kansas fan or something, and you want to see their entire dismantling of Lafayette, then this is good news for you.  And, for us on the east coast, it means we may actually see a team from west of Ohio in the first couple of rounds.  But, the Big East is the only real conference anyway, right?  So, what does it matter?

I think the only drawback from this new television strategy is mostly a sentimental one.  We may lose that hectic feeling of opening Thursday.  You have your pool out, you are trying to figure out where to go see the games, what time do the games start…there are so many questions and unknowns that it becomes a rush.  Now, it sounds like everything will be neatly organized.  Also, if you have the one friend who somehow memorizes every first round game, knows what sub-regional every team is in, and the corresponding TV schedule….well, yeah, he or she becomes less useful.  I’m sure we’ll all be basking in progress by Friday, though.  Can you believe we used to have to watch two games at once on the same channel?



11 thoughts on “NCAA Tournament No Longer Stingy.

  1. While i understand your point, i just don’t think there’s such a thing as an embarrassing road loss in the big east anymore. If it were at home, i’d feel it as more disconcerting, but Rutgers is 13-11 in conference and this was on their home court. We’ll see how it pans out though. I don’t think Jay has a lack of control so much as he is a proponent of not controlling the players and kind of letting them go once the game starts. It certainly backfires, but there’s the hope they mature through experience and are ready come March.

    • Well, I like Nova and I like Jay. But, did you see the end of the game? It’s not they lost to Rutgers, but the manner was embarrassing. The game was and should have been over. I don’t care if they were playing Kareem in Pauley Pavilion in 1967 or whatever…

      Fact is, Nova is terrible with a lead, and that is a trait they have under Jay. I like that he trusts the players and let’s them play, but when you are down to the last few minutes you have to lock it up. They have horrible shot selection, they don’t use the clock, it happens again and again.

      I’m pulling for them but facts are the facts..

      • Yeah, i agree with a lead they’re miserable. I think it’s also part of why they’re good though. They’re basically a bunch of NYC guards (ok, for PC purposes “city guards”) playing, they react and play on instinct. If they tried to slow it down, i honestly believe they would be even worse with a lead. The only way they can win is to keep pouring it on, and hope the lead just becomes insurmountable. At least, that is until Wayans learns the system enough b/c i think he’s a legit PG. Fischer is just a glorified Street Baller.

      • i hear you, sometimes it just seems like they actually wouldn’t have to do anything but eat clock. but, they are always giving the other team extra possessions by not working the clock. they do tend to get awful shots, though, in the last 5 seconds of a shot clock, so it could be catch-22

  2. Is jay in trouble? Last I checked, there is a ‘big dog’ about 90 miles away who just hit his 800th W. Gross, did you see grob on espn ‘1st take’ yesterday?

    • Didn’t have the pleasure. There was a big article in the Inquirer on him the other day. It was your typical pap.

      800 is a big number. Lancaster and F&M are so lucky. Did they name the court after him yet?

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