NCAA Hoops Semifinal Games Moving to Cable in 2014

The Final Four’s first two games are moving to cable next year.

CBS and Turner Sports said Tuesday the national semifinals will air on TBS in 2014 and 2015, with the title game remaining on CBS.

Under the 14-year deal the companies signed with the NCAA in 2010, CBS and TBS will alternate broadcasting the entire Final Four after that. TBS will have it in 2016 and CBS in 2017.

TBS will also begin airing two of the four regional finals starting next season. They had all been on CBS.

The two companies recently completed their third year of the contract, which televised every game in the tournament for the first time using CBS and three Turner channels — TBS, TNT and truTV. The new approach has drawn strong ratings and shown that viewers are comfortable finding the games on cable. (AP)

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March Madness is Alive and Well

If you know me, you know I play a NCAA Men’s NCAA Basketball tourney every year. Not for the fame or the fortune (!), but for the camaraderie that comes with the joy of beating friends at their own thought process.

I watched in horror Friday night as #2 Duke lost an agonizing game against #15 Lehigh. Me, and the rest of America, assumed it was a lock they’d win. Guess what?  ‘This is total crap!’ I yelled as the sound of millions of other brackets were torn to bits.

But now that a few days have passed, I can calmly say that’s what March Madness is all about. There’s a statistic out there that it’s like one in 100 billion gazillion odds that someone will correctly guess all the winners. We all know we won’t be that person – but we just all assumed Duke and Missouri would beat their respective opponents. Come on!

Every year when I’d ask my mom who to choose to win it all she always respond ‘Duke’s good.’

But she recently died so I had a tough choice to make – do I honor her wish or play who I think would win? Guess what I did? So happy she wasn’t here to see my anguish. Or – she’s up there and she also threw a fit!

Luckily, I also have my cat’s bracket still in good standing.

I’m learning that some people are good first round bettors – while others are good second rounders. And those are the people that are doing really well right now.

Most of us have had our brackets busted by now – which actually should spice up the race I’m in. I took some chances this year and chose Wisconsin to win. Why? I don’t know. But now, I am may be onto something. I think the new goal is getting as many points as possible – even without choosing the winner. Hell I just want to place second or third – at least get my money’s worth out of this blood curling tournament.

I never really was into bracketology until about a decade ago. I wanted to feel like I was a part of something so I joined. Last year I even named my bracket ‘the $5 I’ll never see again.’

And is it me or was this year really hard to predict? It seemed harder than most to guess. I don’t know – but it made my heart pound to even look at all the choices. That’s dumb. No one knows what will happen.

And that’s why everyone has their own method. Like me.

There’s me and Flea. A few years ago I watched a girl scrutinize over standings and records and thought I could prove her wrong and show that a cat could beat her. Took me 8 years but Fleabait co-won our bracket two years ago. The other co-winner had never entered before – it was his first one!

There are 37 people playing this year. Oh, and one cat.

Here’s hoping for the best for the rest of the tournament! Meow!

Urologists Sell ‘Vasectomy Madness’ With NCAA Hoopla

Obama’s Final Four: Kentucky, Ohio St, Mizzou, UNC

President Barack Obama is picking Kentucky, Ohio State, Missouri and North Carolina to reach the Final Four.

Obama filled out an NCAA tournament bracket for ESPN for the fourth straight year. On the women’s side, he selected Baylor, St. John’s, Connecticut and Notre Dame to advance.

A noted basketball fan, Obama took British Prime Minister David Cameron to the men’s tournament’s first game Tuesday night in Dayton, Ohio.

ESPN revealed his full men’s bracket Wednesday morning.

Kentucky and North Carolina are No. 1 seeds, while Missouri and Ohio State are seeded second in their regions. Baylor, UConn and Notre Dame are top seeds, with St. John’s a No. 3 seed. (AP)

NQ5VK2wUZXE – link to the ESPN video

What Your Bracket Says About You

I found this on the New York Times website the other day and just have to share this – because – it pretty much sums up how I choose my teams!

 

There is a good chance that you will fill out an N.C.A.A. basketball tournament bracket for an office pool sometime in the next three days. There is an even better chance that you spent the last four months focused on your family and career, not glued to ESPN. Therefore, you have only a passing familiarity with most of the teams in the tournament, and your bracket selections are just a series of guesses.

Those guesses say little about your basketball acumen but speak volumes about your personality. A tournament bracket can reveal more about a person’s character than handwriting analysis, or even phrenology. Read these five classic bracket archetypes and select the one that best fits your tournament strategy. Then, discover what your bracket tells the world about you. Warning: this system is so accurate that it can feel as if we opened a window to your very soul, so make sure you are seated comfortably.

The Favorites Bracket

You select favorites to win nearly every game. First seeds beat 16th seeds, fifth seeds beat 12th seeds, and if you dare pick a ninth seed to “shake things up” against an eighth, you make sure that the hierarchy is reaffirmed in the next round. You have Kentucky beating Syracuse in the final, and you view anyone who does not with suspicion.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU You feel that societal order must be preserved at all costs, and that disagreeing with the wisdom of the selection committee is the first step toward anarchy. Upsets are for hippies. Rooting for underdogs is subversive. When Bucknell beat Kansas in 2005, you spent two weeks cowering in your fallout shelter eating Meals Ready-to-Eat. You do not have time to focus on a silly tournament, anyway: you have orphanages to foreclose upon and tie tacks to polish. You participate in the office pool only so your subordinates will think you are “one of the gang,” and the plebes totally fall for it. Your children attend military academies. Your pets attend K-9 academies. Your spouse attends support groups.

The Underdogs Bracket

You love a good upset and see no reason Norfolk State cannot make the Round of 16 this year. While your bracket includes a few nods to common sense, you find yourself scribbling South Dakota State far more often than anyone not living in South Dakota should.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU You truly believe that one person can change the world, but you cannot comprehend that Roy Williams or Thomas Robinson is probably that person. You are an incurable optimist, though several pharmaceutical companies are working on it. You applaud at the end of children’s movies, even when you are watching at home on DVD without children present. Your bracket strategy is also your investment strategy, which is why you are wearing a sweater with holes in it, and in the unlikely event that Davidson wins the championship, you will use the winnings to help pay off that mortgage you took out in 2007.

The Out-of-Date Bracket

You overrate teams that were powerhouses about 20 years ago. You have Michigan going all the way. Nevada-Las Vegas is in your final four. What: Loyola Marymount did not make the tourney this year? What gives?

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU Back in the early 1990s, you were single and had leisure time and disposable income to spare, so you spent winter evenings at the local tavern, hoisting beers and thrilling to the exploits of Bobby Hurley and Lionel Simmons. But now you have a family and a serious career, leaving you with little time for college basketball, but you cannot bring yourself to admit that your carefree weekends with Jerry Tarkanian ended decades ago. Don’t worry, friend. Grab a flannel shirt, pop the Spin Doctors into your CD player, and get ready for Georgetown and Indiana to make big runs. Your loved ones will break the news gently that you are actually watching ESPN Classic.

The Expert Bracket

You combine favorites with underdogs that you carefully selected based upon their strength of schedule, assist-to-turnover ratio and the expert opinions of the other message board posters at UnhealthyHoopsObsession.com. Your bracket is the product of 36 hours of painstaking research; you took breaks only to rank players 300 through 770 for your nine fantasy baseball drafts.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU Data are your friends, perhaps your only friends. You understand that the purpose of a tournament pool is not to add zest to your basketball-watching experience or promote water cooler bonding, but to gain the 0.07 percent advantage over your co-workers that comes from turning a small diversion into a life-consuming chore. You believe co-workers admire your ability to steer all break-room conversations away from movies, family and life’s pleasures and toward Baylor’s R.P.I. rating. All the effort was worthwhile, however, when you finished tied for sixth in the pool in 2003, winning $56 and gloating for two days before beginning your research for the next year’s pool.

The Nickname Bracket

You pick the team with the coolest nickname to win every game. Wildcats are cooler than Cavaliers, Blue Devils are tougher than Bears, and while Badgers are fierce, the Wisconsin Honey Badgers would win not only the tournament, but a Super Bowl and Wimbledon as well if they existed. When nicknames of indeterminate coolness face off, like Zips versus Shockers, you just flip a coin.

WHAT IT SAYS ABOUT YOU There are two possibilities. The first is that you are female and attractive. In this situation, your male colleagues find your strategy cute. They also find your sneezing, blinking and existing cute, so do not put too much stock in the intrinsic cuteness of your bracket strategy. The second is that you are an ironic hipster who does not fill out a bracket so much as “fill out a bracket.” The fact that you are too urbane to take the pool seriously is only slightly undercut by your knowledge that Vermont’s nickname is the Catamounts.

In either case, when you inevitably win the pool with this strategy, you are obligated to announce that you watched no basketball at all during the tournament, cannot imagine what everyone got so worked up about, and think that sports are overemphasized by society. Then, you must use your winnings to buy a Jeremy Lin jersey. Whether you are ever invited to another office social event depends upon which of the two categories you belong to.

Connecticut Huskies Claim Third National Title

Connecticut players celebrate with the trophy ... AP

The Connecticut Huskies are national champions for the third time in men’s basketball after Kemba Walker scored 16 points in a 53-41 win over Butler.

The Bulldogs shot just 12-for-64 from the field. That’s 18.8%, the worst ever in a title game.

And the Huskies weren’t much better, shooting 29% and missing all five of their shots from behind the arc.

Kemba Walker had a game-high 16 points for the Huskies, who end the season 32-9. They won 11 in a row after closing the regular season with a 9-9 record in Big East play.

At 68 years of age, Jim Calhoun becomes the oldest coach to capture a national title.

The previous record holder was Phog Allen of Kansas who was 66 when the Jayhawks won in 1952.

Calhoun joins John Wooden, Adolph Rupp, Mike Krzyzewski and Bob Knight as the only men’s basketball coaches to win at least three NCAA Division-One titles.

It’s the second straight year Butler lost in the championship game. Last year they were beaten 61-59 by Duke.

Meanwhile, Connecticut’s defense-dominated win Monday on CBS earned an 11.7 fast national rating and 18 share. That’s down 18% from last year’s Duke-Butler final, when the underdog Bulldogs had a chance to win it at the buzzer.

The entire tournament, with every game televised nationally for the first time, averaged a 6.4/14, up 7% from last season.

Ratings represent the percentage of all households with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

Kentucky New Vegas Favorite for NCAA Title

Las Vegas casinos have tabbed Kentucky the latest favorite in an NCAA tournament full of upsets, and are hoping that Virginia Commonwealth ends its improbable run without a title.

Executive Director Jay Kornegay of the Las Vegas Hilton race and sports book said Sunday night that Kentucky was a 2-point favorite to win its semifinal game against Connecticut, while Butler was a 2 1/2-point favorite over Virginia Commonwealth.

Race and Sports Director Mike Colbert of Cantor Gaming says his books made Kentucky an 8-5 favorite to win the title. Connecticut is the next favorite at 11-5, while Cantor is giving Butler 4-1 odds and VCU 7-1 odds to win it all.

Colbert and Kornegay say a VCU title would be troubling for their casinos given some big bets on the long shots.

Meanwhile, the NCAA tournament’s television ratings are the highest since 2005.

Through the regional finals, this year’s tourney has averaged a 6.0 rating and 13 share. That’s up 11% from 2010.

This was the first season of the NCAA’s 14-year, $10.8 billion contract with CBS and Turner, which meant every game was televised nationally for the first time.

Sunday’s regional finals on CBS earned a 7.6/16, the same as 2010.

CBS Sports chairman Sean McManus says “as far as I’m concerned, I think everything turned out even better than I thought it was going to.”

Ratings represent the percentage of all homes with televisions tuned into a program. Shares represent the percentage of all homes with TVs in use at the time.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)