The first full weekend of the NCAA tournament is finally complete here on Sunday night.
Oh wait, it’s not.
It is only the first half at 9p on a Sunday. I’m glad the NCAA is making sure these kids will be in class tomorrow. More on that in a minute.
This tournament is different from every one before the 2011 version.
Games started earlier in the week in the “First Four” games. And now they are extending them longer. And that’s with 4 networks airing the games.
For years, CBS was the home of the “Road to the Final Four.” Now you can say TruTV, TNT and TBS also are part of the route. It is all part of the NCAA tournament’s new 14-year, $10.8 billion TV deal.
You have a better chance of seeing all the games in this new TV deal. That is, if you have 4 TVs hooked up at once. That’s how New Year’s Day used to be with college football, all the games on one day. Now you’re lucky if the Rose Bowl is played on January 1st. That’s another post for another day…..
The basketball doesn’t even keep going all day on the flagship network. I think they were off the air tonight and onto 60 Minutes by 615 on Sunday. Thank goodness the new CSI:Miami aired tonight at a near regular time. To defend CBS, the local affiliates will get their news on at a near-normal 10p slot.
The tip-off’s are still staggered, but now on different channels. You can track the other games in the upper part of the screen with the network they are airing. You can switch to other games and not get stuck watching UNI.
Florida State played Notre Dame in one of the late games Sunday night in the United Center in Chicago. Notre Dame has a quick drive home to South Bend. Given the fact traffic will be light at 10p on a Sunday in Chicago, they can still be back to campus before 1a Monday. FSU has classes scheduled for Monday as do the Irish.
Kansas University is on spring break. As are the Fighting Illini of Illinois. Regardless, that seems a little silly by the NCAA to schedule games so late. But, the later an event starts, the higher the ratings. At least, that’s the traditional networking thinking. Especially in sports. Why do you think the World Series doesn’t start before 730 Central? Or the Super Bowl at 545p Central? How about the State of the Union isn’t before 8 Central or 6p in the West.
It is working. Ratings are up to their highest level in 20 years. That will probably mean this charade will continue.
And another thing…. why the blah uniform floors in all the venues? Traditionally, the NCAA uses this look in the Sweet 16 and the Final Four, but now it is standard in all games. I used to love seeing all the different floor designs in the host venues. As a kid growing up without cable I loved tourney time. It was my chance to finally see inside The Pit, Utah’s Jon M. Huntsman Center and even Dayton. Now, I really have to look where these games are being played. I wasn’t like my friend Brent who had ESPN and already knew what they looked like. I also said the same thing last year. Man, I need new material.
It sounds like I’m complaining a bit, but I’ve seen a lot of the tourney this year. I can flip games and still see the finishes. So, the NCAA wins. My wife is watching each game with interest to make sure her bracket is up to date.
Please now, tell me how your bracket is doing. I really do care. Plus, it is 10p, I guess I better get Noah to bed, I can tell him who won between ND and FSU in the morning.