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Thu, Nov 27, 2014

Blog: March Madness rolls in like lion

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Starting this week, we will bring something new to The Post’s website, a weekly sports column, written either by Sarah Fryar, Jonathan Herrmann, or myself.

We will try to entertain you, the reader, with our opinions on anything and everything going on in the sports world.

No topic is off limits and it could be anything going on either locally, nationally or globally. I hope we can bring a new perspective to the competitive and ever-changing world of mass media.

So, let’s start with the greatest months in sports, March, and that means it’s time for lots of basketball action with the NCAA Men’s and Women’s basketball tournament.

The 2011 men’s tourney has several changes that will take a little getting used to. For example, the tournament expands to 68 teams and the games will be spread to four different networks: CBS, TNT, TBS, and a channel I have never watched TruTV.

For the most part, I do not like the changes, except for the network coverage.

The NCAA and the four previous mentioned networks signed a new television contact that gives the sanctioning body $10.8 billion over a 14-year span, according to the USA Today. Also the newspaper said it is a 41 percent increase in the average annual rights fee. So what that does mean for the viewer?

One of my favorite weekends of the year in the first two days of the tournament, which this year is March 17-18.

A total of 16 games are played throughout the day and evening on both days. It is wall-to-wall action.

The difference, however, is instead of CBS going from game to game with its “whip-around” coverage the four stations will broadcast each game from start to finish.

That means the viewer can create their own so-called “whip-around” coverage with a remote control.

That is the good news. The bad news is the local CBS station, WTVF, does not have control anymore on which game they show. So for you SEC fans, you might have to turn for example to TBS to view Tennessee, or the channel formerly known as Court TV to see Kentucky.

I wonder how that will go over.

Another change is a new format with 68 teams, including the “First Four” contests on that include two games each on Tuesday and Wednesday.

They might include teams from the six college football “BCS” conferences.

As usual, most of them believe they are being disrespected, because one of them might have to play an extra game.

Boo hoo, life is not fair. So stop taking your anger out against the mid-major conferences like they do in football.

Unlike the BCS, at least they are given a shot to win a title. Remember Butler last year, they were a couple of inches away from knocking off a big name school, Duke.

Do not get me wrong, I know the players, faculties and the talent is better than the mid-major schools.

However, that does not mean the competition inside their conference is terrible.

Winning games on the road is just as tough as the so-called big boys during conference season. OK, so their school brings several million dollars more than the smaller schools, and people all over the nation might wear a say Ohio State shirt than a Long Island shirt.

They sometimes forget these mid-major schools have to make sure their students get an education while they make tough budget cuts with fewer funds.

So, please give them a charge to compete and stop bullying them, because they do not have the fancy arenas or the wealthy boosters. 

One of my favorite moments each year is to see the look on those fans’ faces when their beloved school is knocked out of the tournament by a higher seed. Of course, those fans will make excuses on why their team lost, instead of giving the deserving victor credit for outplaying them.

So get ready for more upsets, and hopefully somebody like a Belmont can prove to the nation that it’s their right to compete for the title. Regardless of their popularity, or how many times their team has played on national television.

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Basketball, David Hunter, Sports, Voices
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