Let’s be honest; this is one of the best sporting weeks of the year.
You’ve got the NCAA conference tournaments starting midweek and taking you through Sunday afternoon, where we get the brackets for March Madness.
There’s always a number of great games, some really interesting storylines, and a Cinderella performance sprinkled in, which makes for a perennially enjoyable five-day stretch.
Problem is, the selection show gets worse every year.
And there’s usually only one or two people who even know what they’re talking about.
This year they’re gonna milk it even more:
On Selection Sunday, CBS/Turner say they will reveal all 68 teams ‘followed’ by the brackets pic.twitter.com/3IaSVI3IJG
— Adam Zagoria (@AdamZagoria) March 6, 2018
They’re going to announce all of the teams first, then give us the bracket? That… sounds like an bad idea.
First of all, it just draws out the process longer than it needs to be. I don’t know if they’re going to announce all of the teams in one block or throw in a commercial or two, but this should shed a bit of light on that:
Brace yourself for a very different Selection Show on Sunday. All teams will be unveiled in alpha order (grouped by Auto-Bid and At-Large) in first 5-10 mins. Than matchups will be slotted into seeds/bracket. Also in front of a live studio audience. (from Turner's Craig Barry)
— Brandon Costa (@SVG_Brandon) March 6, 2018
Second, there was nothing wrong with the way they were currently doing it, when they’d announce one team at a time and give us the seed and the matchup. It was fun to go by process of elimination and try to determine who had the remaining spots, based on what was already announced. It added an element of suspense. This just feels bloated and redundant to me, a diluted attempt to stretch the show and hold the audience a bit longer before they change the channel. It’s still going to be two hours long, but the back-end was usually analysis of the bracket, so I guess they’re going to trim down that portion of it and milk the reveal portion.
The other issue is the crew, which is a combination of CBS and Turner people, since the show is co-produced.
I’m fine with Ernie Johnson and Greg Gumbel hosting the show, since they aren’t doing analysis, but there’s no reason for Charles Barkley or Kenny Smith to be on the broadcast, since they DON’T COVER COLLEGE BASKETBALL!
Can’t wait to have Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith stumble through teams they haven’t watched all year and Seth Davis proclaim every 12 over 5 matchup before we even see a bracket. https://t.co/oaZFSHwK4W
— Smitty (@smithers513) March 6, 2018
I like Clark Kellogg and Seth Davis is fine, but I’d be interested in getting some new blood in there, like a Jon Rothstein or Rob Dauster, affiliation be damned. Obviously it has to be CBS or TNT people, but whatever. As much as I like Charles Barkley, he’s just out of place on this broadcast.
As far as doing the show in front of a live audience, I guess that’s kind of cool, but the best part about the selection show is seeing the reactions of the teams that are watching from home, waiting to see if they’re getting into the dance. That’s what I care about, not how a studio audience reacts. Maybe it adds a sense of urgency or immediacy to the broadcast. We’ll see how it goes.
Look, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The tournament didn’t need 68 teams. 64 was fine, and only 8-10 have a shot at winning the whole thing anyway. And the selection show doesn’t need to strung out anymore than it already is, nor do we need NBA analysts breaking down college teams.
This is the world we live in.