March Madness makes strange bedfellows

If you ever told me that I’d be watching a live CBS Sports event on ESPN (Disney/ABC) — on the day that CBS rebranded College Sports Television as CBS College Sports — I’d have thought you were crazy.

I certainly wouldn’t have figured a tornado into the mix.

Of course, this is the fallout of the downtown Atlanta tornado Friday night. When the SEC had to rebuild their tournament schedule after canceling the second game of Friday’s doubleheader, they ran into a TV scheduling mess. They needed to move the championship game later on Sunday (because the Saturday games shifted from afternoon to night games) — but CBS was already committed to the Big Ten championship at 3:30 pm EDT. While CBS could (and did) regionalize the game, the problem was that the SEC had a national timeslot at 1:00 pm and didn’t want to give up that national exposure. Of course, we’ll never know exactly who paid what for it, but it appears that CBS and the SEC basically bought 2 1/2 hours on ESPN2 for the CBS broadcast.

Just one of many ways that March Madness has been truly mad, and we aren’t even into the three national post-season tournaments — yes, three, and basketball fans in the Commonwealth will be part of all of them. It looks like Virginia Tech has a good shot at the NCAA tournament may have just been shoved into the NIT by Georgia (3 wins in 30 hours?!?!), VCU will be in the NIT, and Richmond and Virginia may wind up in the new CBI.

I’m using darts for my NCAA brackets. 🙂 Have fun with yours.

EDIT: If the NCAA tournament is as unpredictable as the conference tournaments, I may actually have a chance to win a bracket pool for once. 🙂


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