Multichannel News and Broadcasting & Cable hosted "Advanced Advertising" on Dec. 10 at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York. (Photos by Mark Reinertson)
March Madness Sentiments
Sentiments were running high among the 70,000-plus in Lucas Oil Stadium and the millions more watching at home as Gordon Hayward twice tried to make like Jimmy Chitwood.
For most, the talented Butler sophomore’s failed right baseline fadeaway over Duke center Brian Zoubek and his subsequent last-gasp half court heave were crushing as they caromed off the rim. Somehow during a March Madness run in which they were a slew of buzzer-beaters and bracket-breaking upsets, the final scene wasn’t quite right, not Hoosiers, not Hollywood.
For those who favor Duke, the ACC and other power conferences (somewhere Billy Packer is smiling), Hayward’s misses were a reality show-validation of sorts to the sentiment that the sport’s blue-bloods can keep even a great mid-major down.
For CBS — as its executives vowed during its media day preceding the tournament — its focus remained solely on this year’s tourney. There was no sentimentality about perhaps this being its last chance to dance with the Big Dance.
Plans appear to be congealing that will expand the Men’s Division 1 Basketball Championship to a 96-team from a 65-team field, tipping as early next season, perhaps with new TV teammate (s) in tow (maybe say hello to Dickie V from Reliant Stadium in Houston at the 2011 Final Four, baby).
There’s an NCAA board of directors meeting on April 29 meeting to discuss making the Big Dance bigger. The NCAA can then opt out by July 31, with three seasons and $2.13 billion left of CBS’s money from its 11-year, $6 billion contract on the table.
Although the dollars and cents weren’t specified, the point was underlined to some degree by an NCAA promo during last night’s telecast noting that March Madness seeds the college governing body with funds that help prop up its other 88 championships.
The excitement of the best tournament in recent memory aside, CBS’s heart only fluttered when it came to saying goodbye to the sport’s long-time friend Dick Enberg. He ended 50 years of college hoops with his Elite Eight call of West Virginia’s upset of Kentucky and an appearance between games of the Final Four, when CBS reminisced about the man who is now bringing his “Oh Mys” to Cox’s coverage of San Diego Padres ballgames.
After Duke and Coach K had secured its fourth crown just before midnight, host Greg Gumble set up Jennifer Hudson’s rendition of “One Shining Moment” by noting this was the “29th consecutive NCAA tournament that we at CBS Sports have been privileged to broadcast.”
If it was its last, the network, Jim Nantz and Clark Kellogg went out with a memorable game, the highest championship contest overnights in 11 years and no doubt some strong sentiments from CBS News and Sports president Sean McManus, a Duke alum.