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March Madness Day 2 Review

So it didn’t live up to the opening day of the tournament. Hoping day two would match yesterday’s excitement was a pipe dream anyway. Nonetheless, I review the day’s significant happenings…or lack thereof.

CBS = Constantly Blows the Switch
Thank you, CBS. Your coverage of today’s second batch of games was an absolute abomination. Apparently, no one in the production studio has any idea how March Madness works. Allow me to educate your incompetent producers on what fans want.

Upsets/suspenseful finishes are king. Do not, under any circumstances, keep an audience from a potentially thrilling finish. They’re what the tournament is all about. Instead of enjoying the closing minutes of the Wofford/Wisconsin game OR the Missouri/Clemson track meet, I was stuck watching Pittsburgh slaughter Oakland College (surprisingly located in Michigan). News flash, CBS: double digit leads aren’t as entertaining as nail-biting finishes. Switch my telecast to the close games with seven or eight minutes remaining. Bringing me to the game for the last 30 seconds of Wisconsin’s escape or as Missouri is dribbling out the clock isn’t good enough. The excitement in a close basketball game builds as the game nears completion. Showing viewers the end and cheating them of the experience isn’t worth a darn thing. CBS blew it. They blow it every year. No one cares about their local team winning by 20 when a 13 is flirting with upsetting a 4. Why is it that everyone else knows this except for the handful of people responsible for broadcasting the games? Maybe President Obama could put a stipulation into his healthcare reform that would take the NCAA tournament from CBS and give it to a competing network that ACTUALLY knows what its doing.

(I know you can purchase a package that allows you access to every game, but I understand there are issues with those additional channels as well. For example; blacking out the game if your local CBS affiliate begins airing the same game – leaving you scrambling to change channels, or not having access to any game because of the sudden broadcast changes, etc… Regardless, I’m not asking to see the entire game. Just don’t make me watch a blowout with 17 minutes left in the 2nd half when there’s a tie game with seven minutes to go. Is that too much to ask?)

Sequels rarely surpass the original
If yesterday was the last 40 minutes of The Kingdom (one of my all-time favorites), then today was the entire 136 minutes of Vanilla Sky. Only two of today’s games were semi-suspenseful and neither was truly captivating.

Wofford/Wisconsin was an exciting finish, but extremely ugly at the same time. Wisconsin had no business winning that game. Unfortunately, Wofford’s guards couldn’t dribble in traffic and looked as lost in closing a game as Brad Lidge did in 2009.

The New Mexico St./Michigan St. contest had potential. The finish was frantic as two opportunities for a tying three missed in the closing seconds. Sadly, the game ended in regulation and was marred by a questionable lane violation call at the game’s most critical moment. Here’s the cliff notes version. Raymar Morgan missed his second free-throw attempt but was given a third because of a lane violation. Morgan made the shot and extended Michigan St.’s lead to three with less than 20 seconds left. Instead of needing two to tie, New Mexico St. now needed a desperation three to force overtime. Technically, the call was the correct call, but that’s a nit-pick call in that situation. Unless the rebounder tries to block the free-throw attempt, I don’t think you make that call.

Upsets? Hardly.
As expected, the second day of round one contained very few upsets, and the upsets that did occur were inconsequential. Cornell was a sexy upset pick since the brackets were announced. Temple responded to the doubters by playing with no passion, getting frustrated at teammates, and ultimately rolling over early in the second half. Well done.

The Georgia Tech and Missouri victories were hardly upsets, at least in my opinion. Georgia Tech beat an Oklahoma State team that couldn’t match their athleticism. Yes, Tech’s head coach, Paul Hewitt, put on a, “how not to coach in the last few minutes of a close game” clinic. However, his team won and all is forgiven…sort of.

The Missouri outcome was predictable. When was the last time Clemson performed well in the NCAA tournament?……………..Yeh, that’s what I thought. They’re a guaranteed out in the first round. Remember that for 2011.

New Material
Ok, we get it. Southwest doesn’t charge for bags. In fact, the company is so excited about this service that we have to see it spelled across the chests of ten middle aged men 793 times in the course of 12 hours. I’m glad you love my bags that much.

I like Chad Johnson. I’m glad he found a shoe that allows him to work out pain free and is equivalent to an energy drink for his feet. I remembered all this information after the second time I saw the commercial. I’m good now. Thanks.

And finally, I don’t care if Taco Bell is going to put dirt cheap shrimp in a taco. I’m afraid to eat at Taco Bell already. Incorporating questionable marine life into your food only pushes me further away. If I want fast food Pepsi, I’ll stop by. If I want shrimp, I’ll visit my local grocer. Thanks anyway.

Quote of the Day
“He went after that one like it was dinner time.” – Clark Kellogg

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