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CBS Sports Announces 2008 Men's Final Four Semifinal Tip Times

Athens, GA (Mar 30, 2008) - CBS Sports has announced the tip times for the April 5, 2008 national semifinal games for the Men's Division I Tournament:

Memphis - UCLA 6:07 PM ET
UNC - Kansas 8:47 PM ET (Approximatelt)

Play-by-Play: Jim Nantz
Color Analyst: Billy Packer

Westwood One Information

Play-by-Play: Kevin Kugler
Color Analysts: Bill Raftery and John Thompson
Courtside Reporter: Jim Gray
Pre-game/Halftime: Tommy Tighe

Westwood One Station Finder

Brent Musburger to Call His 1st Baseball Game Since 1995. Says Who?

Athens, GA (Mar 29, 2008) - The headline in the Google news alert caught my attention: "Brent Musburger to call his 1st baseball game since 1995". On March 28, 2008, Teddy Greenstein, of the Chicago Tribune, has almost a full column gushing on Musberger's love for baseball, and how this marks his first return to calling a baseball game on television since 1995.

Only one small problem. Musburger has been making the pilgrimage to Williamsport, Pennsylvania every year now, for some time, to call play-by-play for the Little League World Series. Is there not a purer form of baseball? Ok, sometimes there is cheating and parents can be rude an obnoxious. But it is baseball at its most elemental level.

Musburger has been calling the LLWS in 1992, 1992, 1997, 1998, and 2000-2007. The last two years, he has worked with Orel Hershiser. Wait, the same Orel Hershiser who will be with Musburger in the booth next week? Couldn't be, because Musburger has not worked a basball game since 1995. (Source: Wikipedia)

So why does this matter? very simply, if people in the mainstream media are going to be critical of non-mainstream media for "getting it wrong", then they should also turn the mirror on themselves. They should should publish information when it is known, nit a week or two after the fact. For example, in the same column that contains this "news" about Musburger, Greenstein also has this breaking news:

This just in

Hallelujah! The New York Post reports Chris Berman is being left off ESPN's on-site Masters coverage.

Just in? It seems that Greenstein is trying to play the same game as Ray Frager of the Baltimore Sun by reporting something published by the NY Post well after it was published, and picked up across the non-mainstream media.

Phil Mushnick (NY York Post Report): March 21, 2008
*DeadSpin: March 21, 2008
*Ryan Wilson (FanHouse): March 21, 2008
Ray Frager (Baltimore Sun): March 23, 2008
Teddy Greenstein's "This Just In" report: March 28, 2008

*non-mainstream media

Even worse, all three of the mainstream media sources are reporting something as "news" that has been known since it was announced that ESPN would be carrying the 1st and 2nd round of the Masters. Back on 11 October 2007, I wrote this in a commentary (and of course, I misinterpreted how the word "Anchor" was used):

There have been very few details about this deal, announced yesterday, except that it will be anchored by Mike Tirico. So naturally, there are questions that people may have about this new deal:

1. Is it a one year contract subject to annual renewal like the one CBS Sports has with Augusta National?

2. Will the coverage still be produced by CBS Sports and staffed by CBS announcers, with the exception of Tirico in the tower?

3. Can Mike Tirico adjust to actually sitting in the tower and not in a production truck like he does for ESPN/ABC?

4. Will Disney be the exclusive sponsor for the four minutes of ads in each hour, or will others be allowed to advertise?

5. Will viewers have to watch the scrolling updates of other sports while trying to watch the golf coverage.

If reporters like Mushnick at the NY Post, Greenstein at the Chicago Tribune, and Frager at the Baltimore Sun really concerned about who ESPN would send to Augusta, why did they not ask these questions back in October (when the news was announced) instead of acting "surprised" two weeks before the tournament tees off?

So here is a challenge to the print guys out there (and over the air guys too): If you are going to report something as news, get it right the first time, get it complete, and make it timely.

2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Television Broadcast Schedule

Athens, GA (March 16, 2008, Last Updated March 29, 2008) - The following is the comprehensive 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament Television broadcast schedule for the Regional Championshup games. All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

CBS Sports Play by Play/Color Analyst Assignments for Saturday, March 29, 2008

East Regional: Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas
West Regional: Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery

CBS Sports Play by Play/Color Analyst Assignments for Sunday, March 30, 2008

Midwest Regional: Gus Johnson/Len Elmore
South Regional: Jim Nantz/Billy Packer

Awful Announcing: Monsieur Stern, le réalité et toi, vous ne vous entendez pas, n'est-ce pas?*

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Friday, March 28, 2008 , under , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (March 28, 2008) - There is no way NBA Commissioner David Stern should get a free pass for his "lecture" to the media that the term "going overseas" is so antiquated and incorrect to use. He also says that it takes no longer to fly from Miami to Paris than it does to fly from Miami to Portland. He does not see what the problem is because the teams will be using a chartered jet. Unless the NBA teams have a souped up test jet from NASA, I would love to know how he has done his math.

Miami (MIA) to Paris (CDG)
Air Distance: 4,580 Miles
Time Zones Crossed: 6 (5 if during Daylight Savings Time)

Miami (MIA) to Portland (PDX)
Air Distance: 2,700 Miles
Time Zones Crossed: 3

So Mr. Stern, take your attitude and go away and rest. Overseas is overseas. Even the State Department calls it that.

If you don't like that, then here are some alternatives that might hopefully pass your litmus test.

OCONUS: Outside the Continental United States
Across the Pond
To the Continent

I would include "Travel Abroad", but that has sexual connotations to closely related to the behaviors and indiscretions of some NBA players.

*Mr Stern, reality and you don't get on, do they?"

Related Link(s): Awful Announcing: Using The Term "Going Overseas" Is Soooo 1990s

Tim Brando and Dan Bonner to Call Action for NCAA Men's Division II Men's Basketball Chamionship Game on CBS Sports

Athens, GA (Mar 29, 2008) - CBS Sports will be broadcasting the 2008 NCAA Men's Division II Basketball Championship Game between Winona State (37-1) and Augusta State (27-6) on Saturday, March 29, 2008 at 2:30 PM ET. Tim Brando will be on play-by-play duty, while Dan Bonner will handle the color analyst role.

About Tim Brando

Now in his 13th year as play-by-play announcer for CBS Sports' NCAA Tournament coverage, Tim Brando also serves as the host of COLLEGE FOOTBALL TODAY, the Network's pre-game and studio show. He has called play-by-play for the CBS Television Network's coverage of the NFL and also serves as host of AT THE HALF, CBS Sports' college basketball halftime studio show. Brando called play-by-play for CBS Sports' college football coverage in 1997.

He provides commentary for Jefferson Pilot's coverage of SEC and ACC basketball broadcasts and he hosts the "Tim Brando Show" every afternoon on Sporting News radio.

About Dan Bonner

This is Dan Bonner’s 18th year as an analyst for CBS Sports' NCAA Men's Basketball Championship coverage. In 2006, he served as reporter for the Final Four and Championship games. He served as an analyst for CBS Sports' coverage of the 2000 and 2001 Final Four and Championship games in HDTV.

He also serves as an analyst for regular-season college basketball games for CBS Sports and Fox Sports Net and has called ACC games for Jefferson Pilot Sports since 1983. Full profile...

Saturday's game will be produced by Ken Mack and directed by Chris Svendson.

Dan Bonner
photograph courtesy of CBS Sports. Tim Brando photograph Copyright 2007 by Christopher Byrne/Eye on Sports Media. All Rights Reserved.

Where To Find This Weekend's Division I Men's Hockey Games On Television

Athens, GA (Mar 28, 2008) - The NCAA has outdone itself again, making the television schedule for this weekend's television schedule for the Division I Men's Hockey Tournament regional games virtually impossible to find, or even read in a logical manner. So here is our translation for readers:

Friday, March 28, 2008

St. Cloud State vs. Clarkson
East Regional Semifinal # 1
Albany, NY
4:00 PM ET
(no live regional syndication)

Niagara vs.Michigan
East Regional Semifinal #2
Albany, NY
7:30 PM ET
(no live regional syndication)

Notre Dame vs. New Hampshire
West Regional Semifinal # 1
Colorado Springs, CO
6:30 PM ET

Carrier Market Time
Altitude Denver, CO Live (ALT 1)
Cox RI Providence, RI Live
Cox Sports Television New Orleans, LA TD 3/29 3 PM CT
MSG + New York, NY TD 12 AM ET
Mediacom Des Moines, IA Live
Metrosports Kansas City, MO Live
NW Iowa Telephone Sioux City, IA Live
Time Warner Rochester Rochester, NY TD 3/29 5 PM ET
Time Warner Syracuse Syracuse, NY Live
WMUR New Hampshire Live
WHME South Bend, IN Live

Colorado College vs. Michigan State
West Regional Semifinal # 2
Colorado Springs, CO
10:00 PM ET
(no live regional syndication)

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Princeton vs.North Dakota
Midwest Regional Semifinal # 1
Madison, WI
3:00 PM ET

Carrier Market Time

Altitude Denver, CO Live (ALT 2)
Charter St. Louis St. Louis, MO Live
Cox RI Providence, RI Live
Cox Sports Television New Orleans, LA TD 3/31 2:30 PM CT
MSG + New York, NY TD 3:30 AM ET
FSN North Minneapolis, MN Live
Mediacom Des Moines, IA Live
Metrosports Kansas City, MO Live
NW Iowa Telephone Sioux City, IA Live
Time Warner Rochester Rochester, NY TD 3/30 7 PM ET
Time Warner Syracuse Syracuse, NY Live
Time Warner Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI Live

Wisconsin vs Denver
Midwest Regional Semifinal #2
Madison, WI
6:30 PM ET

Carrier Market Time
Altitude Denver, CO Live (ALT2)
Charter St. Louis St. Louis, MO Live
Cox RI Providence, RI Live
Cox Sports Television New Orleans, LA Live
MSG + New York, NY TD 1 AM ET
Mediacom Des Moines, IA Live
Metrosports Kansas City, MO TD 9:30 PM CT
NW Iowa Telephone Sioux City, IA Live
Time Warner Rochester Rochester, NY TD 3/30 9:30 PM ET
Time Warner Syracuse Syracuse, NY Live
Time Warner Wisconsin Milwaukee, WI Live
WISC Madison, WI Live (Madison only)

Miami (OH) vs. Air Force
Northeast Regional SF # 1
Worcester, MA
4:00 PM ET
ESPNU (no live regional syndication)

Minnesota vs. Boston College
Northeast Regional SF # 2
Worcester, MA
7:30 PM ET

Carrier Market Time
Cox RI Providence, RI TD at 9:30 PM ET
Cox Sports Television New Orleans, LA TD 4/1 12 PM CT
MSG + New York, NY TD 10:30 PM ET
FSN North Minneapolis, MN Live
Metrosports Kansas City, MO Live
Time Warner Rochester Rochester, NY TD 3/30 10:30 AM ET
WSBK Boston, MA Live

An Interview With Bill Chuck, Publisher of (Part I)

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Thursday, March 27, 2008 , under , , , | comments (1)

Athens, GA (Mar 27, 2008) - One of the best baseball web sites on the internet is Billy-Ball. Laced with humour, detail, and the pure love of the game, site publisher (and Boston-area resident) Bill Chuck (pictured left) is passionate about the site and about the game. Next week, his book entitled “Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so grand) Finales" will be published by ACTA Books.

Eye on Sports Media talked to Bill at IBM's annual Lotusphere Conference last January about doing an interview. He agreed and we conducted it through a series of e-mails, finally finishing up recently.

In Part I of this interview, we talk about how he came to love baseball, the Billy-Ball site, and the forthcoming book

When did your love for baseball start?

I was introduced to baseball in 1959 by my dad and it was love at first sight. My father was old when I was born and there was a larger than normal generational gap, but he loved baseball and started teaching me when I was eight. My fondest memories were of just having catch with him when he came home from work. I remember watching the 1959 World Series with him and I was blown away by Ted Kluzewski's muscular arms and the fact that the Dodgers had a pair of brothers playing for them, Larry and Norm Sherry. I didn't attend my first game until 1960.

Since you grew up in Queens, the question has to be asked. Mets or Yankees?

I actually grew up in lower Manhattan in Stuyvesant Town and when I first became a real fan in 1960, there was only one team — the New York Yankees. I was almost as sad as Mickey Mantle when Bill Mazeroski hit his walk-off homer in the bottom of the 9th at Forbes Field in Game 7 to win the Series (and get himself elected to the Hall of Fame). It wasn't until I was much older that I learned about my dad's mixed feelings about taking me to Yankees games. It turns out that my father, who grew up on the upper West Side of Manhattan was a big New York Giants fan and really didn't like the Yankees one bit. But, my dad was good dad and it saddened him when I was depressed about the Yanks losing when we went to a game, so then, and only then, when we attended a game together he rooted for the Yankees.

In 1962, the Mets were born and my father and I gravitated to them attending, in particular, Giants games at the Polo Grounds. The Mets truly were our team and we spent hours and hours talking about them up until his death at 94 a few years ago. He would have loved David Wright because he always bemoaned the lack of good Mets third baseman. When the Mets won the Series in 1969, I was in college and I ran to the pay phone and called home. My dad and I cried together as we rejoiced the victory which truly was a miracle.

By the way, my dad insisted even on his death bed that the greatest player he ever saw was Mel Ott. My first real pet was a cat named Mickey Charles Mantle Chuck, my friend Lorelei had a cat named Mickey Charles Mantle Chuck Jacobs.

What gave you the idea to do Billy Ball?

Billy-Ball was an accident. I wish I was savvy enough to have known then, and now, what I'm doing. I'm god at what I do as a Communication Czar, helping on messaging, writing, and presentations skills, I'm just lousy at running my own business, B.Czar Productions, Inc, which I have for close to 19 years. The last real job I had was working as a marketing writer at Wang Laboratories, it was a horribly boring but filled with nice people. We worked in kind of a warehouse setting with rows of cubicles (don't worry I'm getting to Billy-Ball soon) but it was in that environment that I truly discovered the power of emails. I used to send out funny observations, comments or just some goofy writing to a bunch of co-workers and then email it. Slowly, but surely, I would hear laughter come from various locations amidst the aisles of cubes. Really neat instant gratification.

When did you start it?

About ten years ago, at the start of the season I sent my baseball observations to about six people. I did it the next day as well and the day after that. I began to get requests from some friends of the people who I originally sent it to and they asked to be on the list. What the hell, I figured. Soon the list was about to 50-60 names and growing. This column needed a name and while many were suggested, Billy-Ball had the right sound and attitude. I found that when I mentioned B-B to a client (and I did this often) they would ask to be added to the list. This always was good for me because it gave me share of mind when they were thinking about hiring someone of my ilk (I'm a professional ilkist). My wife Max (often known as Mrs. Ball) has a wonderful cousin, who is a gifted playwright and professor at NYU, Steven Drukman. Steven's partner at the time Geremy had this sense somewhat like "Field of Dreams" if you build it they will come and built my website in the hope that in the ever expanding internet bubble it would be bought by some content hungry conglomerate and we would all become instant millionaires. I haven't checked my email today, but I think we are still waiting for this to happen.

How much of your time dies it take to manage the site and produce content during the season?

This is one of those "back-in-the-day" answers. Back-in-the-day, when I first really started producing Billy-Ball, I would get up between 6 and 6:30 and be finished by 8 AM. The goal soon became to be finished by 9 AM. When I'm healthy, I now get up around 5:15 and hope the column is out by 10 - that doesn't include my Sunday work where I search for stories that are unusual to include and try to write some leads.

If you know them, what are the demographics of the site readers?

From what I know about my readers I seem to be pretty much all over the board. One thing I do know about because I relate so much of the present to baseball history, my site skews a little older than most. I also know I have a fair number of fathers and their grown sons; a nice, but still too small number of women, and a bit of an international audience. I think the greatest appeal of Billy-Ball is that even more than the stats I'm interested in the great stories that make the sport unique and I'm so glad that my love for the game comes through.

The book that is coming out . What gave you the idea for the book? Where did you go for your research?

The easiest way to answer this is a grab from the book preface:

I love baseball and watch games from Opening Day through to the end of the season, so it was no surprise that on a beautiful Saturday on October 6, 2001 I was home watching. It was especially difficult saying goodbye to that season as baseball seemed to provide the salve the country needed after September 11…it was once again, as America's game had been, a great unifier.

The game I had on the television had no meaning to the standings, the Red Sox were finishing in second, once again, to you-know-who and would end their season with an uninspired 82-79 record, 13.5 games out of first. Their hosts that day at Camden Yards were the Baltimore Orioles who would finish the season with a depressing 63-98-1 record. Only the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and Pittsburgh Pirates would have a worse record than the Orioles that season.

Yet I was watching this game, every inning every pitch to the very end. I can't be certain, but I venture to guess that every one of the 48,807 fans stayed to the end of this game even though the Sox would win, 5-1 and it was never really a contest. And, when Red Sox reliever Ugueth Urbina blew that final 3-2 fastball past Orioles left fielder Brady Anderson for the final out the disappointment in that crowd, that had been screaming moments before was palpable. And when Urbina "pulled the trigger" to celebrate this meaningless strikeout my feelings were now also mixed with anger.

You see, waiting in the on-deck circle was Cal Ripken, Jr., truly a baseball and American icon. The crowd which had been shouting "We want Cal!" was now standing and cheering this future Hall-of-Famer as he walked back to the dugout for the last time in his career. I could not help but think how Urbina had disrespected his sport by not throwing a pitch so wide that Anderson would have walked and the fans and baseball and the world could have had one last chance to stand and cheer for Cal Ripken as he stood at the plate for the final time in his career. It seemed so empty for him to retire while in the on-deck circle.

I have thought of that moment frequently as I have watched playing careers come and go, stadiums close, teams move, streaks end, comebacks materialize and teams walk-off after a homer. That Ripken moment was the genesis for this book.

We are blessed to live in the age of the Internet with so many people making so many contributions with great websites - I used many of them in doing my research and rather than leave any out, I will say that there are many great ones and how I lived without is beyond me. I also have what must be hundreds of baseball books scattered around me and the phone for the Hall of Fame Research Library. You see this could go on for pages.

What do you want to be the legacy of Bill Chuck in the world of baseball?

This is a hard one for me and very personal. I'm not very good at receiving compliments (worse than most) and I get so embarrassed when people talk about how much they enjoy Billy-Ball, but on the other hand a kind word like that goes such a long way for me (I guess I'm way more insecure than people realize). I hope someday I'm introduced as a man who turned an avocation into a successful vocation and shared his love for the game with others so that they would love and appreciate baseball. I would like to think that my points of view not only have some impact on my readers, but on the game itself. I would hope that my work is respected by other writers and I am successful at writing and selling books. I guess this all sounds pretty conceited, so I apologize. Finally, one thing I hope for certain, I hope I never lose the thrill of meeting an actual major league baseball player.

In the next part of the Interview, Bill will sound off on Bud Selig, Steroids, Aluminum Bats, his favorite announcers and more. So stay tuned.

Gosh, You Never Know Who You Will See on CBS Sports NCAA Coverage

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 27, 2008) - In a recent column by USA Today's Michael Heistand, he said it was unfortunate that CBS Sports did not follow the example of ESPN and ABC and have celebrities show up during coverage to pump the ratings. Not just any celebrities, but those tied to the schools playing:

Or, CBS could follow Fox and ESPN and find ways to inject celebrities into NCAA coverage — an omission that seems almost like a throwback. It just focuses on sports. Even the most obscure college must have some celebrity alumni who could pop up to lighten things up for casual viewers.

There is a reason Monday Night Football has gone down in quality, as Disney celebrities keep showing up on air. And Michael, the coverage should be about sports. My wife, who is the most casual sports watcher on Earth, enjoys watching some of the games and could care less about celebrities. Well let me rephrase that, she is casual unless it is her native Trinidad and Tobago playing England in the World Cup, and then there is no such word as casual.

But occasionally it is cool to see friends and colleagues on air, even if it is accidental. Brian Powell of Awful Announcing caught a friend and colleague of mine tonight in an "oops, CBS had a technical goof" video clip tonight.

Yes, sitting in the background is Karen Blackman, one of the true really good people I have worked with over the years. Karen works for Clemson University by day, and in her spare time can be found working as a stage manager or talent statistician for one of the major networks or syndicators.

UTUGAWomen2008 011
Nancy Lieberman (left) and Pam Ward (center) enjoy a light moment with talent statistician Karen Blackman.

Karen has been doing this successfully for years, and the major reason is that she is good at what she does and can be depended on in any situation. So I could not resist throwing this post up as a shout out to her since she is now a budding YouTube star!

Karen Blackman stage managing for SunSports at the Florida-Georgia Men's Basketball game last month

Karen Blackman with her brother Sam, who is an Associate Sports Information Director for Clemson University, before the Florida-Georgia game last month. It must be a family thing as Sam worked as the talent statistician for the game while Karen managed the stage.

Photographs Copyright 2008 by Christopher Byrne/Eye on Sports Media. All Rights Reserved.

It's Time For Billy-Ball Season!

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Wednesday, March 26, 2008 , under , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 26, 2008) - Ah, spring is in the air, and the first pitch of the 2008 baseball season has been thrown. Sure, it was in Japan. Sure, people who get NESN through DirecTV could not see the game today because of "technical difficulties". But one baseball site that many fans love and adore opened for the season yesterday: Billy-Ball.

Run by Richmond Hill (Queens), New York native and Boston-area resident Bill Chuck, the site is an extension of his love of the game of baseball, and his disdain for things that distract from the purity of the game. Bill put up his first post of the season yesterday: Ten things that we don’t want to see in baseball 2008.

So here is his list of ten things, but you will have to go to to read the explanations:

1. A Ray Oyler season
2. A repeat of the 1962 NY Mets
3. More All-Star Game dilution
4. Far East travel affecting play
5. Nee Wrigley Field
6. A Vic Willis season
7. The presence of Barry B*nds and/or Roger Cl*mens
8. A Daryl Kile moment
9. “It’s the economy, stupid”
10. Any decision by Bud Selig

Bill also has a new book coming out next month entitled “Walkoffs, Last Licks, and Final Outs – Baseball’s Grand (and not so grand) Finales". Word is that Bob Costas was "too busy" to write the foreword because of the Olympics, so the foreword has been written by Jon Miller.

So if you are a baseball fan, be sure to visit Bill's site and buy his new book. He is a great guy and loves the game, despite all of the warts. And beyond baseball, he is a communications consultant to IBM for their annual Lotusphere conference, providing public speaking coaching to new and inexperienced speakers at the conference.

Baseball Humorist Bill Chuck served as a judge for the
"Lotusphere Idol" competition held in Orlando, FL in January 2008.

Photograph Copyright 2008 by Christopher Byrne/Eye on Sports Media. All Rights Reserved.

CBS College Sports Network To Re-Air Six 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament 1st and 2nd Round Games

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Tuesday, March 25, 2008 , under , , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 25, 2008) - The CBS College Sports Network (formerly known as CSTV) has announced that they will be re-airing the following six games from the 1st and 2nd Rounds of the 2008 NCAA Men's Division I Basketball Tournament:

Wednesday, March 26
Butler vs. Tennessee (1:00 PM, ET)
Purdue vs. Xavier (3:00 PM, ET)
Texas A&M vs. UCLA (8:00 PM, ET)

Thursday, March 27
Marquette vs. Stanford (3:00 PM, ET)

Friday, March 28
Mississippi State vs. Memphis (1:00 PM, ET)
Davidson vs. Georgetown (3:00 PM, ET)

In addition, the network will be airing a preview of the Sweet 16 games on NCAA March Madness Central Powered by Pontiac G8 on Wednesday, March 26 (5:00-7:00 PM, ET). University of Arizona assistant coach Miles Simon, a member of the Wildcats 1997 NCAA Championship team and CBS Sports analyst Bob Wenzel join Jay Williams, Steve Lappas and anchors Greg Amsinger (pictured left) and Adam Zucker in studio for all the regional tournament action.

NCAA March Madness Central Powered by Pontiac G8 will also air live on Thursday, March 27 (5:00-6:00 PM), followed by a two hour program later that night recapping and updating the games (10:30 PM-12:30 AM, ET). On Friday, March 28 (5:00 PM – 12:30 AM, ET) CBS College Sports Network coverage will include a series of behind-the-scenes features on the Memphis Tigers chronicling Memphis’ NCAA Tournament experience with an exclusive look at the team as they prepare, practice and travel to each site.

In one of the first obvious signs of the new crossover of production work between CBS Sports and the newly integrated CBS College Sports Network, longtime CBS Sports producer Deb Gelman will be producing NCAA March Madness Central Powered by Pontiac G8 for the network.

Photograph Copyright 2007 by Christopher Byrne/Eye on Sports Media. All Rights Reserved.

Candian Press: Raptor's Analyst Jack Armstrong Lives the "Best of Both Worlds"

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 25, 2008) - Ken Fang, who runs the "Fang's Bites" Sports blog (also chock full of Amazing Race content), is one of my must read web sites from my RSS reader. Yes, it is always nice when he links to content on this site, but I also find he does a great job of distilling sports content from around North America, and summarizing it every day, sometimes two and three times a day. Given the often times hectic work and travel schedule I face deploying email, collaboration and instant messaging infrastructures, conducting readiness assessments, and providing technology audit services for my customers (yes I have a day job), Ken provides a thorough distillation of content. This allows me to pick up on items that I may sometimes miss, and that I want to follow up on.

Today is one of those days, as he links to a Canadian Press profile of former Niagara University Men's Basketball Coach, and current radio color analyst for the Toronto Raptors, Jack Armstrong (pictured left). Armstrong, when hired by Niagara, was then the youngest coach in Division I basketball. He compiled a less than spectacular 100-154 (0.394) record from 1989-1998 (including a 23-7 record in the 1992-93 season).

So off he went into broadcasting as a basketball analyst for the Toronto Raptors, and is also working regular season NCAA Men's Basketball and NIT game broadcasts for ESPN. You may not have heard Armstrong on the radio or TV, but you might be interested in reading the piece by The Canadian Press for a look at broadcast talent north of the border. Well actually, talent that WORKS north of the border as Armstrong and his family still live in Lewiston, NY, which is spitting distance from the Canadian border.

And Now Some Related Trivia

Armstrong was cutting his coaching teeth with the Freshman team at Fordham University at the same time that CBS Sports Senior VP of Communications LeslieAnne Wade was cutting her sports information teeth at Fordham at the same time. In a January 2008 conversation with Eye on Sports Media, Wade said considers Armstrong to be a good friend and a "great guy."...Current University of Georgia Assistant Men's Basketball Coach Desmond Oliver got his start as an assistant with Armstrong at Niagara from 1994-1997...One of the reasons you will not find Rogers Sportsnet talent profiles on this site is because there is low confidence that they really are accurate, as mistakes of fact and description were found in Armstrong's biography on that site some months ago. Their webmaster fixed some of it, but not all, so unless we have confidence that any of the other biographies are accurate, they just will not be found here.

My CBS Sports "One Shining Moment" Video Mashup

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Monday, March 24, 2008 , under , , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 24, 2008) - (If you are looking for video of the CBS Sports 2008 One Shining Moment video, you can access it at "One Shining Moment" Video for 2008 on this site).

Yesterday I wrote about the CBS Sports "One Shining Moment" video mashup tool. So after I posted, I spent some time until the wee hours of the morning working on one. The available clips are not the best for want I wanted to do, and the tools were not the easiest to deal with at times. So I just had to make do with what was offered. So here is my cut at "One Shining Moment", and if anyone wants to accept it as my only resume reel, go for it. (just kidding).

So You Think You Can Do a Better Job Editing "One Shining Moment" Than CBS Sports

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Sunday, March 23, 2008 , under , , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 23, 2008) - (If you are looking for video of the CBS Sports 2008 One Shining Moment video, you can access it at "One Shining Moment" Video for 2008 on this site).

You may as well go ahead and admit it now. The reason a lot of us watch the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship game until the bitter end is to watch the "One Shining Moment" video. And I am sure there are a lot of people out there that would love a rack at editing that themselves. Well imagine no more. CBS Sports has made the ultimate fan mashup tool available: make your own "One Shining Moment" video.

But there is the rub: the NCAA and CBS Sports have made it difficult to find if you care about privacy and security as you browse the web. The only direct link I have found is through an ad on the NCAA web site. But the link makes you go through DoubleClick to get it. "So what?," you ask? Well DoubleClick is notorious about gathering private data about your web surfing habits on the internet, and is so invasive that I use a special security plug in for the Mozilla Firefox browser to block and content or cross linking from DoubleClick (which will soon be owned by Google, pending final regulatory approval).

So skip the DoubleClick link though and go to it directly here. You can make a 50 second video and share it with the world. So go and have some fun. Maybe you will get discovered!

CBS Sports Announces Talent Assignments for the 2008 Men's Basketball Sweet Sixteen and the Elite Eight Games

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 23, 2008) - According to Ray Frager of The Baltimore Sun, these are the CBS Sports broadcaster assignments for the 3rd (and by default 4th) round games of the 2008 Division I Men's Basketball Tournament:

Thursday March 27/Saturday March 29

West Region (Xavier-West Virginia, UCLA-Western Kentucky): Verne Lundquist/Bill Raftery

East Region (UNC-Washington State, Tennessee-Louisville): Dick Enberg/Jay Bilas

Friday March 28/Saturday March 30

Midwest Region (Wisconsin-Davidson, Kansas-Villanova): Gus Johnson/Len Elmore

South Region (Texas-Stanford, Memphis-Michigan State): Jim Nantz/Billy Packer

Of course, the schedule is available on this site (with all of the selection options).

Related Links:
Ray Frager of The Baltimore Sun

NCAA Division I Men's Ice Hockey Tournament Field/Schedule Announced

Athens, GA (Mar 23, 2008) - The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Committee has announced the 16 teams selected for participation in the 2008 NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Championship.

The championship playoff format involves four predetermined regional sites with four teams assigned to each site. The four regional winners advance to the Men’s Frozen Four. The entire championship uses a single-elimination format.

Automatic qualification privileges are granted to the postseason champions of six conferences. The remainder of the field is selected at large.

The University of Michigan, was the No. 1 overall seed. The other No. 1 seeds, in order, included Miami University (Ohio), the University of North Dakota and the University of New Hampshire.

The dates, sites, times and pairings of this year’s championship are as follows:

East Regional, March 28-29
Times Union Center, Albany, New York

March 28, 4 p.m. Eastern time
No. 2 St. Cloud State (19-15-5) vs. No. 3 Clarkson (21-12-4)

March 28, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time
No. 1 Michigan (31-5-4) vs. No. 4 Niagara (22-10-4)

March 29, 7 p.m. Eastern time
East Regional Championship

West Regional, March 28-29
World Arena, Colorado Springs, Colorado

March 28, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time
No. 1 New Hampshire (25-9-3) vs. No. 4 Notre Dame (24-15-4)

March 28, 10 p.m. Eastern time
No. 2 Colorado College (28-11-1) vs. No. 3 Michigan State (24-11-5)

March 29, 10 p.m. Eastern time
West Regional Championship

Midwest Regional, March 29-30
Kohl Center, Madison, Wisconsin

March 29, 3 p.m. Eastern time
No. 1 North Dakota (26-10-4) vs. No. 4 Princeton (21-13)

March 29, 6:30 p.m. Eastern time
No. 2 Denver (26-13-1) vs. No. 3 Wisconsin (15-16-7)

March 30, 7 p.m. Eastern time
Midwest Regional Championship

Northeast Regional, March 29-30
DCU Center, Worcester, Massachusetts

March 29, 4 p.m. Eastern time
No. 1 Miami (Ohio) (32-7-1) vs. No. 4 Air Force (21-11-6)

March 29, 7:30 p.m. Eastern time
No. 2 Boston College (21-11-8) vs. No. 3 Minnesota (19-16-9)

March 30, 4:30 p.m. Eastern time
Northeast Regional Championship

Men’s Frozen Four, April 10 and 12
Pepsi Center, Denver, Colorado

April 10, 6 and 9 p.m. Eastern time (order of games TBD)
East Regional Champion vs. West Regional Champion
Midwest Regional Champion vs. Northeast Regional Champion

April 12, 7 p.m. Eastern time
National Championship

The following conferences and teams received automatic qualification:

Atlantic Hockey Association – Air Force
Central Collegiate Hockey Association – Michigan
College Hockey America – Niagara
ECAC Hockey – Princeton
Hockey East Association – Boston College
Western Collegiate Hockey Association – Denver

ESPNU and ESPN Syndication will combine to produce the 12 regional games. ESPN Syndication does not mean that the games will air on “ESPN” or “ESPN2”. ESPN Regional Television (Charlotte, NC) will handle the production of all 12 regional games. ESPN Syndication (Bristol, CT) will clear local cable affiliates and selected regional sports networks throughout the country for the four (4) regional games that are not airing LIVE on ESPNU.

ESPN will televise the national championship game live April 12 and ESPN2 will air both semifinal games live April 10.

2008 NCAA Division I Wresting Championships Television Broadcast Schedule

Pueblo, CO (March 20, 2008) - The 2008 NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships are being held this weekend at Scott Trade Center in St. Louis. The ESPN Networks will be providing live coverage as follows:

Friday March 21, 2008
Quarterfinals 11:00 AM-2:00 PM ESPNU
Semifinals 7:00 PM-9:30 PM ESPNU

Saturday, March 22, 2008
Championship Medal Round
11:00 AM-2:00 PM ESPNU
Finals 8:30 PM--11:00 PM ESPN

Dave Armstrong will serve as play-by-play announcer alongside analysts Tim Johnson and Olympic gold-medal winner Jeff Blatnick, with Quint Kessenich reporting. Former Iowa State coach and wrestler James Gibbons will serve as a guest commentator describing the action on, ESPN’s live sports broadband network, will offer one-stop access to all rounds of the championships. will complement the ESPNU and ESPN telecasts by providing live coverage of all four mats during the quarterfinals and both mats in the semifinals, offering users the option to select the match they want to see. is now available at no cost to U.S. college students and U.S.-based military personnel. Users accessing from an on-campus “.edu” or “.mil” network domain in the United States will receive free, seamless access to the NCAA Division I Wrestling Championships. The service is also available via more than 25 Internet service providers, including AT&T, Verizon, Insight, RCN, Frontier, Cavalier, Charter, Mediacom, Conway, Grande Communications and more.

CBS Sports Production Assignments for 2008 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament (1st and 2nd Rounds)

Pueblo, CO (Mar 19, 2008) - The following are the CBS Sports Production assignments for the 1st and 2nd Rounds of the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's basketball tournament:

Studio Show: Road to the Final Four

Senior Producer: Eric Mann
Director: Bob Matina

CBS Sports Producer/Director Assignments for Thursday, March 20, 2008 and Saturday March 22, 2008

Anaheim: Bob Mansbach/Mike Arnold
Denver: Steve Scheer/Mark Grant/Jim Cornell
Omaha: Craig Silver/Andy Goldberg
Washington, DC: Vic Frank/Chris Svendsen

CBS Sports Producer/Director Assignments for Friday, March 21, 2008 and Sunday, March 23, 2008

Birmingham: Mark Wolff/Suzanne Smith
Raleigh: Bob Dekas/Bob Fishman
Little Rock: Ross Schneiderman/Steve Karasik/Bryan Lilley
Tampa: Ken Mack/Cathy Barreto

Awful Announcing: CBS Sports Broadcast Coverage Maps for NCAA Tournament

Pueblo, CO (Mar 19, 2008) - Awful Announcing has published links for the CBS Sports coverage maps for the 2008 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Tournament first round games. You can find the maps for Thursday and Friday over at the Awful Announcing site.

Remember Those NCAA Blogging Rules This Week

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Wednesday, March 19, 2008 , under | comments (0)

Pueblo, CO (Mar 19, 2008) - All you sports bloggers out there that want to live blog the tournament games this week better make sure you follow the NCAA rules. Oh wait, they only apply to credentialed media. That's right, the NCAA does not have a clue what they are talking about with these rules, because everybody else and their mother will be blogging the games.

So just in case you want to know how the NCAA is artificially failing to limit live blogs, here is their policy:

NCAA Blogging Policy

Each Credential Holder (including television, Internet, new media, and print publications) has the privilege to blog (e.g., real-time or time delayed journal entries) during competition through the Credential Entity. Any blog representing an NCAA championship must submit the appropriate link to Blog Central. In return, all media entities entering a blog must post the logo/link on their site. All blogs must be free of charge to readers. All must adhere to the conditions and limitations of this NCAA Blogging Policy.

A blog description includes in-Competition updates on score and time remaining in competition as well as description of the championship and competition taken place during the given time. The NCAA and its designated championship personnel shall be the final authority about whether a Credential Holder or Credential Entity is following the NCAA Blogging Policy.

The following is the NCAA’s policy for the number of blogs allowed during a Competition or Session (i.e., where more than one contest takes place under the same admission ticket). They apply to all sports listed and are applicable to both genders.

Fall Sports
Soccer: Five times per half; one at halftime
Field Hockey: Five times per half; one at halftime
Volleyball: Three per Competition; one in between Competitions
Football: Three per quarter; one at halftime
Cross Country: Ten per day/session
Men’s Water Polo: Three per quarter; one at the halftime

Winter Sports
Ice Hockey: Three per period – one in between (includes overtime)
Basketball: Five times per half; one at halftime; two times per overtime period
Wrestling: Ten per session
Indoor Track and Field: Ten per day/session
Swimming and Diving: Ten per day/session
Bowling: Ten per day/session
Gymnastics: Ten per session

Spring Sports
Baseball and Softball: one every inning (includes extra innings)
Women’s Water Polo: Three per quarter – one at halftime
Lacrosse: Three per quarter; one at halftime
Outdoor Track and Field: Ten per day/session
Golf: Ten per day/session
Tennis: Ten per day/session
Rowing: Ten per day/session
Fencing: Ten per day/session
Skiing: Ten per day/session
Rifle:Ten per day/session

So be on your p's and q's out there.

Southeastern Conference Media Staff Learns Important Lessons From Atlanta Tornado

Pueblo, CO (Mar 18, 2008) - "If I had one lesson to take from this," says Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Media Relations Director DeWayne Peevy, "is to never underestimate who will step up with ability to help when facing trying circumstances." Peevy (pictured left), of course, is referring to the decisions that had to be made, and the implementation of these decisions after a category F-2 tornado hit the heart of Atlanta last Friday night. Alabama and Mississippi State were in the midst of an overtime period in their quarterfinal match-up when, with 2:11 left on the clock, the sound of a train running through the area was heard. To many people who have experienced it in the past, they knew it was the sound of a tornado. Everything on the court stopped and people started looking up, not realizing at the time that a major change was coming to the 2008 Southeastern Conference Men's Basketball Tournament.

"We have disaster plans in place in the event of an emergency," Peevy said in a telephone interview with Eye on Sports Media yesterday. "But they were never designed to accommodate a situation such as this." Peevy sounded tired and worn out on the phone, and this was to be expected. "After the decision was made to move the remaining games to Alexander Memorial Coliseum on Georgia Tech's campus, we got back to the hotel at 6:00 AM. This gave us a small window of time to get showered and changed so we could head over to Georgia Tech to get ready for the Noon tip-off time for the rescheduled quarterfinal game between the University of Georgia and the University of Kentucky."

Even though the Tech campus is only two miles or so away from the Georgia Dome, for logistics in a tournament of this size and reach, the SEC Staff may as well have been walking on Mars. "We have never had an event there," said Peevy. "So we went in there with a set of expectations based on our experience, and we could have not been more wrong. With Georgia Tech being on Spring break, we were very fortunate to be able to get Tech Women's Basketball Sports Information Director Dan Goldberger down there first thing in the morning to help us find our way."

Though only about 2 miles from the Georgia Dome, Georgia Tech's Alexander Memorial Coliseum may well have been a different planet for the 2008 SEC Men's Basketball Tournament Staff.

The first thing Peevy and his staff had to deal with was where to put the working press. Alexander Memorial Coliseum has a very small press area located about 20 rows up in one corner, and it was never designed to handle the number of media assigned to work the tournament. Roger Clarkson (pictured right), who is the University of Georgia Men's basketball beat writer for the Athens Banner-Herald, said this morning that "this actually worked out well because fans were not allowed in, so the press could basically sit anywhere they wanted. It was kind of funny seeing long-time veteran sports writers sitting in the bleachers. I bet they have not had to do that for a long time."

For Clarkson, the challenge was the fact that he had never been to the Georgia Tech campus for a basketball game. Having been with the Athens Banner-Herald for less than a year, he has not had a need to. The probably could probably be said for many of the SEC beat writers and national writers. So before he finished his shower and got over to Tech, Peevy and his staff more than had their work cut our for each other. "There is no parking at Tech, and we could not have any of the cars left by students for spring break," explained Peevy. "We went from having more than enough parking at the Georgia Dome to virtually none at Tech. Raycom, who started packing up their equipment at 5:00 AM knew the layout at Tech because they are always doing games there. But their production truck, because of the parking situation, was certainly not where it would normally be parked. Jimmy Rayburn of Raycom was on site, and we also put a lot on Raycom Director Roger Roebuck to get everything moved and set up in time."

It was also fortunate that CBS Sports had not yet begun the process of setting up for their scheduled broadcast of the game. "A few of their staff were on-site Friday to do some interviews, but the bul of their equipment had not yet arrived, so it made their task a little bit easier," continued Peevy. "Our bigger challenge was radio, as Tech only has two radio drops in the coliseum. So we had to come up with some creative ways to accommodate the radio crews from the remaining teams and for the folks from Westwood One."

Some other "rules" had to be relaxed. "We let the videographers shoot from the floor live during the games and during the press conferences," said Peevy. "We normally do not do this and it gave us a challenge at the end of the game to control what could have been a mad scramble."

In fact, it was a need to be able to do this as well as control other security aspects of the game site that contributed to the decision to not allow previously ticketed fans in for the games. "One issue, of course, was that we had no way to decide what fans to let into the game, explained Peevy. "But more importantly, we had no way of putting together a security plan and force to manage the venue if it was full. Normally available police and security companies were tied up with the more pressing matter of clean-up and recovery from the tornado. We even wrestled with whether or not we should allow the five members of the accredited media who had not yet picked up their credentials to do so." They did.

Clarkson said that he would give the SEC staff an 8 on a scale of 10 in how they responded to the quick change in revenue, but that was because of things outside of their control. That is becaiuse it is very hard to quickly convert a coliseum that was not built for an event like the SEC Tournament overnight. The media work room is located at the top of the building, far removed from the team locker rooms, and is small.

Peevy said that it was incredible how many people pitched in to help out. The Georgia Dome sent over interview platforms for press conferences, as well as additional copiers to complement the two Tech had in the Coliseum. ASAP Sports sent staff over to handle transcription services.

Even with all of these actions, it came down to a choice for reporters like Clarkson, it came down to a choice. "I could run up and down between the press room and the locker rooms, or just pick one," said Clarkson. He decided to stick with the locker rooms.

And the end result? Peevy says that "A very small minority in the media voiced complaints, and that is probably because they did not just understand the magnitude of what had to be done.The remaining part of the tournament was actually one of the smoothest we have ever had." This could be because the tornado slapped the Southeastern Conference and media out of their complacency that can breed from doing things a certain way, year after year. One thing is for certain, everybody in the Georgia Dome Friday night is very lucky that the tornado did not make a direct hit. It is also probable that the SEC will start drawing up contingency and disaster recover plans for their sponsored tournaments and championships.

2008 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Television Broadcast Schedule

Athens, GA (March 16, 2008) - The following is the comprehensive 2008 NCAA Division I Women's Basketball Tournament Television broadcast schedule for the 1st and Second Round games. Broadcast times, except for the first game of each session, are approximate. All times are Eastern Daylight Time.

All games included here are broadcast by the ESPN Family of Networks. The majority will be on EPN2, but some may be on ESPNU or ESPN. ALL games will be available on

2008 College Basketball Invitational Field and Broadcast Schedule

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Monday, March 17, 2008 , under , , | comments (0)

Pueblo, CO (Mar 17, 2008) - In the category of "So what?", the College Basketball Invitational (men's) on Fox College Sports has released its 2008 field. The only thing different about this tournament is that the championship is a best of three competition.

3/18/2008 Richmond at Virginia Charlottesville, Va. 7 p.m.
3/18/2008 Rider at Old Dominion Norfolk, Va. 7 p.m.
3/18/2008 Brown at Ohio Athens, Ohio 7 p.m.
3/18/2008 Houston at Nevada Reno, Nev. 9 p.m.
3/19/2008 Cincinnati at Bradley Peoria, Ill. 7 p.m.
3/19/2008 Miami (Ohio) at Tulsa Tulsa, Okla. 8 p.m.
3/19/2008 Valparaiso at Washington Seattle, Wash. 9 p.m.
3/19/2008 Utah at UTEP El Paso, Texas 9 p.m.
3/24/2008 Quarterfinals TBA 7 p.m.
3/24/2008 Quarterfinals TBA 9 p.m.
3/24/2008 Quarterfinals TBA TBA
3/24/2008 Quarterfinals TBA TBA
3/26/2008 Semifinals TBA 7 p.m.
3/26/2008 Semifinals TBA 9 p.m.
3/31/2008 Championship Series Game 1 at higher seed 8 p.m.
4/2/2008 Championship Series Game 2 at lower seed 8 p.m.
4/4/2008 Championship Series Game 3 at higher seed 8 p.m.
(if necessary)

all times Eastern

2008 Men's National Invitational Tournament Television Broadcast Schedule

Athens, GA (March 17, 2008) - The following is the comprehensive 2008 Men's National Invitational Tournament Television broadcast schedule. All times are Eastern Daylight Time. If you cannot get ESPNU or other ESPN Networks, you might want to check and see if the games are being broadcast on

Bobby Knight Doesn't Know His Name, But Knows He and His Staff Did a Great Job This Week

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Sunday, March 16, 2008 , under , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 16, 2008) - I can tell you the exact moment I became a fan of Coach Mark Richt and his University of Georgia Football Program. It was at the 2002 SEC Football Championship Game against the Arkansas Razorbacks. And it was not when they won the game.

I had moved to Athens, GA in 1994 and worked a lot of games coached by Ray Goff and Jim Donnan. I never could embrace the team as a fan because I was a Damned Yankee who grew up believing there was no other football than what was played up North, especially in Happy Valley and South Bend.

But one single moment at the 2002 Championship game led me to become a huge fan of Coach Richt and his team: the coin toss. As absurd as this sounds, it is true. When the Arkansas captains came onto the field for the toss, the were walking with helmets dragging and feet shuffling, like they could care less about being there. The Georgia captains, on the other hand, came out as a solid unit, walking side by side with helmets held upright in their arms. Coach Richt was bring out his team in a respectful, disciplined manner, earning my respect as a newly christened Georgia Bulldog fan.

Georgia basketball, on the other hand, is a different story. Georgia fans seem to think that they are a premier college basketball program, when nothing could be farther from the truth as the long history is just not there. When Women's Gymnastics and Basketball outdraws Men's Basketball on a regular basis, well that should tell you something. Yes, the Bulldogs made a final four once upon a time, and they enjoyed a short run of success under Tubby Smith. But Jim Harrick and his son came in, destroying any semblance of a solid, honest program with their antics and actions.

So in this shadow, Dennis Felton came in to rebuild this program. Like many others, I respected him as a coach with all of the rules he put into place, and the approach he took to the game. I cringe at the team doing their own version of the "Dawg Walk", and the "Ask Coach Felton" Q&A session with the fans in the student section before each home game. Unfortunately, some things had to be tried to get fans into the seats since they were not winning a whole lot of games.

Coming into this week, speculation was high that Felton and his staff would be fired for their last place finish in the SEC East with a 4-11 record, and the fact that they had not been to the NCAA Tournament in many, many years. Felton did not help his case by defending himself by saying that other programs like Baylor and St. Bonaventure were having similar rebuilding problems like Georgia. I am sorry, but Bonnies time came and went a long time ago and there is no way you can equate the programs.

But something funny happened this week, when Georgia won their opening SEC tournament game aganst Ole Miss. So I did want to watch the game against Kentucky Friday night, since I have had to pass on working the SEC Tournament the past couple of years because of work commitments. Of course, the tournament was postponed to yesterday, and this was the day I became a true fan of Coach Felton, his staff (though I have always been a fan of former Navy Head Coach and now Georgia Associate head Coach Pete Hermann), and the team.

The faces of the Georgia Basketball team after a SEC win says it all.
Photograph courtesy of the UGA Sports Communications Department.

What this team has accomplished this week, win or lose today against the Razorbacks of Arkansas, is nothing short of truly special. The team came in with nothing to lose and could easily have folded their tents and phoned it in. Instead, every single player on the team rose to occasion and won 3 games in a row, including the two games yesterday, to advance to the SEC Championship Game for the first time since 1997.

This is the kind of thing that separates a great "team" from a good "team": the ability to rise up over the adversity of last year's death of Junior team leader Kevin Brophy, the loss of 3 players this year because they did not have their priorities in order, and the shadow of the firing of their coach to show the basketball world what they are really made of.

They have to win today to make the NCAA Tournament, and if they lose the NIT cannot even come calling because they will be below .500 at 16-17. They might get a shot in the new College Basketball Invitational being put together by Fox Sportsnet, but they will not likely get a home game.

So people of the Bulldog Nation need to unite and become supportive fans of Coach Felton, his staff, and the team, even if Bobby Knight does not know the name of the Georgia coach:

Georgia Bulldogs Having Best Tournament Run That No One Gets To See?

Posted by Christopher Byrne on Saturday, March 15, 2008 , under , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 15, 2008) - There is only one word to describe the 3 day run the University of Georgia Bulldogs are having in the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament: Unbelieveable!

Never before in the modern era of college basketball has a team one two playoff games in one day. But tonight, the 6th seeded Bulldogs, a team that finished dead last in the SEC East Division with a 4-11 record, did just that. With an irony that can only truly be appreciated by members of the so-called Bulldog Nation, Georgia defeated Missiissippi State 64-60 to advance to the SEC Championship game tomorrow against Arkansas. Yes, Arkansas, a team they defeated earlier this season by a score of 82-69.

Coming into the SEC Tournament, Georgia Coach Dennis Felton was clearly on the hot seat, sweating out if he would return as coach of the Bulldogs next season. SO at the end of the game, he had a smile on his face that showed that some of the pressure was off. It was the same type of smile that I told Felton's wife was a welcome site to see earlier this season, after a big victory.

So it is too bad that the SEC does not have a contract with ESPN or any other national network for live broadcasts of the entire tournament. If people did not have access to any of the affiliates on the Raycom Network, or access to, they have missed some incredible play by the outmatched Georgia team. Who knew that Albert Jackson of Georgia would actually show up to play three consecutive games with 110% effort? Who knew that Senior David Bliss would sink the game winning shot in overtime against Ole Miss? Who knew that Freshman Zac Swansey would hit the game winning shot against Kentucky, and seal the deal against Mississippi State?

Well, Coach Dennis Felton probably knew this in his heart, and he was all set to sit down with Raycom's Dave Neal after the game to talk about it:

and as they started to talk...ESPN360 went to black...

Win or lose tomorrow, the rest of the country will get to see this Georgia team, a team that has played through a lot of adversity this season and with huge heart this week. The game will be on ESPN2 at 3:30 for those who live in the Atlanta and Fayetville, Arkansas markets. Those markets will see the game on their local CBS affiliate.

Me? I will miss the game and probably the selection show because I have a more pressing engagement: seeing my daughter on stage in a local production of Peter Pan. She will always win over a game. So someone tell me how it ends, OK?

SEC Championship Game Moving to ESPN2, Except in Two Markets

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 15, 2008) - Pete Dougherty of the Albany (NY) Times-Union is reporting that CBS cannot broadcast the SEC Championship game in its new time slot because of contractual commitments to the Big Ten Conference. As such, the SEC Championship game will now be shown on ESPN2 at 3:30 PM. However, CBS will be carrying the game in the home markets of the two teams playing in the championship game. CBS will fill the original time slot for the SEC game with an expanded version of "Road to the Final Four" coverage from Noon - 3:30 PM.

Crystal clear, right?

Now Georgia Gets To Take a Nap

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under , | comments (0)

Lexington, KY (Mar 13, 2008) - Zac Swansey pulled off a totally unexpected, improbable 3-point shot to lead Georgia to a 60-56 win over Kentucky in the delayed SEC Quarterfinals.

Unlikely here Zac Swansey talks with Raycom's Dave Baker after victory over Kentucky

Now Georgia can go take a few hour nap before their semi-final matchup with Mississippi State tonight.

CBS Sports Working on Logistics of Moving SEC Championship From National Broadcast to Split Feed

Posted by Christopher Byrne on , under , | comments (0)

Athens, GA (Mar 15, 2008) - With the tornado that hit Atlanta last night causing havoc on the SEC Men's Basketball Tournament. RAYCOM and CBS Sports are being forced into creating a response plan that could not be anticipated, as the games are being moved from the Georgia Dome to Georgia Tech. Tim Brando, on the RAYCOM broadcast today, says that having to play two games in one day, as the winner of the Georgia-Kentucky game will have to do, has NEVER happened in the modern era of college basketball.

Today's postponed Georgia-Kentucky SEC quarterfinal game is being played in a nearly empty Alexander Memorial Coliseum at Georgia Tech

As far as CBS Sports is concerned, a spokesperson told Eye on Sports Media that they are still trying to work out the logistics of:

1. Breaking down the remote production facilities, moving them, and setting up at Tech while three games are being played.

2. Deciding how to split the feed between the SEC Championship Game and the Big Ten Championship among the CBS affiliates.