(Please scroll down for the update)
Alternate headline: One of the teams the experts did not think should be in the tournament gets blown-out by 18 in the first round.
The NCAA men's basketball tournament concluded half of its ridiculous "play-in" games last night with seemingly everybody's favorite whipping boy, UAB (the University of Alabama at Birmingham... like you'll need that explanation again) getting thumped by Clemson by 18.
We finally found this tru.TV upon which the games were televised. It's Channel 44 here on our local cable system, as in, not channel 744 - as in, not Hi-Def.
TNT's Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith were in studio with their straight-man Ernie Johnson along with CBS's Greg Gumbel and Seth Davis as well as ESPN's Greg Anthony. That all worked out pretty much as you would expect for a buffet style approach to these play-in games. The attempt to import some of TNT's schtick fell flat and any chemistry was forced and had a stilted feel especially with Gumbel, the Tiffany Network's company man, presiding over the whole affair. Grade: C- .
Related: Who said the man only votes present!
President Obama is taping his NCAA picks today, and they’ll be revealed tomorrow on ESPN.
Punting on Lybia and entitlement reform is one thing but not filling out an NCAA bracket to be revealed on national television would represent an abject failure of leadership, no?
What was once hip in an everyman sort of way is now tired, played out, self-absorbed and self-caricaturizing.
Honestly, sir - at this point, we don't think America gives a damn who you have going to the Final Four.
UPDATE #1: The grand unveiling.
The 4 #1 seeds in the Final Four? Un-imaginative, perhaps, but we're not blaming the man for going chalk. The four #1s are arguably the best teams in the nation so if you like their match-ups, why not? And aside from some gripes we may have with where this team or that has been slotted, the tournament selection committee usually does a pretty good job with their seedings. There's a reason why they're called "upsets".
OK, one more day of these ridiculous play-in games this evening where USC takes on VCU and Texas-San Antonio plays Alabama St. in Dayton. Tomorrow, the tournamment actually starts. Doug Gottlieb, on ESPN Radio this afternoon, likened it to receiving a party invite with a start time of 6 in the evening. Yeah, right. You and everybody else knows that no one, no one is showing up at 6. People will start arriving at 8 or 8:30, hence the party does not actually start until that time.