Bracketology 501: The Final Act Where The Winners Will Be Remembered Forever

Good evening for one final time to my very attentive, mostly engaging, and hopefully very interested virtual class.

(Pretending to be sounding like the one woman who hosted Romper Room back in the 20th century):

I see Tiffany, I see Patricia, and ooh–I see Cindy, Yasmin, and even Mya too.

There’s Kimberly looking oh so cute in her Easter pink dress, while she is listening intently on her i-Pad in an attempt to understand the latest of Kentucky coach John Calipari’s rants.

And guessed who else decided to stop in, my former college guy–direct from Atlanta, Georgia by way of somewhere, goodness where in Indiana–here’s Paul.

“Hi, Paul,” the ladies all say in unison.

Tiffany asks briefly as Paul gets a seat close to the front of the room:  “So, how long have you known this guy?”
Paul answered nonchalantly, “We had a class together the same year when the Fab Five of Michigan were just another team, before they gained the huge headlines in 1992.”

Matt is seen wearing a navy blue sweatshirt and mostly light blue jeans as he pretends to get sentimental–but only for about 10 seconds.

Patricia then asks another question while sitting next to Paul, “Is Big Z still mostly the same guy personality wise as you recall from those days hitting the books?”
Paul:  “He is still that same, fun-loving guy that I remember oh so very well (those last four words mentioned a lot slower than the rest of the sentence).”

Another woman named Logann wearing a delightful aqua blue dress then stuns us all by saying, “My bracket is still intact.  Too bad Big Z’s busted.”

OK, OK, enough of being in Dream World for the weekend…

It is time to focus.

(The ladies pretend to be sharing some juicy gossip about why CeLo was let go from The Voice).


Now, that we have finally arrived looking enthusiastic and happy…I have this to say:

Over 390 Division One schools have dreamed of this night.  68 schools started in this tournament three weeks ago.

And it all comes down to one game.  One game for all the marbles, or as some like to say in some media circles, all the enchiladas.  (The ladies try to hide their laughs and their brief smiles).

In other words, 99.9 percent of the schools end their season with a loss.  Only one ends it with a win, and the chance to be showered with confetti and cutting down those nets before Jim Nantz interviews with either Kevin Ollie or John Calipari.

I read an article last week from the Sports Media Watch website and it had a very interesting set of comments on why the three Turner outlets are taking things on in their own unique way.

The March 30, 2014 article simply mentioned, and I quote:

“The move of the Final Four to cable is not the result of disinterest on the part of CBS (i.e., the Final Four is not being ‘relegated’ to cable).  It is simply the case that without Turner Sports, CBS would not have any NCAA Tournament games. Under the previous TV deal, rights fees for the NCAA Tournament were set to become so onerous that CBS actually considered paying ESPN “to take the 2010 to 2013 tournaments off its hands” (New York Times, 5/4/10).  If Turner had not joined CBS in a joint bid for NCAA rights, CBS would have been unable to afford to carry the tournament, and ESPN almost certainly would be airing the Final Four next weekend (and every year until 2024).

Since Turner is the only reason CBS still has the NCAA Tournament, and since Turner is footing more than half of the bill, it only makes sense that the Turner networks would get some of the most valuable games. For CBS, a diminished role in the NCAA Tournament is far better than no role at all. CBS still has the title game six more times in this TV deal (2014, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2021 and 2023), and the entire Final Four four more times (’17, ’19, ’21 and ’23).

Article courtesy of Sports Media Watch:

College football is embracing being on cable, and maybe by 2015 an NFL playoff game will join the other three professional sports in having their biggest games only on cable.

It is a different world that we live in, way smaller and yes–more fragmented than when CBS plucked out the tournament from NBC way back in 1982.

Back in the day, I would have been truly content to go to my neighborhood Shakey’s Pizza and Buffet Restaurant (a very popular restaurant with tons of buffet options that was around the Midwest until the late 1990’s) and watch the games from 6:30 p.m. onward until my stomach was full.

We would go from game to game–sometimes in the span of as little as 20 real time minutes, as the CBS cameras would take us from one site to another in the hopes of seeing some incredible comeback or potentially a buzzer beater.  Hectic as it was from 1982 to 2010, but we all knew when the games would come on.

Nowadays, you need to have separate scrap sheets to keep track of the channel numbers that CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV are on your cable system.

Also, while the likes of Applebee’s, Buffalo Wild Wings, and your favorite bars rake in the most dough, but having full control of what games you wish to watch is truly a great thing.

And it really helps the most if you have at least three working TV’s and a computer with most of the bells and whistles.

Anyways, as crazy as this season has been–it will be interesting to see which coaching style will win out before we enter the Electric Iron and Steel League.

Tiffany, sporting a bright yellow dress frantically raises her hand wishing to ask a final question,

“Oh Big Z, as huge and dedicated a superfan as you are–I just wanted to know, what the heck is the Electric Iron and Steel League?”

Very simple answer, my kind Tiffany.

It is a name I made up in college similar to what you hear each November when baseball’s World Series ends when the media often mentions about the Hot Stove League.  I was just doing a little play on words, that’s all.

Well, it is the only basketball game of the night on Monday as the NBA takes its’ annual holiday from playing.

And you know what the best part about the Final Four is for me every year?  It isn’t because alcohol is not served during the games, that’s very nice to see but…

ESPN’s Dick Vitale has to convey his thoughts outside that stadium’s parking lot.

My final blog of the season will appear either late on Monday night or sometime on Tuesday afternoon.

Please have a great rest of your Sunday, and thanks so much Paul for coming in to catch up a bit on old times.  Hopefully, you won’t be catching me shedding some tears of sadness once  “One Shining Moment” plays about 15 to 20 minutes after the game has ended.

It isn’t so much tears of sadness because of the song’s lyrics being so sappy and corny…
The only reason why I tear up on that one Monday night is simply because there won’t be another game to talk about for almost seven whole months!

That’s why Monday night is so anticlimactic for Yours Truly Online.

Hope you all understand.  And thanks for supporting my blog!

Really–it honestly and truly means a lot to me, LOL to you all.


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