CBS Sports expands Selection Sunday to two hours

First time change since 2002, when the tournament draw expanded from a then 30 minutes to a full hour starting at 6 p.m. Eastern time

According to an article posted on Thursday by Matt Norlander of, the field of 68 will be revealed from New York roughly a half hour earlier (immediately following the call of the Big Ten Tournament championship game) at 5:30 p.m. Eastern.

In other words, popular programs such as 60 Minutes, The Good Wife, and other typical Sunday night prime time fare will air at least 30 minutes later in the Eastern and Central time zones.  The Mountain and Pacific time zones will have those shows air at their regularly scheduled times.

Handling the hosting duties for CBS Sports covering their 35th consecutive tournament draw will again be Greg Gumbel and Ernie Johnson.  They will both be joined on set once again by Clark Kellogg, Seth Davis, Charles Barkley, Kenny “The Jet” Smith, and Doug Gottlieb.

First hour will reveal the entire 68 team field, but the second bonus hour will feature much more in-depth analysis and plenty of coaches interviews

One of the common complaints on why CBS cut the Selection Show short through the years was not hearing much pure Q&A with Jim Nantz and that year’s Selection Committee Chairman.  Going forward, Jim Nantz along with Bill Raftery and Grant Hill will get to join in on the fun while speaking with this year’s Selection Committee Chairman and current Oklahoma AD Joe Castiglione when he joins the gang in studio shortly after the NCAA’s annual ten-member panel will end their Selection Briefing in New York City–instead of at their National Headquarters located nearby White River State Park in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I also look at this time shift in three different aspects:

  1. We start the day waking up one hour later with Daylight Savings Time beginning at 2 a.m. that morning.
  2. Fans can begin filling out their brackets a half hour earlier than in years past.
  3. Bloggers like myself could use many quotes said by the coaches and the many CBS and Turner Sports personalities as instant fodder.

It has become so big that CBS Sports during the 1990’s had to create a separate division just to sell the marketing rights when they held full exclusive rights to the then 63 games of the tournament after its’ initial expansion in 1985.

But with TBS, TNT, and TruTV providing most of the cable fun–hopefully all cord cutters will not miss out as you too can join in using the NCAA March Madness Live app on your smartphones, or logging onto on any desktop and laptop.

And Yours Truly Online will have the usual rant and rave that will be sure to please (or shock) my fellow fans and other interested online friends later that Sunday night.

Yes, there will be a Pop Quiz sometime the week of March 6, so study smart!





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