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Published March 10, 1998
SELECTION SHOW: CBS's NCAA men's tournament selection show on Sunday earned a 6.5 overnight rating, up 14% over last year's 5.7. USA TODAY's Rudy Martzke attributes the ratings increase to the format change in which CBS "spaced out the announcement of each bracket," and host Greg Gumbel led a discussion of each "before moving on." The fourth bracket "wasn't disclosed until 17 minutes into the show" (USA TODAY, 3/10). In Denver, Todd Phiphers writes that CBS's new format "amounted to playing games with ESPN," which ran a concurrent selection show but was "restricted from showing" brackets until they had been shown on CBS, which holds the announcement rights (DENVER POST, 3/10). But on Long Island, Steve Zipay writes that CBS "could take some pointers from ESPN" regarding the telecast, and points out that CBS did not display teams' won-lost records, and did not run a "crawl" across the bottom of the screen for viewers tuning in late: "ESPN did both" (NEWSDAY, 3/10). OTHER NOTES: In N.Y., Richard Sandomir praises Jim Gray's interview of Don King on Showtime's PPV broadcast on Saturday. Grey was "relentless" in asking King about the lawsuit Mike Tyson filed against him last week. Sandomir: "Compare his tough style with the ingratiating questioning of Latrell Sprewell by Lesley Stahl on '60 Minutes'" (N.Y. TIMES, 3/10)....Fox Sports Net will air the '98 John R. Wooden Award, which honors the Men's college basketball player of the year, live from the L.A. Athletic Club on April 3 at 7:00pm ET (L.A. Athletic Club).