SBD/March 14, 2011/Media

CBS Sees 8% Drop For NCAA Selection Show; ESPN's Bilas Vocal About Field

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CBS earned a 4.4 overnight Nielsen rating for its NCAA men's basketball selection show yesterday, down 8.3% from a 4.8 overnight last year. The telecast also earned a 4.8 overnight in '09 (THE DAILY). USA TODAY's Michael McCarthy writes CBS studio host Greg Gumbel and analyst Seth Davis did "good work" when they questioned Ohio State Univ. AD and selection committee Chair Gene Smith "about his two-game suspension" of OSU football coach Jim Tressel. McCarthy: "Rather than just asking … about March Madness, they asked about the punishment." However, one "frustration for a few CBS viewers" during the telecast was that "team seeds appeared to be cut off on some older, standard-definition TV sets as the field was announced." CBS Sports VP/Communications Jennifer Sabatelle said that the net "received no complaints." Meanwhile, McCarthy writes while CBS and Turner's analysts were "more subdued" while discussing teams that did not make the field during the selection show, there was "no such restraint at ESPN." The net's analysts "called some of the picks laughable and mocked the selection committee." ESPN analyst Jay Bilas: "I wonder if some people on the committee know whether the ball is round" (USA TODAY, 3/14). In Houston, David Barron writes ESPN's "panel of yakkers did everything but roll in the dirt, howl at the moon and don sackcloth and ashes to bemoan the piteous injustice done to Colorado and Virginia Tech for failing to make the 68-team Tournament" (HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 3/14).

FINAL COUNTDOWN: CBS announcer Jim Nantz last week said that he "will let partner Clark Kellogg call the game's final seconds if Kellogg's alma mater," Ohio State, "claims the national title on April 4 in Houston." Kellogg "played for Ohio State and was the Buckeyes' Most Valuable Player in his final season in 1982." Nantz said, "It just dawned on me. If his alma mater is on the way to winning the championship and the guard is out at midcourt dribbling, waiting to hoist the ball up in the air and suddenly a celebration unfolds on the court, I'm going to step aside and say, 'Clark, take us to zero'" (AKRON BEACON JOURNAL, 3/13).
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