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NCAA Tournament First Four Games Draw Over 23K In '14, A Slight Drop From Last Year
Published March 20, 2014
PLAYING GAMES? SPORTS ON EARTH's Aaron Gordon wrote the First Four and the "very concept of adding more games to any playoff-like format is not about fairness, inclusion or any other noble notions professed by executives or commissioners." Gordon: "It's about money. More games means more money means ... well, more money, which is the seemingly omnipotent explanation for everything in sports nowadays." The First Four games were created "at the same time" as the $10.8B TV deal that began in '11 between the NCAA and CBS/Turner for the rights to broadcast the tournament for 14 years. The reason the First Four "doesn't fit with the rest of March Madness is, well, because there's no madness." The NCAA "tried to make them special at a time in the tournament where the games aren't" (SPORTSONEARTH.com, 3/18). CBSSPORTS.com's Gregg Doyel wrote when it comes to the First Four, there is "only so much lipstick anyone can put on this pig, this blatant money grab by the power conferences for a few more slices" of this $10.8B pie. Doyel: "The NCAA prefers that we don't call what happened Tuesday night a play-in game, and I prefer you don't call me bald." Even Albany's coach and players were "calling this thing a play-in game since Sunday night" (CBSSPORTS.com, 3/18).