Friday, March 16, 2012

Thursday's NCAA hits and misses

The first full day of action is in the books and day two is underway.  Let's take a look at yesterday's hits and misses.

Hit:  Bill Raftery.  With Gus Johnson no longer doing NCAA tournament telecasts. Raft is the guy who injects the most fun, while being insightful, into the broadcast.  Raftery is always well prepared, knows what he's talking about, but infuses his color commentary with "Raft-isms" which make any game that he's calling enjoyable to watch.

Miss:  Gus Johnson.  Where was Gus when we needed him last night for the call on VCU over Wichita State?  It's a shame that he's no longer working the tournament.

Hit:  Royce White.  Big 12 coaches are smiling this morning because Jim Calhoun experienced what they already knew--Royce White is a match-up nightmare for any team.  White's Iowa State team booted defending national champion Connecticut from the tournament.

Miss:  Andre Drummond is projected on one NBA draft site as the second overall pick.  Are you kidding?  The Connecticut freshman scored two points last night and fouled out against the Cyclones.

Hit:  Kevin Harlan.  Yes, I know I'm not completely objective on this one, given Harlan's residence in Kansas City and his University of Kansas roots, but he's an excellent play-by-play guy.  He was my favorite of yesterday's game announcers.

Miss:  Lesley Visser.  Why, oh why, does CBS insist on putting Visser on the tournament broadcast?  She is painful to watch.

Hit:  The four network lineup worked better  yesterday as the staggering of games, the graphics and the experience between CBS, TBS, TNT and Tru is how this tournament should have long been broadcast managed.  CBS and Turner picked up their overall games compared to last year's tournament.

Miss:  The infusion of NBA talent from Turner onto the NCAA Tournament has its hiccups as witnessed by Reggie Miller insisting that the lane violation call, in Syracuse's win over UNC Asheville, was incorrect.  In college ball, a player cannot move from outside the three point arc, on a free throw, until the ball has hit the rim.

Hit:  Greg Anthony.  Anthony is the most knowledgeable of all of the CBS studio guys.  Let's give a shout-out, as well, to Charles Barkley who dialed up his preparation for this tournament compared to his lack of preparedness last year.

Miss:  Overnight ratings for the Thursday games are down slightly from a year ago.

Hit:  I guess this depends upon your point-of-view, but there was little bracket-busting going on yesterday.  The biggest "upset" was VCU beating Wichita State.

Miss:  The AT&T commercial with the couple at dinner, and he checking his phone, is long past worn out.  And, what's with the gratuitous use of Peter Frampton in the car commercial?

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