The View From The CouchPosted by SMoore on March 15th, 2012
By Steve Moore (@smoore1117)
We’re coming to you live from my living room, where days have been taken off from work, and the big-screen is flickering to life.
Of course, we missed the beginning of today’s action, due to my four-month-old son’s need to eat and have his diaper changed. He just doesn’t get it.
Anyway, while the RTC crew has things covered from the various arenas, I’ll take you through the best two days in sports in the same way as 99% of America: from the couch. We apologize in advance for the baby vomit smell or if the crying drowns out Verne Lundquist.
The plan is to focus less on Xs and Os, and more on the broadcast, announcers, commercials and coaches’ hairpieces. You know, the important stuff. If this works out, we’ll be back for a look at the night session later this evening.
And yes, I know I’m not Bill Simmons. I make way more money than him, anyway.
1:28 p.m.: We’re early in the second half of Murray State-Colorado State. I’ve been watching for a while, but had my hands tied with baby bottles and burp rags.
1:30: Love starting with Lundquist and Raftery. To be honest, I don’t have a problem with nearly any of the CBS announcing crews. But I mean come on, who doesn’t love Raftery. They both do a good job making it seem like they knew ANYTHING about either of these teams before yesterday.
1:31: Am I the only one who is bothered by these generic black/natural courts the NCAA insists on installing now at every site? There was something cool about immediately knowing which site you were watching. Every time they show “The Shot”, I take pride in recognizing the Spectrum floor. I could tell you instantly that Tyus Edney’s memorable dash was in Boise, because of the garish floor they had there. This just seems so sterile. It’s … it’s so … NCAA.
1:40: Colorado State can shoot threes, but I feel like this is going to just slowly drift away from them. Murray State should not have been a 6 seed anyway.
1:41: We now have a third game in progress, with Louisville/Davidson going on TBS. The last hour has been like watching a single game. Now is when it gets really fun.
1:42: Dear NCAA: I can deal with your generic floors. I’m even learning to accept the “First Four” (America East pride, baby!). But if you EVER screw these first two days up, we can’t be friends anymore.
1:43: The baby is napping, the beer is cold and the guacamole is … avocado-y. Life is good right now.
1:45: The most promising development of the first 90 minutes are the new Buffalo Wild Wings and NAPA Auto Parts commercials. By “promising”, I mean they don’t make me want to punch a kitten. But check back come Sweet 16 weekend.
1:48: Why are they starting so early in Portland? Was this really a 10:40 local time tip? Seems a little unfair to the teams. Only Monmouth knows how to play this early.
1:51: Love watching Isaiah Canaan and Murray State, but it’s now a 15-point Racer lead. Time to flip.
1:52: Like Brian Anderson as a play-by-play man on baseball. But he’s going to take some getting used to on hoops. Seems like a pro though.
1:55: CBS using a three-man team in Pittsburgh with Kevin Harlan, Reggie Miller, and Len Elmore. Elmore already talks too much, and while I like Harlan, I think he’s overly descriptive and wordy. Not the best mix.
2:01: Days like this, I really wish I could program my remote’s “JUMP” button to bounce between four channels, instead of just two.
2:05: I know no one cares, but here’s a summary of my (soon-to-be-torn-up) bracket: UNC, Ohio State, Kentucky, Missouri in Final Four. UK over UNC in final. First-round upsets: Ohio over Michigan, NC State over San Diego State, Long Beach over New Mexico. Sweet 16 surprises: NC State, Long Beach State, UNLV. Elite Eight: Vandy, UNLV and NC State.
2:11: I used to love the first two days of the tourney when games were only on CBS. But having the freedom to flip between every game is incredible.
2:13: Someone explain Pitbull to me. Please.
2:14: Montana and Wisconsin now underway. We’ve reached four-for-four perfection. Strap in.
2:21: There is one better place I can think of to be today than my couch: A Vegas sportsbook. Sadly, I could’ve been there with about a dozen friends. But the kid had to come and ruin everything. Parlay one for me, fellas.
2:22: FINAL: Murray State 58, Colorado State 41. … The perfect bracket is still alive!
2:25: Looks like I’ll be sticking with Kansas State-Southern Miss for the final 7:47. Tied at 51.
2:26: Wow, I forgot Larry Eustachy coached Southern Miss. I’m sure there’s a joke here that’s been made a thousand times already.
2:37: Southern Miss really taking stupid shots. Although with the way they shoot, any shot seems stupid.
2:43: Alright, the new NAPA commercial with the guy with the shot clock is already getting annoying. Or I’m just lacking in patience.
2:45: For all the people who rip ESPN and other networks for coverage, there is a place for the other side of things. CBS does an OUTSTANDING job with the tournament. They let it breathe and don’t bog it down with excessive gimmicks, analysis, sideline reports, or goofy camera angles and crowd shots. It’s an absolutely great event from beginning to end, and CBS does a nice job staying out of the way.
2:48: The perfect example often overlooked: transitioning to and from commercials. Action stops, the music kicks in, and the score graphic comes up. We go to commercial, and come back with a shot of the team huddle and are right back into action. No full-screen graphics, no celebrity interviews in the crowd. Just show me the game, that’s all I want.
2:52: Southern Miss costs me my perfect bracket. At least I didn’t lose a Final Four pick before 3:00 (it happened a few years ago – thanks Gonzaga).
2:58: Marquette wins the uniform battle in a landslide. These yellow ones are awesome. Beaten only by their powder blue alternates.
3:01: In a lull now after that Kansas State win. Three games going, all at arm’s length.
3:02: Second look at the halftime show. And it’s — a different set? Matt Winer with Seth Davis, Jay Wright, etc. A little more serious and analytical than the CBS crew of Ernie Johnson, Barkley, Kenny Smith and Greg Anthony. Not that that’s a better thing, just different.
3:04: Caught a bit of Barkley and crew earlier, and was much more impressed with Charles than I was last year. Seems to have done a little more research, while still keeping the blunt jovial thing going that makes him endearing. Also, Greg Anthony knows his stuff.
3:10: Gonna be perfectly honest: Might need a nap here before Havard-Vanderbilt, which is one of the games I’m most curious about today. If you have a baby at home, you understand. Plus, the wife is out of town, so there’s no one in the bullpen until 6 p.m tomorrow.
3:13: The biggest debate of the day: Do I open the kettle potato chips, or the pita chips with some homemade quacamole?
3:15: Not that I need Gus Johnson-level screaming, but so far, Brian Anderson sounds like he’s sleepwalking through this Louisville game. Granted, there hasn’t been much to be excited about. But his tone is a little dull for basketball, perfect for baseball.
3:42: Under review: Kettle Brand Krinkle Cut Salt & Pepper Chips…
3:48: Verdict: Decent. Not eat-the-whole-bag-in-one-sitting worthy, though. Crunch is so loud that I have to turn the TV up. Just thought you might want to know that.
3:51: CBS just caught a Davidson bench player picking his nose. This serves as the highpoint of this stretch of games.
3:59: #16 UNC-Asheville still leads #1 Syracuse, late-ish in the first half on truTV. But we’ve been here plenty of times before. Call me when there’s 10 minutes left and it’s still close.
4:02: The final buzzer has sounded on the baby’s nap, so the update gaps will be longer. Also might be taking a few peeks at Manchester City (my team) vs. Sporting Lisbon on GolTV.
4:16: Syracuse still gets this together and pulls away in the second half, right? ……. Right?
4:22: My alma mater (Boston University) was close to Kansas last year at halftime. It got ugly in the second half. So we’ll see.
4:34: I stand corrected. Those Long Beach State “The Beach” jerseys may be even better than Marquette.
4:44: I have become the master of waiting my son out when it looks like he wants to get up from his nap. I won. He’s back asleep. This will make my life less hellish tonight.
4:46: OK, it’s officially interesting in Pittsburgh. Asheville up 6 on Syracuse with 17:16 left. The crowd coming to life behind the Bulldogs now.
4:48: Asheville gets absolutely ROBBED on a goaltending no-call.
4:51: This is Asheville’s moment right now. Down 1, calling timeout. They need to keep it close for next 5 minutes. If so, it’ll be there at the end.
4:52: Not to keep patting CBS (or truTV, in this case) on the back, but announcing crew doing a nice job of sounding excited but not getting ahead of themselves. Potential for a historic moment, but also potential for a 20-point Syracuse win.
4:56: That being said, if it’s a game in the final 2 minutes, Harlan, Miller and Elmore have my permission to lose their collective minds.
4:59: Every Asheville 3-pointer is sending Kevin Harlan a little closer to a prepubescent squeal.
5:05: Asheville doing a GREAT job of using entire shot clock, then getting a basket at the end. This could get really interesting.
5:11: Tied at 54-54 with 6:21 left. It’s officially on now in Pittsburgh.
5:16: I’m not into many violent video games, but this commercial for Assassins Creed 3, where the guy takes an axe to Revolutionary War soldiers, makes me want to drive to Best Buy right now.
5:19: My brother just informed me he’s “rooting for Syracuse”. I don’t really know who he is anymore.
5:20: Sadly, that Southerland 3-pointer might have ended all hope. Someday, it will happen. But not today.
5:46: Well, I was on bottle-feeding duty during the end of the Syracuse game. But, needless to say, those refs have some ‘splainin’ to do. Oddest moment may have been the post-game interview with Boeheim, who answered one question and tried to walk away, only to be chased down by the interviewer for one more question.
5:47: Two games still going on, but that’ll put a wrap on the first session here from the couch. If the kid allows, we’ll be back later for more. In the meantime, follow me on Twitter @smoore1117.