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Roy on Late Starts and NCAA Press Conferences

Frank Descenzo at the Durham Herald Sun brings us a well written piece concerning two chief complaints Roy has about the NCAA Tournament: Late starts and media obligations. UNC is set to tip-off at 9:57 PM on Friday night which will be the second straight week UNC has had a game start around the 10 PM mark. This despite being the #1 seed and despite the fact this game is transpiring in the eastern time zone.

I raised some ire about this last week when UNC was handed the late start despite their seeding. My take on it is the #1 seed should be entitled to the easiest conditions available such as in the ACC Tournament where the #1 seed always plays at noon and then if they advance they get the 1:30 PM game the next day. The two evening games play the later game on semifinal Saturday which is about as fair as you can plan it. The NCAA, which is beholden to CBS, does not play it that way. They figure their best bet is to put UNC on at 10 PM thinking that the die hard fans close to home will watch anyway and the rest of the country will be able to watch the Heels in total convenience. Given the national following for UNC this is not a bad wager but it totally inconvenient. Of course the other reason why the games run late is they do not start until 7:30 and the NCAA imposes a 30 minute window in between. I understand that starting anything before 7 PM interferes with local and national evening news so my solution would be to start the games by 7:05 PM which is enough time to come on the air, have a commercial, then start the game. Secondly, reduce time in between to 20 minutes. Based on that UNC would be on the court 9:25 PM not 9:57 PM. And if the first game runs long, you still have a buffer to get the second game on before 10 PM.

On another topic Roy renewed his annual complaint that they are obligate to spend an hour and a half talking with the media and only 50 minutes at practice. Why on earth must the media be given that much time to speak with the coach and his players? Any experienced journalist should be able to take about 30 minutes worth of comments and write a story. The NCAA should really consider flip-flopping that to allow them to actually spend more time preparing for what could be their last game of the season rather than talking to the media who is basically going to write the same story no matter what the coaches and players say.