It’s been a rite of passage for over 30 years. After the last conference tournament is broadcast by CBS, college basketball fans across the country settle into their dens and living rooms to watch a group of teams be called out. They either are praying for their team to be shown, or want to find out the teams that they will have to play against in order to try and take down a title.
That changes this year.
The agreement that has allowed all college fans to watch every game no matter where they live has resulted in some changes to what everyone was used to. First it was watching the Final Four on cable, and then the National Championship. It meant team streams where “homer” announcers gave you an option from the main feed. This year, it means that for the first time ever, the NCAA Tournament Bracket will be revealed on cable.
TBS will take control of the Selection Special this time around, and the special is going to be different than what you are used to. According to Awful Announcing, the show will originate in Atlanta instead of New York, will involve the Inside the NBA duo of Chuck and Kenny more, and will have...a live studio audience.
Because if there’s one thing that’s been missing from this, it’s a group of people clapping live as teams are announced.
In substance, there’s also another big change: TBS is going to kill the drama of the bubble by announcing all 68 teams within the first ten minutes. No staggered shots of teams on the bubble waiting for their names, instead they are likely going to have one big group shot of a lot of teams finding out their fate at the same time. After the reveal, TBS promises that the entire bracket will be announced within the first hour, and then the second hour will be about breaking it all down.
So, tonight, when by habit you are going to CBS, stop yourself and find TBS on your TV instead.