Monday, March 28, 2005

College Hoops

I watched parts of three NCAA tournament games this weekend, catching the second halfs and overtimes of Saturday's Louisville-West Virginia and Illinois-Arizona games and yesterday's Stanford-UConn women's game. Saturday's two games were among the most entertaining I've seen in the tournament in a long time and by rights should have been far more compelling television entertainment than Stanford's methodical suspense-free reduction of UConn. It's not that the commentators for the women's game were superior (although both men's games featured commentators saying the "players were really leaving it on the floor," this was easily countered by remarks by the commentator in the women's game such as referring to a player dribbling the ball off her foot as a "stupid play." It was no doubt a poorly executed play, but referring to it as a stupid play implies that the plan, well-executed, was to dribble it off the foot. Though not impossible, that seems unlikely). The difference, as near as I can tell, is that at every break in the action (and lord almighty there were a lot of them) during the men's games CBS immediately broke for a commercial. During the women's game on ESPN2 they stayed at the game during most timeouts, ensuring that while their was a pause in the action, their was continuity in the programming, allowing the viewer to stay focused.

There's absolutely no chance, of course, that CBS and the NCAA will sacrifice revenue to improve the entertainment product, but I just had to get that off my chest.

Of course, it doesn't hurt the women's game that Candice Wiggens is one of the most appealing college players in either the men's or women's game to come along in many years.
Weblog Commenting and Trackback by