124th U.S. Open

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The Loop

The NCAA’s Selection Sunday Show Must Be Kidding Us With This

March 06, 2018
Texas A&M v Oklahoma

Lance King

If sports fans agree on anything, it’s that when networks pre-emptively change the delivery system of historically important sports news, it’s always a WISE AND FINE MOVE. My kids and I still talk about where we were during The Decision.

So hey, here’s a terrible idea: According to Adam Zagoria on Twitter, this weekend’s Selection Sunday Teevee Telethon and Variety Hour will find TBS revealing all 68 teams, which will be then “followed” by the brackets. So instead of immediately learning who goes where, what far-reaching corner of the nation your team will fly to lose in and how late you will have to energy-drink yourself to stay up on a work night, you will get: A list of teams! A roster of 68 university names! Which will then resolve themselves, eventually, after a while, I guess, into the tournament format to which all basketball fans in the history of the game have become accustomed. Fantastic news, because lists make great television.

OH BUT THERE’S MORE: The TWO-HOUR Selection Show will be televised in front of a Live Audience in a Newly Designed Studio in Atlanta using Money That The NCAA Scraped Out of Rick Pitino’s Unmarked Duffel Bags. Let’s turn it over to the gifted writers of the press release division:

“The Selection Show will begin with the announcement of all 68 tournament teams, followed by the release of the brackets and match-ups, with analysis, discussion, interviews and reactions from teams as they find out if they made the 'Dance,' along with their region, seeding and opponent," reads the press release, indicating that not only does the NCAA need to revisit this idea, they also need to work on their run-on sentences. There will also be FOUR HOURS of March Madness Selection Countdown on what they’re calling a “social media pre-show,” which are not and will never be words that mean anything.

Two problems here: 1. This problem is not a problem and thus as a non-problem it does not need fixing, particularly by a group of people that includes Charles Barkley and 2. On a planet with normal levels of perspective, the Selection Show would last about three and a half minutes, and one of those could even be given over to a cool intro graphic, that would be fine. Thirty minutes of this damn thing is interminable, for a process that ends with a single bit of graphic information you can obtain by turning on a computer device machine at 7:02 p.m.

Can you just stop f--king with things. Stop with all of it. This is like when we have to call a hard stop over dinner, because everyone is talking over each other, and no one’s making sense, and one kid is talking about something he built in Roblox and the other one won’t stop singing “The Hamilton Polka” and no one is making sense and we have to go for GOD’S SAKE LET’S SEE IF WE CAN BE QUIET FOR 30 SECONDS. Let’s see if we can go one year without f--king around with Selection Sunday, and baseball ninth-inning strategies, and instant replay regulations and I don’t know if they changed anything about the bobsled in PyeongChang but I bet they did and I’m sure it was terrible.

Of all the myriad mysterious endless bottomless ways the NCAA has bumbled into f--ked up sports things, this is not one of them, so just leave well enough alone, there are plenty of other Pitino Penn State Sacks of Cash Being Flung Around Kentucky Strip Clubs things you can go changing. To start with, let’s make the Thursday night late games start earlier, I can’t remotely stay up that late.