Sunday, April 20, 2014

Ways To Make College Basketball On TV Better

College basketball season is over, but it still is bubbling in my blood.  You still have the recruiting circuit going on with those All-Star games, late signing recruits and transfers.  You also have the early entry announcements for the NBA Draft as well as a few coaching changes and other tidying up.

But it is also a good time to look back and see what just took place.  It is also a good time to see what could be done better.  Run The Floor has a great post about making the college basketball television experience better ... whether it is during the regular season or the tournament.   I'd like to chime in on their proposed improvements.

ESPNEWS found something innovative when it brought a “film room” concept to the 2014 BCS National Championship Game between Auburn and Florida State. This concept took fans inside the layers and details of a sport’s mechanics. This is exactly where sports television can and should go in the future. There’s no reason the networks in charge of covering college basketball can’t introduce such a concept to the NCAA tournament
I love this idea.  One of the things that I hate is when people said of this NCAA title game "if Kentucky made their free throws, they would've won".  Maybe.  But it wasn't like Kentucky was some great FT shooting team before this game or that they didn't have some struggles during their run.  No, a key move was UConn's use of screens and pick and rolls to force Kentucky's bigs away from the basket and in bad matchups.  It was glossed over a bit, but it should've been shown more in depth to allow fans ... especially the casual ones that join the bandwagons along the way ... an opportunity to understand what is happening.

CBS and Turner have their own vision for the Final Four, but it seems like a waste of air time. Viewers clamor for Verne Lundquist and Bill Raftery to work a Final Four. Wouldn’t it make sense for Turner to have Verne and Raft work the TNT alternate telecast on Semifinal Saturday? TruTV could become the film-room game, or perhaps a game covered in an untraditional manner.
I feel the exact same way.  While I got the whole idea behind having the "teamcast" for both schools, I didn't find too many people that were very interested in it.  I live in Northern Kentucky and most of the Kentucky fans I talked to prior to the Final Four just didn't seem to care about a Kentucky teamcast of the game.

Maybe have TNT show a different version of the game.  A different camera angle.  A game with limited replays.  Something different than just the announcing team.  I know in the article, it is mentioned to assign Verne Lundguist and Bill Raftery to the Final Four, and that's fine.  But I'd like to be able to have two TVs where I can see something different.

College Gameday has so many more options in basketball compared to football. The weekend-only nature of football demands a consistent presence at big games. College hoops is quite different. There are so many good teams in so many corners of the country that a focus on the sport’s charming underdogs and out-of-the-way success stories represents a way to tell a sport’s full story.
I'm with this.  I liked when ESPN went and did the Gonzaga-Butler game a few years back.  I love it when they go the Philly for a Big Five game.  I'd love it for them to go to those out-of-the-norm places that have their own quirks.  The article mentioned going to Mercer.  Go to The Pit in New Mexico.  I wouldn't mind if there were two crews for Gameday.  The main one of Reece Davis, Jalen Rose and Jay Bilas in the bigger arena and a second crew that also gets screen time

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