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The Morning Dish – Wednesday, April 4, 2018

April 4, 2018 The Morning Dish No Comments

One day after Villanova’s national championship game win over Michigan, the NCAA received a harsh reminder of the price it paid and continues to pay for TV contract decisions for its prize NCAA Tournament.

The overnight television rating for Villanova’s 79-62 win in Monday night’s title game was the lowest ever for an NCAA tourney final, scoring a 10.3 rating across broadcasts on TBS, TNT and truTV. The number was a good bit below the rating for the previous time TBS hosted the final (a 12.0 for Villanova’s buzzer-beating win over North Carolina in 2016) and well off last year’s 14.5 rating for Carolina and Gonzaga on CBS.

In fairness, the game was still the highest-rated program on all of television Monday night, even among over-the-air TV. The numbers also were undoubtedly affected by the Wildcats seizing firm control of the game early in the second half, turning a fair amount of viewers off (the rating went down to a 7.0 in the final 15 minutes).

Still, when it comes to showcasing this sport, it’s been readily apparent that the first two Final Fours to be held on cable have been a flop for college basketball. For a sport that is constantly fighting for casual viewers and attention, less eyeballs is not a good thing.

We noted it two years ago, and nothing has changed: this is the cost of the NCAA’s shortsighted money-grabbing when it signed its TV contract in 2010 with CBS and Turner (a contract that was extended two years ago through 2032). No matter how much some wish otherwise, there’s still a difference in channel reach between over-the-air TV and cable, and the NCAA is paying for it.

The NCAA could’ve taken less money in exchange for insisting its biggest games remained on over-the-air television. That might’ve meant it would’ve had to cut out some of its “branding” excesses like special courts and digital scorer’s tables at each playing site or sweet-but-completely-unnecessary laser light introductions in the Final Four, or swagging out team hotels.

When the NCAA instead chose to take the money, it also chose less exposure some years for the climax of the college basketball season. Less people watching the biggest games of the year means less interest in the long haul. That’s a losing strategy for a sport that already has to work overtime to get the attention it deserves.

Side Dishes:

  • Hoopville czar Phil Kasiecki joined Ted Sarandis for another podcast episode of Talking Hoops after the national championship game Monday night, which you can listen to here.
  • The new coach at East Carolina is…an old coach at East Carolina. Joe Dooley is leaving after five years at Florida Gulf Coast to come back to ECU, where he was the head coach from 1995-99, back when the Pirates were still part of the Colonial Athletic Association. Dooley’s name has been a regular mentioned with openings for the past few years, so it was clearly just a matter of time before he moved on. He goes to what is one of the very toughest jobs in any top-10 conference, a place with just two NCAA Tournament appearances all-time (none since 1993) and has just one 20-win season at the Division I level.
  • Another interesting hire on Tuesday came at Marist, which convinced John Dunne to leave St. Peter’s and move within the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference. Dunne is one of the great do-more-with-less coaches in the country, one who milked every ounce out of the Peacocks in recent years, torturing opponents with outstanding defense and a slow pace. He takes over a program that has been miserable of late, with a 79-236 record over the last 10 years, but one that also has the facilities and resources to contend in the MAAC. It’s tough seeing Dunne leave St. Peter’s when he had become synonymous with the Jersey City school, but it will be fun to see what he can do with a bit more to work with at Marist.
  • Among the latest to declare for the NBA Draft yesterday: Wisconsin’s Ethan Happ, Kentucky’s P.J. Washington, Texas Tech freshman Zhaire Smith, plus three key players for Nevada in Caleb and Cody Martin plus Jordan Caroline. None of these players will hire an agent at this time, so all certainly could return to their teams. Two players did declare who plan to sign with an agent: Louisville’s Ray Spalding and Oregon frosh Troy Brown.
  • Thirty-five years ago today, one of the great moments in NCAA Tournament history took place as Lorenzo Charles dunked home Dereck Whittenburg’s desperation shot just before the buzzer to give North Carolina State a 54-52 win over Houston in the 1983 national championship game, resulting in the late, great Jim Valvano running all around the court looking for someone to hug after.

Enjoy your Wednesday.

 

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Hoopville Archives

College Basketball Tonight

We hope you enjoyed COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT during the 2016 NCAA Tournament. COLLEGE BASKETBALL TONIGHT is a comprehensive look at the NCAA Tournament hosted by veteran college basketball broadcaster Ted Sarandis, along with co-hosts Mike Jarvis and Terry O'Connor, both former Division I coaches. It also included many great guests, including Hoopville's own Phil Kasiecki.

The show aired on AM 710 WOR in New York City on Sunday evenings starting with Selection Sunday and running through the NCAA Tournament.

Here are links to the shows:

March 13, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 20, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

March 27, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

April 3, 2016 - First hour | Second hour

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Everybody Needs a Head Coach

Former college basketball coach Mike Jarvis has a new book out, Everybody Needs a Head Coach.

"As you read this book, I hope that Coach Jarvis' experiences inspire you to find your purpose in life."
-Patrick Ewing, NBA Hall of Fame center

"Mike Jarvis' is one of my special friends. I am so pleased that he has taken the time to write this fabulous book."
-Mike Krzyzewski, Five-time NCAA championship head coach, Duke Blue Devils

"In reading this book, I can see that Mike hasn't lost his edge or his purpose. Readers should take a look at what he has to say."
-Jim Calhoun, Three-time NCAA champion, UConn Men's basketball

Review on Hoopville coming soon!

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