The NCAA agreed to a new $10.8 billion deal with CBS and Turner for broadcasting rights to the men’s basketball tournament, which signals the NCAA will expand the tourney from 65 to 68 teams.
The new 14-year agreement allows every game to be shown on TV live. ESPN came up short on its bid for the tournament. CBS has broadcast the men’s basketball tournament since 1982.
The men’s tournament last expanded in 2001, adding one team to the 64-team field that was set in 1985. Talk of tweaking March Madness again generated a lot of criticism from fans, but it seemed a certainty last month when tournament officials talked about the upcoming deal.
I was on a conference call this morning with NCAA senior vice president Greg Shaheen who said it remains unclear how a 68-team bracket will look.
My guess is there’s going to be three more at-large berths and three additional play-in games.
THURSDAY MORNING LINK:
— Garfield junior Tony Wroten Jr.’s ties to Kentucky got a little stronger when the Wildcats received a verbal commitment from Mike Gilchrist, who is the small forward as the best player in the 2011 class.
Wroten’s father told Rivals.com: “They’ve wanted to play together, they’ve tried to manipulate situations where they can play together in AAU but with the distance between us that didn’t work out. They’re looking forward to playing together on the USA team and at the college level that would be another step.”
Wroten Jr is a 6-4 point guard and Gilchrist is a 6-6 small forward from Elizabeth, N.J.
April 22, 2010 at 10:27 AM
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