Jared Fialko

March Madness makes for must-see TV

Posted March 18, 2013

So, what's your excuse? I hope it's a good one. Kids home sick and grandma's not around to care for them? Water heater explode in your basement? Got your mogwai wet, fed him after midnight and now you've got a slew of gremlins terrorizing your neighborhood?

Whatever it is, make it believable when you call in sick to work on Thursday and Friday. Chances are, your employer has already heard them all. overall ACC Tournament FAQ: NCAA Tournament on TV, radio, Web, mobile

Welcome to "Work Productivity Slowdown Week,"  the time of year the consultant group Challenger, Gray and Christmas Inc. just love. If you haven't heard of them, they're the ones ratting you out to your boss via their studies that project just how much money March Madness costs them come tourney time. This year, they predict three million Americans will "waste" one to three hours at work watching games. Couple that with scoping out scores online and filling out brackets (including those in workplaces where the head honchos shake their fists and scream bloody murder against doing so) and the firm estimates that more than a billion bucks is lost in worker productivity.

So, at the risk of angering upper management, let's examine some of the matchups worth streaming online at your workplace computer. Just make sure to keep your mouse/keyboard trigger finger froggy and your speaker volume low so you can minimize that broadcast and pop up that TPS report you're supposed to be working on at the drop of a hat. Maybe that way, you won't get chastised for messing up cover letter protocol again.



Or, if the shoe is on the other foot, maybe you can ditch the iron-fisted taskmaster label for two days and just let your staff watch the action live on WRAL-TV. Do it. I guarantee fewer people will pretend to not to notice you to avoid conversation at next December's company Christmas party.

By the way, I'm omitting all Triangle teams from the conversation, because I assume everyone will be watching them regardless, whether pulling for them to advance or tank.

#3 Michigan State vs. #14 Valparaiso, Thursday at 12:15 p.m. on WRAL

Here's that second round 14/3 upset you're begging to pick in your bracket. Valpo may have not been to the dance in nine years, but in terms of court time they are the most experienced team in the entire tournament. The team's top nine players are juniors and seniors. There are six seniors on the roster, and all of them play major roles. I'm not normally one to bet against Tom Izzo this early in the field of 68, but if there's one opposing coach who knows all too well about magical moments in March, it's the Crusaders' chief.

Bryce Drew took over for his pops, Homer, less than two years ago, and I'm willing to bet he's itching to top that iconic moment. Let's just hope he doesn't get upstaged by an astronaut.



#5 Oklahoma State vs #12 Oregon, Thursday at 4:40 p.m. on TNT

One of those instances where one team's slight advantage becomes another team's nightmare. Granted, while the Ducks were incredibly mediocre after January (only 5-and-5 entering their conference tournament), a 12 seed for the Pac 12 champion who only sat one game out of the regular season title too? A very balanced, and now angry badelynge (or brace, flock, raft, paddling, geez, why are there so many names for a group of Ducks?!) could spell trouble for the Cowboys.

#5 Wisconsin vs #12 Mississippi, Friday at 12:40 p.m. on truTV

Matchups involving two entirely different styles are always intriguing to see how they play out. One of the best defensive teams in the country versus a squad who's 7th in the nation in scoring. Oh, and for entertainment purposes solely, there's Marshall Henderson. Who, I'm pretty sure ignited a Mandy Mitchell outburst when this happened in Sunday's SEC Tournament Championship:



#4 Syracuse vs #13 Montana, Thursday at 9:57 p.m. on truTV

Because this is where I get to be a homer and tell you how this was probably the best moment of my college days in Central New York.



#6 Butler vs #11 Bucknell, Thursday at 12:40 p.m. on truTV

Mid-Majors explode!!! The postseason mastermind against maybe the best unknown player in college hoops: Brad Stevens v. Mike Muscala. America's favorite underdogs of the last half decade pitted against a team that's only lost one game by more than a single possession. Here's your showdown that goes down to the final seconds and could possibly provide the first fabulous finish of the tournament.

Happy viewing, maybe your brackets not bust, and may all your moments be "shining."

Currently listening to: Muse "Madness," 'tis the season!

 

Full schedule: Sports on TV/radio

8 Comments

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  • StunGunn Mar 18, 1:28 p.m.

    Oh yeah - the next few weekends are definitely MUST SEE TV. Thanks for the Butler upset alert - it's hard to pick against a Brad Stevens' coached team, though.

  • Dookbballskidmarked Mar 18, 2:06 p.m.

    Albany and Dook.

  • randdjacobs Mar 18, 6:29 p.m.

    I have Duke(couldn't help myself) and Miami in the championship game on my bracket. Wouldn't that be something? I see NCSU giving Indiana trouble in the round of 32 and UNC defeating Kansas to advance to the Sweet 16. I think the ACC will have a better showing than expected and will, hopefully, silence the critics. Go Duke!!!

  • Myword Mar 18, 10:29 p.m.

    I realize WRAL and CBS have to say it is must see TV, but I also note the very few comments here. Given the brackets, I am not sure how long millions of people are really going to be glued to their TVs.

  • Hammerhead Mar 19, 11:10 a.m.

    I realize WRAL and CBS have to say it is must see TV, but I also note the very few comments... View More

    — Posted by Myword

    ^The interest for most events is way overblown. The sports media lives in a vacuum for the most part, see how excited they and how much they argue about the most mundane things. Must see for real college basketball fans, but the overwhelming majority of the people in the US don't really care that much. Look at the ratings and tell me what % of TVs are on during the Final Four. About 10% IIRC. I myself only watch my teams, a select few other games and the Final Four. It's too nice out this time of year and I have far to much other work to do to watch basketball for the most part.

  • hokies94vt@gmail.com Mar 19, 2:17 p.m.

    I'll watch the top teams bang heads. More people will watch after the 1st rounds.

  • sburks1906 Mar 19, 3:30 p.m.

    I'll be calling in sick with my "practice cough" on Thursday lol. Enjoy the tourney fellas (and ladies)!
    http://theklowntimes.net/2013/03/18/2013-ncaa-tournament-preview/

  • PanthersFan45 Mar 20, 12:36 p.m.

    Seems like the best matchups are scheduled for the 7-10:00PM tip-offs. Only in the East do the games really start at lunch time. I will be at work and will admit that I will be using the CBS Gametracker online. I played a bracket in our "annual" office pool and love this time of year. Picking upsets is the biggest challenge because there are always a few. The only problem w/work for me is when the tournament gets going, I tend to stay up late for the games that end around midnight or later. That's when I need some strong coffee in the morning !!

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
 
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
 
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
 
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
 
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
 
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
 
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
 
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
 
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
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PENN
DART
 
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NIAG
MAR
 
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CAN
QUIN
 
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MAN
SIENA
 
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WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
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ARST
OREG
 
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
 
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
EDM 3
BUF 2
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
 
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI