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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, 2013

    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, 2013

    Albany and Dook.

  • randdjacobs Mar 18, 2013

    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, 2013

    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, 2013

    View quoted thread



    ^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.

  • VT1994Hokie Mar 19, 2013

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

  • sburks1906 Mar 19, 2013

    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, 2013

    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 !!

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NASL: RailHawks at Jacksonville

    Saturday at 7:30 pm on WRAL-2

  • PGA: AT&T Byron Nelson Championship

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Tomorrow at 6:50 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

  • NBA: Golden State at Houston

    Tomorrow at 9:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MiLB: Bulls vs. Syracuse

    Saturday at 6:20 pm on Buzz Sports Radio

Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR