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August 1, 2014

ncaa tournament

TV 101: Behind the Madness of March Madness

by Dr. Ryan Vaughan, PhD (no, seriously), posted Mar 16th 2011 3:30PM
March Madness starts tomorrow, and for those of you who don't watch ESPN year-round, the "Madness" refers to the men's NCAA basketball tournament. Sixty-four teams -- I refuse to acknowledge the four additional "play-in" teams -- all dead-set on one goal: missing as much class as possible.

But "Madness" is such a vague term that it carries interesting connotations. To whom is such madness really referring? It could be about the basketball itself: There's enough pressure, buzzer-beaters, and "pounding the ball inside" to keep even the girlfriend of a fan interested for awhile. But, relatively speaking, that kind of Madness is rare when most of the tournament is spent watching Awesome University pummel Sh*tty State.

If it's not all about the basketball, then the madness might define the way our culture reacts as soon as March rolls around. We make up words like "bracketology." We hang on Gus Johnson's every word as if he were FDR delivering a Fireside Chat. We may or may not position a urine jug next to the couch so we don't have to miss that new Papa John's commercial offering some ridiculous special, like "Meat Madness," that we initially scoff at, but after the 14th time seeing it we order 12 of those bad boys and wish we had the foresight to have a poo jug, too.

Whatever the madness might be about, the tournament is the only TV sports spectacle that rivals the Super Bowl in terms of sheer scope and magnitude. Read on for some of my humbly absurd TV tournament predictions.

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What's On Tonight: 'Chuck,' 'Little People,' NCAA Basketball Finals

by Rich Keller, posted Apr 5th 2010 12:10PM
A new episode of Chuck airs at 8 on NBCHere's tonight's TV lineup (all times Eastern)


  • At 8. ABC presents 'Dancing With the Stars,' followed by a new episode of 'Castle' at 10.
  • CBS has a rerun 'The Big Bang Theory' at 8, then a new episode of 'Rules of Engagement.' At 9, Duke and Butler battle it out in the NCAA Championship.
  • The CW has new episodes of 'Life Unexpected' at 8 and 'Gossip Girl' at 9.
  • FOX has a two-hour episode of '24.'
  • NBC goes with new episodes of 'Chuck' and 'Trauma' at 8 and 9 with a repeat of 'Law & Order' at 10.
  • The Weather Channel has two new episodes of 'Storm Stories' starting at 8.
  • A new episode of '10 Things I Hate About You' airs at 8 on ABC Family, followed by the movie 'Step Up.'
  • 'Intervention' returns with a new episode at 9 on A&E, followed at 10 by the new series 'Runaway Squad.'
  • USA offers up another episode of 'WWE Monday Night Raw' at 9.
  • ESPN2 has the Giants vs. Astros at 7, followed by the Twins vs. Angels at 10.
  • FX has a new 'Damages' at 10.
  • A new 'Saving Grace' hits the airwaves at 10 on TNT.
  • TLC has new episodes of 'Little People, Big World' at 8 and 8:30 on TLC, followed by 'Ultimate Cake Off' at 9.
  • TBS offers two new episodes of 'Tyler Perry's House of Pain' at 10 and 10:30.
  • Cartoon Network airs the official premiere of 'Adventure Time with Finn and Jake' at 8.
  • 'Tori & Dean: Home Sweet Hollywood' begins its fifth season (yes, I'm amazed as well) at 10 on OXYGEN.
  • At 8, TCM presents the classic 'Giant,' starring Rock Hudson, Elizabeth Taylor, and James Dean.


Check your local TV listings for more

After the jump, the late night talk shows.

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President Obama Talks College Hoops with Matt Lauer (VIDEO)

by Oliver Miller, posted Mar 30th 2010 4:00PM
President Obama Talks College Hoops with Matt LauerBarack Obama appeared on 'Today' (weekdays, 7AM ET on NBC) to talk a little college basketball with Matt Lauer. There, it was revealed that the President had picked none of the Final Four teams correctly.

"How's your bracket look?" Lauer asked Obama. Obama replied, "It is completely blown up ... It is a sign that I was paying singular focus on heath care." "That's your excuse and you're sticking with it?" asked Lauer.

Since Obama's college basketball picks have all lost, Lauer asked the President for his revised choice for the team that will win it all. Obama's choice? West Virginia. Changing your college picks in the middle of the tournament? Is this what was meant by "Change You Can Believe In?"

Watch the video after the jump.

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Who Will Survive the Double Elimination on 'Survivor: Heroes Vs. Villains'?

by Chris Harnick, posted Mar 24th 2010 9:00AM
SurvivorNot even the NCAA Tournament can keep 'Survivor' down.

After a hiatus last week, new episodes of the hit CBS reality series are moving to Wed., 8PM ET to make room for the basketball games on Thursday.

Tonight's episode is the first after a week hiatus. To celebrate the show's return and what is sure to be a big episode -- there's going to be a double elimination! -- CBS has launched virtual postcards featuring the past casts.


More after the jump.

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Don Cheadle's March to Madness bringing college basketball to FX

by Jason Hughes, posted Aug 26th 2009 1:02PM
Don CheadleThe title March to Madness is almost too clever for it's own good. How did it take this many years for someone to come up with that one? I love the pitch for this one, too: "a corrupt college basketball program ... cheats its way to the 'March Madness' NCAA basketball tournament." If it's on FX, of course it has corruption.

March to Madness and FX are a match made in heaven. Nobody does the darker side of humanity better than FX. The Shield, Rescue Me, Sons of Anarchy ... even It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia tackles the lowest forms of people. It's a beautiful combination of amazing writing and gut-wrenching acting that make these dirtbag characters teem with life and humanity.

And what a great subject to tackle. There's so much at stake with the NCAA Tournament for the kids and the schools, the drama practically writes itself. The story, we're told, will be from the point of view of an idealistic coach who's struggling with the compromises he makes with his own integrity to get his team where he needs to be. Too bad Don Cheadle's only executive producing, I'd love to see him tackle that role.

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