Found March 25, 2013 on Awful Announcing:
The first weekend of the NCAA Tournament is in the books.  With the parity in college basketball, it shouldn't be a surprise that the stories of the tournament thus far are Florida Gulf Coast and La Salle.  The Rounds of 64 and 32 delivered with dramatic endings, memorable games, feuds between analysts and conferences, and enough screengrabs and GIFs to last a lifetime.  What stood out most from the NCAA Tournament's first weekend and the coverage for March Madness?  Let's dish out some awards! Best Booth: Ian Eagle and Jim Spanarkel.  Eagle's been a name on the rise for some time and is in the process of breaking through to that upper echelon of play by play men.  But Spanarkel deserves praise too.  His color commentary won't be made into hashtags anytime soon, but he breaks down the game clearly and concisely, and perhaps most importantly - he has great chemistry with Eagle because the pair have called college and pro games together for years. Bill Raftery is entertaining, but sometimes his fun-loving pairing with Verne Lundquist goes off the railroad tracks.  MY GOODNESS!!  Marv Albert and Steve Kerr were another contender in this category, but on occasion there were a few slips with players and game situations.  Eagle and Spanarkel were just a bit more consistent, and it's a shame they won't see action on the second weekend. Best Studio Analyst: Greg Anthony.  While most of the attention has been on Turner's NBA guys (more on them later), Anthony thankfully delivers some sanity and perspective.  And with Kenny Smith and Charles Barkley really only able to talk in generalities and struggling once again with basic knowledge of the teams and players involved, Anthony has to pull even more weight in the main New York studio. Most Polarizing: Doug Gottlieb.  His volatile performance on Selection Sunday was the talk of the Twitterverse and it was the same story this weekend.  The former ESPNer is the most notable addition to this year's tournament coverage and he's either the best or worst thing that's ever happened to NCAA Tournament coverage depending on who you ask.  Gottlieb does bring more of an edge to CBS's coverage, and maybe that's the buzz CBS was hoping for when they hired him.  Gottlieb's better in the brodacst booth where his blunt analysis is refreshing, than the studio where his style could lead to some interesting moments next weekend. Newcomer of the Year: Allie LaForce.  Gottlieb's Lead Off co-host was introduced to the nation and did well in her first assignment for the network as a sideline reporter.  It makes you wonder why CBS wouldn't try to promote Lead Off (that's a late night show starring LaForce and Gottlieb on CBS Sports Network in case you weren't aware) and CBS Sports Network instead of a million ads for Bleacher Report's team streams. Best Tweet: I'm not saying what #FloridaGulfCoast did was impressive, but Amanda Bynes wants them to call her. — Robert Flores (@RoFloESPN) March 23, 2013 Best Snafu: Florida GOLF Coast University. Best Photobomb: Julian Gamble... again. Worst Butchering of an All American's Name: Kenny Smith kept mispronouncing Indiana's Victor Oladipo's name as "Victor Olapido."  This wasn't just a single occurrence, but happened pretty much every time The Jet talked about the Hoosiers.  This isn't just any random player, this is a Naismith finalist.  Sure it's a goofy quirk, but it's also symbolic of the disconnect between Turner's NBA talent and the college game. Worst Butchering of a Sweet 16 School's Name: Yea, but Steve, tell us about the team that just beat you instead... Umm so Steve Fisher just opened his press conference with "Florida State is a very very good basketball team" #FGCU #SDSU — Erin Summers (@ErinESummers) March 25, 2013 Most Awkward Moment: This. Worst Programming Decision: The local CBS affiliate in San Diego preempted the first portion of Saturday's Michigan-VCU game to show Saturday morning cartoons on the west coast. At least I'm sure it beats truTV's regularly scheduled programming. Worst Feud: Charles Barkley vs The Big Ten.  It started when Barkley said the Big Ten was overrated and the Mountain West was a better conference.  This was insane before the tourney and it's even more insane now that we've reached the Sweet 16. A brief look at the numbers... Mountain West: 2-5, 0 Sweet 16 teams Big Ten: 10-3, 4 Sweet 16 teams Not a single person who covers college basketball could coherently make this argument after watching the season (please leave your RPI numbers at the door).  Yet, Barkley stubbornly played up the feud throughout the first weekend in spite of the results making a mockery of his previous proclamation.  Ernie Johnson tried to get Barkley to retract his comments about the conference being overrated (with 1/4th of the Sweet 16 made up of the Big Ten), but he stammered on about the strength of the Big East, Mountain West, and the top of the Pac 12.  What?  Of course, maybe Barkley is making the argument because he hasn't been watching college basketball this season, or he is losing a significant sum of money betting against the Big Ten.  Either way, the episode has provided another question mark for skeptics of the CBS/Turner NBA experiment.   At this point, Barkley vs the Big Ten has become a storyline in and of itself, which is decent entertainment but also an unfortunate distraction.  It didn't help that Barkley led the brigade in beating the debatable Aaron Craft block/charge call into the ground like it was the Soviets taking away a gold medal from Iowa State.  (That doubles as the Most Tiresome Debate of the weekend by the way.)  Anytime an analyst gets drawn into a provincial feud with a fanbase it takes away from where the focus should be, in this case a memorable tournament moment in Craft's game-winning shot.  Here's how you know things are going bad for Charles Barkley - he's being publicly compared to Mark May by Big Ten fans.  That's not a compliment. Best Call: Dunk. City. Kevin. Harlan. Weirdest Clark Kellogg Food Analogy: On Temple's interior defense... "It has been Philly cheesesteak strong with a little banana peppers on top of it!" I didn't mention Clark Kellogg and Jim Nantz in the Best Booth award above because you got largely what you expect from them on the first weekend.  Silky smooth and safe play by play beloved by the CBS boardroom, solid analysis, and a helping of bizarre analogies.  One of my favorite pastimes is chronicling Clark Kellogg's propensity for food analogies, but this one takes the cake. (aha, aha, ha...) A.) I've never thought of declaring a cheesteak as "strong" because I'm not Guy Fieri.   B.) What does any of that have to do with basketball? Best Image: Brad Stevens: basketball coach, scientist. Searching for a way to tap into the hidden strengths that all humans have. Then an accidental overdose of gamma radiation alters his body chemistry. And now when Brad Stevens grows angry or outraged, a startling metamorphosis occurs.  Brad Stevens is believed to be dead, and he must let the world think that he is dead, until he can find a way to control the raging spirit that dwells within him... This is the face of March Madness.

Charles Barkley and CBS crew interviews Marshall Henderson and Andy Kennedy

Charles Barkley and the CBS crew caught up with Marshall Henderson and Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy on Saturday to learn a little more about Marshall Madness.

ESPNU's Matt Doherty calls out Charles Barkley

Former UNC head coach Matt Doherty has recently found work as a college basketball analyst for ESPN. I didn't even realize he was doing work for the network until I heard him on the call for Kansas' upset loss to TCU earlier this season. This week he appeared on ESPNU's roundtable show "The Experts" and delivered a shot across the bow at Turner's star analyst...

Video: Charles Barkley Asks Ole Miss’ Coach If He Thinks There’s Something Wrong With Marshall Henderson

Despite Charles Barkley sounding like he had a few too many cocktails last night, he delivered a gem this morning on CBS. Barkley asked Ole Miss coach Andy Kennedy if he ever says to himself “there’s something wrong with that kid” in reference to Marshall Henderson. Heck knows the rest of us have.

Charles Barkley does the ‘landshark’, salutes Marshall Henderson on national TV

Charles Barkley threw up Marshall Henderson's trademark 'landshark' on national TV.

Charles Barkley joining Twitter? Are we living in an alternate universe?

He's criticized social media for years. He even said "Tweet is for losers," in a video on his own NBA/Turner Sports-managed website two years ago. To anyone and everyone, Barkley has made it known that he hates Twitter, Facebook and any other form of social media. Now comes word in an Adweek article that Barkley may finally cave and join Twitter. Granted, the account...

Links of the Day 3/23/13

One round down, one to go. Charles Barkley is a fool. Florida Gulf Coast upset Georgetown, and they proved themselves to be very athletic while doing so. And then the star for FGCU celebrated with cheerleaders. In other Big Dance action, the steps are difficult to navigate. SCOREBOARD NCAA Tournament Kansas 64, Western Kentucky 57 – The Jayhawks are fotunate that the FGCU-Georgetown...

Things You Can Do Between Now And The Next Round Of The NCAA Tournament

Flickr/hang_in_there Like the rest of you, I’m going crazy. What is this nonsense on my TV? Where are the fans and referees? Where are the buzzer-beaters? Where is Charles Barkley? If you don’t know what’s going on then I hate to be the one to have to tell you, but March Madness doesn’t return until Thursday. I know, I know: two days of intense sadness. Two days of bewilderment...

Big Ten Sweet 16 Breakdown: Indiana vs. Syracuse

It's Sweet 16 time and that means it's time for the Big Ten to continue to flex it's muscle and keep making Charles Barkley's mouth look worse than his golf swing (seriously, if you haven't seen that thing it's hide your women and children worthy). The B1G will feature four of the Sweet 16, more than any other conference in the country and it's...

Links of the Day 3/24/13

Good afternoon! How are your brackets? If you didn’t see this on Friday, the US men’s national soccer team played a game against Costa Rica in a blizzard. There is a lot of animosity towards Aaron Craft. Charles Barkley: Turrible.  SCOREBOARD NHL Minnesota 2, San Jose 0 – Backstrom hasn’t been great this season so this was a good result all around.

Impressions of the first 3 days of the NCAA tournament – winners and losers.

I’ll be updating this post throughout as Day 3 at the NCAA tournament comes to a close, but the first 2 rounds have really provided some revealing results. The results have led me to list some winner and losers from the first 3 days. Winner – The Big 10 conference.  I don’t think anyone would argue that the Big 10 was this year’s best basketball conference, but an 8-1 start...
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