NEW YORK -- "Hello, friends," said Jim Nantz at the start of CBS' NCAA tournament seminar on Monday afternoon. He has been saying that for about 25 years, along with Billy Packer's pronouncements and Clark Kellogg's reasoned analysis.
Sean McManus, president of both CBS Sports and CBS News, said the network had recently sent multiple crews to Iraq and Lebanon and the Gaza Strip, but nothing compares to the undertaking of 63 games over 19 days.
|Being snubbed in '07 won't result in preferential treatment for Syracuse and Jim Boeheim. (US Presswire)|
We start with a couple of technical items.
The game is officially over, not by the horn or the light, as in years past, but by the "00" on the clock, thanks to modern technology.
Also, some calls are not reviewable, but those that are include correctable human error (wrong guy on the free throw line), judgment of a flagrant foul (made possible after Gerald Henderson's shot to Tyler Hansbrough's face last year), and also questions like, "Did the ball hit the iron?" If so, the clock must be reset.
Hank Nichols, head official for the NCAA tournament for the past 22 years, said there has to be room for what he called "the eye of the beholder."
Last weekend in UCLA's comeback over Cal, the nation saw Josh Shipp's floater from behind the glass give UCLA the dramatic win. The rulebook says "a ball shall be out of bounds if it passes over the backboard from any direction."
"But I defy anyone, who, in real time, could definitively say if the ball grazed a corner of the backboard," said Nichols, who added that the rule was put in place when Wilt Chamberlain could easily score from behind the backboard.
Grabbing the rim is not a technical, unless the ball is involved, and slapping the backboard hasn't been called in 20 years.
Nichols said coaches complain all the time, and that's just part of the job.
"I remember once when (Maryland's) Lefty Driesell made me look at 10 plays that he said I completely missed," said Nichols, who has refereed 10 Final Fours. "I looked at the tape, then called him and said, 'Honestly, Lefty, I don't see anything wrong with the calls,' and Lefty yelled, 'Maybe not now, but you missed them Saturday night!'"
The selection committee has one of the most interesting and stressful jobs in all of sports. Have your brackets ready? Who do you like, Wisconsin as a three seed in the East, Butler as a four in the South?