Pod: Will Leitch on refs, Big Ten's power, CBB's charm, movies for 2013

Brandon Paul is a fun player to watch, but can he keep Illinois in the thick of a massive Big Ten chase? (US Presswire)

One of the best under-40 writers in America today is Will Leitch. The contributing editor for New York Magazine also writes for Sports on Earth. He's the guy who started Deadspin -- wow -- almost eight years ago now. He also happens to be a huge college hoops guy. He's been on the podcast before, and we're bringing him back on to talk about that ridiculous/unfair ending to Colorado-Arizona; the Big Ten's utter domination that lies ahead; why Brandon Paul is the feast-or-famine character in college hoops this year; why college basketball needs to stop being labeled as a niche sport; and some movie chatter.

You're gonna love his enthusiasm, I guarantee it. (You might need to rewind a few times. Will tends to speak in bursts; it's part of his charm.)

Audio checklist:

  • From the beginning: How-you-dos, a little Fordham hoops talk (why not) and then getting right to the debacle in Tucson from Thursday night.
  • 5:50: We graduate the conversation to more on officials' responsibilities and how we as fans have taken too much liberty and this false sense of supervision over how "bad" the officials are these days.
  • 10:00: Will's an Illinois alumnus, so this is his therapy session. We talk about the Illini and Brandon Paul as college hoops' biggest feast-or-famine player. Plus: Pretty critical three-game stretch ahead for John Groce's team. If they don't come out of it with a win ....
  • 17:55: Looking at the Big Ten as a whole. Damn, do you realize that 75 percent of this league is legitimately in play for the NCAAs as of now?
  • 21:50: Here's Will's column that I reference at this point. Give it a read after you finish the pod. We discuss the state of the game and why it's more popular/beloved than it's given credit for these days. Like: by a wide margin.
  • 26:00: Will brings up a great point about college sports, TV contracts being inked and why almost everyone on the business side of this will come to regret it in eight to 10 years.
  • 33:10: Will, as readers of his know well, is a huge, huge movie guy. A buff, even! He writes about films for Gawker these days. So with that in mind, I wanted to get his take on who he'd like to see win Oscars this year, plus his most anticipated films of 2013. I don't think you can predict his main choice, but I can almost definitely predict you'll agree with it.
  • 40:40: Oh, you like Arrested Development? Cool. We talk about that show here and wrap up the pod.

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CBS Sports Writer

Matt Norlander is a national award-winning senior writer who has been with CBS Sports since 2010. He's in his eighth season covering college basketball for CBS, and also covers the NBA Draft, the Olympics,... Full Bio

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