ESPN has announced the sites for its first seven GameDay basketball programs in 2012. This year for the first time, the eighth and last site of the year (March 3) will have a flex option: Rece Davis, Jay Bilas, Digger Phelps, Hubert Davis and Bob Knight will be going to either Duke (for the North Carolina matchup) or to Kansas (where the Jayhawks host Texas).
The other games and sites are below.
Jan. 14: North Carolina at Florida State
Jan. 21: Louisville at Pittsburgh
Jan. 28: Washington at Arizona
Feb. 4: Kansas at Missouri
Feb. 11: Kentucky at Vanderbilt
Feb. 18: Ohio State at Michigan
Feb. 25: Syracuse at Connecticut
Mar. 3: North Carolina at Duke or Texas at Kansas
With the exception of the first game at Florida State, all the contests are scheduled night games. Defending champion UConn is one host. As is 2012 NCAA champion Vanderbilt *cough, total homer*. The rotation of games hits all the major conferences in this order: ACC, Big East, Pac 12, Big 12, SEC, Big 10, Big East again, and either ACC or Big 12.
“We worked to assemble the most exciting conference matchups for Saturday Primetime at sites we are confident will be enthusiastic and welcoming hosts for College GameDay,” said Nick Dawson, director of ESPN programming & acquisitions.
Butler, the team which finished as the NCAA runner-up the last two seasons, of course gets no love. Nor do any mid-major conferences — since, ya know, only big conference schools can be enthusiastic and welcoming hosts.
When Reggie Jackson played with the Oakland A’s in the early 1970s, he prophetically said that they’d name a candy bar after him if he ever played in New York. Apparently Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals can do Reggie one better, because the NHL star didn’t even need to move to Canada to get his face on a candy bar. Ovechkin’s countenance now graces the face of Mr. Big Deal candy bars, with the Russian star urging eaters to “Be big deal like me.”
Is this concoction — vanilla wafer, peanuts, caramel, rice crisps, and chocolate — as tasty as a Reggie bar? I guess you’ll have to travel north to find out.
Mr. Big Deal is a spinoff of Mr. Big, which Shaquille O’Neal sponsored for several years.
Having worked in newspapers for more than a decade, I’ve seen my share of bad headlines, and written one or two myself. But the headline in today’s Cincinnati Enquirer referencing the departure of Chad Ochocinco is so lame it might merit its own award from the APSE.
It reads, “Cinco G’Bye-O.”
Ya see what they did there? They turned the first “O” in Ocho into “G’bye.”
Cinco G’Bye-O. It’s Spanish for
Eight Five G’Bye-O, i.e., it accomplished the Heruclean task of looking sillier than Chad Ochocinco.
John Feinstein of The Washington Post said during a panel discussion on CSN Washington that soccer is not a real sport because of the lame way it can end on penalty kicks. So, if you were looking for the guy who would rain on the U.S. women’s World Cup victory, look no farther than Feinstein, who said he spent the end of the thrilling U.S. match versus Brazil watching the Yankees game instead. Yeah, because CC Sabathia is such an athlete. Look at him! He’s fat, and fat people are not…
You can agree that soccer matches should not be decided on penalty kicks, but that alone shouldn’t disqualify a game from being a sport. It is entertaining to watch Feinstein criticize Ivan Carter for wearing a pocket square, though. Because men criticizing the wardrobes of other men is definitely a sport…
Here’s footage of U.S. Open champion Rory McIlroy‘s appearance on a British TV show in 1999, when McIlroy was nine years old and honing his game by chipping golf balls into an open washing machine at home. He demonstrates this practice for the audience, but misses on his first three tries, thanks in no small part to the TV host who keeps talking during his back swing.
Yesterday, your SportsNewser editor took a trip down to New York’s Greenwich Village to tour Major League Baseball’s “MLB Fan Cave.”
Back in March we covered the announcement of MLB’s “Dream Job” winner, Mike O’Hara, who would watch every minute of every game from the cave, and would also star in a web series produced by Endemol USA. We spoke to O’Hara, who had a rare afternoon off, with all of the day’s games slated for the evening.
The Fan Cave is built in the old Tower Records space in the Village, a sprawling, three-story space filled to the bring with baseball art and memorabilia.
O’Hara and his “wing man,” Ryan Wagner, typically watch all the games in a comfortable sitting area, with 15 Sony HDTV’s that can tune into every game being played. When they aren’t watching games, there is is also a bar stocked with Pepsi and Budweiser (who sponsor the cave, Natch) a videogame setup, and a gaming area. Below is the MLB-branded pool table with Red Sox balls, as a Yankees cap wearing Jay-Z smiles in the background.
TNT’s coverage of the 2011 NBA Playoffs was the most-watched in cable television history, capped off by a 6.3 U.S HH rating and 10.4 million total viewers for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Finals between the Chicago Bulls and Miami Heat.
The network set records for ratings and viewership, averaging a 3.5 U.S. HH Rating (+25 percent), 5,534,000 total viewers (+29 percent), and 3,999,000 households (+26 percent) during their 40-game coverage.
In addition, the Heat-Bulls series was the most-watched Conference Finals in cable television history, averaging a 6.2 U.S. HH rating, (+29% year-over-year), 10,413,000 Total Viewers (+33%) and 7,190,000 Households (+30%).
“This was one of the most thrilling seasons in NBA history, leading to record-breaking ratings and enormous success for TNT,” said David Levy, president of sales, distribution and sports, Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. “From the tip-off of our 52-game regular season to All-Star Weekend to TNT’s coverage of 40 Playoff games, this NBA season was about setting new records and creating winning nights of television. Through a multiplatform strategy, we also achieved more than great ratings. We used all of our television, broadband and mobile assets to connect everywhere our audiences watch the NBA, building the largest possible viewership across all platforms.”
TNT has confirmed that the Tuesday’s Game 4 pregame show will be moved indoors following a contentious scene between fans and TNT analyst Charles Barkley during Sunday’s broadcast, when Barkley flipped off hecklers and one fan threw a towel at the outspoken Barkley.
“We are going to go inside,” a network representative told the Sun Sentinel, citing the logistical difficulties of such an open-air broadcast.
Barkley, speaking on WQAM Monday afternoon, appeared to welcome the confrontational approach.
“You know those people can yell and scream but they don’t have the hair on their (butt) to grab me,” he said. “They don’t have enough hair on their (butts) to walk up to me man to man and say, ‘Let’s do this.’
“All that yelling and screaming just makes me laugh, man.”
Barkley found Sunday’s scene amusing.
“They were telling me I suck,” he said. “They were telling me I never won a championship. Like, ‘Come on, give me something better than that, dude.’
“I always laugh at that statement, ‘You didn’t get a ring. ‘I’m like, dude, you work at McDonald’s. My life’s a lot better than yours. You relax.’ ”
Really, Charles? Making fun of people for working at McDonald’s? Undignified comment coming from the Round Mound of Rebound.
How big of a news story is the Atlanta Thrashers relocating to Winnipeg?
Not big enough to bump the Atlanta Braves, who got swept by the Arizona Diamondbacks, from the lead story on the Atlanta Journal-Constitution website.
Latest sports headlines?
It’s been real, Atlanta. Enjoy Winnipeg, Evander Kane.
[H/T SB Nation]