Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Nothing but Net: Kavin Austin Blake Settles in for Another March Madness

Kavin Austin Blake looks forward to his favorite sporting event of the year: the NCAA men’s basketball championship, widely known as “The Big Dance” or “March Madness.” This three-week tournament features 68 teams: 32 Division I conference champions and 36 at-large teams that are chosen by a selection committee. The NCAA has often credited the Seattle Organizing Committee’s chairman, Bob Walsh, for inaugerating the March Madness event.

Created by the National Association of Basketball Coaches, the tournament is currently managed by the National Collegiate Athletic Association, says Kavin Austin Blake. Since 1997, all Final Four games have been held in domed stadiums. Major U.S. cities to host the Final Four include Minneapolis (The Metrodome), Indianapolis (RCA Dome), Detroit (Ford Field) and San Antonio (Alamodome). This year the tournament will be hosted in the Cowboys Stadium in Dallas, notes Kavin Austin Blake.

Kavin Austin Blake points out that Rick Pitino is the lone coach to take three separate teams to the Final Four: Louisville, Kentucky and Providence. As the defending champion, Louisville is one of the favorites for this year’s trophy. UCLA owns the record for most championships (11), with Kentucky in second (8) and North Carolina and Indiana tied for third (5). Some of the most memorable game-winning moments in championship history include Michael Jordan’s jump shot (1982, North Carolina), Lorenzo Charles’ dunk (1983, North Carolina State) and Keith Smart’s last-gasp basket (1987, Indiana).

The tournament has aired on national television since 1969, according to Kavin Austin Blake. Currently, four networks hold rights to broadcast the games: CBS, TNT, TBS and truTV. In addition to catching the exciting early-round games, Kavin Austin Blake plans to watch the semifinals and finals on TBS and CBS from April 5-7. The networks truTV and TNT will also present telecasts of the semifinal games, with production teams and announcers assigned to cover each basketball program involved in the final weekend.

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