( 4UMF NEWS ) NCAA Tournament Bracket Leaked:
CBS’s decision to expand the announcement of the N.C.A.A. men’s basketball tournament field to a two-hour program backfired on Sunday when the full field was leaked and circulated online early in the show.
Once a brisk half-hour that was a favorite of fans, the show for the first time lasted two hours, dragging out the suspense for bubble teams and for fans who wanted to fill out their brackets.
The longer program, which started at 5:30 p.m. Eastern, received some bad reviews online as impatient fans had to watch interviews and predictions for each region of the bracket while they waited for the full field to be announced.
Continue reading the main story
As the show was being broadcast, and the CBS analyst Charles Barkley struggled with his touch-screen, a Twitter account posted what purported to be the full bracket. By 6:20 p.m., it had been shared widely on Twitter.
The first response was skepticism. But when the selections in the leaked bracket matched the ones slowly being disclosed on CBS, the realization sank in that it was the genuine article.
A big spoiler in the midst of a “Game of Thrones” episode would very likely cause an outcry from fans wanting to enjoy the surprise. But on Sunday, some fans — weary of CBS’s pace — applauded the leak.
With the full field available unexpectedly early, teams began researching their opponents, and fans debated the surprise inclusion of Tulsa even as the CBS hosts continued to announce the remaining matchups.
The bracket post, and later the account that sent it out, disappeared from Twitter later Sunday evening. But the basketball genie was out of the bottle.
A spokesman for CBS declined to comment on the leaked bracket. The N.C.A.A. said in a statement: “We go to great lengths to prevent the tournament field from being revealed early and the N.C.A.A. took its usual measures to prevent this from happening. Unfortunately, and regrettably, the bracket was revealed prior to our broadcast partners having the opportunity to finish unveiling it. We take this matter seriously and we are looking into it.”
Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said he got a text from his son Kyle, a tight ends coach at Youngtown State, saying he had seen the leaked bracket and the Irish would play the winner of the Michigan-Tulsa game in New York.
“I thought he was messing with me,” Brey said. “So I just deleted it. Fifteen minutes later we show up, and then I found out we had a little leakage going on. Nothing’s secure, huh? That’s great. That is so typical. It’s so typical of college basketball. It’s great.”
In the end the leak didn’t reveal any state secrets; it just hurried along some revelations that were coming anyway.