College Sports – March Madness: Final Four Weekend
Posted on: April 04, 2014
College Sports – March Madness: Final Four Weekend

The Final Four is finally here. And this year, the NCAA and Bright House Networks are  offering a new feature called “Teamcast” to help you follow your favorite team and catch the hometown broadcast team at the same time.

Today we’ll recap the teams that have made it into the Final Four and predict who will survive to reach Monday’s championship game. Teams in bold throughout are Bright House Networks hometown teams.

Final Four Survivors

Last week I published my Final Four predictions and I was half right. Of course predicting 50% of the Final Four participants won’t  win you many basketball pools, but my pick for the overall national championship is still alive.

Final Four Predictions

Now it’s time to reveal my predictions for the Final Four teams with their semifinal matchups set for Saturday:

Division Team Next Game
South 1 Florida vs. 7 UConn, Saturday at 6:09pm on TBS
East 7 UConn vs. 1 Florida, Saturday at 6:09pm on TBS
West 2 Wisconsin vs. 8 Kentucky, Saturday on TBS (40 min after game 1)
Midwest 8 Kentucky vs. 2 Wisconsin, Saturday on TBS (40 min after game 1)

Team Broadcasts for Final Four Games

On Saturday night you can tune into TBS and watch both games with the national broadcast crew, butthis year the broadcasters and Bright House Networks are teaming up to bring you “hometown coverage” of the Semifinal and Championship games. If you’re a super fan of any of the Final Four teams, you can tune in to an alternate station to hear your hometown broadcast crew call the games. For the Florida / UConn matchup, you can tune to TNT or TruTV for the Teamcast. Florida’s broadcasters will call the game on TNT, while UConn’s broadcasters will call the game on TruTV. Later in the evening, Teamcast will also be available for the Wisconsin / Kentucky matchup. Kentucky’s broadcasters will call the second game on TNT, while Wisconsin’s broadcasters will call the game on TruTV.

Despite sending only three teams to March Madness, the SEC is poised to have a potential all-conference national championship game if Florida plays Kentucky. Only UConn from the American Athletic Conference and Wisconsin from the Big 10 have a chance to spoil the SEC fantasy match-up. Sports conspiracy theorists might complain that this is somehow proof of a rigged NCAA system that has sought to reward the nation’s wealthiest college conference with an opportunity to guarantee at least one national championship in a revenue sport, since FSU ended the SEC’s stranglehold on the BCS Football National Championship back in January with their win over Auburn.

But history says that Kentucky is one of the nation’s best basketball programs, with eight national championships, 53 March Madness appearances, and 15 trips to the Final Four. This year they have relied heavily on play of talented freshmen who have seemed to gel and get to the peak of their game just as the March Madness tournament was about to begin. In their last nine games they have only two losses, and both are to the Florida Gators. Back on March 8, the Gators beat Kentucky 84 – 65 in the final regular season matchup between the two. Then in the SEC title game on March 16, Florida won by a single point, 61 – 60. Kentucky definitely has the pedigree and the talent to get to the National Championship game, and they would love nothing better than to outscore the Gators this time and claim the title.

Meanwhile, UF Coach Billy Donovan has turned the University of Florida into a legitimate college basketball power. The Gators have been to March Madness 18 times and made four Final Four appearances. But Donovan guided his team to back-to-back national championships in 2006 and 2007, and during that period Florida became the first university in NCAA history to claim both the Division 1 basketball and football National Championships in the same year. It seems pretty clear that both Florida and Kentucky deserve to be in the Final Four.

In fact, I predict that the National Championship matchup on Monday will be Florida vs. Kentucky. Furthermore, I see the Gators making a clean sweep of their SEC opponent, beating Kentucky 68 – 65 in the title game.

Watching March Madness

  • Every minute of this year’s entire 2014 NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball Championship tournament is available to Bright House Networks customers across four television networks, online at one single website, and via the NCAA March Madness Live App® at no additional charge.
  • Bright House Networks customers are  able to watch all the games live and for free at one single website, http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness-live/.
  • Customers will need at least Standard Video service as well as a My Services account in order to stream the games airing on TBS, TNT, and truTV.  Games airing on CBS are also available and require no special authentication.
  • The NCAA March Madness Live Application® is also available at no additional charge on more devices than ever before including smart phones and tablets. The app offers live streaming video of every broadcast for the 2014 NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship as they are televised by CBS, TBS, TNT and truTV all the way through the Men’s Final Four® and National Championship Game from the AT&T Stadium in Dallas on April 5 and April 7.
  • This year’s NCAA March Madness Live® offers several enhancements such as expansion to new devices, including Windows 8.1 and the Windows Phone 8 operating system as well as iPhone, iPad and Android 4.0+ operating system, direct access to the latest tournament news, a newly designed Capital One NCAA March Madness Bracket Challenge, and Coke Zero NCAA March Madness Social arena featuring Vine videos for the first time. The application provides video highlights, full game replays and excitement alerts, as well as fan-favorite feature including live game scoring, real-time tournament brackets, personal channel lineup features, real-time game alerts for their favorite school, and direct access to live radio broadcasts.
    • As an added feature, NCAA March Madness Live®offers a preview option that allows up to three hours of live game streaming that does not require viewer registration.
    • Customers can download the NCAA March Madness Live® app via the iTunes App Store, Google Play, and for the first time on the Windows Store.

NCAA Tournament Schedule:

http://www.ncaa.com/march-madness

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Kenneth Nuckols
Kenneth Nuckols

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