The ramifications of CBS’ drawn-out and extended two-hour NCAA Tourament Selection Show led to A) a leaked bracket on Twitter, B) lower ratings, and C) teams knowing who and where they were playing in advance of the official announcement. One of those teams was Seton Hall. After winning the Big East Tournament on Saturday, it knew it was going to be in thanks to the automatic bid. However, it didn’t know where, when and the opponent.
But thanks to that leaked bracket, the team which was gathered in Walsh Gymnasium on the Seton Hall campus found out early. A team manager saw the tweet of the bracket, informed head coach Kevin Willard and the rest of the team that the Pirates were headed to Denver to play Gonzaga on Thursday. And while Seton Hall waited for the official announcement on CBS, Willard had his staff download all game film on the Zags. And they were able to do it all before the Pirates heard their name on CBS. Via NJ.com:
So of course, one of the student managers founded a complete copy of the infamous leaked bracket on Twitter, and soon enough, an iPhone with the news was passed from player to player as they sat and waited … and waited … and waited … in Walsh Gymnasium.
Just how long did they know before the news actually hit CBS? Long enough for head coach Kevin Willard to send one of his staffers up to the team’s offices to download all the game film on Gonzaga, their first-round opponent in Denver on Thursday night.
That’s right. Because the announcement took so long, the Pirates were able to scout their opponent all before Seton Hall’s name was called.
But even though the Hall players knew and the coaches knew and probably everybody else in the gym in attendance knew, they all played along when the announcement was finally made:
Great of everyone to jump up and down for the media.
Not only did Seton Hall find out in advance, but imagine the disappointment of one of the bubble teams like St. Mary’s finding out through the leaked bracket as coach Randy Bennett did:
— Jimmy Durkin (@Jimmy_Durkin) March 13, 2016
Of course, the NCAA, CBS and Turner Sports are angry over that leaked bracket and there’s an official investigation over the leak. David Worlock, NCAA spokesman issued the following statement:
So to perhaps to prevent the leaking and coaches finding out in advance of the official announcement, perhaps CBS/Turner will return to the tried-and-true one-hour format, or front load the show with the brackets so this won’t happen again.