CBS generally does a wonderful job with the NCAA tournament. On Sunday, however, they misplayed their hand, turning a simple 30 minute selection show into a two hour marathon, dragging out the brackets instead of revealing them right away. Fans on the Internet were pretty damn angry about the whole thing, whining and complaining about having to watch Charles Barkley fumble and bumble his way through several segments.
About 45 minutes into the broadcast, word began to spread on Twitter of a leaked bracket. There was some serious skepticism at first for obvious reasons. But as more teams were revealed, well, you get the idea. It was legit and it spread like wildfire. So much so that teams were using the leaked bracket to make their preparations.
What a terrible, terrible look for CBS. You can bet next year will be a much shorter, straightforward show, if only to avoid this disaster.
*UPDATE: The NCAA released a statement.
“We go through great lengths to prevent the tournament field from being revealed early, and the NCAA took its usual measures to protect 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.”