BOZICH | NCAA basketball tournament energizing post-game celebrations
The NCAA men's basketball tournament is great theater, but is always interested in getting better. A change will come to the post-game scene after every game next season.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The NCAA will make an intriguing change to the post-game celebration at its men's basketball tournament -- and it doesn't involve later starting times, expanding the field or the awarding of Jim Nantz's tie.
Inspired by a development at another basketball event, the NCAA will add a post-game ritual introduced by The Basketball Tournament, a competition played for prize money and staged for former college players during the summer.
In between visits to the handshake line and post-game news conference, players from winning teams will huddle around a large reproduction of the tournament bracket that will hang in every arena. (The brackets have been in press rooms for years, often used as a backdrop for TV shots.)
A member of the winning team will be given a sticker or card, representing his team, and told to advance his squad on the bracket.
Could be the star of the game. Could be a walk-on. Could be an injured player. Could be an assistant coach who designed the game-winning play. Use your imagination.
I can't tell you what will happen after that.
Probably a dance, an attack on the winning coach's hairdo or 20 guys emptying water bottles on each other. These crazy kids always come up with something that Bill Walton and Grant Hill never considered.
Mike Waters of Syracuse.com was first to report the story, which was confirmed to me via e-mail on Thursday by David Worlock, NCAA director of media coordination/statistics.
"We are going to ask teams to be prepared to designate a player to place the school name on the bracket, showing they advanced to the next round," Worlock wrote.
"It can be anyone of their choosing. We'll likely do it just prior to them taking the stage for the postgame press conference."
Worlock wrote that the celebration would happen quickly after the game -- until the four regional championship and national championship games. After those games, losing teams report to post-game news conferences first as winning players remain on the floor for longer celebrations and net-cutting ceremonies. Worlock said the basketball tournament selection committee has approved the change.
Get your selfie stick ready and huddle around the bracket.
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