Watchdog

Neil Best leaves no stone unturned in the world of sports media.

CBS/TBS avoid Michigan gridlock

Hear from Rick Pitino after the 66-51 victory

Normally the television executives who keep us up into the wee hours during the NCAA Tournament’s regional semifinal round at least stagger the most attractive matchups in the early and late slots.

So how is that on Friday Kentucky-Louisville and Michigan State-Virginia – the sexier games in the Midwest and East – both ended up in the late prime time period?

Simple: There was no avoiding...

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11 million divided by 16 equals 3 in NCAAs

Sports Illustrated's Seth Davis breaks down the Dayton

Only three brackets among the 11.01 million submitted to ESPN.com’s Men’s Tournament Challenge picked every Sweet 16 team correctly and only 99 went 15-for-16. Alas, neither group includes me, and probably not you.

Among double-digit seeds, Dayton was in the Sweet 16 in 3.9 percent of brackets and Tennessee in 4.9 percent.

A mere 0.1 percent of brackets correctly predicted the South...

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NCAA ticket prices are through the Garden roof

Connecticut coach Kevin Ollie calls out to his

(Credit: AP / Bill Wippert)

It has been 53 years since Madison Square Garden hosted an NCAA Tournament game and 63 since it was the site of an East Regional, so a bit of pent-up ticket demand is understandable.

Sure enough, the secondary market for this weekend’s three games is sizzling hot.

Connor Gregoire, a communications analyst for the secondary market aggregator SeatGeek, said selling prices have been the...

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Chris Russo's Dog days will begin on MLB Network

Radio personality Chris "Mad Dog" Russo smiles during

Chris Russo trimmed his shift on Sirius XM Satellite Radio from five to three hours last autumn under the terms of his new (less lucrative) contract.

On one hand he found the new schedule to be “a piece of cake, let’s be honest.’’ On the other it left him with a tad too much time on his hands.

“My wife didn’t want me sitting home all day,’’ he said. “I was bored.’’

Enter MLB Network,...

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CBS believes Boomer and Carton are national treasures

Radio hosts Boomer Esiason and Craig Carton, of

(Credit: Handout)

Mike Francesa returns to TV Monday with a simulcast on Fox Sports 1 (and 2), joining his WFAN confreres Craig Carton and Boomer Carton in appearing nationwide with locally-oriented New York radio programs.

Seems odd, what with CBS Sports having its own national morning show (featuring Tiki Barber) that was bypassed in favor of Boomer and Carton, who appear on CBS Sports Network a total of...

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CBS eyes Thursday night lights

Eli Manning throws before a game against the

(Credit: AP)

No one outside Washington, D.C., is lobbied quite as heavily as Howard Katz, the NFL’s scheduling poobah, who frequently fields requests from sports TV executives who would very much like his best matchups on their networks.

Earlier this month I ran into Fox Sports boss Eric Shanks on his way to meeting with Mr. Katz. Thursday CBS Sports’ Sean McManus told me he has met with the big guy, too.

“We...

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Shaun O'Hara snaps up media roles

Shaun O'Hara is a hot name on the

Shaun O’Hara has not appeared in an NFL game since 2010, but the three-time Pro Bowl center and one-time Super Bowl champion for the Giants said he has not gotten playing entirely out of his system.

“I’ll always wake up in a three-point stance on Sunday mornings and say, ‘You know what? I miss playing. I would love to play,’’’ he said. “But physically, you just know that’s not what’s best.’’

O’Hara,...

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Isiah Thomas sees 'a different kind of working relationship' with media for Phil Jackson

Then-Knicks coach Isiah Thomas watches from the bench

(Credit: AP, 2008)

NBA TV analyst Isiah Thomas, who used to be the Knicks' president and still is a friend of James Dolan, the Garden's executive chairman, weighed in on Tuesday night's pregame show regarding the team's new grand basketball poobah:

“I think Jim [Dolan] definitely will give him the reins. He will give him the reins in terms of running the organization, running the basketball operations. I also...

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Take it from an expert on these things: Wichita State won't win

2. ONWARD CHRISTIAN 1992 East Regional Final: Duke

(Credit: AP)

As most of you surely recall, in March of 1991, my first year on the college hoops beat, I wrote a pre-NCAA column flat-out guaranteeing undefeated UNLV would not win the tournament.

At the time it was considered a rather bold assertion, considering that the defending champs were by far the best team in the nation and appeared darn near unstoppable.

The Runnin' Rebels won their first...

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Charles Barkley has eye on campuses

Former NBA basketball player Charles Barkley, right, greets

(Credit: AP)

Charles Barkley said he focuses exclusively on the NBA in November and December, after which “you can tell the good teams and the bad teams or just pretty good teams.’’

Then on Jan. 1 he switches to college mode to prepare for his job as a CBS/Turner analyst during the NCAA Tournament. He said he leans on announcer friends such as Dan Bonner, Mike Gminski and Greg Anthony to help fill him...

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