Watchdog

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

Verne Lundquist says calling NCAAs at Garden is 'very meaningful'

Head coach Phil Martelli of the Saint Joseph's

(Credit: Getty)

Verne Lundquist, 73, was very much alive the last time the NCAA Tournament visited Madison Square Garden in 1961, but CBS’ play-by-play man for the East Regional never did get to visit the old Garden on Eighth Avenue while growing up primarily in Illinois, Washington and Texas.

Still, Lundquist has fond memories of that long-ago era in college hoops.

 “As a 10-year-old boy in Everett,...

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NBCSN highlights Flyers-Rangers rivalry

BRAD PARK Captain: 1974 - Nov. 7, 1975

(Credit: AP )

NBCSN will replay its latest "NHL Rivals" episode, which premiered Tuesday night, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in advance of the Flyers-Rangers tilt at 8 p.m.

Among those interviewed from the Rangers end include Brad Park, Brian Leetch, Neil Smith, Mike Keenan, Sam Rosen, John Davidson and others.

The friendly p.r. folks promoting this show sent along the following excerpts for your reading enjoyment:

 Former...

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NCAA East Regional ticket market still en fuego

Villanova's Darrun Hilliard II defends Connecticut's Shabazz Napier

(Credit: AP)

Fueled by the presence of Connecticut and its avid fan base just up the road, tickets on the secondary market for the NCAA East Regional continue to be extraordinarily costly.

According to SeatGeek, which monitors a number of resale sites, selling prices for Friday night's regional semifinals at the Garden now are more expensive than for either session of the Final Four.

Friday night...

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Kenny Smith happy NCAAs are back at MSG

Former basketball player Kenny Smith and his wife

(Credit: Richard Harbus)

Kenny Smith sits in the CBS/Turner studio between a Midwesterner in Clark Kellogg and a Southerner in Charles Barkley, so it’s up to him to be the official New York representative on the NCAA crew.

No problems there for a guy who even though he now lives in California still has no shortage of Queens-bred pride, more so than ever with the tournament returning to Madison Square Garden on Friday...

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Mike Francesa returns to TV on Fox Sports 1

Mike Francesa is shown in his home in

(Credit: Newsday / Chris Ware)

Just after 1 p.m. ET Monday, WFAN's Mike Francesa returned to television for the first time since his final simulcast on the YES Network Super Bowl Sunday morning.

Francesa, sporting a new look with fashionable dark-framed glasses, welcomed viewers to Fox Sports 1, which will carry the show from 1 to 4 p.m. daily. The final 2.5 hours will be seen on Fox Sports 2, which nationally is available...

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Lundquist, Raftery to call East Regional on TBS

Greg Anthony attends the premiere of 'Winning Time:

(Credit: AP)

Before the NCAA brackets were announced, CBS analyst (and former Knick) Greg Anthony told me he had his “fingers crossed’’ that he and Jim Nantz would land the East Regional at the Garden.

“That would be pretty cool,’’ he said. “That would be awesome if that happens.’’

Twelve days later he learned he was bound for Indianapolis and Friday night’s latest episode in the Rick Pitino vs....

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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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