Monday, March 14, 2016

Greedy CBS accidentally leaks NCAA tournament bracket to Twitter

There were no surprises during CBS Sports' NCAA Tournament Selection Show — at least not if you were paying attention to your Twitter account.

The NCAA said Sunday night it is looking into how a copy of this year's March Madness tournament bracket got leaked online during the network's newly extended Sunday Selection show.

The bracket was being shared on Twitter about 20 minutes after the start of the two-hour broadcast, generating thousands of retweets just about the same time Charles Barkley was onscreen fumbling around with a touch screen monitor making his picks.

So all you Twitter followers already knew about the Syracuse inclusion and Monmouth snub before CBS had a chance to announce it on TV.

It's not clear who posted the tweet, which was labeled "Spoiler alert." The account used a Kansas logo as its avatar photo, with the name "Sarcastic Prick."  

The user later changed the name and protected the account, shortly before it appeared to be deleted and turned over to a different user.

"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," the NCAA said Sunday night in a statement. "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."

CBS declined comment about the first real upset of the tournament.

The revised broadcast drew wide criticism on social media for drawing out the selections and turning the highly anticipated show into a snooze fest. Some Kentucky players actually fell asleep during the show at the home of coach John Calipari. And others waiting for their draw found out about their matchups early as news of the leaked bracket went viral.

Other highlighted teams looked even less enthused.

At Notre Dame, coach Mike Brey said he got a text from his son, Kyle, a tight ends coach at Youngstown State, saying the leaked bracket showed the Irish playing the winner of the Michigan-Tulsa game in Brooklyn.

"I thought he was messing with me," Brey said. "So I just deleted it. Fifteen minutes later we show up, and then I found out we had a little leakage going on. Nothing's secure, huh? That's great. That is so typical. It's so typical of college basketball."

At Pitt, Sterling Smith set the Panthers at ease early during the selection show, sharing the leaked bracket that showed them as the 10th seed in the East Region. "We were wondering what we were going to do for that entire time. All of a sudden we knew rather quickly," said coach Jamie Dixon.

Xavier forward James Farr said he saw the leaked bracket on his phone while the Musketeers were still waiting to learn their seeding and opponent, but he didn't say anything to his teammates. "I didn't want to ruin anything," Farr said. "I thought it was somebody's prediction of the bracket."

It serves CBS right for holding the audience hostage for an extended hour while they tried to rake in the extra bucks from ad revenue.

Another example of sports trying to milk the cow dry but, ending up getting pinched on the teat.

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