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It's The Same Ol', Same Ol' For Viewers
March 20, 2014
Wendell Barnhouse is a nationally-known and respected columnist who has spent over 20 years covering collegiate athletics. He has reported from 25 Final Fours and more than three dozen bowl games and has written about the Big 12 and its schools since the conference's beginning. Barnhouse will be updating the Big 12 Insider on happenings and behind-the-scenes information about the conference.

Your Humble Correspondent is often in the venues covering games during March Madness but when he’s not, he’s watching NCAA Tournament games. Which means he winds up watching a lot of the same commercials, over and over and over.

Every year, YHC comes to the same conclusion: If a company wants to buy ad time during a time of high viewership featuring favored demographics, shouldn’t that company’s advertising agency strive to keep the eyeballs focused on the commercial and keep the viewer from wanting to throw a brick through the screen? Wouldn’t some variety be nice.

During the four NCAA Tournament games in Dayton, YHC has this year’s commercial that already has aired too many times: The DISH Network spot for The Hopper with the animated kangaroo (I get … hopper) who is watching games on a tablet at work.

For the love of James Naismith … couldn’t the advertising agency come up with another, different spin for some variety?

* For Ryan Spangler, Oklahoma being sent to Spokane, Wash., for the NCAA Tournament was a homecoming of sorts. A native Oklahoman, Spangler was at Gonzaga (located in Spokane) for his freshman year before transferring to play for the Sooners. To add to the story line, Gonzaga is facing OU rival Oklahoma State in the NCAA opener. “I told them they need to beat them,” Spangler said. Bedlam travels, apparently.

* The Big 12 has two of the four schools who participated in Bowl Championship Series bowl games last seasons and placed their men’s and women’s teams in the NCAA tournaments. Baylor, Oklahoma, Stanford and Michigan State are on the list.

* Oklahoma and Michigan State are the only schools with victories in BCS bowls along with teams in the men’s and women’s NCAA tourneys.

* North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips, whose team is a No. 12 seed and faces No. 5 seed Oklahoma: “It’s funny, because you’re hoping and praying for a 12 seed, you’re all excited you’re making the tournament at our level, you sit around for a week thinking about what you might get. It’s a warm and fuzzy feeling, feeling great about life. Then the draw comes out, and you think, ‘What did we get our self in to?’”

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