The Tournament Schedule

Does the tournament schedule favor the Heels?

I actually think it does.  How much that is worth to them in a game is anyone’s guess but I like the setup for them and I also love it as a fan.

UNC played on Friday and Sunday in the first round and now are slated for a Thursday and Saturday regional.  Given the fact UNC normally plays a game about every 2-4 days going from Sunday to Thursday with only the three days in between should help keep them in some sort of rhythm.  So I imagine that UNC did little or no practice on Monday, did a full practice on Tuesday before departing for Charlotte.  Since it is only a 2.5 hour bus ride down there they get to arrive, go to the hotel and on Wednesday morning practice again at some offsite location before showing up to do the NCAA mandated practice and press conference at Bobcat Arena.  The extra day disrupts the normal routine a bit but for the most part it is largely intact thanks in part to the proximity of the regional to Chapel Hill.  As for the game time, I have to believe playing at 7:27 PM which is close to when your games have been all season is a benefit as well.

Last season was a nightmare schedule in my opinion.  The Heels played Thursday/Saturday in the first two rounds.  They had the 10 PM game on Thursday then the last game of the day on Saturday versus Michigan State.  Then the NCAA pushed them into a Friday/Sunday regional which put a full five days between their games and on top of that UNC had to play the late game on Friday night followed by the last game on Sunday.  In the end, none of this probably mattered to them but as a fan it was annoying as heck.

This season, the schedule is much better for both fan and team.  I like the fact they play the next game so quickly and it is the early game on Thursday so I do not have to be awake until 2 AM trying to calm down from watching the Heels play.  And I do not enjoy waiting for as long as we had to wait last season to see the Heels play.  Five days does not seem like much but when you followed UNC winning on Sat. with the full slate of Sunday games and then the full slate of Thursday games followed by the early games on Friday I was pretty close to pulling my hair out.

Of course this will likely have little bearing on how UNC plays but given momentum has to be recreated with every new site. That being said playing close to home and along the lines of your normal routine should be of some help and in the NCAA Tournament the little things can make all the difference.

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10 Responses to The Tournament Schedule

  1. Will says:

    With the team playing so well on Th./Sat., I totally agree that a quick turnaround is best for us. Interestingly, I think the biggest advantage will be playing WSU, because they played in Denver on Saturday, and had to turn around and fly to Charlotte. Ouch.

  2. Dav says:

    If we get to Saturday’s game, does anyone have an idea as to what time that game would be?

  3. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I am going to assume it will be the 2nd game if UNC is in it. UNC v UT or UNC v Lville is going to be considered the bigger draw ratings wise than UCLA v WVU or Xavier. I think the first game on Sat is 3 or 4 PM and the 2nd one 6 or 7.

  4. Will says:

    Basically either 5 or 7 o’clock.

  5. Tar Heel Fan says:

    I am drawing a blank on when they start the first game on the Saturday regional. I know Sunday is like 3 and 5:30 since UNC played at 5:30 last season.

  6. Johnny says:

    Great article by Luke Winn (quoting former #1 seed opponents) on how to defend the #1 seeds…
    http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/si_blogs/ncaa_tourney/2008/?eref=T1

  7. Will says:

    TVGuide.com says 6:30 for the first game on Sat.

  8. JPinFL says:

    Yes, it looks like the CBS coverage on Saturday runs from 6:30-11pm ET, so one would assume the game times would be approx 6:30pm or 9pm.

    I think this is later than previous years. I think they used to be around 4:30ish and 7ish for the gametimes on the Saturday of the regional finals. It looks like CBS might have moved the gametimes for the Saturday regional finals to be similar to the same schedule they use for the Final Four Saturday, which puts most of the coverage squarely in primetime. Sunday’s coverage runs 2pm-7pm, so that it will have minimal impact to 60 Minutes and their Sunday primetime lineup.

  9. JPinFL says:

    By the way, here is a link for CBS coverage areas for Thursday’s games.

    http://www.hdsportsguide.com/news/2008/sweet-sixteen-03-27/

  10. Tar Heel Fan says:

    Okay, then if UNC is playing either UT or UL then I think it will be the late game.

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