The U.S. college basketball championships, know as March Madness, has been one of the 10 biggest Internet events, according traffic tracked by Akamai.
It has been a huge event for CBS Sports and for CBSSports****.
Yesterday, Microsoft and CBS announced that March Madness would be streamed in Silverlight, the rich media, web plug-in from Microsoft. Big win for Microsoft. For more about the deal and expectations for big web viewership during the games, check out this story in Contentinople by Steve Donohue.
In September on the MIT campus, I interviewed Microsoft's Craig Mundie, chief research and strategy officer, on Silverlight. I've republished that interview today.
--- Andy Plesser, Executive Producer
Dexter McCluster ran for 148 yards and passed for a touchdown, and Mississippi survived a last-ditch drive by LSU for a 25-23 victory Saturday. cbsepisode CBSSports**** LSU Ole Miss Highlights
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BY DAN CORNFIELD
ANCHOR JENNIFER MECKLES
You're watching multisource sports news analysis from Newsy
The University of Connecticut Huskies stand atop the college basketball world once again. UConn defeated Butler 53-41 to claim the NCAA Men’s National Championship. Rivals-Yahoo's Jeff Eisenberg says Butler’s head coach couldn’t find a way to put points on the board.
Eisenberg - “Stevens never could have imagined how poorly his Bulldogs would handle Uconn’s stingy defense... They shot a title game record-low 18.8 percent from the field... The historically inept shooting performance was a tragic way for eigth-seeded Butler’s fairytale NCAA tournament run to end.”
So was it great defense or woeful shooting? Jay Bilas tells ESPN its equal parts credit and blame.
Bilas - “I think it would be fair to say that both defenses are very good, but the truth is no defense is that good. The offenses were horrendous. Especially in the first half, both offenses were horrendous. In the second half, I thought UConn made some nice adjustments.”
Guard Kemba Walker led the Huskies to championships in the Big East Tournament and the big dance. But Connecticut head coach Jim Calhoun is the one under the biggest spotlight. The NCAA penalized Calhoun for recruiting violations by a UConn booster this year. Gary Parrish for CBSSports**** says Calhoun is suspended the first three Big East conference games of next season.
Parrish - The Huskies aren’t the best national champion ever, but they might be the most fitting. At a time when criticism of the NCAA has reached an all-time high... basketball’s national champion is coached by a man whose program was punished by the NCAA six weeks ago.
So while the Huskies celebrate in confetti, some are already putting an asterisk next to the championship and the coach. Calhoun is now among elite company as one of only five coaches to win three NCAA National Championships. But Rivals-Yahoo's Jason King says Calhoun's new status will be overshadowed by the looming threat of more NCAA violations.
King - “I still don’t think it would be enough to erase some of the negative things that have occurred at his program over the last year. I think those things are going to tarnish his legacy forever unfortunately. It’s a shame because he has proven to be a great, great basketball coach.”
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BY JOSH LANDER
ANCHOR JIM FLINK
Colts super-star quarterback Peyton Manning and team owner Jim Irsay (Uhr-say) have always been chummy -- but after a couple of very public jabs -- the sports media is wondering if the relationship has gone sour.
It started when Manning described the environment in Indy as “everybody’s walking on egg-shells.”
Irsay quickly had something to say about that. Here’s his response from The News Sentinel.
“The horse-shoe always comes first and I think one thing that he’s always known because he’s been around it so long is you keep it in the family. If you got a problem, you talk to each other.”
Simple enough. Or not? The Indianapolis Star’s Bob Kravitz tells ESPN -- there’s more to this than just a couple of quotes.
“Whats sad about this is, that things have sort of deteriorated in a very public way. It’s been a beautiful marriage here for the last 14 years here and things are starting to get a little bit testy.”
Many have wondered, is Manning on his way out of Indy? Lots of analysts believe the Colts are ready to draft Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck with the first overall pick in upcoming the NFL draft. Add to that -- it would cost the team 28 million bucks to keep Manning. Throw in the public dispute between QB and owner -- and Larry Brown Sports blogger Steve DelVecchio says Manning’s tenure in Indy is all but over.
“From a financial standpoint, it makes no sense for the Colts to bring Manning back next season. They are more than a quarterback away from being a Super Bowl contender, and they would not have enough funds to bring in other players with Manning on the roster.”
Andrew Luck and money aside, Mark Ross of Athlon Sports says Manning’s uncertain health status is the biggest factor which could end his career.
“If he doesn’t pass his physical, cutting him probably comes into play even more as the Colts will have to weigh the risks of keeping him on the roster in hopes that he will eventually become healthy. Failing his physical would also greatly impact his chances of signing with another team should he become a free agent.”
According to CBSSports**** -- Irsay and the Colts have until March 8 to decide whether or not to pay Manning that extra 28 million dollars, or cut him from the roster.