NCAA tour­na­ment game win­ners will get to ad­vance them­selves on a re­ally big bracket

The Hamilton Spectator - - SPORTS - MATT BON­ES­TEEL

The Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment has es­tab­lished it­self as a summer main­stay over the past four years, with 64 teams com­pris­ing former NBA and NCAA play­ers com­pet­ing for a $2-mil­lion grand prize. And while the tour­na­ment it­self is pretty straight­for­ward — it’s a single-elim­i­na­tion, win­ner-take-all af­fair — the postgame cel­e­bra­tion is some­what novel: At the end of each game, the win­ning play­ers get to move a card fea­tur­ing the team’s name ahead in an over­size replica of the tour­na­ment bracket, which is posted on a wall of the gym.

The NCAA has taken no­tice, ap­par­ently, be­cause it’s to­tally steal­ing this bit for its own 64-team (well, 68-team) bas­ket­ball tour­na­ment.

“Yes, we’re do­ing it,” David Wor­lock, the NCAA’s di­rec­tor of me­dia co­or­di­na­tion, told the Syra­cuse Post-Stan­dard’s Mike Wa­ters on Wed­nes­day night.

“I no­ticed in the The Bas­ket­ball Tour­na­ment and liked the idea. Then a few weeks ago there was some chat­ter on Twit­ter from some mem­bers of the me­dia, say­ing they wished we would do it dur­ing our tour­na­ment. So I ob­vi­ously wasn’t the only per­son who thought it was a cool idea,” Wor­lock said.

The big bracket, which Wor­lock says likely will be lo­cated out­side the postgame news con­fer­ence area (in other words, out of sight from the fans in the sta­dium), al­ready has been ap­proved by the NCAA men’s bas­ket­ball com­mit­tee.

“If they want a se­nior walk-on, the star player or the star of the game, it doesn’t mat­ter to us,” Wor­lock said.

“We think it will be fun for the teams, fans and the me­dia.”

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