NCAA TOURNAMENT: Tourney schedule won’t be altered

Amber North

For a moment, college hoops fanatics across the nation had a scare when NCAA president Myles Brand announced Tuesday that the NCAA tournament could be postponed if war began.

But fans exhaled as Brand changed his mind and decided to let the games to continue as scheduled.

“The consideration was that we were not going to let a tyrant determine how we were going to lead our lives,” Brand said in a released statement yesterday.

Brand said that his decision came after several consultations.

He spoke with the NCAA, the Division I executive committee and Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge. They unanimously came to the conclusion to play the tournament as planned.

However, the question still remains which network will broadcast the tournament.

Columbia Broadcasting System (CBS) is in the first year of an 11-year, $6 billion contract with the NCAA. CBS says it will not televise collegiate events should war begin with Iraq this week.

It is a possibility that other Viacom-owned cable networks such as MTV, VH1, TNN, BET, TV Land, and Nickelodeon will air the tournament.

Sports channels ESPN and ESPN 2, who have not closed a deal with CBS yet, would be able to televise first round games on Thursday and Friday.

ESPN is also clearing space for second round coverage, though it will run against the women’s tournament schedule, which starts Saturday.

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