truTV’s ‘Hardcore Brackets’ gives hoops junkies the inside scoop
By Tracee Hamilton,
Go ahead, find truTV right now among your cable channels or satellite channels or whatever it is you use to view TV these days. Go on, I’ll wait.
Got it? Good. Don’t got it? Well, you’ll miss some games when the first round of the NCAA tournament begins this week, and you’ll also miss tonight’s first-ever “Hardcore Brackets” show, which will follow the less hardcore “NCAA Selection Show” on CBS. You know, CBS, the network that doubles as a course in criminal forensics. Love it!
In a tradition unlike any other — a phrase you had best get used to in the coming weeks — CBS will once again dribble out the men’s tournament field like a child asked to share 68 pieces of Halloween candy. We know we’ll eventually get them, but it’s an interminable wait, and we be hungry before it’s over.
Of course there will be those awful cutaways to teams waiting to learn their seedings, and then we get to watch them get excited about those seedings, or not, depending on the team, and the seeding. (Long Island University-Brooklyn will assign Spike Lee as its “excitement” representative; he has had years of practice, plus he has those cool glasses.)
And after only an hour of this, we can turn to truTV — which by now you have dutifully found, in case you’re not a regular viewer of “Hardcore Pawn” or “Conspiracy Theory with Jesse Ventura” — for the bracket show. On it, tournament selection committee members will reveal never-before-revealed details from inside the selection room, like who bogarts the pretzels, and do they use that guy from the old UPS commercials to write on the white board? Because they should.
However, the show will also disclose the overall seed list that features every tournament team, ranked 1 through 68. Now that might prove interesting, especially because they also allegedly will explain the reasons behind teams’ various seedings and the reasons why teams were (or were not) given at-large bids. This is a show that Seth Greenberg would have been interested in, say, a year ago. Or two years ago. This year, one assumes he’ll be watching “The Simpsons.”
The “Hardcore” show will feature Jeff Hathaway, this year’s tournament chairman, and vice chair Mike Bobinski, the athletic director at Xavier who’ll be in charge next season. Also included will be Greg Gumbel, Greg Anthony, Seth Davis, Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith.
If Barkley doesn’t have his own spinoff on this network by 8 tonight, I’ll be shocked. This is the network that brings you “South Beach Tow,” which is actually proud to tout itself as a show produced by Jennifer Lopez — and yes, it’s about towing cars in South Beach. Because more people drive to South Beach than there are spaces in which they can park. At least it’s a show whose name indicates what it’s about, unlike, say, “How I Met Your Mother.” That guy seems completely unable to come up with a mother for those kids. Maybe in the finale we find out they are adopted.
Anyway, if we can stay awake till the end of the CBS selection show, truTV — whose motto is “Not Reality. Actuality.” — might at least offer us something different than what we’ve seen for what feels like the past 100 years. And no commercials for the Masters, which I know I’ve seen for the past 100 years. What have we got to lose, except another hour of our lives?
For Tracee Hamilton’s previous columns go to washingtonpost.com/