November 18, 2012; Lahaina, HI, USA; ESPN television announcer Jay Bilas moderates a press conference at the Sheraton Maui Resort and Spa during media day for the 2012 Maui Invitational. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Busting Brackets Q and A with Jay Bilas


ESPN’s Jay Bilas is a lot of things. Lawyer, former assistant coach, tweet craftsman extraordinaire, student-athletes’ rights advocate, and one of the more beloved college basketball personalities around. All of which make him a very important man this time of the year. Luckily for Busting Brackets, though, Jay was able to make some time for us to ask him some questions.

So enough of my gibber-jabber. You didn’t come here to read me ramble. You clicked on the link for your Jay Bilas fix.

I asked Jay about coach behavior on the sideline. Not only did he talk about coaches behaving poorly, but did have some solutions as well.

Coaches have been out of control. They have been for awhile. It didn’t just happen overnight. I don’t blame the officials either. They are independent contractors. It’s almost like they are timid while making calls because they know coaches have a say in their employment.

 

The NBA does a much better job with their officials. Some of that has to do with the NBA owning their officials.

When asked if one of the first steps of solving coach behavior on the sideline was to make the college officials full-time employees, Bilas said:

Yes. Definitely.  It’s also not too much to ask out of the coaches to behave. They need to be better, but everyone does as well. Conference commissioners need to hold them (coaches) more responsible for their actions. I feel like the ACC let a golden opportunity get by when they didn’t take more action after the Syracuse, Duke game. Boeheim got ejected, but more could have been done.

 

It is up to the conferences, commissioners, school presidents and even us to set a standard. If it were a player who did what some of these coaches do, we would jump all over it. But because it is a coach it becomes acceptable.

Bilas did point out, a few different times, that “it isn’t all coaches” that are behaving badly. That there are “some very good coaches” around, but that the coaches who are acting like buffoons (my word, not his) need to be dealt with. The underlying theme seemed to be of the conferences and school presidents setting the standard for coach behavior.

That’s not all we got to talk about either. I had a chance to ask him about Mark Cuban’s NBDL talk. You know, how the NCAA (college basketball) is not needed and that the NBDL is a better option.

It might be a better option for some. Definitely not everybody, though. I really think that everyone is better served with players staying in school. The game itself, the NBA, the players, everyone.

 

I don’t know where every NBDL team is located, but going to school to learn and build character is a far better option in my opinion.

I would mention that some people’s arguments seem to be about players coming out of high school being able to work on their craft and getting paid for it in the NBDL. I asked him if the NCAA finally decided to pay players if that would change the discussion about the NBDL’s worth to players.

Certainly. I have said it on the air multiple times that I think players should be paid. One of the great lies of our time is that college sports’ ability to function rests in the rule to not pay student-athletes anything more than just tuition and board. It’s laughable.

 

They claim that the athletes have no value. That it’s the enterprise that drives the value, not the player.

 

One of the NCAA’s arguments is about competitive balance. That paying the athletes would result in a bidding war. If it would result in a bidding war, then the players do have a value. College’s don’t have a cap on anything else. Coaches are paid whatever schools want to pay them, facilities are constructed without a cap, everything except the student-athletes function without a cap.

It is worth noting that I may have rushed through the interview a bit. In the interest of full disclosure, I was (wrongly) working off the assumption I had a limited amount of time with him. I had plenty. Truth be told, I could have listened to Jay talk all day and his insights into the world of college basketball are amazing. There might not be a more articulate, smarter or better rapping (yes, rapping, kinda) college basketball personality than Jay Bilas.

That is what happens when a dope like me gets to interview Jay Bilas. Just be happy I didn’t ask him some of the things I had drafted up (if you were a billionaire ten times over and could build a university, what would it be called, where would it be, and who would coach the basketball team), as they would be questions that only I would want the answers to.

However, I have good news for everyone who loves Jay. He is still calling games, can be seen on your picture-box (ESPN, obviously) and will be all over your radio as March continues to get Mad.

Jay is riding along with the ACC Tournament for ESPN. Mr. Bilas isn’t the lone ESPN personality worth following for college basketball, though. There are plenty of others (some of who we have interviewed and those will be posted throughout the weekend).

ESPN will be having all day coverage on Selection Sunday. But don’t wait until than to get your college basketball related fun.

Outside of the awesomeness that is Busting Brackets, if you have particular favorites at ESPN, here is a release from ESPN regarding every game they are carrying and who will be calling them.


Championship Week Presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods Schedule
Date Network Time (ET) Game / Commentators Site
Fri 3/7 ESPN3 11 a.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 Noon Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Matt Hogue & Nate Ross
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 1:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Matt Hogue & Nate Ross
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 4:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: First Round
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPNU 7:30 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1
Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch
Nashville, Tenn.
ESPN3 8 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPNU 9:30 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch
Nashville, Tenn.
Sat, 3/8 ESPN3 Noon Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 Noon America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 Noon Big South Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1
Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 Noon Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. Big South Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Patrick Kinas & Ralph Patterson
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN3 2 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 2:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 2:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN3 6 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 6:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN2 7 p.m. Ohio Valley Conference: Championship
Rich Hollenberg & Adrian Branch
Nashville, Tenn.
ESPN3 7 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Semifinal #1 *
Jim Barbar & Malcolm Huckaby
Green Bay, Wis.
ESPN3 8 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 8:30 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Darren Goldwater & Dean Keender
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN2 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN3 9 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPNU 9:30 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Semifinal #2
Jim Barbar & Malcolm Huckaby
Green Bay, Wis.
ESPN2 11 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
Las Vegas, Nev.
Sun 3/9 ESPN2 Noon Big South Tournament: Championship
Roy Philpott & Paul Biancardi
Myrtle Beach, S.C.
ESPN2 2 p.m. Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament: Championship
Jason Benetti & Cory Alexander
TBD
ESPN3 4:30 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 5 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
ESPN3 7 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Doug Sherman & Rob Kennedy
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN3 7:30 p.m. America East Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Eric Frede & Frank Sullivan
Albany, N.Y.
Mon 3/10 ESPN2 7 p.m. Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship
Doug Sherman & Tim Welsh
Springfield, Mass.
ESPN 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 9 p.m. Southern Conference Tournament: Championship
Adam Amin & Mark Adams
Asheville, N.C.
ESPN2 11:30 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
Las Vegas, Nev.
Tue 3/11 ESPN 7 p.m. Horizon League Tournament: Championship
Bob Wischusen & TBD
TBD
ESPN2 7 p.m. Northeast Conference Tournament: Championship
Mike Crispino & Miles Simon
TBD
ESPN 9 p.m. West Coast Conference Tournament: Championship
Dave Flemming & Sean Farnham
Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 9 p.m. Summit League Tournament: Championship
Clay Matvick & Darrin Horn
Sioux Falls, S.D.
Wed 3/12 ESPN2 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #1
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 3 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #2
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: First Round #3
Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: First Round #1
Mike Patrick & Len Elmore
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 9:30 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: First Round #2
Dave O’Brien & Doris Burke
Memphis, Tenn.
Thu 3/13 ESPN Noon ACC Tournament: Second Round #1
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 12:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Quarterfinal #1
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 1 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #1
Mike Patrick, Len Elmore & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN 2 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #2
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 2:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Quarterfinal #2
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 3 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #2
Mike Patrick, Len Elmore & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 6:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: First Round #3
Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams
Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #3
Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #3
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPN2 8:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: First Round #4
Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams
Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN 9 p.m. ACC Tournament: Second Round #4
Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 9 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Quarterfinal #4
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
Fri 3/14 ESPN or ESPN2 Noon Big Ten Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams
Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN or ESPN2 Noon ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 1 p.m. SEC Tournament: Quarterfinal #1
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN or ESPN2 2:30 p.m. Big Ten Conference Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Mike Tirico, Dan Dakich & Allison Williams
Indianapolis, Ind.
ESPN or ESPN2 2:30 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Sean McDonough, Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPNU 3 p.m. SEC Tournament: Quarterfinal #2
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN3 6 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1 Katy, Texas
ESPN or ESPN2 7 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #3
Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN or ESPN2 7 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Semifinal #1
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU ^ 7 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Semifinal #1
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
Kansas City, Mo.
ESPN3 8:30 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2 Katy, Texas
ESPN or ESPN2 9:30 p.m. ACC Tournament: Quarterfinal #4
Dan Shulman, Sean Farnham & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN or ESPN2 9:30 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Semifinal #2
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU ^ 9:30 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Semifinal #2
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
Kansas City, Mo.
Sat 3/15 ESPNU 12 a.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Semifinal #2
Mark Jones & Miles Simon
Anaheim, Calif.
ESPNU 2 a.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Semifinal #1 **
Mark Jones & Miles Simon
Anaheim, Calif.
ESPN2 11:30 a.m. America East Conference Tournament: Championship
Bob Picozzi & Tim Welsh
TBD
ESPN 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: Semifinal #1
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ABC 1 p.m. SEC Tournament: Semifinal #1
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN 3 p.m. ACC Tournament: Semifinal #2
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale or Jay Bilas & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ABC 3 p.m. SEC Tournament: Semifinal #2
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
Atlanta, Ga.
ESPN2 4:30 p.m. Southwestern Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship
Mark Neely & Jarron Collins
Houston, Texas
ESPN 6 p.m. American Men’s Basketball Championship: Championship
Dave O’Brien, Doris Burke & Andy Katz
Memphis, Tenn.
ESPNU 6 p.m. Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship
Tom Hart & Stan Lewter
Norfolk, Va.
ESPN2 6:30 p.m. Mid-American Conference Tournament: Championship
Bob Wischusen & LaPhonso Ellis
Cleveland, Ohio
ESPNU 8 p.m. Big Sky Conference Tournament: Championship
Roxy Bernstein & Corey Williams
Ogden, Texas
ESPN2 8:30 p.m. Southland Conference Tournament: Championship
Carter Blackburn & Stephen Howard
Katy, Texas
ESPN 9 p.m. Phillips 66 Big 12 Championship: Championship
Brent Musburger, Fran Fraschilla & Holly Rowe
Kansas City, Mo.
ESPNU 10 p.m. Western Athletic Conference Tournament: Championship
Steve Quis & Jon Crispin
Las Vegas, Nev.
ESPN2 10:30 p.m. Big West Conference Tournament: Championship
Mark Jones & Miles Simon
Anaheim, Calif.
Sun 3/16 ESPN 1 p.m. ACC Tournament: Championship
Dan Shulman, Dick Vitale & Jeannine Edwards
Greensboro, N.C.
ESPN2 1 p.m. Sun Belt Conference Tournament: Championship
Rich Hollenberg & Mark Adams
New Orleans, La.
ESPN 3:15 p.m. SEC Tournament: Championship
Brad Nessler, Jimmy Dykes & Shannon Spake
Atlanta, Ga.

 

That’s not all ESPN is doing. Here is more per their media release (as in, more college hoops greatness):

“Super Saturday”: Lineup of 14 Games Including 10 Championships on March 15
ESPN will showcase 14 conference tournament games, including 10 championships, on Saturday, March 15. The “Super Saturday” lineup across ESPN, ABC, ESPN2 and ESPNU will be highlighted by the American and Big 12 title games and ACC and SEC semifinals.
Championship Trophy Presentations & ESPN3 Surround
ESPN3 will provide extra Championship Week coverage with the trophy presentation of all 22 conference championships on an ESPN network and special “ESPN3 Surround” applications on the ACC, American, Big 12 and SEC title games. The newest second-screen initiative, which provides an alternative viewing experience to the traditional telecast with different camera angles and audio, debuted with applications around ESPN’s telecasts of Duke at North Carolina, Syracuse at Duke and Kansas at Oklahoma State.
The ESPN3 Surround productions of the tournament games will be similar to the Syracuse at Duke and Kansas at Oklahoma State matchups, offering  multiple cameras and the natural sound inside the arena.
Follow the Action on Buzzer Beater & WatchESPN
ESPN Buzzer Beater will provide live cut-ins, highlights and up-to-the-minute commentary from numerous Championship Week games from across the ESPN networks on Thursday, March 13, and Friday, March 14, from noon to 11 p.m.
Every Championship Week game on ESPN, ESPN2, ESPNU and ESPN3 will also be available via WatchESPN, accessible online at WatchESPN.com, on smartphones and tablets via the WatchESPN app, through ESPN on Xbox LIVE to Gold members and on Apple TV to fans who receive their video subscription from an affiliated provider.

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