DAVID BIANCULLI

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We're Number 1's! Top NCAA Seeds Advance to Final Four
March 31, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
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Last night's Davidson-Kansas game was a down-to-the-buzzer thriller, and I wish Davidson had won. As it is, though, Kansas' victory means that all four regional #1 seeds made it to the Final Four. That's unprecedented -- and it makes for the prospect of some more terrific television.

Outside of American Idol, television has a tough time these days drawing a crowd and generating interest. Certain scripted shows get big buzz -- Desperate Housewives, Lost, Grey's Anatomy -- but after a season or so, the dust tends to settle a little. Reality and unscripted shows, too, tend to start big when they first hit, then find their own level. American Idol is an exceptional exception, thriving long past its anticipated expiration date.

The mass medium of television, though, still can generate lots of interest, when conditions are right, in the area of sports. This may be the one area, outside of breaking news, where TV still has outdo the Internet. When it's live, and exciting, it offers the immediacy of the web, but with the potential for much bigger and better images.

The Super Bowl is the biggest annual illustration of this, and the World Series, on a good year, gathers a very big crowd. The Olympics, this year, should generate lots of interest because of China as the host country, but the time difference may hurt things. Tiger Woods, with the streak he's enjoying currently, should make this month's Masters a major major -- perhaps setting records for audience levels.

And with all four #1 seeds -- Kansas, North Carolina, Memphis and UCLA -- making it to Saturday's Final Four, there's a week to promote the unprecedented meeting of all four top teams. And no matter who wins Saturday, the prospect of a championship college basketball game Monday between two #1 teams is absolutely, positively guaranteed.

 
 
 
 
 
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