Day one from Indy: Covering a very different NCAA tournament
INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — We knew this tournament would be different, some is, some isn’t, but the good news, there is basketball.
I’ve been lucky enough to cover the NCAA tournament for almost two decades and every single year at ever single site, it’s all the same. Not this year.
Gonzaga and Eastern Washington both play tomorrow, in every year until now that would mean a closed practice for the team, then an open practice for the fans and media followed by interviews. This year, all closed practices and the interviews were done earlier in the week.
Usually there are fans from all sorts of teams hanging around the arena for us to talk to, but with arena’s at 25 percent capacity, there aren’t may people around the downtown area. It’s a different vibe for sure.
If Gonzaga makes it to the Final Four, which I certainly expect, we will be here covering this tournament for 20 days. In normal years we move cities after every two games. While it’s a really long time to be in one spot, I actually prefer it this way. Travelling with TV equipment is a gigantic pain. We can’t check a lot of our gear because of airline restrictions, so we have to carry on all batteries and other things. So when we go through TSA it takes a minimum of 5 bins for our things and repacking our bag backs everything up.
This will be the longest stretch I’ve ever been away from my daughter, so that is a pretty big negative, but honestly I don’t see her hardly every March so we keep the Zoom train rolling.
It’s going to be a very busy weekend with Gonzaga and Eastern playing Saturday, the Cougar women playing Sunday and Gonzaga women playing Monday. I guess the Zags will be playing again Monday, and perhaps the Eagles? Would be fun to see that upset.
Follow me on twitter @ossokxly for all the latest info from Indy until the very end for our local teams.
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