ESPN.com’s Andy Katz decided on Monday that he’d try to interview all 65 coaches involved in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament during the five-hour ESPNU “Coaches Spotlight: College Basketball Special” that aired from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. (the first two hours were on ESPN2).
He knew going in that he’d get 49 commitments, even before last Friday.
He got 63.
Actually, 64 if you include California assistant Jay John instead of Mike Montgomery.
The only one who missed: Cal State Northridge’s Bobby Braswell who, according to the press release issued by ESPN, “had a conflict.”
The truth: He was at San Fernando court, from 8:30 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m., trying to figure out how his son, Jeffrey, would fare on charges of theft and burglary charges. He then ran off to campus to start 5:30 p.m. practice, so his team would have something to focus on before it headed out to Kansas City, Mo., to face Memphis in the very first game of the tournament on Thursday morning.
ESPN wants you to know otherwise about the Katz Project:
== He and the show producers made approximately 175 calls and reached 47 voicemails in their effort.
== He interviewed four coaches in eight minutes (Syracuse, American, Tennessee and Illinois).
== Fifteen of the 64 interviews happened in the final hour of the show.
== With time of the essence, calls to the Syracuse biology department were not on the agenda, but that is what happened — and multiple times — during attempts to interview Coach Jim Boeheim. They eventually found him; and only two minutes behind schedule.
== North Dakota State coach Saul Phillips explained why the school had so many people in the school’s Fargo, N.D., campus arena during Selection Sunday:
Katz: “It looked like the entire town was in the arena. Take me through it, what happened there?”
Phillips: “We’re all just trying to stay warm. It’s cold up here. Get a bunch of people in a room; we’re in great shape. We had 1,700 people here for it.”
Phillips also talked about his favorite scene from the movie Fargo: “The scene where the police officer standing there talking to a guy and they talk about the weather for five minutes. That is my life verbatim every day up here. You can not have a conversation with someone in Fargo without the weather – what it’s doing, what it’s been doing without that coming up.”