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CBS dumps Wisconsin in mid-air in 'control room error'

I got several emails over the weekend regarding CBS cutting away from the Wisconsin-Florida State game with the potential game-winning shot in mid-air.

Chris Russo asked CBS executive VP Mike Aresco about that and other matters on Sirius XM Monday.

Click below for his answers, including that the Wisconsin-FSU incident was a "control room error."On the decision to cut away from Louisville-Siena late in the game in Louisville and Albany markets:

Russo: “In those [Louisville and Albany] markets you switched out of their game in a close second half to go to the Missouri-Marquette game. I can understand the rest of the country but you did it in markets of local interest and those fans in those markets flooded their local TV stations with calls and those TV stations said, ‘Don’t look at us. Blame it on CBS.’ Explain that.”

Aresco: “That’s understandable. We always plan on staying with a constant. In some situations, and we’ve done it over the years, we’ll try to get to just a buzzer-beater and get right back to the constant. In this particular case we had an unusual situation that developed. You had two exciting potential buzzer-beaters at the same time. We’re trying to what we call ping-pong back and forth and then there were some bizarre circumstances in those games and we did use commercials as best we could. When games were stopped we would go back but in this particular case, yeah, we didn’t get back fast enough and things were happening quickly and it happens.”

Russo: “But, Mike, I don’t care what you do in New York. I understand that but that’s Albany, New York, Siena. I mean, that’s Louisville, Kentucky.”

Aresco: “But the concept was to get right back and to show them the buzzer-beater and it’s one of those things.”

Russo: “Well, did CBS – tell me honestly – did CBS make a mistake with those two markets?”

Aresco: “Well, I think in this particular case, yeah. I think in this particular case we probably needed to get back a little quicker. And in fact, we also most of the time, Chris, we keep things constant. In this case we’ll reassess that.”

On cutting away during the final shot in regulation in Friday night’s Wisconsin-Florida State game:

Russo: “Friday night, ball is in the air, Wisconsin, the ball is in the air…”

Aresco: “That was a control room error.”

Russo: “How do we not see that ball, whether it goes in or not, last play in regulation?”

Aresco: “Yeah, it was just a control room [error]. These things happen. They’re rare but they do happen. It was a control room error.”

On the possible tip-time scenarios for this Saturday and Sunday games:

Russo: “I’m assuming you had the same flexibility. If you had Connecticut-Memphis and Pittsburgh-Villanova, who would play first on Saturday? Who would play the 4:30 game and who would play at 7?”

Aresco: “It’s a tough call. Tough call. Tough call, Chris. You might lean toward Connecticut-Memphis but you don’t know. You don’t know how these games are going to go.”

Russo: “Lean them first or go second?”

Aresco: “No, you might have Connecticut-Memphis second because, again, nationally, Memphis-Connecticut, different regions.”

Russo: “And if it is Pittsburgh-Duke, would you definitely put Duke and Pittsburgh second?”

Aresco: “Well, you probably know the answer to that.”

Russo: “Alright, let’s do Sunday. The late game Sunday. Are you going to put Carolina late no matter what?”

Aresco: “Well, let me put it this way. Historically, when we have Carolina as a #1 seed and let’s say they were to play a team like Oklahoma with Blake Griffin, that’d be tough not to [put them as the late game].”

Russo: “How about if it is Gonzaga. They go early?”

Aresco: “Don’t know. That’d be a tougher call. You might have Louisville-Kansas. I don’t want to presume who is going to win these games. I mean, Michigan State could beat Kansas, obviously. You might have, who knows, Arizona. You don’t know. But it’ll revolve around what Carolina does.”

Russo: “So if Carolina wins they’ll play late and if Duke wins they’ll play late is what it comes down to?”

Aresco: “Well, I wouldn’t certainly commit to that and you know that but obviously we would certainly lean in that direction. We have in the past. It’s no secret that you try to get the most marquee games late, same thing with the Final Four.”

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