Looking At The NCAA Tournament
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.
MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
NPR's Mike Pesca is covering the tournament for us, and he's going to be sending us short vignettes. Here's what he sent today.
MIKE PESCA: As a fan, what's your favorite round of the tournament?
PAT WILLIAMS: I guess the first two.
PESCA: How do you like it this year?
WILLIAMS: How do I like it?
PESCA: How did you like it?
WILLIAMS: It hasn't happened yet.
PESCA: Oh, yeah, it did. The first round happened yesterday and the day before.
(SOUNDBITE OF LAUGHTER)
WILLIAMS: Good. I didn't quite catch those ones.
PESCA: As you heard from Pat Williams there, the first round is but a dusty date in memory. This year, the tournament expanded to 68 teams, and what were once called play-in games are now dubbed the first round games. Well, not dubbed by any of the 25 or so fans I talked to at the games. Even Butler head coach Brad Stevens got a little confused after his team won the first game it played in the second round.
BRAD STEVENS: We're only 40 minutes into the NCAA tournament, but nobody will be more tournament tested by the second round than we will have been - or third round.
PESCA: For years, everyone had a pretty decent name for the games that took place before today - play-in games. Because, as I discussed with fan Jake Welsh(ph), if they're not play-in games, a cascade of chaos ensues.
JAKE WELSH: It means 60 teams get by, and so that means you can say you made it to the second round...
WELCH: ...you know, so...
PESCA: And then there's the finals, the seventh round game.
WELCH: Yeah. That's true, even though you have to win six games.
PESCA: Reporting five rounds from the championship game, I'm Mike Pesca, NPR News.
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