A chat with Billy Packer

CBS' Billy Packer is one of the most well respected college basketball analysts. Once again he will be CBS' number one color man and will broadcast the Final Four. I caught up with Packer for a very brief chat.

Please give us your feelings on the NCAA Tournament.
"I think the NCAA Tournament basically takes over the month of March with the post-season conference tournaments and then the three weeks of (NCAA) tournament. Because college basketball now is played well in all fifty states, I think it's the American Dream. (The teams) in the tournament feel like, ‘give me a chance and let me show you what I can do. If I do well I move on and if I don't I have to understand it.' It's the perfect sporting event."

Is the Tournament fair?
"It's very fair. Every team with the exception of the Ivy League, all teams have the ability at the end of the regular season with a post-season tournament to earn their way in. You can't ask for more than that."

Everyone seems to pull for the underdog and there are always sleepers that go farther than expected in the tournament. What does " a sleeper" need to have to be successful?
"There used to be just one category and now there are two. In the days in the past, before the kids left early for the pros, you had power conferences and power teams that were just too good for the mid-majors. That doesn't hold true anymore. You have two kinds of sleepers: A mid-major team that's made up of juniors and seniors that had some good experience in last year's tournament. Then the other sleeper category is a team that maybe finished third, fourth or fifth in one of the really strong leagues. (A team) that proved throughout the course of the year that although they weren't able to be a first or second place team that they could play against those kinds of teams night in and night out. All of a sudden they get on a great three week run."

[Note: We asked Mr. Packer about the Wildcats specifically, but he opted not to talk about any specific teams.]


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