Part of Charles Barkley and Kenny Smith’s shtick is that they like to rag on each other, and that meant shots at North Carolina and Auburn on Sunday during the NCAA Tournament Selection Show.
The two NBA on TNT analysts have been fixtures in tournament coverage since CBS began sharing rights with Turner Broadcasting and that’s often a source of dread for diehard college basketball fans. And with both of their alma maters in the NCAA Tournament in 2018, that means exchanges like this.
itnba_clips: Charles Barkley has Lipscomb over UNC; Kenny Smith doesn't even have Auburn on his bracket #SelectionSunday #MarchMadness TBS NCAA Basketball Championship Selection Show https://t.co/YkTOXIYUjk pic.twitter.com/Fcmu7fJZ8e
— FanSportsClips (@FanSportsClips) March 12, 2018
Clearly they’re not being particularly serious, as Barkley claims to have No. 15 seed Lipscomb beating Smith’s Tar Heels while Smith claims fourth-seeded Auburn, the SEC regular season co-champions, don’t even belong in the tournament. However, that’s still enough to push the average fans buttons.
Oddly, despite the fact that their constant barbing and disagreements are such an important element to their award-winning NBA coverage, TBS elected to have the two real-life friends to fill out a bracket together on Sunday. Which is yet another extremely odd decision in the cable network’s first year broadcasting the Selection Show.
The broadcast started with audio issues that plagued them throughout the show and then curiously spent their first segment listing the automatic bids we already knew in alphabetical order. They then revealed the at-large teams in alphabetical order and revealed no seeding information before going to commercial and then returning to reveal the actual brackets.
Viewers were absolutely furious with the format and silly segments like this did absolutely nothing to redeem the show. So here’s to hoping we aren’t forced to suffer through another Selection Sunday on TBS ever again unless some serious changes are in order.