CBS: War Over Basketball

Tulsa's Charlie Davis, left, and Dayton's Logan White vie for rebounding position in Spokane, Wash. in the first round of the men's NCAA Division I basketball championship, Thursday, March 20, 2003. Tulsa beat Dayton 84-71. AP

CBS interrupted its NCAA first-round basketball games early Friday afternoon with CBS News coverage of heavy U.S. bombing in Iraq.

Large explosions rocked Baghdad, signaling the start of a heavier phase of the U.S.-led air war. The network told viewers looking for NCAA action to tune instead to cable channels ESPN or ESPN2.

CBS planned to commence coverage of the NCAA basketball tournament after 7 p.m. EST. with frequent CBS News updates throughout the games.

It is the second time in a week CBS has interrupted its NCAA coverage. On Thursday, CBS also moved the start of its NCAA men's basketball tournament coverage to ESPN.

Games were broadcast on ESPN with CBS announcers and production.

CBS announced Thursday that it will show an extra NCAA tournament game Sunday to make up for shifting some first-round action to cable channel ESPN because of news coverage of the war in Iraq. "Kind of a strange way to start the tournament, isn't it?" CBS studio analyst Clark Kellogg said Thursday.

The NCAA agreed to change starting times in Nashville, Tenn., and Tampa, Fla., to allow the network to add a fourth game to its schedule Sunday, beginning at about 7 p.m. Normally, only three games are aired on the tournament's first Sunday.

60 Minutes will move to about 9 p.m. EST.
  • Rome Neal

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