NEW ORLEANS—An intensive monthlong investigation conducted by the color commentators, play-by-play announcers, studio analysts, sideline reporters, and other personnel tasked with televising the 2012 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship tournament concluded that every participating player was simply an exemplary young man who deserved all the success in the world, broadcasters announced Monday.
"This is a spectacular group of exemplary young men, and the only sad part about the tournament—and it's a tragedy, really—is that they can't all win," CBS announcer Jim Nantz said Wednesday. "The courage, the selflessness, the sheer character displayed by these young men is truly inspirational. It's truly inspiring to anyone who cares about the youth of today."
Nantz's Wednesday statement marked the 42nd time he had repeated those words during this year's tournament.
According to broadcast sources, who undertook extensive reviews of every player on each team, every single student-athlete profiled was a truly remarkable youth. While almost all the categories used to evaluate players were intangible and included such qualities as cheerfulness, gumption, being unafraid of hard work, general goodness to be around, never-say-die attitude, and overall niceness, broadcasters found no players in the tournament who did not score "top marks" in at least one.
"I was really impressed by these guys," said CBS color analyst Clark Kellogg, claiming this year's participants were "the most impressive group of young men I've yet seen." "Whether it's the inner-city kid who was raised by his grandmother and still thanks her before and after every game, win or lose; the scrappy, rawboned center from the middle of nowhere who's never been to a city this big before and just played his heart out in a tough loss; or the undersized kid who didn't let a severe case of the flu stop him from giving the game, his school, and his teammates all he had, I'm just really impressed with what I've seen this year."
According to accrued statistics of tournament coverage, a full 100 percent of participating college basketball players were really sweet kids who were just a joy to be around. The same percentage were described as determined young men without any quit in them, being mature beyond their tender years and having the sort of composure that would acquit them well in any field they chose to pursue after college if basketball was not in their future.
Furthermore, all media personnel confirmed the first thing you noticed about these young men was either how polite they were or how respectful they were of the tournament, its traditions, and the game of basketball itself. In addition, all participating players players were humbled and awed to be representing their schools in front of a national audience.
"This is, in terms of how great the players are as people, perhaps the best March Madness I've ever covered," said Greg Gumbel, who has made the same claim annually since 1998. "To anyone who is cynical about the future, who doesn't think today's kids measure up, who thinks college sports are all hype and flash, I say take a look at our coverage of these fantastic young folks and see if you still think that way."
Broadcasters refrained from comment on whether the players' outstanding personal qualities would in fact help the handful of players who made it to the NBA.