Remembering theScore’s impact on March Madness in Canada

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On the first official day of March Madness in the era of streaming, we as basketball fans are spoiled with a plethora of options.

If you are diligent enough, there is a way to watch every game without ponying up for an expensive On Demand package. The days of March Madness on Demand are relatively over and with it is the removal of the struggle of being at the whim of CBS.

The Open Man Editor-In-Chief Kyle Kensing alluded to the heyday of March Madness on Demand earlier this week. However, for Canadians, the glory days of theScore kept basketball diehards at the helm of every major moment.

Thanks to an NFL RedZone-esque ‘Court Surfing’ presentation, every close game, buzzer beater and upset was brought to the television screen.

At times, overlap would cause the odd moment to be missed. Yet, host Tim Micaleff and theScore producers had an uncanny ability of fitting in every ounce of Madness onto one channel.

Memorable moments such as Eric Maynor’s buzzer beater for VCU against Duke and Steph Curry’s brilliance for Davidson were hallmarks of a golden decade for Canadian college basketball fans.

An era shared by the iconic play by play of Gus Johnson, this was college basketball at its zenith for me.

Prior to theScore’s coverage of the tournament, Canadians were beholden to whatever game the regional CBS provider included in their cable package was showing. If you thought the dark ages were bad in America, the days before theScore’s coverage for Canadians was borderline prehistoric in its viewing options on cable.

Unfortunately, theScore was sold to telecomm giants Rogers and the NCAA rights drifted to cable sports originators TSN. Whose five channels now carry the load each March during the height of the opening weekend Madness.

Still, every March I find myself missing the days of my teenage and high school years. Turning on theScore for a 14 hour marathon of basketball and not once having to physically change the dial. The efforts of theScore grew the popularity of March Madness to a new level and holds a special place in the hearts of any Canadian who fell in love with the third month of the year during its peak.