Behind The Scenes

Katz calls Tournament coaches coast to coast before White House visit

This x-ray reveals a portion of Andy Katz's telephone bracket

You can’t possibly claim to know the Bracket until you examine the bones. Or, in this case, the “back”bones — the head coaches of the teams you will entrust with your sneaky Nos. 10-7 upset and your annual Nos. 12-5 “lock.”

Andy Katz

To hear from nearly all those coaches, get over to ESPNU and check out the College Basketball Live special with Insider Andy Katz as he does his annual phone tree to the field’s head men. From now through 6 p.m. ET, Andy plays the role of call-in host with the big men of campuses from Burlington, Vt. (John Becker, scheduled for 4:20 p.m. ET) to Long Beach, Calif. (Dan Monson, tabbed for 2:45). As we type this, the “Coaches Count” tote board is at 6!

Using an Excel sheet, Andy and his producers work off a road map filled with sports information director’s emails, phone numbers and back-ups for back-ups to ensure everything stays on schedule. Logistical nightmare doesn’t begin to explain this yearly undertaking.

It’s an exhaustive day of work for Andy and the crew, but only the beginning of a whirlwind few days for the intrepid reporter. On Tuesday, Andy and Doris Burke head to the White House to document President Barack Obama’s men’s and women’s Tournament picks.

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