CBS takes behind the scenes with NCAA March Madness Confidential.

CBS Sports Video

The best thing about March Madness and the Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament are the stories. Who are the players, the coaches, the schools and the fans that will become the big story this year?

Last year CBS through their outstanding NCAA March Madness Confidential features series brought us the story of Sister Jean the super fan from Loyola of Chicago. She became a pop icon and the 2018 face of March Madness.

Emilie Deutsch, Vice President, Original Programming and Features, CBS Sports is my guest this week on Stream On with Jim Williams. She is the person in charge of making sure you know as many backstories as possible and she oversees the production of NCAA March Madness Confidential and with one weekend of the tournament in the books her team has not disappointed.

The teams that CBS picked this year to follow for the series were Kentucky, Tennessee, Michigan, Houston, Nevada, Marquette and Murray State. There are plenty of compelling stories about players and fans you will see NCAA March Madness Confidential.

I saw an inspiring feature on Tacko Fall the 7’6” center from the University of Central Florida with a love for astronomy and how it helps him better understand the universe. Also a fun one oon howthe University of Michigan team managers use masking tape to replicate what the basketball court like in the team’s home hotel meeting room. It includes the NCAA March Madness logo and all the little details that make it looks just like the court the team is about to play on.

You can see all of the many features on March Madness Confidential – Click here and scroll down to find them.

Time now for our three quick questions:

WILLIAMS: How did you and your team pick the schools that were going to be featured this year?

Deutsch: “We start with picking teams that have a good geographic cross-section that gives fans a chance to see teams from around the country and from as many different conferences as possible. Of course we need teams that are willing to allow the access needed to really do justice to telling their stories. Plus, we look at teams with higher seeds that have a good chance of going deeper in the tournament.”  

Williams: Talk if you will about the crews that are following each team?

Deutsch: We have a crew of two camerapersons’, a field producer and an editor. They work nearly around the clock shooting the footage, writing the scripts and then sometimes the editors will be working all night before they send the features to us in New York, so yes they work hard but the viewers see the quality of their efforts.

Williams: You all do a great job of finding the most interesting backstories. Last season you introduced the country to Sister Jean the good luck charm for a Loyola of Chicago team that made it to the Final Four.

Deutsch: “When we picked them we, of course, had no idea that they would end up at the Final Four and how much the story of Sister Jean would touch so many people.”

“It was the philosophy of the founder of sports television Roone Arledge (former president of ABC Sports) I grew up at ABC Sports and I really embraced his idea that the more you know about a person or the stories behind these student-athletes the more fans you create by sharing those stories. I know of course the Chairman of CBS Sports Sean McManus loves us to find the best and most interesting stories and March Madness is a wonderful place to find them.

You can hear the complete interview with Deutsch on this week’s edition of Stream On with Jim Williams, available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or wherever you find your podcasts.

Listen to “Emilie Deutsch of CBS takes us inside the madness with NCAA March Madness Confidential” on Spreaker.

You can watch all of the segments of March Madness Confidential, throughout the tournament across multiple platforms – including studio coverage on TBS, CBS, TNT, and truTV – with online distribution via the official @MarchMadness Twitter and Facebook pages, @MarchMadnessTV, and CBS Sports and Turner Sports social media accounts.







Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.