Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
July 24, 2014

Cheer Up, Staffers! We’ve Got the Campus NCAA Channel Guide

Dear Hill creatures: Don’t feel guilty about wanting to watch March Madness on Thursday. Just be informed on how to, care of your friends at HOH.

Let’s be honest, your bosses will be watching basketball. Why should they have all the fun just because they were elected to do the people’s work and you were merely hired at a low price? Read further for the lowdown on which channels around campus you can find virtually every game. And don’t forget to fill out your Roll Call men’s and women’s NCAA brackets!

Multiple sources in both parties confirmed that senators will have the chance to watch games in the cloakroom during the tediously long budget vote-a-rama that is likely to take place Friday, but could begin as early as Thursday — that is, during the two best sports days of the year.

And members aren’t even being coy about their intentions.

“We’re going to watch basketball instead of the floor!” Sen. John Barrasso, R-Wyo., teased to HOH, when asked whether TBS or TNT would be on in the cloakroom.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C. — whose state has four schools in the tournament — smiled when pressed about whether all the channels would be available, saying that there are a few days a year when they always are.

Meanwhile, Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, perhaps a touch over-confident from Ohio State’s Big Ten Tournament win, took to Twitter to taunt Rep. Paul Ryan — the guy who beat him out to be Mitt Romney’s No. 2. It seems next time Ryan loses a basketball bet to Portman, the Ohio senator would prefer that the Wisconsin Wonderwonk not cheap out on his Badger State beer and ante up with Leinenkugel instead of Miller High Life.

If you’re a Senate staffer, you can watch the games on the following CBS-Turner networks, including TruTV, which bumped a committee channel in the usual line-up. And you can thank Senate Rules and Administration Chairman Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who sources say had to approve the change (lookin’ at you, Harry Reid, whose UNLV Running Rebels have a 7:27 p.m. tip-off on TruTV Thursday):

  • TruTV — Channel 18
  • CBS — Channel 22
  • TNT — Channel 32
  • TBS — Channel 33

If budget vote-a-rama stretches into late Friday night, expect Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to huddle closely to the TNT feed, where No. 1 seed Kansas takes on No. 16 seed Western Kentucky. In a bracket released Wednesday, McConnell picked WKU over Kansas in what would be a historic first win for a 16 seed over a 1 seed (2014!).

If you’re a House staffer — lucky you — HD channels seem to be more readily available, according to HOH’s channel-flipping:

  • CBSHD — Channel 64.1
  • TNTHD — Channel 72
  • TBSHD — Channel 71
  • CBS — Channel 9
  • TNT — Channel 34
  • TBS — Channel 18

As of Wednesday night, TruTV was not in the House lineup, but keep an eye out for Channel 55, which is reserved for “special programming.”

The full schedule of the games is here, courtesy of CBS Sports.

Happy watching! And don’t forget to ask Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., why he doesn’t like a single Big Ten team to make it to the Final Four.  The fate of immigration reform and his future presidency depend on it.

Correction: March 20, 9:30 p.m.

An earlier version of this post misstated the number of teams that North Carolina has in the tournament. It has four. HOH, an alum of one of said schools, shamefully forgot Davidson and sincerely apologizes to the world, and especially to the memory of Stephen Curry’s college career.

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