NCAA Final in 3D: Interesting, Not Quite There

Caught the first half of the NCAA Finals in 3D at the Mann Theaters in Hollywood  — or as CBS’ announcing team for the 3D telecast kept putting it, for “the first time ever in stunning 3D.”

The game was pretty stunning — a nail-biter that saw Butler, the life-imitates-art version of “Hoosiers,” take eventual champion Duke down to the closing seconds and a last-second heave from mid-court that bounced off the rim.

The 3D itself was kind of a mixed bag.

On the plus side, the crowd really popped up, and you could see every fold in the bulldog mascot’s neck.

Watching the game was a little less dramatic, and occasionally dizzying on instant replays, when the camera followed the flight of the ball, trying to capture every rotation.

All told, the technology — being able to view a live event with something like 3D imagery — is pretty impressive. But at this point it still feels like a gimmick, and I frankly enjoyed the second half — which I watched in the safety of my own home, on the couch, the way God intended — better.

Would that change if I had access to the same 3D view in my home? Maybe, but I’m not sure. As a colleague noted, people tend to do other things while they watch TV, and trying to do that with glasses over my glasses isn’t a particularly inviting prospect.

Bottom line: Seeing the game in 3D, live in a theater, was a nifty change of pace. But I’m not sure it warrants a change in lifestyle yet — or rushing out to buy a 3D TV set.

Oh, and one more thing: That Butler coach, Brad Stevens, the one who looks about 17? Don’t get too attached to him, Butler fans. He’s going to be at a major program very, very soon.

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