Durham company provides those tourney stats you see on TV

DURHAM, N.C. – A Durham company is playing a key role in how you watch the NCAA Basketball Tournament.

Sports Media Technology (SMT) has people on site at each tournament game and provides real-time statistics that you see on the air.

“Best time of the year,” said Lee Brinson, SMT director of special events. “It’s like Christmas.”

Kalpen Patel, a SMT data technician, agrees. “When you love sports and when you love numbers and stuff, this is the place to be,” Patel said.

And while it is fun, those at SMT are working to make sure you see all the real-time statistics when you watch the tournament games.

“When you’re at home watching the Tar Heels play and you see that Brice Johnson has 16 points, nine rebounds and eight blocked shots, all that information is being generated from an SMT device,” Brinson said.

A spotter sits at courtside and provides information to an inputer who sits inside the truck. From there the stats go to Durham and then on to the networks in New York and Atlanta and then promptly on to the air.

The company, founded nearly 30 years ago, has about 250 employees. And they’re involved with more than basketball. In fact, SMT does work for a number of different sports, most notably helping with graphics for NFL games and NASCAR races. The company has recently gone global providing live updates on every single cricket game going on in India.

But, for right now, it’s the season for busted brackets.

“I think the NCAA Tournament is the best thing in sports, including the NFL and anything else,’ said Brinson. “It’s really great to be a part of the NCAA Tournament in this way.”

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