Every Single Damn Thing You Need To Get The Juices Flowing For The Greatest Day Of The Year
That right there might be enough. Every single buzzer beater in the NCAA Tournament since 1985. Nothing hits like a buzzer beater in March. The celebration, the collapsing of the guys losing. Just the best - unless it happens to you. Can confirm, not the best.
But today is it. Today is the best day of the year. It's Christmas for people like me and those reading this. The day that start the best 3 weeks in sports. The day that everyone is waiting for. And if your team plays Friday you can trick your brain into thinking you went further because you had to wait a day. Nothing like the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament.
It's still clean. There's still hope for 64 teams.
5 Best Games Today
Oral Roberts/Duke, Missouri/Utah State, Furman/Virginia, Maryland/WVU, Penn State/Texas A&M
Five Storylines/Game Previews
1. Where's the mid-major upset?
This is what everyone wants early. We want Cinderella - unless you cheer for a big time program. Tomorrow we have popular ones. Charleston vs SDSU, Furman vs Virginia, Oral Roberts vs Duke, Louisiana vs Tennessee. There are a variety of reasons. For Furman and Oral Roberts it's scheme based. ORU can space Duke out and bring their bigs away from the rim thanks to Conor Vanover. If they get hot early, it'll force Duke to press more. For Furman it's how they are built offensively. They have guys who can shoot. They have 3 solid playmakers. Their defense is decent enough against Virginia, especially in the tempo played. Plus there's no Ben Vander Plas.
2. Micah Shrewsberry and PSU distracted by coaching search?
This came out last night:
He's been linked to Georgetown and Notre Dame so far. Going with 'I don't know' isn't exactly the best answer for PSU as they get ready for an NCAA Tournament game. But I still like them in this game. Mostly because everyone thinks A&M got screwed with a 7 seed. Any time that happens it feels like that team loses. Not to mention A&M gives up a ton of looks from three. Not ideal against PSU who only wants to do that.
3. Will the MWC continue to suck?
Sneaky might be a top-3 storyline in the NCAA Tournament this year. The MWC sucks in the Tournament, they did last year and we saw Nevada get its ass kicked last night. Now you have Utah State, SDSU and Boise State all in action. Someone's gotta win … right? All games are close spreads too. I like SDSU the most out of the bunch to win. I think its defense is just so nasty and can slow Charleston down. Utah State/Mizzou is fascinating but I don't really want any part of it.
4. How bad is the Marcus Sasser injury?
This right now is the biggest storyline of the Tournament. Marcus Sasser is an All-American on one of the elite teams in the country. He's a game-time decision today. It shouldn't matter against NKU, so you can rest him or break him out in case of emergency. But if he doesn't play, when does he come back? I still like Houston's draw to the Sweet 16. But we need to start seeing more positive updates besides game-time decision. That just leaves everything murky.
5. An epic battle of coaches trying not to lose their shit between Bruce Pearl and Fran
I love this game because I want to watch the coaches. We know about Fran's outbursts, but Pearl can do it with the best of them too. They are playing in Birmingham so you know those crazy ass Auburn fans will fill up the place. Throw in the emotion of the NCAA Tournament, Fran desperately trying to change the narrative of him as a coach in the event and we could see fireworks. Personally it's what I'm cheering for.
92-83-2 (+12.25) on the year on Twitter, mind as well add it to the blog
Utah State/Mizzou O155.5 (jumped on this at 2am after the brackets came out)
West Virginia -2
Arkansas/Auburn ML +229
Penn State +2.5
Northwestern/SDSU ML +146
Oral Roberts +6.5