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It's Time To Get The Juices Flowing With Every Single Damn Thing You Need To Know For The Greatest Day Of The Year

Today is it. Today is the best day of the year. Today is the day we all look forward to, the day we battle from November to get to. It's a combination of Christmas, Thanksgiving and a horror show all in one. There's nothing and I mean nothing like the feeling of watching your team play in the NCAA Tournament, knowing you have exactly 40 minutes to save a season. The secret about today though is if your team plays tomorrow you can trick your brain into thinking they advanced further, because you had to wait a day. Nothing beats the feeling of waking up with the butterflies of today though. 

Schedule

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Bracket

It's still clean. There's still hope for 64 teams - the perfect number for a bracket. 

5 Best Games Today

1. McNeese State vs Gonzaga

2. Washington State vs Drake

3. Colorado State vs Texas

4. NC State vs Texas Tech

5. Samford vs Kansas

Five Most Electric players 

This isn't about the best. Every March there are guys you just start to watch no matter what. You have to know what happens because they could go for 40 and pull a Kemba or just keep shooting on an 0/40 night. Guys you should enjoy watching play basketball today, not the best. 

1. Max Abmas (Texas)

2. Rob Dillingham (Kentucky)

3. Dalton Knecht (Tennessee)

4. DJ 'The Big Fella' Burns (NC State)

5. Tucker DeVries (Drake)

Five Storylines/Game Previews

1. The mid-major upset

This is basically what everyone is looking for on the first day and something we're getting used to. Looking around the schedule and there's Samford, McNeese, Duquesne as popular picks. I'm terrified of seeing Oakland right now. Too many people falling in love with Kentucky. I think Akron can try to dictate tempo against Creighton. Now, everyone is picking Samford and McNeese which means we're probably getting the upset somewhere else. This is the beauty of the entire first day because you're trying to figure out the 'tone' for the NCAA Tournament like it fucking matters. My dumb brain will do it. 'Oh no upsets day 1, gonna be a bloodbath tomorrow.' My point being, something batshit crazy is going to happen today. 

2. Will the MWC figure it out? 

Yes, San Diego State made the NCAA Tournament title game a year ago. But the MWC has always been underwhelming in the NCAA Tournament. I don't count Colorado State/Boise State in the First Four this year. I'm talking now, can the conference with 6 teams in the NCAA Tournament live up to the hype. I don't think the conference is bad, I also know that people judge everything on the NCAA Tournament. Today you have Colorado State against Texas. That game is AWESOME if you're a dork about the game and want to watch Isaiah Stevens vs Max Abmas. Basically there's two toss-up games for the MWC today. They need to have some sort of success otherwise people are going to be screaming about how they can't be getting this many bids. 

3. The Kansas injuries

I mentioned it in a blog earlier this week, but Kansas ruled out Kevin McCullar. On top of hat, Hunter Dickinson missed the Big 12 Tournament and now Kansas fans are freaking out because of this

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People think Hunter is taking shots and McCullar and basically just being fans. Now they have Samford, I mention all this because of Bucky Ball. They are going to press the everliving shit out Kansas, even on misses, and force Kansas to use someone other than Harris as a ballhandler. McCullar is typically that guy. I also think with McCullar, Kansas could have made a run, that starting 5 is legit. They just don't have any depth. Yeah, injuries happen, but this McCullar one is the biggest heading into the Tournament so far. 

4. The Iowa State curse

I like Iowa State, Hilton is a bucket list trip for me. But facts are facts and I'm not one to argue with history. Teams that are unranked in the preseason and end up as a 2 seed win less than 2 games in the NCAA Tournament on average. Throw in the fact that Iowa State is in that brutal region up top with UConn, Auburn, Illinois, etc. I'm not saying they are going to lose this week, just something to trend. I'm simply a numbers messenger. 

5. Ghosts of past

This is my blog, this is my time. For the love of all things holy, please fucking win Calipari. I know it's Kentucky. Shut the fuck up, it's still Kentucky in the NCAA Tournament. I can't undersell how much of a Civil War is going on in this area of the country when you mention his name. It's a BATTLE with neighbors, friends and strangers. Oakland is no easy matchup. They don't play fast (contrary to popular belief) but they shoot the shit out of the ball. Greg Kampe is beloved. We're only 2 years removed from St. Peter's. It's still fresh. Figure it out and win. 

Picks

All odds via DraftKings

Akron +12

South Dakota State +15.5

Drake -1

Samford +7/over 154

Gonzaga -7

Nevada/Dayton under 136.5