There is not a more entertaining time in sports than right now.
Sure, the playoffs of basketball, football and baseball are all special periods in sports, given the amount of time and energy that goes into the regular season, followed by it culminating with six grueling weeks of pressure-filled pandemonium.
However, it does not get more thrilling, gut-wrenching and heart-breaking than the NCAA Tournament, and this Thursday and Friday are the days at the epicenter of the excitement.
64 teams battling for one spot atop the rest with their opposition giving everything they have to pull off the coveted upset that defines March Madness.
A team with much less to play for can beat a team with everything to play for and create a Cinderella story with one shot — that is why this time of the year is great.
That one shot is the main reason why March Madness is exactly that. The final shot going through the net with zero seconds left on the clock is what the fans live for, and we are guaranteed to get several of them in the games that will be played Thursday through Sunday.
Forget the Super Bowl and forget Game 7 of the Major League Baseball playoffs or National Basketball Association playoffs. The NCAA Tournament is the most anticipated sporting event of the entire year because it never disappoints.
The years are always different, with different schools recruiting different players with different talent levels. A couple years ago, we had all No. 1 seeds make the prized Final Four.
A year ago, upsets were the name of the game and we were treated to hilarity and more of that “Can you believe what just happened?!” feeling.
I take it seriously.
I save my pennies all year and typically watch them fly away come the month of March thanks to the cruel but oh-so-pleasing madness that March entails.
Sad to say, I have not gone to school on the first Thursday of the NCAA Tournament for the last four years.
Midterms can wait, but the madness cannot.
This year’s Big Dance forecast looks promising to say the least, with too many upset opportunities to count and not a clear winner in sight, unless Kentucky runs the table, which is the correct answer if you are playing along at home.
Several critical story lines jump out at me before the tournament begins, with Syracuse center Fab Melo bench-ridden for the entire tournament because of academic ineligibility issues and North Carolina forward John Henson nursing a wrist injury.
Also, the hottest teams heading into the tournament are Vanderbilt, Cincinnati, Louisville, Michigan State and Florida State. If history has shown us anything in sport, it is that teams riding a hot streak tend to continue it throughout the NCAA Tournament.
I am not going to give insight into the entirety of my NCAA bracket predictions. Don’t worry, you will get to view them on ESPN once the public gets word I have picked a perfect bracket.
For now, adjust your brackets accordingly, sit on your couch and enjoy the madness that is probably ensuing at this very moment.