Finally, it's here. March Madness. After two days of play-in game teases, today starts arguably the greatest four day stretch of basketball of the entire year. Forty-eight games. Four days.
It doesn't get any better than this.
Here are a few links to help you pass the time before you lose yourself in 12 hours of wall to wall basketball.
Five second round upsets that could crush your bracket - MnB's own Dave Ryan over at Searching For Billy Edelin takes a look at some potential upset picks. Understandably this includes a couple 5/12 games and inexplicably includes Montana.
How far will the Big Ten teams go? - The staff over at Big Ten Powerhouse puts out its predictions for each Big Ten team, and the consensus is mostly on Michigan making the Sweet Sixteen.
Even with this enormously long drought, I make it a point to watch each 1/16 game from the beginning, knowing that there’s the potential for history, and that if it occurs, I’ll have been along for the ride from start to finish. Usually, I need only maintain this ritual until the first or second media timeout when the game is obviously out of reach. But every once in a while there’s an Albany/UConn in 2006 or a Holy Cross/Kansas in 2002 where my vigilance is rewarded with a mildly interesting game in the second half. On Thursday and Friday, those are the moments I live for.
Don't stop believing, Ken.
Nerdy Bracket - Have you always wondered how Michigan would do in the tournament if the competition was less focused on basketball and more focuses on total student population or mid-career median salary? You're in luck.
Road Records in the Tournament Combat the Anti-Hoosiers Narrative - The Crimson Quarry takes a look at the overall away record and top-50 RPI away record of each of the tournament's top 20 seeds in an effort to dispel the notion that Indiana's "poor" away record shows the Hoosiers can't win neutral site games. Worth a look just to get an idea how the top 20 teams have done on the road this year.
Michigan's Robinson plans to be an NFL quarterback - Denard Robinson is confident in his ability to progress enough as a quarterback to play the position at the next level, and Al Borges thinks he has the blueprint. It will be interesting to witness Robinson's improvement as a quarterback this season after a year in Borges's offense.
"I ran a copy off for everybody in this building, from coaches to strength staff, because that's" -- he snapped his fingers, pausing for effect -- "how quickly all this can go, if you don’t dot your I’s and cross your T’s," Hoke said, looking around his lavish office and gesturing toward a view of Schembechler Hall's indoor practice field.
Don't think Brady Hoke is going to let success go to his head.
Touch the Banner: Scouting Report: Ty Isaac - Magnus on Michigan's number one running back target for 2013.
The Toolbox: Adjusted Turnover Margin - Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good. Michigan was both last year. The Wolverines benefited more than any other team in the country from turnover luck according to Bill Connelly. Part of that is defensive philosophy, but part of it is just plain ol' luck.
I'll take it.