FOUR DAYS OF MADNESS: Thursday, March 15 thru Sunday March 18
College basketball’s four-day extravaganza gives us the first and second rounds of the NCAA Tournament, with 47 games over the next 96 hours. Oh, by the way, I am not calling these rounds the “second and third rounds”, as the NCAA wants to officially call them, with the First Four being considered the first round. You’re telling me that in a 68-team tournament, 60 teams get first-round byes? It makes zero sense and it’s confusing, so I’m making a move that will appease both major political ideologies in this country. The Left loves it because I’m channeling my inner populist rage, bucking the establishment and speaking the truth to power. The Right loves it because I’m upholding the tradition of first-round games on Thursday and Friday. In the spirit of our chalk-driven Commander-in-Chief, I’m a uniter, not a divider.
Now that I’ve finished my rant out of left field for the morning, here’s how the next four days at TheSportsNotebook will unfold…
Update: Sunday, March 18–Complete links to everything…
Also visit Prime Sports Network where Greg DePalma and I podcasted on the NCAA Tournament on both Wednesday & Saturday
NBA/NHL: Don’t think we’ve forgotten the two sports that are driving towards the playoffs. Check some thoughts on the NBA trade deadline and it’s effect on the current playoff landscape. And the NHL postseason begins a few days after March Madness ends, and TheSportsNotebook’s not going to wake up the Tuesday after ill-prepared. Take a look at some changes the NHL playoff landscape is undergoing as we close in on the finish line.
RACING: Whether it’s behind the wheel or on four legs, TheSportsNotebook is on top of it. We’ll bring our NASCAR guru, my brother Bill, in for insights on Sunday’s race in Bristol. And on Saturday The Road To The Triple Crown goes to Arkansas with the running of the Rebel Stakes. You can check out a preview of the Rebel right here, with NASCAR right here.
There’s also a new section here at TheSportsNotebook. Right now it’s just called “NCAA Tournament”, as a complete compilation of all regional overviews are there, as well as my pick for the national championship. It also contains the games and bets I would actually put money behind if I were in Las Vegas. This is a series that will continue throughout the year, as you can watch me lose theoretical money from now until next year’s NCAA Tournament. After the tourney we’ll just give the section a more appropriate name and call it Bad Betting Advice.
LET THE MADNESS BEGIN!
It’s time to start previewing the NCAA Tournament and keep spring training baseball reports going strong, and that will be the exclusive focus here at TheSportsNotebook, the next three days. Here’s a preview of coming attractions…
Monday, March 12
*A look at the NCAA bracket from the eye of a traveling fan–where’s the best place to be this weekend
*And to honor the great Frank Sinatra, who sang “My Kind Of Town Chicago” with such eloquence in Robin Hood & The Seven Thieves, we do spring reports on both the White Sox and Cubs.
Tuesday, March 13
*Time to start making broad-based Final Four picks and TheSportsNotebook takes up the South & West brackets, each of which have play-in games Tuesday night.
*Spring training stops in on the Oakland A’s.
In addition, I’ll be podcasting at Prime Sports Network with Greg DePalma on Monday, where we’ll both vent about the bracket and then again on Wednesday when it’s time to put the Selection Committee’s decision to relegate South Florida to a play-in game behind us and start make Final Four picks. Both sh0ws go live at 3 PM ET, and are naturally available in archived edition thereafter. And mark down Saturday morning, when we broadcast and preview the second round at 11 AM ET.