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IT’S HERE! NCAA Tournament, Day 1: Open Thread

The Ohio State Buckeyes take on South Dakota State and the Michigan Wolverines tackle the Montana Grizzlies, but we’re here for all the action. Come talk March Madness with us!

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Boise Practice Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even the jaded Northwestern fan in me couldn’t help but think the sun was shining a little brighter this morning on my commute in to the archives: It’s finally here, the month where we lose our collective minds over bracket challenges, 5-over-12 upsets, and for some reason knowing the ins and outs of the USC Upstate roster despite not being entirely sure if this is South Carolina or if the Southern California assholes opened up a satellite campus in Monterey.

It’s March, damnit, and no amount of Jon Rothstein tweets or Darren Rovell admonishments are going to keep me from leaving work at 11am, hauling ass home, and plopping myself down in front of truTV for the one weekend a year anyone gives a shit about it.

Big Ten Games

(I pulled all these lines last night, and no, I don’t feel like updating them. Check Bovada your damn self, you degenerates.)

[5] Ohio State Buckeyes vs. [12] South Dakota State Jackrabbits

3pm GTZ | TNT | OSU -7.5 | O/U 147
Taco Bell Arena | Boise, ID

Read our preview: Jimmy’s ready for the Mike Daum vs. Keita Bates-Diop Show! (I am too, to be honest.)

The Jacks were on my shitlist for taking down the Never Made the Tourney Club members South Dakota Coyotes in the Summit League final, but now that #MyYotes lost decisively at home to the North Texas Mean Green last night in the CBI, fuck it, I’m back on #TEAMANYDAKOTA (besides UND).

This is one of those sexy 5-12 upset specials, as the Jackrabbits can pour it in. So can the Buckeyes, though, and we should see a B1G squad advance.

[3] Michigan Wolverines vs. [14] Montana Grizzlies

8:50pm | TBS | MI -11 | O/U 135
Intrust Bank Arena, Wichita, KS

Read our previews: Graham likes the Wolverines’ chances to give the North Carolina Tar Heels a game and possibly run to the Final Four, but Thump’s got his finger on the pulse of the average Michigan Man.

I can’t get up for Michigan basketball. Ever. They’re gonna have some really annoying players who make funny faces and act all gritty and get TBS announcers drooling over themselves. Just look at this shit from the fucking New York Times: Michigan puts the short back in its shorts! This is my Lenten test. I just know it. Can I watch an entire Michigan basketball game without vomiting from rage as [insert gritty, wants-to-win player here] “puts his team on his back” and “just makes plays”?

No, because one of these Michigan dicks will do it. Does Derrick Walton still have eligibility? If yes, I choose him. Otherwise that German kid, probably.

Whatever. They’ll use some ridiculous 15-2 run in which they shoot 5 threes and make them all, blow this game open, and then do the bully thing where they hold their arm at full length and Montana swings and windmills their arms but they never connect.

Duncan Robinson! He’s another asshole on this team. Maybe it’s him.

My Picks for Today:

Best Game: [7] Rhode Island Rams vs. [10] Oklahoma Sooners

Man, we’re really not getting skimped right out of the gates here, are we? The right to lose to the Duke Blue Devils is up for grabs here, and—

OK fine, I want to watch Trae Young. Goddamnit NCAA Tournament committee, are you happy? You put him in the tournament for ratings (not because they were better than the Oklahoma State Cowboys), and fuck you, I want to watch. Goddamnit I hate myself.

Potential BIG Upset?: [3] Texas Tech Red Raiders vs. [14] Stephen F. Austin Lumberjacks

Oh, I’m still totally riding the Lumberjack high from a couple years ago when they had a LITERAL LUMBERJACK as their point guard or whatever bullshit that was. Couldn’t tell you a fucking thing about this year’s team besides knowing that they force like, the most turnovers in the NCAA or something.

So really this is to say that I had to pick a 13-or-lower seed to advance, and I’ll put my money on the ‘Jacks. (Deandre Ayton is going to murderdeathkill the Buffalo Bulls.)

Inevitably Disappointing: [6] Miami Hurricanes vs. [11] Loyola-Chicago Ramblers

I’m gonna watch, because the whole Red Line Rivalry (which also notably does not exist) is suspended for a week as I work myself into a full lather to watch a Plucky Upstart! team try to grind it out against an athletic-as-hell Miami squad. The Ramblers will slow this one waaaaaay down, and Miami will oblige them, trying to get to the basket and use foul trouble to negate Loyola’s outside shooting.

But my real annoyance here has come from listening to Porter Moser, head coach of Loyola. Have you listened to this guy? It’s like listening to Chris Collins’ and every other middle-aged white coach’s “trust the process” mantra and buzzword-based bullshit (hi, Peejer, I haven’t forgotten about you), only it’s not my team.

Anyways, Miami will win this 66-64 after Loyola hits a miraculous three to tie it with like, :15 to play, then the ‘Canes hit one at the buzzer.


What game are you most excited for?

This poll is closed

  • 11%
    Rhode Island-Oklahoma
    (4 votes)
  • 20%
    Ohio State-South Dakota State
    (7 votes)
  • 14%
    (5 votes)
  • 14%
    (5 votes)
  • 0%
    Other [tell us in the comments!]
    (0 votes)
  • 40%
    I don’t care, it’s March—just shoot this shit straight into my veins.
    (14 votes)
35 votes total Vote Now

TV Schedule, Betting Lines

I don’t know why I’ve bothered making all these picks; I’m just another dumbass with 7 brackets who’s not going to win any of them.

Talk about the games here. No porn, no illegal streams, and don’t be a dumbass. Happy March.