Roundup of NCAA Tournament and Postseason Links

Happy Bracketology New Year! What a great time of year. Passionate basketball, crying fans, elated fans, lost productivity, shirking and "sicknesses," weird sounds from the cube or office down the hall... Get your bracket!

And here, for your pleasure, a roundup of the basic stories you will read about the tournament. I will go into detail on one or two of these topics later this week, but trust me; once you read these, you will only see variations on the themes.

- Regional NCAA schedules. Congrats to all the teams who got in the tournament. And no, I can't believe Villanova got in either.

- And now, the whining:

  • VT edition - quit whining. Your team is an affront to basketball and the eyes. Apparently, coach Seth Greenberg's daughter is hot. Usually, I roll my eyes at the "so-and-so coach's daughter is hot" comments, but Paige Greenberg's really cute. You know how I know this? because someone at the Anchorage Daily News was very bored and feeling pervy, and photographed a whole slideshow of her. I appreciate pulchritude as much as the next guy but damn, aren't you a member of the fourth estate? That kind of thing is for pervy collegiate bloggers with a hand down their pants! The upshot of all this: Paige Greenberg = cute. The basketball team = not as cute.
  • Arizona State edition - everyone's coming back next year. Take it out on people this year and use the motivation. I'll pencil you in for an Elite Eight run in 2009.
  • Illinois State edition - they have a little gripe, especially being out of the power conferences, but getting smoked by 30 by Drake in the conference tournament final... well, that leaves me unsympathetic.
  • Dayton edition - what, going 7-9 in the last 16 games should get you an at-large bid? STFU.
  • Ohio State edition - props for the low whining on Thad Matta's bunch. Upstanding team, those Buckeyes.
  • Ole Miss edition - also a low-whining group here.
  • U Mass edition - they knew they weren't good enough, too.
  • Hansbrough sucks Dockery- Some completely ignorant advice on winning your tournament pool from MSNBC. I am convinced that these people are trying to screw their readers brackets up. I think I will make a bracket using their advice and see where it goes.

    - Some incredibly good advice on picking your bracket. I will discuss these in detail later.

    - An article on the NCAA first-timers like American and Maryland - Baltimore County.

    - You know what's so hot in the news these days? Cornell basketball. They get to play fellow top-national-university, Stanford in a red on red competition for the ages. It's the depressed gorge jumpers vs. the techy sun-drenchers! The Big Redders are thinking about an upset... which will remain strictly the province of fiction, exposition, and argumentation classes.

    - You can't fire a guy after a 4 day blitzkreig through a tournament that culminates in an NCAA bid. Dennis Felton at Georgia did a great job with his remaining scholarship players, and has a solid incoming recruiting class coming in. Even the fans are happily eating crow.

    - Small gripes about the selections and seeding. I would add that it's interesting how mid majors are playing midmajors (Drake vs Western Kentucky, Davidson vs Gonzaga, Butler vs South Alabama, UNLV vs Kent State). I know it doesn't hold true all the way through the bracket, but it's like they were trying to get some pesky flies off the ship early.

    - Florida and Ohio State, last year's finals participants, are in the NIT. Hey, Michigan State and Indiana State didn't go in 1980 after meeting in the Bird vs Magic final the year before. NIT bracket here. ESPN schedule:

    FIRST ROUND
    Tuesday, March 18
    No. 2 UMass vs. No. 7 Stephen F. Austin, 6 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Ohio State vs. No. 8 UNC Asheville, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 1 Syracuse vs. No. 8 Robert Morris, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 4 Southern Illinois vs. No. 5 Oklahoma State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 3 Florida State vs. No. 6 Akron, 9 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 4 Minnesota vs. No. 5 Maryland, 9:30 p.m. (ESPN)
    No. 3 Creighton vs. No. 6 Rhode Island, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Arizona State vs. No. 8 Alabama State, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

    Wednesday, March 19
    No. 3 Dayton vs. No. 6 Cleveland State, 6 p.m., (ESPNU)
    No. 1 Virginia Tech vs. No. 8 Morgan State, 7 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 4 VCU vs. No. 5 Alabama-Birmingham, 7 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 2 Ole Miss vs. No. 7 Cal State Santa Barbara, 8 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 2 Florida vs. No. 7 San Diego State, 9 p.m. (ESPN2)
    No. 3 Nebraska vs. No. 6 Charlotte, 9 p.m. (ESPN Classic)
    No. 2 Illinois State vs. No. 7 Utah State, 10 p.m. (ESPNU)
    No. 4 California vs No. 5 New Mexico, 11 p.m. (ESPN2)

    - Did you know there is a third tournament, called the College Basketball Invitational (CBI)? It's the first year of the tournament, and some schools were dodgy about participating-- possibly because of pressure from the NCAA, who owns the NIT tournament or because of the cost of fielding more games in a less-prestigious tournament.

    The finals will be a best of three affair with the higher seed hosting the first and third (if necessary) games. Get your CBI bracket here.

    Opening round schedule:
    Tuesday, March 18
    Richmond at Virginia - 7 p.m.
    Rider at Old Dominion - 7 p.m.
    Brown at Ohio - 7 p.m.
    Houston at Nevada - 9 p.m.

    Wednesday, March 19
    Cincinnati at Bradley - 7 p.m.
    Miami (Ohio) at Tulsa - 8 p.m.
    Valparaiso at Washington - 9 p.m.
    Utah at UTEP - 9 p.m.

    - Meanwhile, coaches are given the boot at TCU, Rice, and Toledo.

    Man, I'm TIRED after all of that.

    Enjoy some photos:

    Clemson's MaysJarvins Varnado + Miss State

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