Tip of the hat to contest leader Monterey Chris, who tabbed 29 of 32 first round winners. Wins in the second round are worth double, so the leader will likely fluctuate throughout the next couple of days. I'm starting the day tied for 94th and ahead of people who just guessed, flipped a coin, or chose teams on the basis of whichever one had a stronger mascot.
Today's agenda, all times are PT, and the second games of the day in each city just have approximate start times.
10:10 am - #9 Xavier vs #1 Ohio State in the South Region in Lexington. In the old days, those of us on the West Coast never got to see the first game of the day on Saturday, but the East Coast people didn't see the last game of the day. But CBS has granted couch potatoes everywhere the chance to have a full day of basketball excess. Except for those of us who have to work today. Like me.
12:20 pm - #5 Butler vs #4 Maryland in the Midwest Region in Buffalo. Butler plays in Hinkle Fieldhouse. Maryland used to play in Cole Field House, but now plays in the Comcast Center which is a much less interesting name. Butler's bulldog mascot is named Blue. Maryland's terrapin mascot is named Testudo. So, I think this game is a tossup.
12:40 pm - #6 Louisville vs #3 Texas A&M in the South Region in Lexington. The Aggies are looking to advance to the Sweet Sixteen for the first time since 1980. The Cardinals are looking to do it for the first time since 2005. Fans of both schools find it a long drought.
2:40 pm - #6 Vanderbilt vs #3 Washington State in the East Region in Sacramento - The Commodores will likely launch up three-pointers by the gross. The Cougars will set lots and lots and lots and lots of screens. Wazzu has never played in the Sweet Sixteen. They were runnersup in 1941, but the tournament just had eight teams then.
2:45 pm - #7 Boston College vs #2 Georgetown in the East Region in Winston-Salem - Two Jesuit schools enter the Octagon. Only one may leave! The other has to stay and contemplate the nature of piety as exemplified by St. Ambrose. That should be 10 pages, not counting the bibiography.
2:50 pm - #11 Virginia Commonwealth vs #3 Pittsburgh in the West Region in Buffalo - The Panthers last made the Final Four the same year Washington State finished second (see above.)
5:10 pm - #7 Indiana vs #2 UCLA in the West Region in Sacramento - The Bruins first played in Sacto in 1948 against an AAU team called the Sacramento Senators. John Wooden never brought his team back to River City, nor did any other UCLA coach until the NCAA sent this year's squad to Cowtown.
5:15 pm - #9 Michigan State vs #1 North Carolina in the East Region in Winston-Salem - The Spartans are the only team that wears green and is playing on St. Patrick's Day.