Thursday and Friday are perhaps the two best weekdays of the year for sports fans. You can play hooky from work in the afternoons and watch the NCAA Tournament from noon until midnight. Those are two great days to own a sports bar! But Tuesday is the beginning of the Madness. The first round opens tonight in Dayton, Ohio with a double header. The first game is at 6:40 between Florida Gulf Coast and Fairleigh Dickinson and the game following that one is between Vanderbilt and Wichita State.
You remember Wichita State. They’ve been to a Final Four and came in as an unbeaten number one seed all within the past three seasons. The seniors on this team have never missed the Big Dance and in fact, have made it to the Round of 32 in all three years. They will be a tough out tonight.
Vanderbilt is a bit Jekyll and Hyde. They look like world beaters at times and then other times are flat as a pancake, as they were against Tennessee in the SEC Tournament. But they do have some talent on the roster. This should be a great game.
FGCU, you may recall from the 2013 Big Dance when they took the nation by storm. They garnered the nickname “Dunk City” with two upsets over Georgetown and San Diego State which landed them a spot in the Sweet Sixteen. The Eagles making a return trip to the tournament this year makes tonight a must watch game.
If those games aren’t enough for you, we have the NIT tipping off tonight as well. There are several good games going on tonight in that tournament such as Davidson at Florida State, Florida at North Florida, Akron at Ohio State, Alabama at Creighton, Texas Southern at Valpo and New Mexico State at St. Mary’s. Many of these games involve teams who felt they should have been included in the Big Dance such as Valpo, St. Mary’s and Davidson. Now is there chance to prove they belonged.
Also, have you noticed how may in state games there are in the NIT tonight, many with a small name team vs the flagship school of that state? That should make these games fun as well.
So tonight, get your popcorn ready and exercise that remote thumb. You will be needing the practice for the two-day March Madness Marathon.