Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March Madness Begins Tonight

If you're not excited by the title to this post, this probably is the wrong website for you. Conference tournaments begin tonight, specifically at 7pm eastern time tonight. That's approximately 90 minutes from now, as I type this post. What I love about this time of the year is that nearly every team in the nation still can win the National Championship. No other sport is this inclusive.

In addition to the 102 teams listed in the most recent BP65, approximately 200 more still have a chance to win an automatic bid. I wrote about this 366 days ago in a post called "Two Weeks, 300+ Teams". ESPN's Pat Forde (or more likely some intern of his) did the number crunching and came up with exactly 308 teams currently alive for the National Championship as I type this. That number will decrease tonight, and will decrease all the way down to 65 by the end of Selection Sunday. By the end of April 6th that number will be down to 1. But it all begins right now. Tonight.

A little more than a week ago I put together a schedule with all of the important conference tournament events. If you want an exact schedule, there are three different locations I'd recommend depending on what you're looking for. ESPN has a complete schedule on one page that is linked from their "Championship Week 2009" page. That's useful if you want everything in one place. If you want more manageable information, as well as additional conference information (such conference standings, team points per game scored and allowed, and individual statistical leaders), I'd recommend the CBS Sportsline page. One final suggestion will be if you're looking ahead to the big name conferences where the seeds are not all set yet, but want to know which teams have already locked down positions, I'd recommend this Wikipedia page. For example, LSU, Georgia, Vanderbilt and Arkansas have already locked down their SEC tournament seeds, but neither the ESPN or CBS Sportsline page has that information yet.

And of course I highly recommend this website for recaps on what happened, and suggestions and predictions for what lies ahead.

I hope this post helped give you the information that you need to be on top of everything that happens over the next two weeks. And I hope you're as excited about this time of year as I am.

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