Born in Ohio and raised in the South, I'm a diehard Cleveland sports fan. I pass on NASCAR, play any sport but soccer and can't understand why the NFL is so undervalued in the Southeast. My favorite sport is basketball. I was a sports writer at the Columbia County News-Times from 2005 to 2007 before becoming Minor League Sports Writer at the Augusta Chronicle in December 2007.
 
Posted March 15, 2012 02:06 pm - Updated March 15, 2012 03:03 pm

March Madness has arrived

March Madness
March Madness setup
Thanks to an agreement by CBS and the NCAA, fans can watch games on TV, tablets, smartphones and computers. While watching three games at once, I'm reminded how equally blessed and ridiculous I am.

March Madness is here, and I am firmly planted in front of the TV. Sure, my lawn needs to be cut, my dog wants a walk and I have a few stories to write for work (fortunately, I can do that from home). But all that can wait. It's college basketball time.

 

The annoyingly confusing "First Four" started Tuesday and wrapped up Wednesday to finalize the real field of 64. That preliminary/play-in round produced some pre-craziness, as if our attention wasn't already grabbed. The real drama started this afternoon.

 

It's that annual time of year when I usually do two things: 1. Neglect my weekday responsibilities and 2. Frustratingly scan my cable channels to find truTV. To save you some time, truTV is on Comcast at channels 187 (standard) and 195 (high definition), on Knology at channel 40 (SD only), on DirecTV at channel 246 (SD and HD) and on Dish Network at channel 204 (SD and HD). Games will also be shown on CBS, TNT and TBS.

 

Want a few more numbers? We all know it's customary to fill out a bracket and try to predict the upsets and winners throughout the tournament. You can try. You will fail. Almost 6 million brackets were submitted to ESPN.com last year. No bracket made it out of the FIRST ROUND with a perfect score. That means no one correctly picked the first 16 games in a tournament that has 67 games played. The odds of picking every winner in every round correctly are 1-in-1oo,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo,ooo. That's according to Augsburg College math professor Michael Weimerskirch in this Huffington Post story (see, Huffington Post. I'm giving credit for an original source!).

 

Just how crazy/important is March Madness? The major news story in Chicago of former governor Rod Blagojevich heading to prison this afternoon got only a split screen view while the opening game of the tournament was aired on the local CBS affiliate. That little gem came from the Twitter feed of CNBC sports business reporter Darren Rovell, a must follow on Twitter at @darrenrovell. He also just tweeted that the last eight champions have had blue in their uniform. That's no too comforting for me and my Ohio State pick.

 

Enjoy the madness and good luck with your bracket. If you pull off the impossible miracle and get even all the first-round picks right, let me know at billy.byler@augustachronicle.com. I won't believe you, but I'd like to see your bracket anyway.