It’s that time of year again. Bars will be packed, school spirits will reemerge and US work productivity will decline. March Madness is upon us!
This past year saw major conference shifts and the creation of a new conference, which shook the NCAA Division 1 scene up a bit. The traditionally heavy weight Big East conference split in two, with the Catholic schools who don’t have major D1 football programs split, but kept the Big East name. The other half created a new conference with additional teams, The American Athletic Conference. This year saw the Big East get four bids, while the AAC saw four as well. The Atlantic-10 Conference had a big year last year with a record of number of teams who won bids and this year is no different with 6. The ACC has garnered 6 bids this year with the addition of two powerhouse former Big East teams, Pittsburgh and Syracuse. Last years champions Louisville are coming off of an American Athletic Conference victory and are a #3 seed. They are strong contenders for a repeat this year. Other strong contenders are the 4 #1 seeds who’ve had outstanding seasons, Wichita State, Florida, Arizona, and Virginia. North Carolina Central will be representing the MEAC this year, with their surprising win.
Play is set to begin on March 18th, with the first four. The second and third rounds are to commence on Thursday March 20th and last the entire weekend. Coverage will be provided by CBS networks, which includes TBS, TNT, and TruTv. You can view TV scheduling here. The National Championship game will take place on April 7th in Arlington, Texas.
Who will be this year’s Cinderella story? Will we have another Kevin Ware moment?
In related news: President Barack Obama and his administration have come up with a few ways to integrate selling his health care plan into March Madness via interviews, public service ads, and social media appeals to educate and motivate more folks to sign up before the March 31st deadline.