But enough about what seemed like a never-ending presidential election cycle.
The NCAA said on Friday that the four networks (CBS and Turner Broadcasting's TBS, TNT, and TruTV) airing college basketball games on Thursday-the first full day of March Madness-scored Nielsen household ratings that were up 5% from the tournament's first day a year ago. And most hopes will be dashed before the end of the first weekend. Kansas is a team you just flat-out can't ignore after the Jayhawks won their 13th consecutive Big 12 regular-season title.
Kentucky vs. Northern Kentucky: approx.
1954 - The tournament final is broadcast live nationwide for the first time.
The first round has a few games that should be no doubters. They have an embarrassment of riches in the height and skill department thanks to 7-1 senior Przemek Karnowski and rising 7-foot freshman Zach Collins, who comes off the bench. After Friday's games, the tournament will be down to a field of 32 teams. He also has Notre Dame reaching the championship game, but losing to the dominant University of CT.
How in the world is Wisconsin an eight seed and Minnesota a five seed? Since the tournament was first expanded to 40 teams in 1979, no No. 5 seed has ever cut down the nets.
Obama's upset picks include Bucknell over West Virginia and Marquette over SC.
Georgia Tech's H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering offers a host of predictions using a computer ranking system called LRMC that examines which two teams played, whose court they played on, and what the margin of victory was.
Seed: The teams eligible to play are divided into four groups of 16 and ranked. Last year, he nailed a number of upsets - most notably Hawaii knocking off fourth-seeded California in the opening round - but he had Villanova, the eventual national champion, losing in the Elite Eight. Everyone's going to have your Kentuckys, the Kansases, the Dukes, the Villanovas. But the Jayhawks nearly seem as though they've been undervalued all season, maybe because winning the Big 12 regular season has become an annual rite in Lawrence.
No. 5 Iowa State vs.
"I think at the most part we came to a conclusion that the ones were there", Hollis said.
The marquee region, without question.
North Carolina is a favorite in a lot of brackets.
Speaking of the Final Four, I have Duke, Arizona, Kansas and Kentucky in my bracket. It's a shame that such a talented Shockers team will face such a tough test in the second round, but the victor of that game will have the clearest path to beating North Carolina, if the Tar Heels even make it past UCLA and Lonzo Ball. If chaos strikes one corner of your bracket, it will be this one.
But WVU surely will be anxious to get last year's first round exit out of its mouth and move on to the second round for a matchup against Notre Dame or Princeton. Bonzie Colson had 18 for Notre Dame and will be focus of West Virginia defensive efforts.
Villanova over Arizona in the all-Wildcats semifinal. The Sioux are 3-0 in overtime games and have won 10 of their last 11 overall.