Let the Madness begin.
The NCAA tournament tips off Tuesday with two first-round games in Dayton, Ohio. No. 16 Albany plays No. 16 Mount St. Mary’s and No. 12 North Carolina State faces No. 12 Xavier.
Warren Buffet is offering a billion dollar to anyone who fills out a perfect bracket, but we’ll give you a trillion dollars – OK, not really – if you enter our Hoops Hysteria. But you can win plenty of cash and prizes.
TUESDAY MORNING LINKS:
— Among the notes and factoids provided by Bud Withers, he offers a familiar outside-the-box candidate to replace Ken Bone if he gets the ax at Washington State.
— Vince Grippi at the Spokesman-Review doesn’t expect Bone will return.
— It probably was unlikely WSU could lure Bruce Pearl to Pullman, but he’s off the market and will coach at Auburn.
— Arizona is the No. 1 seed in a West region that doesn’t appear to be too difficult.
— UCLA coach Steve Alford said he’d let the players celebrate Sunday and Monday after winning the Pac-12 Tournament title. The Bruins return to practice Tuesday to prepare for Friday’s NCAA tournament opener against Tulsa. But when the games end, several players will have to decide if they’re going to return to school or enter the NBA draft.
— Oregon is looking to hit the reset button before its NCAA tournament opener against BYU.
— Colorado made a quick exit from the NCAAs last year. The Buffaloes are hoping to stay alive a little longer this time.
— Utah begins the Pac-12’s postseason run today with a first-round game in the NIT at Saint Mary’s.
— Despite being dropped in a Midwest region dubbed “Group of Death” columnist Jerry Brewer writes: “Like it or not, (No. 1 seed) Wichita State is legit. In the context of this college basketball season, the team is a measuring stick. Doubt the Shockers at your own risk.”
— Las Vegas oddsmakers are ripping the NCAA Selection Committee for loading up the Midwest region with too many heavyweights.
— If you’re picking NCAA tourney games, then you probably should check out Nate Silver’s picks.
— Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott wants the NBA to change its one-and-done rule.
— Former Washington star Tony Wroten Jr. was in the starting lineup Monday for Philadelphia, which lost a franchise record 21 straight games.
TODAY’S PAC-12 SCHEDULE:
No. 5 Utah (21-11) at No. 4 Saint Mary’s (22-11), 8 p.m. PT …………. ESPN2