March Madness is here in all its glory

The first round of March Madness tipped off Thursday and continues today.

The wait is over. The first round of the NCAA basketball tournament, which should be a national holiday, tipped off Thursday and continues today. You can follow the day’s highlights here.

There were no major upsets like when a Steve Nash-led, No. 15-seeded Santa Clara beat No. 2 Arizona in 1993, or a No. 15 Florida Gulf Coast defeated No. 2 Georgetown in 2013. Despite the lack of major upsets there was some drama, along with feel-good stories and underhanded free throws.

Basketball fans from Washington state get to blow off weekend plans because Gonzaga did what they were supposed to do and soundly beat South Dakota State, and will face Northwestern on Saturday.

Northwestern is somehow playing in its first NCAA tournament. Ever. The Wildcats didn’t make it look easy, but they pulled out a 68-66 win over Vanderbilt. This was a big moment for long-suffering Northwestern fans. The two best reactions might have been from Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Doug Collins. Dryfus’ son is a freshman on the team and former NBA coach Collins’ son coaches the Wildcats.

Dreyfus didn’t do the Elaine dance, or at least the cameras didn’t catch her doing it.

Among the many beauties of March Madness are the stories away from the court. The New York Times had a touching piece about a member of the University of Vermont basketball team who has yet to suit up with his teammates because of injuries sustained in a car accident.

Maybe the upsets will come in today’s action. You can check the likelihood with FiveThirtyEight’s probability bracket. After a relatively calm first day maybe the second day will hold some surprises. Maybe a No. 16 seed beats a No. 1 seed for the first time.

 

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