There haven't been any John Madden sightings, but March Madness once again has lived up to its name and been downright maddening.
Kansas, the consensus pick to win the national title, is gone, while upstarts Northern Iowa, Cornell and Butler are in the Sweet 16.
So for that matter are West Virginia University and Ohio State University. We're now six wins away from a Mountaineers versus Buckeyes game for the national championship.
While at this point, that matchup still is a pipedream, with every victory it becomes a little more likely.
Besides, of the 16 remaining teams, none has an easier road to Indianapolis than Ohio State. The Buckeyes, the No. 2 seed in the Midwest, can make the Final Four without having to play a regional seed above No. 5. OSU, which has defeated No. 15 UC Santa Barbara and No. 10 Georgia Tech, now plays No. 6 Tennessee in the Sweet 16. Should the Buckeyes eliminate the Vols, they would face either No. 9 Northern Iowa or No. 5 Michigan State for a berth in the Final Four. Michigan State -like Big Ten member Purdue before it -has lost its best player due to injury.
So it's pretty clear that the Buckeyes now are the favorite to win the Midwest Regional.
Which leads us to West Virginia, which will meet No. 11 seed Washington in the Sweet 16 on Thursday night at the Carrier Dome at Syracuse University.
The Mountaineers are a solid favorite in that game. With a win, West Virginia would play either No. 1 Kentucky or No. 12 Cornell in the regional championship game on Saturday. While the Wildcats are heavily favored over Cornell, don't count out the Big Red, who beat Temple by 13 and Wisconsin by 18.
Just going by raw scores, perhaps no other team has been as impressive as has Cornell, clearly the Cinderella story of the tournament.
More than likely, the clock will strike midnight for Cornell against Kentucky.
If that happens, we will have the 1-2 regional final matchup we all anticipated between Kentucky and West Virginia. While the oddsmakers will favor Kentucky, WVU will have an edge in that game and that is its experience. The Wildcats are young. The Mountaineers, meanwhile, are veterans who know the ropes.
Even more good news for fans of the Mountaineers and Buckeyes is that both teams drew the early time slots for their Sweet 16 games. WVU will meet Washington at 7:27 p.m. on Thursday. Ohio State's game with Tennessee will start at 7:07 p.m. on Friday.
No waiting until after midnight like we did on Sunday night for the Mountaineer women, who beat Lamar, 58-43.
WVU will play another late game again tonight, as coach Mike Carey's team will meet No. 11 seed San Diego State in a game scheduled for a 9:40 p.m. tipoff.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org