Even before March Madness officially begins tomorrow night in Dayton with the first two play-in games, this month already is living up to its name.
Take Sunday, for example.
Kentucky, the favorite to win the national title, lost in the Southeastern Conference championship game. North Carolina, the most likely team to stop Kentucky's "march" to the title, lost in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game.
Before that, Syracuse, which had lost just once in its first 32 games, lost in the Big East Conference tournament. In other words, the three most likely teams to win the national title, couldn't win their conferences.
With Selection Sunday over, we now know who is playing who and where and when they will be playing.
We'll use Tuesday's column to break down the tournament and try to pinpoint the opening-round bracket busters. Today, let's concentrate on the local teams.
When it comes to West Virginia University's position, I'm like Mikey with a bowl of Life cereal -I like it.
I like the Mountaineers playing in Pittsburgh, which virtually amounts to a home game for West Virginia.
I like that WVU is playing a team -Gonzaga -that will have to travel from the West Coast to Pittsburgh and play on Thursday night.
Obviously, when you are a No. 10 seed like the Mountaineers, you're going to face a higher-seeded, higher-rated and higher-regarded team in the opening round and Gonzaga fits all those bills.
Plus, the Zags, like West Virginia, have a solid NCAA Tournament history.
Gonzaga has some impressive wins, especially a 73-53 blasting of Notre Dame. It also downed Arizona, Butler, Xavier, St. Mary's and BYU and lost to Michigan State by just seven points.
But it also lost by seven to Illinois and dropped two of three to St. Mary's.
Rather than relying on a superstar, Gonzaga has a balanced scoring attack with four starters averaging between 10.0 and 13.8 points per game.
The Zags are a strong shooting team that can make treys with the best of them. Perhaps their biggest weaknesses are lack of rebounding power and a non-productive bench.
If West Virginia beats Gonzaga, it will set up a Saturday showdown with No. 2 seed Ohio State, which would be of extreme interest in border towns like Parkersburg. WVU likely would be a double-digit underdog in that contest, but with this West Virginia team we've learned not to take any win or loss for granted.
As for the other Ohio, the Athens-based Bobcats got a tough draw in John Beilein's Michigan team. At least by playing in Nashville on Friday, the Bobcats will have an extra day to prepare for Beilein's unique and confounding system. West Virginia fans saw what Beilein can do when he took the Mountaineers to the Elite Eight.
Contact Dave Poe at firstname.lastname@example.org