Pencils down. Brackets to the front of the room. The 2012 NCAA men's basketball tournament is about to begin. No. 1 overall seed Kentucky and the suddenly un-Fab Syracuse Orange highlight the first full day of the tournament schedule.
While the Hilltoppers of Western Kentucky, and the Vermont Catamounts, will assure us that the tournament opened earlier this week in Dayton (whereas Mississippi Valley State will insist those inexplicable comebacks were merely a fever dream of British Prime Minister David Cameron), the IT guy running your office pool likely determined that today is the day that we should all start paying attention.
OK, then let's get started.
We've got 16 games set to tip off on Thursday and the same number again on Friday. How much time does that leave you to get work done? Not much, according to business consultants Challenger Gray & Christmas Inc. The firm estimated the financial losses caused by distracted workers during the 2011 tournament at $192 million.
From the tip-off between No. 6 Murray State and No. 11 Colorado State in Louisville all the way though the Final Four in New Orleans, we'll be bringing you live updates on all the machinations of madness produced by the 2012 NCAA Tournament.
Click HERE for the complete schedule of the so-called Second Round (again, that "First Four" that certain teams may want to forget.. cough.. Iona) taking place on Thursday and Friday. And, please, go print out your bracket to keep track of your picks. Of course, you could also just check out our interactive tournament graphic to keep tabs on all the forthcoming matchups and latest results.
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Wallace takes a deep 3-pointer and misses. Colorado is heading back to the line and this one should be over.
Hawkins his a long 3-pointer and then UNLV fouls immediately. 63-59 CO with 38 seconds left.
Another bad look for UNLV. Moser fouls out. This one might be over. 51.6 seconds left and UNLV down six.
Booker inexplicably steps on the line and gives the Rebels the ball back with 1:08 left.
Now UNLV is just taking terrible shots. No reason for this. Colorado was out of gas and the Rebels had them on the ropes.
Moser misses a short shot and then commits a foul afterward. Bad play by Moser. Colorado leading 60-56 and going to the line with 1:54. One and One
Smart play by UNLV, going inside and getting fouled, stopping the clock and shooting free throws. 2:16 left, UNLV has the ball after making a free throw and the second missing and going out of bounds OFF COLORADO.
Wow. UNLV misses a 3 from the corner and Colorado immediately turns it into a transition monster dunk. Five point swing right there.
|@ SethDavisHoops : This is a 22-4 run by the Rebs.|
|@ RTCSouthRegion : Oh, now we find out there are actually UNLV fans here. They been quiet. #NCAAABQ|
|@ SethDavisHoops : Justin Hawkins three makes it a two-point game. Somewhere @Georgedohrmann is going wild.|
It's a two-point game folks! UNLV nails a 3-pointer in the corner. 4 minutes to go. Gotta love the madness.
CHARGE. Colorado commits another turnover. Definitely a good call, he lowered his shoulder. Can't do that.
|@ ESPNAndyKatz : UNLV is ballin' right now. Cut the deficit to five at 57-52. Game on with 5:28 left.|
Goaltending called on the Buffs. Five-point game. Questionable call by the refs. It didn't look like the ball was on its way down. Either way, we're in for a great finish.
|@ RTCSouthRegion : It's hard to get the energy back once you've packed it in. Buffs in trouble now. #NCAAABQ|
|@ RTCSouthRegion : Buffs still gotta finish strong here. Seems like they've quit hustling, and Rebs have a chance to get back w/in 10 on these FTs. #NCAAABQ|
UNLV putting up somewhat of a fight. It's a 12-point lead for Colorado with seven minutes left in the game.
|@ ryanmgreene : If this holds, this will also be the first time in program history that #UNLV has lost four straight NCAA tournament games|