Page 2 staff

Thursday (3/17) Bluster
Kieran Darcy, 2:59 p.m. ET: It's inevitable, every year. I wake up on the morning the Tournament begins, and I start daydreaming. Maybe this is the year.

The perfect bracket. Many of us probably sucker ourselves into believing this is actually a possibility. And for a lucky few, maybe that daydream lasts into the late afternoon, or early evening. Maybe even until tomorrow.

But, as usual, my daydream came to a halt very quickly.

Damn you, Wisconsin-Milwaukee! And for that matter, thanks for nothing Pittsburgh! I've already lost two members of my Sweet 16.

But, no matter. My alma mater, Penn, is about to take on the BC Eagles. A win here will make my day. In fact, it might make my entire tourney. So let's go Quakers!

Patrick Hruby, 3:29 p.m. ET: Man, I severely overestimated the flowing might of a Crimson Tide. I think that goofy submarine movie of the same name had more testosterone than the real-life team ... why, oh why, didn't I go with smooth, easy-drinking UW-Milwaukee's Best?

Speaking of which, I could use a brew right now. Lute Olson better not come out with mussed hair tonight, or else I'm totally doomed.

Jeff Merron, 4:35 p.m. ET: The Blue Slate strategy is now officially vindicated. On Wisconsin! (Milwaukee!) The blue state beat Alabama, a heavy red state (Bush won by a 25-percent margin). But there's more -- even though Niagara lost to Oklahoma, which was a longshot anyway, you have to take into account two things: 1.) Niagara is very close to Canada; and 2.) Heavily blue New York is kind of on a political roll right now, with Hillary being annointed as a Democrat who "gets it." So they don't have that kind of Move On hungriness (munchiness?) that it takes to score a major upset.

Dan Shanoff, 5:13 p.m. ET: Here's my dilemma, perfectly captured by the Utah-UTEP game. Would I rather have "my team" win? ("My team" meaning a team I picked in my bracket, not one I actually care about.) Or would I rather have the thrill of an upset? (Because isn't that what this Tournament is all about?) It's like the difference between selfish pleasure and greater social good. And as I swing back and forth, I still can't figure it out. After you're bracket is busted ... sure, you can root for all the spoilers; but on this first day, while you still have the promise of being a contender in your pool, it's hard to not root for your picks, even if they're favorites, rather than 'dogs.