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The Morning Mix

Mar 19, 2013, 8:00 AM EDT

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Today is the day March Madness officially begins. While Thursday is the first real day of March Madness, the First Four takes place tonight in Dayton with two entertaining play-in games. Middle Tennessee State and Saint Mary’s face-off for a chance to earn a No. 11-seed and a spot in the second round against No. 6-seed Memphis in the Midwest. Out west, La Salle and Boise State battle for a No. 13-seed and the opportunity to face No. 4-seed Kansas State.

The Madness officially begins tonight. So make sure you are fully prepared.

Let’s hit the links.
 
 
Read of the Day:
Extremely insightful stuff from Jason Lisk about why bad wins can sink a team’s at-large hopes or tournament seed more than a bad loss would. It’s not who you lost to, it’s the bottom 10% of the teams that you beat. Read it. (The Big Lead)

 
 
Observations & Insight:
- The full schedule for the first weekend, organized by tip-off time. (USA Today)

- Master statistician Nate Silver believes the that parity is so overwhelming this season that there is no true favorite to win it all. (New York Times)

- On a similar subject as our “Read of the Day”, here is a discussion about gaming the RPI. It’s lengthy but worth your time. (Addicted to Quack)

- A whole bunch of good bracket-related stuff from Dan Hanner, including a chart that measures how hot a team is. (Real GM)

- Everybody thinks that March Madness ruins workplace efficiency. But a study shows that just might not be the case. (NBCNews.com)

- An awesome infographic and article explaining the correlation between average team high and tournament success. (The Guardian)

- If Ed O’Bannon wins his case against the NCAA, the Big Ten Conference may switch towards a division III model. (Sports Illustrated)

- Can Saint Mary’s do what VCU did in 2010 and make it from the First Four to the Final Four? The Gaels quest begins tonight when they play Middle Tennessee in Dayton. (Mercury News)

- March Madness video highlights are coming to Twitter. (USA Today)

- San Diego State and Oklahoma meet in the 7/10 game in the South region on Friday. It’s a neat match-up because the two head coaches happen to be very close friends. (San Diego Union-Tribune)

- The selection committee didn’t get a lot wrong on Sunday, but Tennessee head coach Cuonzo Martin is not to happy that his team got left out. (College Basketball Talk)

- Is the ACC trying to beat out the Big East for postseason tournament rights at Madison Square Garden. (VUhoops.com)

- Cincinnati President Santa Ono has a brother who is a music professor at Creighton. The Bearcats play the Bluejays in the second round. (Omaha World-Herald)

- Evansville is not playing in March Madness, but they are in a post-season tournament. Senior scoring machine Colt Ryan is just 56 points away from becoming the school’s all-time leading scorer. The Purple Aces play Tennessee State tonight in the first round of the C.I.T. (Evansville Courier-Press)

Odds & Ends:
- Richard Deitsch put together a magnificent viewing guide for the entire NCAA tournament. Make sure you read this thoroughly before excessive viewing. (Sports Ilustrated)

Some people prefer to pick their brackets based on team mascots. If you subscribe to this method, this link is for you. (House of Sparky)

- Ranking the tournament’s 68 teams based on the coolest person who attended school there. (Sports Illustrated)

- Rush the Court rolled out their women’s guide to March Madness. Sure why not. (Rush The Court)

- VCU’s Shaka Smart and Akron’s Keith Dambrot are close friends. Here is coach Dambrot wearing a VCU Rams t-shirt. His Zips face off against the Rams in second round action. (Richmond Times-Dispatch)

 
 
Hoops Housekeeping:
- Seton Hall sophomore Aaron Cosby has decided to transfer out of school following a disappointing season for the Pirates in which he was the team’s second leading scorer. (New Jersey Star-Ledger)

- North Texas forward Tony Mitchell has declared for the NBA Draft. Mitchell garnered some preseason All-American votes but had a dud of a season. But his athleticistm and unpside means he’s probably a late first round draft pick. (Eye on College Basketball)

- It is being reported that Northwestern will release highly touted recruit Jared Sina from his LOI following the firing of head coach Bill Carmody. (Sippin’ on Purple)

- Texas State has decided to part ways with head coach Doug Davalos after seven years on the job. (Eye on College Basketball)

- Jackson State head coach Tevester Johnson has decided to retire after ten years on the job at JSU where he amassed a record of 149-170 and led the Tigers to the 2006-2007 NCAA Tournament. (JSUTigers.com)

- James Madison has suspended leading scorer Rayshawn Goins for the first half of the Dukes’ opening round game against LIU-Brooklyn on Wednesday due to an arrest over the weekend. (CSN Washington)

 
 
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