Look we all know that the NCAA Tournament is the greatest sporting event on our American calendar, but with college basketball a little down this year, even the biggest of fans may need a reason to tune in.
Well rather than just give you one, how about I give you 65 instead...
(Also, be sure to bookmark AaronTorres-Sports.com for continuing NCAA Tournament coverage all month long)
1. This May Be The Last Year Before The Tournament Field Expands to 96 Teams: Did anyone actually watch UConn this year? How about Arizona State? Dayton anyone? It was more painful than a double date with your grandparents. Well, if the tournament gets expanded to 96 teams, they'd all be in. And it could happen as early as next year.
2. Because Office Pools Are The Best Way To Trick Women Into Watching Sports: "Come on honey, we've got to watch this BYU-Florida game! If BYU holds on, you'll be up to 11th place in the pool. Stay focused!"
3. The Play In Game: For those of you who can't wait until Thursday to start gambling.
4. Is This The Last Time We See John Wall, Xavier Henry, DeMarcus Cousins, Derrick Favors and a few other freshman?: Hey guys, thanks for stopping by and hope you enjoyed your eight months on campus, here are some nice parting gifts. By the way, I hear New Jersey is lovely this time of year. Say hi to Brook Lopez and Snooki for me.
5. Evan Turner: Forget the National Player of the Year Talk. Did You See That Shot Against Michigan?
6. Regionals In Spokane, Jacksonville, Buffalo and Providence: Wow, the NCAA sure knows how to roll out the red carpet! What, were Billings, Sante Fe and Ocala all booked this year?
7. More Duke Bashing: Man, I've tried to defend Duke this year, but did you see their regional? Wow. I will say though, their potential Sweet 16 match-up with the Sisters of the Poor looks awfully tough on paper.
8. The Rick Pitino Sex Scandal: Who cares if it's old news, the guy had sex...in a bar! Awesome! Get your jabs in now though, I'm thinking it'll be a pretty short NCAA Tournament stay for Louisville.
9. Syracuse guard Andy Rautins: Don't judge me, but, umm, well, I have a man crush on a Canadian.... What? You said you wouldn't judge!
10. CBS Analyst Clark Kellogg: Where else are you going to hear terms like "blow-by-ability," and "spurt-a-bility?" No where I tell ya. (Wait a second. This is actually a reason NOT to be excited for the NCAA Tournament, never mind.
And by the way, if you're not quite sure what I'm talking about, just watch CBS during the tournament. You'll never hit the mute button faster.)
11. More "Hot Tub Time Machine" Commercials: I tweeted it on Selection Sunday, and I'll throw it out there to you: If Mississippi State coach Rick Stansbury could hop in the "Hot Tub Time Machine," go back to Sunday morning and club John Wall in the knees, you think he'd do it?
What? I'm just asking.
12. Bob Huggins Wardrobe: Yes, for you regular readers, this is a pretty big gripe of mine. But since when is it acceptable to wear a swishy suit in public (Well, unless you're Jack LaLane)? At this point, I'd be willing to pay for a shirt and tie for Huggins out of my own pocket, just so he wouldn't look like such a slob on the sidelines. And would it kill ya to get a haircut coach?
13. Syracuse-Vermont In The Opening Round: Remember the last time these two played in the NCAA Tournament's Opening Round? Somebody call Taylor Coppenrath and T.J. Sorrentine, we're getting the band back together!
14. No North Carolina: Let's be honest, after four Elite Eight's, three Final Four's and two National Championship in the last five years, we were all getting a little sick of Roy Williams' crew, weren't we? We'll see you next March Roy. In the meantime, enjoy the NIT.
15. No UCLA, Arizona or UConn Either: And as a UConn alum that one stings. But, despite my misery, there's a Wofford grad smiling somewhere. Only in March...
16. Speaking of Wofford, Did You Know They Rank 347th Out of 347 Division I Teams in 3-Point Shooting?: Just saying.
17. An Extra Mad March?: Syracuse, Michigan State, Maryland, Villanova and Pittsburgh combined to win zero conference tournament games during Championship Week. With fewer great teams than usual, was this a sign of things to come?
18. The NCAA Tournament Gives Cleveland Browns Fans Something To Distract Them: From the fact that in six months Jake Delhomme will be their Week 1 starting quarterback. Ouch!
19. Kansas Forward Xavier Henry: Because we need an athlete to nickname "The X Man." It's been awhile, and Henry is our guy.
20. Georgetown's 'Princeton Style,' Offense: Remember when John Thompson III came to Georgetown and people said the Princeton style offense would never work in the Big East? Well, umm, I watch Georgetown quite a bit, and it seems like every shot they take is either an uncontested lay-up or wide open three. Doesn't seem so bad to me.
21. Montana's Anthony Johnson: If you don't know the story of the Grizzlies guard who scored 42 points in the Big Sky final, just click here. All joking aside, just a great, great story.
22. More Zany Digger Phelps Tie/Highliter Combinations: Damn, I keep forgeting, these are supposed to be reasons to be excited about the NCAA Tournament, not the opposite. Sorry.
23. Marquette Coach Buzz Williams: Listen to the guy talk and he sounds like he smokes six packs of cigarettes a day. Then again, would you expect anything different from a guy named "Buzz?"
24. Brian Zoubek's Beard: Proving once again, that just because you can grow a beard, doesn't mean you should.
25. The Possibility of Another Vacated Final Four For John Calipari: Just kidding Kentucky fans, I promise. In reality, I actually like Coach Cal a lot. I don't think fans at Memphis and UMass feel the same way though.
26. Omar Samhan: Did you know that according to a recent poll in a local paper, Samhan- a center for St. Mary's- is considered the most hated man in Spokane, WA (Home of St. Mary's rival Gonzaga)? To me personally, he sounds more like a Saudi oil sheik, or maybe even an effeminate clothing designer. But the most hated man in Spokane? I just don't see it.
27. Villanova Center Mouphtaou Yarou: Or as I like to call him, "My favorite Mouphtaou."
28. D'Sean Butler: I said it Sunday morning and I'll say it again: After Butler's performance in the Big East Tournament, the guy deserves to have his picture on a stamp or something. I didn't think West Virginia was a Final Four team a week ago. I do now.
29. Gus Johnson: Alright, we all know he's awesome, that goes without saying. But you know what the most underrated part of his announcing is? When somebody does something crazy, he goes into his whole yelling and screaming routine (which again I want to emphasize is awesome), then yells and screams some more, and ends with this weird, "Ha, Ha!" thing. I don't know how to describe it, so just go to the :40 second mark of this clip.
30. Another Full Year Until We Have to Deal With Joe Lunardi Again: Question: What kind of weird bomb shelter does Lunardi disappear into once Selection Sunday is done, because the second 6:00 p.m. hit yesterday, he vanished into thin air like the Lindbergh baby.
Away from Bracketology, Lunardi also wins the award for "Worst Side Part of 2010."
31. Sherron Collins: What can I say, I like watching the guy play. Kill me.
32. One Shining Moment: Although I'm kinda bummed that CBS did a remake of the old song with Jennifer Hudson, that's set to debut at this year's Final Four. What exactly was wrong with Luther Vandross' version again?
33. The West Regional Final In Salt Lake City: It might not be much fun if you're a player, but hey at least the coaches know everyone will stay out of trouble.
34. Robert Morris College: I'm not really sure who this Robert Morris person is exactly, but it must be pretty cool having a college named afer you. Having a good hoops team doesn't hurt either.
35. UC-Santa Barbara: So let me get this straight. These guys get to school on maybe the most beautiful college campus in the country, and get to play in the NCAA Tournament? I tell ya, sometimes life isn't fair.
36. Dominique Sutton: Wait, are you talking about the forward from Kansas State, or the girl I dated in 11th grade? Wasn't sure.
37. No Northwestern: For just about the 387th year in a row. Did you know the Wildcats are the only school from a BCS conference never to make the NCAA Tournament? But hey, whatever. Their women's lacrosse team is still really, really good.
38. NCAA Tournament Fun Facts: Like for example, did you know that Pitt coach Jamie Dixon is a former child actor? No seriously, read his Wikipedia page.
39. And Another Fun Fact: So Tom Penders is the current coach of Houston. Houston last made the NCAA Tournament in 1992, where they beat Texas. You know who coached Texas in 1992? That's right folks, Tom Penders! Again, only in the NCAA Tournament.
40. Bruce Pearl's Orange Blazer: Sorry, sorry, I've used this joke at least 3,100 times since the start of the regular season, but what can I say? It's the gift that keeps on giving.
41. Bruce Pearl The Coach: So only two teams beat Kansas this year, and only two beat Kentucky. Tennessee beat both, and did it without their second leading scorer, who got thrown off the team in December. I've never been a huge fan of Pearl, but it's hard not to respect him after what he did in 2010.
42. Quincy Acy: Doesn't the guy sound more like a detective from a bad '60's crime drama than a basketball player at Baylor? And whether you like Baylor or not, let me ask you this: When's the last time you rooted for someone named Quincy? I thought so.
43. Notre Dame Forward Tim Abromaitis: Why Abro? Well, because he grew up in the town next to me, that's why. And if you don't like it, too bad! This is my list.
44. CBS Broadcaster Verne Lundquist: Sure, he's built like a Swedish meatball, and sure he's gonna botch 2-3 names every broadcast. But how can you get mad at the guy, he just seems like a jolly old man. Well, a jolly old man with a drinking problem anyway. But still (By the way, random side note: What must it be like when Lundquist and Bill Raftery are teammed up together on the road? All I can say is hide the women and children).
45. Justin Biebler: I'm still not sure exactly who he is, but if his Twitter following is any indication, I'm pretty sure he'll get involved with the tournament somehow.
46. Northern Iowa: They're slow. They're unathletic. And they're boring. But ya know what? They win a lot too.
47. The Return of Isaiah Thomas: No, not that Isaiah Thomas thankfully. I'm talking about the Washington guard of the same name.
48. The Plumlee Brothers: Anyone notice that lately Coach K has been subbing them in together like a bad WWE tag-team gimmick?
49. Patrick Patterson: With all the hype around John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe people forget about Patterson. But ask any Kentucky fan, and they'll tell ya that nobody is more important to this team's success than Patterson.
50. More Doug Gottlieb: Look, I know everybody can't stand the guy, but I actually like him. Look past the trees and into the forest and you'll see that nobody knows more- or cares more- about the game of college basketball.
51. Texas A&M Center Bryan Davis' Bald Spot: I know you have no idea what I'm talking about now, but just watch A&M in their opener against Utah State. You can't miss that bald spot.
52. Tracy Wolfson: She's no Erin Andrews (but she is pretty close), and I promise CBS will figure out a way to get old Tracy involved in their tournament coverage. Or at least I hope they do. Keep your fingers crossed.
53. Houston Guard Aubrey Coleman: It's not often you get the nation's leading scorer in the NCAA Tournament. Well that's exactly what we have this year, and after Coleman had a less than glowing Conference USA final, don't be surprised if he goes off for 40 in Round 1.
54. Vanderbilt Forward Jeffery Taylor: Easily one of my top 10 favorite Swedish born players in college basketball this year. Maybe even top five.
55. The Upsets: Like this one. Or this one. Or maybe even this one. Who's it gonna be this year?
56. BYU Guard Jimmer Fredette: Go ahead, laugh at the name. The guy dropped 75 points in two Mountain West Tournament games. I'm just glad he's not playing my team.
57. For The First Time In A Long Time, Smart Is Cool: As Duke, Cornell and Vanderbilt could all surprise people and win some games in this tournament.
58. Kansas State Coach Frank Martin: To steal a line from the old Rodney Dangerfield movie Back to School, Martin, "Is very passionate...About what, I have no idea."
59. The Last Time We See Seniors: Like Collins, Rautins, Scottie Reynolds and Jon Scheyer. Thanks for the memories guys.
60. Cole Aldrich: Who is not only an All-American center, but also doubles as the only athlete of my lifetime that makes it cool to be missing one of your front teeth.
61. Marquette Forward Lazar Hayward: He's got the headband. He's got the beard. All he needs is the kiss tattoo on his neck, and he'll be a walking, breathing 6'6 Kenyon Martin clone.
62. Because Even The Worst NCAA Tournament...: Is still better than the best season of American Idol. Keep Simon Cowell and give me Jim Nantz any day of the week.
63. 69 Straight Hours of Coverage on ESPNU Leading Up To the Tournament: Trust me, if you've got a thing for Fran Fraschilla, this is definitely the week for you.
64. The John Wall Dance: The season started in Kentucky with the John Wall dance. Will it end in Indianapolis just the same?
65. Is Anybody Beating Kansas?: Not from what I can see...