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Let the March Madness Begin

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Irish Hoops kicks off NCAA Tournament action on Thursday with a matchup with Princeton

NCAA Basketball: Boston College at Notre Dame Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

ITS FINALLY HERE

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Buffalo Practice Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish opens up NCAA Tournament action at 12:15pm ET when they take on the Princeton Tigers, the champions of the Ivy League. Check out OFD’s game preview and tournament preview show. We’ll have you covered throughout Notre Dame’s duration in the tourney, which hopefully is long lasting.

Colson, Farrell and Beachem named top players

Yahoo Sports unveiled their top 68 players in the NCAA Tournament. The Fighting Irish were well represented as juniors Bonzie Colson and Matt Farrell and senior V.J. Beachem we named to the list. Colson came in at 22, Farrell at 40 and Beachem at 63.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Buffalo Practice Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The top 10 consisted of players you would expect, including Frank Mason III of Kansas, Lonzo Ball of UCLA, Caleb Swanigan of Purdue and Josh Hart of Villanova.

Check out my appearance on Ivy Hoops Online

Last night I joined the staff over at IvyHoopsOnline.com on their podcast On the Vine. We discussed Thursday’s first round matchup between Notre Dame and Princeton. We also discussed Notre Dame’s season and also offered a prediction. Make sure to give it a listen. Also for additional coverage check out their site. They do a great job over there covering the Ivy League.

Best Names of the Year? Theres a bracket for that.

Not only is it NCAA Tournament season, its also bracket season. It seems like there is a bracket for everything this time a year, whether it be best foods, movies or whatever. Yesterday, Deadspin came out with their bracket of best names of the year. This is something I know my colleague Pat Rick was ecstatic about.

Some of the highlights include:

  • Kobe Buffalomeat - Obviously he’s a one seed, and a heavy favorite
  • Boats Botes - A 14 seed, but a popular pick to pull off the 3v14 upset
  • Sultan McDoom - A two seed, nobody wants to see this guy in the tournament
  • Bumper Pool - An 11 seed, they could be the next VCU and make a run to the Final Four
  • Windy Swetman III - An eight seed - vastly under-seeded in my book. My sleeper pick for the Final Four.

Check out what Dirk Nowitzki got in the mail

Getting pieces of mail is so uncommon these days that when you get anything that is not a bill, you get pretty excited about it. I can’t imagine out excited Dirk was after receiving a POTATO WITH HIS FACE ON IT in the mail on Wednesday. Pretty neat if you ask me.

Trouble in Bloomington

While this may be the happiest time of year for most college basketball fans, you can’t say it is for all of them. Just look at fans of the Indiana Hoosiers.

NCAA Basketball: Big Ten Conference Tournament-Indiana vs Wisconsin Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports

It was not the prettiest of seasons for the Hoosiers as they went 18-16 and finished 7-11 in the Big Ten. This all after starting the season off by beating Kansas and North Carolina and being ranked as high as No. 3.

IU ultimately wound up falling short of the NCAA Tournament and settling for an NIT birth. As a No. 3 seed in the NIT, the Hoosiers had the opportunity to play a home game at Assembly Hall, but the higher ups at IU thought otherwise.

First it was reported that Assembly Hall was going under renovations — that wasn’t the case. Then IU said it was because the students were on spring break — that can’t be it because 11 of the 16 hosting schools were on spring break (including IU’s opponent Georgia tech). Then on Monday IU athletic director Fred Glass came out and said hosting an NIT game would “devalue Assembly Hall.” As if going 18-16 and losing at home to the likes of Nebraska doesn’t already devalue it? Come on.

Personally as an IU alum, I think was all part of an idea of not subjecting beleaguered head coach Tom Crean to a hostile home crowd. Could you imagine the chorus of boos raining down at him during starting lineups? Sheesh. Also, I imagine the crowd would be pretty sparse and for a school that has as proud basketball tradition, that would have been quite embarrassing.

We’ll see how IU handles the Crean situation in the coming weeks. I will say that Notre Dame football fans should be able to relate to how IU basketball fans are feeling right now, and have felt for the past 25-30 years. It’s been a long time since both programs were at the top on a consistent basis.

It was a messy season for the Hoosiers to say the least. Oh also, IU ended up losing that NIT game to Georgia Tech, 75-63. Follow our fellow SB Nation friends at Crimson Quarry for everything IU.