Forget pitchers and catchers, this weekend the REAL sign that spring is almost here took place. Every March (sometimes sooner), the Ivy League champion clinches their conference title and thus enters automatic access to the Big Dance, firing the first of 64 Big Dance salvos that will be unleashed in the next two weeks. You see, the Ivy League is the last of the D-1 basketball leagues to crown their regular season champion as their true champion. All of the other conferences crowns their champion with a (sometimes ... ok, rarely) lucrative conference tournament. Ivy Leaguers are too busy with splitting atoms and slicing open cadavers to bother with a conference tournament so they kick it old school and actually have a regular season that matters. Personally, I am a fan of having the student-athletes play as many games as possible for my enjoyment, classwork be damned, but that's just me.
(For the record and for those of you who think I should have referred to "65 Big Dance salvos" above not 64, I don't count the two play-in game participants as part of the field until one of them leaves the court in Dayton on that fateful Tuesday night with a W. Then the 64th salvo is finally fired. On this there can be no debate.)
Oh by the way, major ups to the Cornell Big Red for winning the Ivy League. I can think of one fictitious Cornell graduate who has to be ecstatic ....
Here are links to some of the latest mock brackets from around the web. We at the Sports Kolache will be tracking every tiny little tremor in the world of brackets and bubbles over the next couple weeks.
ESPN Bracketology (Joe Lunardi)
ESPN Bubble Watch (Andy Glockner)
CBS Sportsline Field of 65 (Gary Parrish)
CNNSI Hoop Thoughts (Seth Davis)
March Madness All Season
March to Madness
Sporting News (Ryan Fagan)