The first Thursday of March Madness is a furious loop of non-stop basketball from noon to midnight. The American workplace takes a back seat to college sports for two weekdays each March. There are brackets to be entered, pools to be won, so many things more important to focus on. Playing hooky and March Madness have become so synonymous, CBS embedded a “Boss Button” next to their online stream to help cubicle workers disguise their slacking from the evil tyrants known as bosses.
Americans are planning on an unproductive day and we’re proud of it.
Don’t plan on getting much work done after 12 today #MarchMadness
— Bruce (@ayorob622) March 20, 2014
— rob abolt. (@rob_abolt) March 20, 2014
If you’re mailing it in today here are five games to pay attention to in the Thursday lineup.
Dayton vs. Ohio State 12:00 PM (All times Eastern)
The in-state schools don’t play in the regular season by choice. Ask fans of the Dayton Flyers and they’ll claim the Buckeyes refuse to play a home and home series. Ohio State scoffs at the notion and looks forward to claiming in-state bragging rights Thursday afternoon in the tournament. Dayton guard Jordan Sibert transferred from Ohio State over playing time and now stars for the Flyers. Sibler has said all the right things about facing his former team, but you know the game comes with extra motivation.
The Buckeyes are led by four year starter Aaron Craft and his rosy cheeks.
Further connections; Dayton head coach Archie Miller used to work on Thad Matta’s staff at Ohio State. Enough story lines for you to call in sick?
The Buckeyes and Flyers tip off at noon.
Cincinnati vs. Harvard 2:00 PM
Everybody loves when the little Ivy League school fulfills the prophecy they penciled on their bracket. Harvard upset New Mexico in the 1st round last year and looks to do the same to the athletic Cincinnati Bearcats.
There is no way schools happening today. #MarchMadness
— JORDAN M SBOROV (@JSborov) March 20, 2014
(Maybe school(s) should happen Jordan?)
Tommy Amaker’s Crimson will have their work cut out for them with Cincinnati fifth year senior Sean Kilpatrick. Harvard doesn’t see players like Kilpatrick much in the Ivy League and will have to adjust to a higher level of competition.
Cincinnati won the AAC conference title behind Kilpatrick’s 20.7 points per game. The guard is worth taking an afternoon off to see.
President Obama showed Harvard some love when completing his bracket with ESPN’s Andy Katz on SportsCenter. Obama (Harvard J.D. ’91) picked his Alma mater to advance as the 12th seed.
Syracuse vs. Western Michigan 2:30 PM
The Orange have been exciting this season. If you have any luck on your day off , you may see Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim do something like this:
(You must love how Dick Vitale is sympathetic to Boeheim behaving like a lunatic)
Syracuse has stumbled in to the NCAA’s losers in five of their last seven. At times this season they held the #1 ranking behind a smothering 2-3 zone defense, but that all seems lost after the disappointing finish.
The Broncos of Western Michigan enter the tournament red hot, winners in 12 of their last 13. The last time they took the floor, Western Michigan dominated Toledo to win the Mid-American Conference Tournament.
If you’d rather spend your Thursday afternoon getting belligerent while cheering for a Broncos upset, put in half a day, just make sure you’re off by the 2:30 tip off.
Michigan State vs. Delaware 4:40 PM
Vice President Joe Biden is a Delaware University alum. Biden’s boss has Michigan State winning it all and couldn’t help taking a poke at his subordinate and the basketball poor school he attended.
“I’ll let Biden fill out his own bracket. If he wants to pick Delaware over Michigan State, I’ll let him do it,” Obama said.
Michigan State is a popular choice from the Big Ten after the Spartans used a late season run to capture the conference title. Tom Izzo has been here many times before and now has a healthy team to boost. There’s no better way to spend your sick day than with the Spartans on TNT.
So you may be reading this list and saying, “Hey, what about me? I work nights, but I’ll call in sick for the right game.”
Here you go.
N.C. State vs. Saint Louis 7:45 PM
Coach K thinks the ACC is the best conference in all the land. Way better than the A-10 which earned six tournament bids this year. The Duke head man took a subtle poke at mid-major conferences last weekend saying that the ACC deserved more bids because of the supposed higher level of competition. The ACC and A-10 naturally must play a game then, right?
Enter Saint Louis and NC State the match-up which will make Coach K look genius or stupid.
More than anything off the court ACC Player of the Year T.J. Warren should be the difference for the Wolfpack. Warren scored 24.9 per game and should be the best player on the floor.
— Kayla Thomas (@Blenditkay) March 20, 2014
Five games, five excuses to use your sick day on March Madness. Everyone else is.
[Image Credit:toniwbusch via photopin]