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Let's fall in love with college basketball again, Day 4

Okay, now March Madness REALLY begins...

John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Most of us have had the same complaints in recent years. College basketball has gotten slower and less fun. The tempo is down, the whistles are up, and there's a timeout every 45 seconds or so. A given game could produce 40 fouls and 50 free throws, last nearly two and a half hours, and produce a 68-64 final score. The payoff for following the sport isn't as grand as it once seemed to be. And if you're a Missouri fan, that feeling goes double. Triple, maybe.

The relationship has grown stale, in other words.

But if there's ever a chance for us to rediscover that spark, it will be over the next three to four weeks. March Madness is still wild and fun. And on Wednesday, we hit fourth gear. Granted, most of the major conferences are pitting their worst teams against each other, but there are some fun battles mixed in there, and another Dance ticket gets punched out east. Let's see if we can't fall in love with this sport all over again.

SEC Bingo!

The SEC Tournament indeed begins this evening, so here's some SEC TOURNEY BINGO (from HHKB Chris) if you want to play along at home (click to enlarge).

SEC Tournament Bingo

Today's happy links

Well, maybe not happy ... more like delirious and chaotic (and awesome)...

Today's action

SEC 1st Round: Auburn vs. Mississippi State (6:00 p.m. CT, SEC Network)
SEC 1st Round: Missouri vs. South Carolina (8:00 p.m. CT, SEC Network)

Conference Tournament Finals
PATRIOT: American vs. Lafayette (6:30 p.m. CT, CBS Sports)

Top 25
ACC 2nd Round: No. 19 North Carolina vs. Boston College (1:00 p.m. CT, ESPN)

Bubble Teams (or close to it)
ACC 2nd Round: Pitt vs. N.C. State (6:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
ACC 2nd Round: Virginia Tech vs. Miami (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Big 12 1st Round: Texas Tech vs. Texas (8:30 p.m. CT, ESPNU)

Other Conference Tournament Goodness
ACC 2nd Round: Florida State vs. Clemson (11:00 a.m. CT, ESPN)
Pac-12 1st Round: Washington State vs. California (2:00 p.m. CT, Pac-12 Network)
Big Ten 1st Round: Penn State vs. Nebraska (3:30 p.m. CT, ESPN2)
Pac-12 1st Round: USC vs. Arizona State (4:30 p.m. CT, Pac-12 Network)

MEAC Quarterfinals: Coppin State vs. N.C. Central (5:00 p.m. CT, ESPN3)
MAC 2nd Round: Eastern Michigan vs. Bowling Green (5:30 p.m. CT, ESPN3)
Atlantic 10 1st Round: George Mason vs. Fordham (5:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports MW)
Big East 1st Round: Marquette vs. Seton Hall (6:00 p.m. CT, Fox Sports 1)
Big 12 1st Round: TCU vs. Kansas State (6:00 p.m. CT, ESPNU)
Big Ten 1st Round: Rutgers vs. Minnesota (6:00 p.m. CT, BTN)

MEAC Quarterfinals: S.C. State vs. (gulp) Norfolk State (7:00 p.m. CT, ESPN3)
Atlantic 10 1st Round: Saint Louis vs. Duquesne (8:00 p.m. CT, Fox Sports MW)
Pac-12 1st Round: Colorado vs. Oregon State (8:00 p.m. CT, Pac-12 Network)
MAC 2nd Round: Akron vs. Western Michigan (8:00 p.m. CT, ESPN3)
Big East 1st Round: Creighton vs. DePaul (8:30 p.m. CT, Fox Sports 1)
Pac-12 1st Round: Washington vs. Stanford (10:30 p.m. CT, Pac-12 Network)

Together, we will learn to love again.