IU is not in this year's NCAA Tournament, but that does not mean that we can't follow along on one of this country's great secular holidays. While it's always disappointing to see a bracket that doesn't include IU, but thanks to the NCAA's new TV contract, the NCAA Tournament has never been better for the neutral fan. Instead of regionalizing coverage on CBS, every Tournament game will be broadcast live nationwide, on either CBS, TBS, TNT, or Tru. Also, for any of you who have an iPad or iPhone, there is a great free app that will allow you yo watch all of the games.
Here are the games of local, regional, or conference interest on today's slate:
(8) Butler v. (9) Old Dominion, 12:30 p.m., Tru: Last year's NCAA runner-up looked NIT bound at midseason, but the Bulldogs found a way. ODU knocked Notre Dame out of the tournament last year and is no pushover. Nothing Butler does will surprise me, either way.
(4) Louisville v. (13) Morehead State, 1:40 p.m., TBS: The Cardinals had an up and down season, but made a nice run to the Big East final. They seem like a team that could make some noise in the Southwest, but Kentucky-based Morehead surely will be very motivated against one of the state's power programs.
(7) Temple v. (10) Penn State, 2:00 p.m., TNT: The Nittany Lions finished the season strong, and hope to pull the mild upset against the Owls in yet another intrastate matchup.
(4) Kentucky v. (13) Princeton, 2:30 p.m., CBS: This Kentucky team isn't as loaded as last year's team that lost in the regional final, but they still have plenty of talent. It will be interesting to see how UK matches up with Princeton, which won the Ivy League by beating Harvard in a rare tie-breaking playoff.
(4) Wisconsin v. (13) Belmont, 7:15 p.m., Tru: Belmont seems to be a trendy upset pick, and the one knock on Bo Ryan's tenure at Wisconsin is a lack of Tournament success. Still, I think the Badgers will prevail.
(7) UCLA v. (10) Michigan State, 9:15 p.m., TBS: The Spartans may well have missed the Tournament if they had not upset Purdue in the Big Ten Tournament quarterfinals. Still, does anyone want to bet against Tom Izzo in March or April?