Let's start with five good reasons I can't wait to watch Missouri attempt to upset Memphis tonight.
First, Mizzou's Tigers are clearly the most fun team to watch in the Big 12. At this point, they might be followed by the New York-bound Baylor Bears, but the Tigers' relentless pressure and, frankly, some of the crazy shots they jack up make them worth the watch even when they're not as hot as they are right now.
Second, in what must have been a previous life, I covered coach Mike Anderson when he was the Tulsa point guard in the early '80s. His backcourt mate was former NBA all-defense first-teamer Paul Pressey.
The Golden Hurricane's press tore opponents apart. I saw them beat Louisville's "Doctors of Dunk" when the Cards were defending NCAA champions. That was Nolan Richardson's first big-time college team. "Forty minutes of hell" was being born.
Third, if my bracket is going to have any chance of staying alive, then Missouri has to upset Memphis. It wouldn't be a huge upset, a three seed beating a two, but I am aware of who's favored and how most of the nation expects the other Tigers to prevail.
I expect Missouri's defense to disrupt Memphis at times. I also expect them to give up a bunch of 3s. It's not going to be easy.
Fourth, in a few months I will be eligible to put a bumper sticker on my car that says "My Daughter and My Money Go to the University of Missouri."
So there's that.
But the biggest reason is that the lack of real upsets, which reduced the drama of the tournament's first weekend, sets up a great second weekend.
And I have always said the best part of the NCAA Tournament is the second weekend, specifically the Thursday and Friday night doubleheaders.
After that, I think the tournament can lose a little energy to those not directly affiliated with the teams remaining.
But tonight and Friday, we don't have a bad game on the board. The heaviest favorite is Louisville, by nine points over Arizona. That's a small spread, and when you think of how Louisville played against Siena on Sunday, there's reason to think that game just might be about as good as any.
If there's a game that has a chance to be a channel-turning rout, it's North Carolina as an 8 -point favorite against Gonzaga. But the Tar Heels were trailing the eighth-seeded LSU Tigers with 15 minutes to go Saturday afternoon. Despite all of its star power, UNC doesn't always play to that level.
The four 2-3 games - which we never have had before - just look to be the most special. Kansas fans were a little iffy after that opening round 10-point win over North Dakota State.
But Cole Aldrich's ridiculous triple-double, which included 11 blocks in a blowout of Dayton, has the Jayhawks in position to knock off Michigan State, a team that's a bit overseeded as a No. 2.
Oklahoma's Blake Griffin takes a beating under the basket every game and still pours in incredible numbers. How many Syracuse players will he have in foul trouble in this game?
And how will the Sooners defense handle a Syracuse attack that has been on fire since the Big East tournament?
I think Syracuse and its Big East rival, Villanova, both have chances to score minor upsets as threes beating twos. Villanova more so than Syracuse.
Had Texas not made some of its typical mistakes down the stretch, I don't think Duke would still be alive in this tournament. Villanova's accustomed to playing and surviving against more athletic teams.
So the best part of an entire basketball season is set to unfold over the next 48 hours. All we know for sure is that no truly major upsets, no George Masons, are on the horizon.
I've got a few reasons for hoping to see Missouri pull off a minor one.