Day 3 - also known as the second round, thank you very much - dawns with my bracket shaken but not burned. Six losses on Freaky Friday left me at 22-10, with two Sweet 16 teams gone.
That's still better than President Obama (20-12 with three Sweet 16s vanquished), if not close to the best brackets remaining among the 8.15 million people playing along on ESPN's website. Five of those are 30-2, and 107 are 29-3. Florida Gulf Coast's upset of Georgetown took down the last perfect bracket standing - a shocking result just 2.3 percent of all brackets entered saw coming.
All the first-round fireworks notwithstanding, this is shaping up to be one of those tournaments where having your Final Four intact (heck, where having three of your Final Four intact) may get you a title before the championship game even tips off. Somewhere, Rick Pitino is laughing maniacally as he pulls for LaSalle to keep on keepin' on, and Billy Donovan is calling in some favors from friends with similar suits and hairstyles to see if Florida Gulf Coast can't win just one more.
Today brings us Louisville vs. Colorado State; Oregon vs. St. Louis; Memphis vs. Michigan State; Gonzaga (looking for a much better performance than first-round squeaker over 16 seed Southern) vs. Wichita State; Arizona vs. upstart Harvard; VCU vs. Michigan; California vs. Syracuse and Butler vs. Marquette.
We shall see what becomes of the Crimson, which won its first-ever NCAA tournament game against New Mexico in the first round, and whether Wichita State has more Shocking to do . I'm most interested to see whether VCU can put up anywhere close to 50 points on Michigan by halftime, though work obligations will only allow me to watch the first half. Thank goodness for the March Madness app, easily downloadable and not as prone to the buffering that repeatedly plagues Watch ESPN.
Onward, then, into the Havoc.