As much as football is the top priority here at Ravens headquarters, this weekend is somewhat of an exception. That's right… It's March Madness time, and the opening round of games is always a great day at work.
I have to admit, I was kind of surprised at the lack of serious college basketball fans in the locker room. For the past few days, I was pretty persistent in finding the biggest bracket-heads so I could discuss my picks. But in going down the line, most of the players said they weren't really that interested in the tournament until the Final Four.
OK, so I guess that explains why none of the players paid close attention to the TVs tuned to the noon matchups in the cafeteria.
There are a few guys that do get into it, however. Pretty big-time, actually. Matt Katula is always good for some hoops analysis, especially when it pertains to his alma mater (Wisconsin) and his former conference (the Big Ten).
Mark Clayton was particularly vocal about his favorite teams, although the former Sooner laments the fact that Oklahoma doesn't yet have a reliable point guard.
Yamon Figurs is riding the Kansas State and Michael Beasley bandwagon - although is it really a bandwagon when he went to that school?
Then there was Corey Ivy. The cornerback fills out a bracket every year and follows the action closely. He also likes to talk trash, which he promptly did as soon as he took a look at my sheet of picks.
And so it led to where we are right now. I challenged Corey to put his picks on record, and we'll see who the resident March Madness guru really is here in Owings Mills. Corey joined me in the studio Thursday morning to dissect our first round selections before the action began.
You can check out his bracket and my bracket below, and we'll be checking back right here after every round to see where we both stand. I'm still trying to come up with a good gentleman's wager for the winner, so stay tuned for that.
Until next week, Ravens - and basketball - fans, let the games begin!