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The most boring opening day in NCAA tournament history just happened. Now what?

There was no madness to be seen on Thursday at the NCAA tournament. Just straight chalk.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-First Round-Princeton vs Notre Dame Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

The NCAA tournament is supposed to earn its nickname on opening day. America expects buzzer-beaters and upsets and a serious lack of work productivity all while a 16-game schedule unfurls from the early afternoon until midnight.

It’s basketball Christmas, and it’s beautiful because we never know exactly what we’re going to get.

Last year, the first round delivered. It gave us arguably the greatest upset in tournament history when 15th-seeded Middle Tennessee stunned national title favorite Michigan State. It gave us a halfcourt buzzer-beater to lift Northern Iowa over Texas. It gave us Purdue’s devastating collapse to Little Rock and Stephen F. Austin’s inspiring victory vs. No. 3 West Virginia.

This is why we watch, and wager, and obsess. It’s why this is the greatest day on the American sports calendar. It’s why no one actually calls this thing the NCAA tournament and only refers to it as March Madness.

At least that’s how it’s supposed to work. As the 2017 tournament opened on Thursday, there was a decided lack of madness. Instead, it was all sort of predictable and almost a little boring.

Only two lower-seeded teams won all day, and neither really qualified as upsets. Middle Tennessee was everyone’s 12-5 pick over Minnesota, and 11th-seeded Xavier’s win against No. 6 Maryland felt like a coin flip from the start.

This was the day of chalk all the way through:

Maybe the first game of the day was a bad omen. Princeton, undefeated in the Ivy League this season and champions of its inaugural tournament, put fifth-seeded Notre Dame to the test. The Tigers jacked up threes and fought hard on the glass to put the Irish on the ropes.

The game came down to the final seconds, but the end was anticlimactic. Princeton missed a long three and the Irish escaped. Things didn’t get much more exciting after that.

The lone bright spot was Northwestern’s 8-9 match with Vanderbilt, a tournament debut 78 years in the making for the Wildcats. Northwestern would advance thanks to a serious mental error from the opposition in the final seconds. Doug Collins lived to freak out another day, and the team’s Twitter account got to roast Skip Bayless. In sum, it was a good time, but it shouldn’t have been the highlight of the day.

The NCAA tournament gets another chance to thrill us on Friday. Top freshmen like Lonzo Ball, Josh Jackson, Jayson Tatum and Malik Monk will make their debuts. Wichita State will get its opportunity to prove to the selection committee that it deserves more respect. Michigan will attempt to carry over the momentum from its Big Ten tournament run, and Duke will try to do the same thing after acing the ACC tournament.

If nothing else, maybe a chalk-filled Day 1 will lead to a better slate on Saturday. Let’s hope so. This is March and the people demand madness. On Thursday, there just wasn’t much to see.