Good morning. Let's basketball.
LET THE MADNESS BEGIN: Ricky O'Donnell has the 50 players you need to know to be a March Madness expert. This doubles pretty well as a draft watch list. The games begin at 12:15 p.m. ET on Thursday and let up in April. Here's a schedule. Here's full coverage from our awesome college basketball crew.
YES: The Greatest Living American Bracket. I ended up with a Final Four of Beyoncé, Elena Kagan, Serena Williams and Michelle Obama, and a championship game victory for Serena over Bey. So many tough choices.
SO LONG, MELO: It's time for the Knicks and Carmelo Anthony to split up.
SCORES GALORE ...
OKC 130, BOS 109
ORL 99, CHA 107
DAL 98, CLE 99
CHI 96, WAS 117
ATL 118, DET 114
MIN 114, MEM 108
LAC 122, HOU 106
NOP 123, SAC 108
NYK 85, GSW 121
STANDINGS CHECK: Boston's three-game slide has dropped them to No. 5 in the East with Miami (No. 3) ahead and Atlanta sitting at a perfunctory No. 4 with an identical record as the C's. That jumble is going down to the wire. Meanwhile, the Wizards have closed to within 1.5 games of Detroit and Chicago, who are tied for the final spot in the East bracket.
Out West, Memphis is finally succumbing to its misfortune with a three-game slide. Yet they still have four games on No. 6 Portland and 6.5 games on No. 9 Utah! That said, the Jazz were back 9.5 games just a few days ago ...
DAILY CURRY: Banked fadeaway.
WEAR YOU DOWN: Good piece by Liam Boylan-Pett on the Spurs' bench.
GOOD QUESTION: Will the Kings finally trade DeMarcus Cousins this summer?
GLITCH ALERT: Ramon Sessions blocked his own layup, or something. The Wizards are prone to in-game glitches!
OOF: D.C.'s Metro transit system is currently down, causing immeasurable travel pain for myriad District residents and workers. On the bright side, it allowed this Wizards fan to get off a vicious Derrick Rose joke!
ON THE AIR TONIGHT: Just one NBA TV game as March Madness overshadows the NBA. But it's a dandy: Blazers-Spurs at 8:30 p.m. ET. The two great matchups on League Pass are Raptors-Pacers and Hornets-Heat.
Happy Thursday. See you next time.