Click here if you’re going to pretend you’re a college basketball fanatic for the next few weeks.

Welcome to the first official day of March Madness!

If you’re sick of the cold, dreary, lonely winter, and are ready for some excitement in your life, you’re in luck! You can watch college basketball ALL DAY for four straight days. Unless you have a job.

But if you don’t have a job, or any other responsibilities today, then plop yourself down on the couch and don’t get up until midnight.

Personally, I used to be a huge college basketball fan and followed it religiously throughout the year. When I was in college, I followed it very closely, probably due to the fact that I had a lot more free time then. And also because I had a crush on JJ Redick:

(by the way, that’s my go-to pose when anyway says anything rude to me)

Anyway, when he graduated and went to the NBA and was no longer the star, my attraction waned. (So I was a little shallow. So what?)

And then I graduated and got a job and realized it’s extremely challenging to fully commit to following March Madness while working a full-time job, so I gave up on college basketball a bit.

However, like any good American, I cannot let any cultural-significant event pass me by without offering my opinion on it, so I am excited to begin religiously following college basketball again today. At 11:15 a.m. CST.

The start of the tournament is a great day, because it signifies the start of spring, and it gives us something fun to rally around, culturally. Together, we’re all going to learn so many players’ names and human interest stories and we’re all going to enjoy talking about upsets, and great plays, and NBA prospects. We’re going to get really excited, and then we’re going to promptly forget everything about these poor kids by mid-April. Except for the kids who go to the NBA – we’ll remember them until they flop in the NBA.

So, if you’re like me and you want to get really excited about the tournament but you’ve barely kept up all year, here’s some quick links to get you up-to-speed:

  • 10 things to watch for.
  • During March Madness, almost everyone you meet at a bar, at work, in line at the grocery store, and in every other situation, will talk about college basketball like they’re an actual expert. Most of these people are not. But here’s what some actual experts – who are paid to talk about sports for a living – think.
  • Anytime cracked.com does an article on anything, just read it.
  • You know, the bracket. You might want to take a look at that.
  • Obama picked Indiana to win it all, so do with that what you will.
  • If you’re like me and are more of an NBA fan, here’s a guide for you.
  • Forbes has an economic breakdown of the tournament, which essentially shows how much the players get screwed in this whole deal.
  • OK, if you’re just really not into basketball, but still want to liven up your March, consider participating in an alternative March Madness. You can play New York Magazine’s “What’s the Best Sitcom of the Past 30 Years?”, Nylon’s “It Girl Tournament,” and many more.
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