1. Bill Raferty's voice at high noon on the first day.
2. Freshmen like Michael Beasley, Eric Gordon, Kevin Love, O.J. Mayo and Derrick Rose are dancing instead of grinding out their first NBA season.
3. Friendly wagers between state governors. In 2005 Washington's Christine Gregoire bet Montana's Brian Schweitzer a box of Fuji apples that her No. 1--seeded Washington Huskies would beat his 16th-seeded Montana Grizzlies. Gregoire won eight rib steaks.
4. Wall-to-wall basketball. The first Thursday and Friday might as well be national holidays—enough people skip work to make them one—with games starting as early as 9:30 a.m. PT and ending as late as 1 a.m. ET.
5. The most infectious fight song in all of sports, Tennessee's Rocky Top. We'll be hearing it a lot.
6. SI'S ALL-BRAINIAC TOURNEY TEAM
Drake's Adam Emmenecker, a former walk-on turned Missouri Valley Player of the Year, gets to show the nation that smart guys can also ball. Emmenecker isn't the only player whose GPA is as rarified as his team's RPI.
TEXAS, GUARD, 3.64, EDUCATION
BUTLER, FORWARD, 3.95, CHEMISTRY (MBA)