2012 NCAA Tournament live blog: Updates from across the Big Dance

Can't get enough? ABC7's Justin Karp, Alex Parker and Britt McHenry are tweeting the tournament as well. Follow them: @jskarp, @ParkerSports and @BrittMcHenry.

2:21 p.m.: Good night, sweet Rams. Colorado State has become the first team to get bounced from the 2nd Round of the NCAA Tournament, falling to Murray State 58-41. Now, the attention turns to Davidson and Louisville, which really shouldn't be much of a game but still is for some reason.

2:06 p.m.: Uh, can someone please rouse Louisville? They're apparently unaware that they're supposed to play an NCAA Tournament game.

1:52 p.m.: Murray State, who I really, really liked all season long, is slowly starting to pull away from Colorado State. Early on, it looked like the Rams would be able to punish the Racers on the inside, the Murray State's speed is starting to wear them down. The winner of this one gets the winner of Marquette/BYU.

1:47 p.m.: Norfolk State, eh, Ovie?

Apparently, Alexander Ovechkin has a really strong inkling that a #15 seed is headed for the Elite Eight.

Good luck with that.

Near as I can tell, Ovi's elite eight is Kentucky, Duke, St. Louis, Norfolk State, Syracuse, West Virginia, Alabama and Georgetown

— Dan Steinberg (@dcsportsbog) March 15, 2012

1:40 p.m.: The Georgetown Hoyas quest for the Final Four doesn't start until Friday afternoon, but it looks like they're already in the spirit over on campus.

Check out what ABC7 photographer Dave Webb spotted this afternoon on Georgetown's campus:

GIANT DOG ALERT! It's a shame that Jack the Bulldog, the team's mascot, tore his doggie "ACL."

Meanwhile, Davidson and Louisville are underway in Portland.

1:32 p.m.: Lest we forget, we've got a good one going out of the East Region in Pittsburgh, where Kansas State leads Southern Mississippi 30-27 at the half. Kansas State got in as a Big 12 at-large, while as Southern Mississippi is best known for being Brett Favre's alma mater.

Oh. And they went 11-5 in Conference USA this year but lost to Marshall in the conference tournament semifinals.

1:14 p.m.: It's confirmed - those two Colorado State fans did, in fact, have a giant Bill Raftery face and onion.

Damon Bruce, a talk show host on KNBR in San Francisco, tweeted a photo of it a few minutes ago.

It's safe to say that were now barely one game into the tournament, but this might be the best NCAA Tournament ever.

The photo below is courtesy of Damon. Your move, every other sign maker in America.

12:54 p.m.: Just in case you were wondering the same thing we were, yes, that was a giant face cutout of Bill Raftery and another guy wearing a giant onion hat.

College basketball is awesome.

12:38 p.m.: Does the NCAA Tournament already have it's first fad star? This kid playing up the middle for Colorado State, PIerce Hornung, is getting rave reviews from everyone in the building here, including one assignment editor who exhorted "This kid is awesome!"

He's also related to Green Bay Packers Hall of Famer Paul Hornung, which is beyond awesome.

12:02 p.m.: Just in case you were wondering, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has Kentucky fever.

Don't worry, it's not contagious, but you should probably take some action of John Calipari is hanging out in your living room.

Anyway, Mayor Gray just tweeted his picks for the Final Four. He's got Kentucky knocking off North Carolina in the National Championship Game, Ohio State and Missouri rounding out the Final Four.

Come to think about it, his Final Four picks sound remarkably similar to another politician's picks in this town.

How's your bracket shaping up? I've got Kentucky over Ohio St & Carolina over Missouri, w/ Kentucky cutting down the nets! #bracket

— Vincent C. Gray (@mayorvincegray) March 15, 2012

11:46 a.m.: We're just about 30 minutes away from the the opening tip of today's NCAA action. If you're stuck at work, we hope you're following this blog. If you're at home and want to watch all the games at once, you may or may not be able to click here to watch all the games through the NCAA's March Madness on Demand.

Come to think of it, if you're at work and want to watch all the games, you can click there too. EDITOR'S NOTE: ABC7 assumes no responsibility for your job status if you're caught watching the NCAA Tournament on he job.

10:54 a.m.: Don't forget to enter the Land Rover Jaguar of Bethesda Bracket Challenge right here on! The winner gets a $200 gift card to Ruth's Chris Steak House, so you can get your grub on A) in style and B) on us. 2nd and 3rd place winners get gift cards too.

GET YOUR CLICK ON: Click here to enter the Bracket Challenge!

We also echo this simple, yet eloquent statement from Sports Blog Nation:

Really looking forward to the NCAA Tournament today, you guys.

— SB Nation (@sbnation) March 15, 2012

March 15, 10:48 a.m.: The biggest game of local interest on Thursday, of course, tips off at 7:15 p.m. at the Rose Garden in Portland. For fans of the Virginia Commonwealth Rams, it'll be hard to top last year's incredible run to the Final Four.

That's not stopping the team, head coach Shaka Smart and their fans from dreaming large...again.

"We're not satisfied. We want more. We definitely want to be playing our best basketball this week," VCU sophomore guard Rob Brandenberg told the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

Check out this video the Times-Dispatch produced as VCU gets ready for Wichita State.

ORIGINAL POST (March 15, 10:35 a.m.): The madness has arrived.

On Thursday, the quest for a men's basketball national championship begins for the last 64 teams alive in college hoops. Over the next few days, Cinderellas will be coronated, upsets will be sprung and heroes will emerge.

It truly is one of the most dynamic sporting events you'll ever watch. We're here to help you keep track of it.

PHOTOS: The NCAA Tournament by the numbers

The tournament's 2nd round (or 1st round, if you're a purist) begins today just after noon, with Colorado State and Murray State tipping off the first of 16 games on Thursday.

We'll be around all afternoon keeping you up to date on everything going on nationwide.

MORE: Full ABC7 NCAA Tournament coverage

Here's the schedule of games for Thursday, which includes Virginia Commonwealth's Round of 64 game this evening.

Afternoon slate

12:15 p.m. (CBS): West Region - (11) Colorado State vs. (6) Murray State
12:40 p.m. (TruTV): East Region - (9) Southern Mississippi vs. (8) Kansas State
1:40 p.m. (TBS): West Region - (13) Davidson vs. (4) Louisville
2:10 p.m. (TNT): East Region - (13) Montana vs. (4) Wisconsin
2:45 p.m. (CBS): West Region - (14) Brigham Young vs. (4) Marquette
3:10 p.m. (TruTV): (16) East Region - UNC-Asheville vs. (1) Syracuse
4:10 p.m. (TBS): West Region - (12) Long Beach State vs. (5) New Mexico
4:40 p.m. (TNT): East Region - (12) Harvard vs. (5) Vanderbilt

Evening slate

6:50 p.m. (TBS): South Region - (16) Western Kentucky vs. (1) Kentucky
7:15 p.m. (CBS): South Region - (12) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (5) Wichita State
7:20 p.m. (TNT): East Region - (10) West Virginia vs. (7) Gonzaga
7:27 p.m. (TruTV): South Region - (14) South Dakota State vs. (3) Baylor
9:20 p.m. (TBS): South Region - (9) Connecticut vs. (8) Iowa State
9:45 p.m. (CBS): South Region - (13) New Mexico State vs. (4) Indiana
9:50 p.m. (TNT): East Region - (15) Loyola MD vs. (2) Ohio State
9:57 p.m. (TruTV): South Region - (11) Colorado vs. (6) UNLV