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March Madness: The 5 games to ignore work for

NEED TO KNOW
  • Apps, live streams, break room TV: Lots of ways to still watch
  • Oregon goes from the Rose Bowl to the Hosed Bowl
  • Best battle? 'Wisconsin's defense shuts everyone down. Ole Miss' star player never shuts up'
March Madness: The 5 games to ignore work for

You weren't fooling anybody with that PTO request for a random Thursday in the middle of March. Of course it was rejected.

Your best laid plans to binge from the couch on 12 hours of hoops, trans fats and Bill Raferty wiped out.

But you can still salvage a few pieces of them. Between the live-streaming NCAA Tournament app, online viewer and that ol' standby, the break room TV, you can still sneak a bunch of peeks at the day games.

Here are our picks for the five best:

(3) Michigan State vs. (14) Valparaiso (Thursday, 12:15 p.m.)  If the thought of the massively favored Spartans tearing apart Valpo doesn't get your heart racing, then perhaps this will: This is the first game of the tournament! The excitement of unwrapping that first present. So what if it's just a pair of socks? It means the party has begun. Also: Bill Raferty and Verne Lundquist -- the Statler and Waldorf of college hoops -- are calling the game.

(5) Oklahoma State vs. (12) Oregon (Thursday, 4:40 p.m.)  In football, the Pac-12 champ plays in the Rose Bowl. Apparently in hoops they get the Hosed Bowl. Oregon won 26 games and the conference tournament -- and got hosed with a 12-seed. But you know who's just as hosed? Oklahoma State. They should've gotten to play a patsy, instead they got Oregon. Hosed.

(2) Duke vs. (15) Albany (Friday, 12:15 p.m.)  "Hahahahaha, you crazy! Why would I waste my time watching Duke against some pathetic 15-seed?! There's no way a 15-seed even sniffs Duke, much less beats them. Please."

(5) Wisconsin vs. (12) Ole Miss (Friday, 12:40 p.m.)  Wisconsin's defense shuts everyone down. Ole Miss' star player never shuts up. Two shall enter. Only one will leave.

(8) N.C. State vs. (9) Temple (Friday, 1:40 p.m.)  On the 30th anniversary of the Wolfpack's historic, "30 For 30"-worthy underdog run to the national title, they take a similar seed (an 8 now; 6 then) against similar odds into this year's tournament. So can the longshot -- who likely will get 1-seed Indiana if they win this evenly-matched opener -- do it again? Unlikely. But as someone once said, "Don't give up. Don't ever give up."

Follow Jonathan Anker on Twitter @JonFromHLN

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