Approximately two years ago I told you to be careful because if you ask me how I’m doing, I’ll tell you exactly how I’m doing. One of my older sisters told me it’s the definition of a bore, but I disagree.

If I ask you how you’re doing, I’ll gladly listen to what you tell me.

It’s 11 p.m. Thursday, March 16, and I’m going to tell you what I did today, and how I’m doing.

My day started with a medical procedure (all good), but since I was forbidden to drive, my daughter, Ellen, accompanied me to Lutheran KCH this morning at 6:45.

I woke up hungry, but not as groggy as I thought I’d be. Ellen shared with me that I told her, “Hey, help me eat all these pretzels and drink this Diet Coke because I think there is a $1,400 co-pay for snacks.”

We visited at her duplex until McAllister’s Deli opened and I finally ate my first since Tuesday night.

O.K. I’ll fast forward.

I had the rest of the day off for obvious reasons so I was – for the first time in at least a decade – able to enjoy the first day of the NCAA men’s basketball Round of 64.

I ended up joining a bracket pool playing for pride although I vowed to “only watch the games.”

With these things mentioned here are – around 11-ish at night – my thoughts on the tourney.

Guard play matters, and two teams with big guys who played well won and lost because of guard play. Alabama, whom I picked to lose to Arizona at their regional final, won and looked so good doing it. Arizona, on the other hand, not only suffered from inferior guard play, but they were out-coached by Princeton.

Arizona was my pick to take the crown, so 6 hours and 20 minutes into the first day of the Round of 64, I resigned to the fact my brackets were toast. Strangely, I’m 7-7 at this moment and still tied for first. My user name for the pool is DumbLuckin23, and it’s showing, I guess.

The Virginia’s, University of Virginia and West Virginia, started my day at 0-2.

First of all, Furman (over Virginia) was likely almost everyone’s bracket buster, but Charles Barkley noted despite the disparity of their respective conferences, on the court these young boys and men can still be intimidated by size. Virginia certainly was.

Additionally, Kenny Smith piped in to note these universities are comprised of young who saw each other in AAU and scholastic competition as teenagers, and the athletes at Furman had enough familiarity to breed a constructive level of contempt for the Cavaliers.

West Virginia faced a 12-loss Maryland team, one of five B1G teams who earned berths to the big dance with at least 12 losses. I picked each of those B1G teams to be knocked out Thursday and Friday. Maryland erased a 13-point deficit to put my first two projections at 0-for-2.

Northwestern did the same against Boise State later in the evening. What I failed to see in this matchup was Boise State has never advanced beyond the opening rounds in any of its previous tournament appearances.

My conventional wisdom is getting challenged again as Penn State – at 11:32 p.m. – is continuing its momentum in the B1G tourney giving Texas A&M a rough time leading by 20 points as I continue typing parallel to first half action.

All this futility, yet it is likely I’ll still be among the top three in my bracket pool. I guess I’m slumming.

My biggest laugh was an early win by Missouri - shout out to Tiger alum and Times-Union editor Connor McCann (and brown-nose points) – whose entire team stood by its coach and the game’s best performer in an interview immediately following the action.

One of their reserve guards who looked more like he won a student section contest for a “day in a Mizzou uniform” was mugging and pantomiming the entire interview. Holding a pantomime microphone into the faces of the coach and the star player. The former, who already has a reputation for being surly, was not amused.

Mizzou also spoiled one of my Round of 64 picks, so Steinberg’s shenanigans were a humorous takeaway. I wonder if his antics will find their way onto YouTube, TikTok, or some memes.

I did not watch any game completely from start to finish. Instead, I would use my cable provider’s “C” button to pull up an NCAA tournament scoreboard to see what games were getting close to the halftime so I could watch the two different panels assigned to the action through tomorrow evening.

My favorite, and I was very vigilant to make sure I hit the CBS halftime segments, was the quarter of Greg Gumbel, (fellow Buckeye) Clark Kellogg, and my favorite Inside the NBA analysts, the aforementioned Smith and Barkley.

I particularly enjoyed the moments Barkley made sure he pointed out to Smith his alma mater, the North Carolina Tar Heels, are not in this tournament while Barkley’s old haunt, Auburn, is in the dance, and – much to my happiness – disposed of one of many B1G teams I eliminated early, the Iowa Hawkeyes.

War Eagle, Chuck!

The other panel - Reese Davis, Inside the NBA’s Ernie Johnson, Candace Parker, and two-time NCAA championship former Villanova coach Jay Wright mostly appearing among cable channels tbs, truTV, and TNT.

While this quartet is an enjoyable alternative among some of the games where they popped up on screen during several of my halftime channel hops, the team based in the CBS studio is my favorite.

Nonetheless, Parker was impressive. I’ve seen some of her tranches of appearances on Inside the NBA, but I had much more viewing time to appreciate her grasp of data, and her solid analysis of the action throughout all the games.

I was also impressed to hear a female voice on public address at the Birmingham venue. I tried to search her name to no avail because her delivery and energy were perfect. I listened and learned when I was tuned into the two games played at Birmingham.

Finally, folks, Jim Nantz will make his final tournament broadcast run this year. Many NCAA tournament memories during his time on the air associated with his voice. Who will file these very big shoes?

The average person speaks 100-130 words per minute, and I tend to talk on the fast side of those numbers. If you asked me how Thursday was, based on the copy volume here, I would have told you in approximately 8 minutes and 24 seconds.

Please trust that I would have shared these thoughts in more of a back-and-forth exchange, and not a monologue… I think?