Our favorite time of the year has arrived. A time when workers call in sick or mysteriously take a two-hour lunch break during the Michigan State game. It's OK. We understand.
For three weeks, everybody has an opinion. Be polite and listen to them drone on about the wonders of Wichita State's defense or Arizona's hotshot freshman. It will be over soon enough. Those same March Madness fans will next be distracted by baseball. Cubs or Cardinals? AL or NL? Again, everybody has an opinion.
With the bracket safely filled out, it's time to find other ways to keep us busy. Like television. Here is your weekend viewing guide:
"Rake," 7 p.m., WCCU (Fox)
Normally, moving a show to Friday night means the network has little faith. So, if you want to see Greg Kinnear as "Keegan Deane" you better watch now. Deane is a lawyer with personal problems. The series has received favorable reviews. Never easy for a show trying the difficult comedy/drama angle. Kinnear is always watchable. And the character seems like his type of role. T.O.T.M. doesn't venture to Fox very often outside of the NFL season. But it did give us "24" back in the day and deserves another chance to impress.
"Crisis," 9 p.m., WAND (NBC)
You have to love NBC's willingness to trot out new pilots week after week. You never know which one is going to be the next "Law & Order." Could be this, which stars Gillian Anderson and Dermot Mulroney. In this episode, the crisis involves the president's son, who is on a field trip to New York with classmates from his fancy D.C. school. The bus gets diverted and masked men board the bus. There is all sorts of action, including a chase scene into the nearby woods. Gripping and a little far-fetched. But it will take your mind off your failing tournament brackets.
NIT: Illinois at Clemson, 10 a.m., ESPN
That is not a typo. While the rest of us are at church or polishing off a second helping of pancakes, John Groce's Illini will be tipping it off in a second-round game against the Tigers. Why such an early start? Because the folks in charge of the NIT try to avoid conflicts with the NCAA tournament, which starts later on Sunday. Even if State Farm Center had been available, the game would have still started early. No way around that. Groce's guys won't be bothered by the morning wakeup call. They showed a lot of character in Wednesday's comeback win at Boston U. They want to keep the season going.