The clock always strikes midnight before the final buzzer goes off in the national championship game.
That's why I catch myself when I look at the current Top 25 and think Gonzaga (No. 6), Butler (14), New Mexico (15) and Creighton (16) are mid-majors that have a legitimate shot to be champion.
I take a deep breath when I see Miami sitting atop the Atlantic Coast Conference, ahead of Duke and North Carolina, and think this might actually be the year that a different team wins the title.
For all of the surprise teams in the Final Four over the past decade, one of the usual suspects still wins the championship.
The last nine NCAA champions have been Kentucky, Connecticut, Duke, North Carolina, Kansas and Florida. Those schools have combined to win 25 of the 73 tournaments - that's 34.2 percent of the titles.
Since Arkansas won its first and only title in 1994, there have been only five other first-time champions - Arizona ('97), Connecticut ('99), Maryland (2002), Syracuse ('03) and Florida ('06).
For all of the acknowledged building of mid-major programs, the last school not in one of the six power or BCS conferences to win the championship was UNLV of the Big West in 1990.
So despite that fact that Gonzaga is currently ranked sixth and Butler played in the national championship game in 2010 and '11, and Memphis in 2008, I don't see a school from a non-BCS conference winning in 2013.
Since we're talking basketball, not football or baseball, No. 8 Miami would have to beat both North Carolina and Duke again in the regular season and win the ACC Tournament before I'd believe it could really win the NCAA championship.
But that doesn't mean that this won't be one of the more wide-open tournaments in a while. This could be a year when a lot of NCAA Tournament pools are blown apart after the first weekend.
Kentucky entered last year's tournament ranked No. 1 in the polls and won the title, but that was the first time it happened since Duke in 2001.
Considering the way No. 1 has changed hands already this year, odds are teams might not want to be ranked No. 1 on Selection Sunday.
Current No. 1 Indiana began the year as the top-ranked team in the Associated Press and USA Today preseason polls. The Hoosiers stayed in the top spot for 6 weeks before Duke, Louisville, and Duke again, took over. Indiana regained the No. 1 ranking a week after Kansas and Michigan split the polls. But, after losing to unranked Illinois on Thursday, the Hoosiers probably won't be No. 1 when the new polls come out.
Accessing the landscape, I think we will have a "new" champion depending on what your definition of "new" is.
If you think "new" means a Cinderella, or some school that has never won the tournament before, than we're not at the same spot.
What I'm considering as "new" is a program that isn't one of the recent "Super Six" - Kentucky, Connecticut, Duke, Kansas, North Carolina or Florida.
I know that I'm fudging a bit on my logic because some of the programs I'm considering as not the "same old, same old," are ones with established championship pedigrees.
But there is a difference between winning and not having won in a long time.
What I'd consider as something fresh concerning the NCAA championship wouldn't be limited to a first-time champion.
What I'd also consider as something fresh would be a program that has not won a title in a long time and has undergone a complete makeover since that last championship.
There are several legitimate title contenders that fit those criteria.
Start with Indiana, whose five NCAA titles rank only behind UCLA (11) and Kentucky (eight). But, it's been a quarter century since the Hoosiers cut down the nets in 1987 with Bob Knight.
Current coach Tom Crean went 6-25 in his first season in 2008-09 but now has the Hoosier poised for a return to greatness.
Third-ranked Michigan, which was No. 1 for a week before losing at Indiana on Feb. 2, is 1-4 all-time in NCAA title games. The Wolverines won the title in 1989. Their last championship game was when the "Fab Five" were sophomores in 1993.
No. 7 Arizona won its only title in 1997 when it upset Kentucky and lost the 2001 title game to Duke. Fourth-year coach Sean Miller got the Wildcats to two points of the 2011 Final Four - falling to eventual champion Connecticut.
Tenth-ranked Ohio State has been to the Final Four in 2007 and 2012 under head coach Thad Matta - losing in the 2007 title game to Florida.
But the Buckeyes only NCAA championship was in 1960 - when Hall of Fame coach Bob Knight was a reserve forward.
Like I said, depending on your perspective, this really could be the year that a "fresh" team wins the NCAA Tournament. Still, while looking at which team that might be, just remember that Florida is currently ranked No. 2, Duke is fourth and Kansas is fifth.