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Welcome to The Big Dance

Tonight, I'm unveiling something on the blog that I've wanted to do for a long time.

Tonight, I'm unveiling something on the blog that I've wanted to do for a long time.

If you take a look at the right rail, you'll see a new widget called The Big Dance. It's based on a combination of the CoverItLive software we use for live blogging and the microblogging platform Twitter.

Anyone who adds the hashtag #bigdance to their tweets will see their writing show up in the widget automatically in real time, or at least after the few seconds it takes for the system to register the new tweet.

There will also be regular contributions from a pair of college basketball blogs I read regularly: BracketDobber, written by Chris Dobbertean, and Storming the Floor, written by Eric Angevine and Marco Anskis.

I'm happy to share the code for the widget with those of you who'd like it on your blog. Email me and I'll send it over.

Also, if you have an account already and tweet exclusively about college basketball, let me know and I'll add your feed into the widget for automatic publishing.

While the interface may look familiar to you, it's different in one major way: you can't submit comments directly from the blog. Everything you see will come from Twitter.

If you don't have a Twitter account, it's very easy to join. Just click here, sign up and get going.

I've written a number of times about how important building a sense of community here on the blog is to me, and I really do mean it. We've done a pretty good job of that so far this season, but the importance of March Madness gives us a chance to do something even bigger.

Those of you readers who are based in Philadelphia know full well what this community looks like in reality, because it's so much of what the Big 5 is about.

My hope with this project is that we are able to bring that atmosphere online, and to enjoy the wild ride that March always gives us in a new way.

It's Tuesday, which means it's Crunchy Numbers time. So off we go with the City Six rankings table and the Schuylkill 16 teamsheets.