Ah, the month of March in Tucson.

The weather warms up, from mild to hot. We start frying on our chaise lounges and thinking about golden-brown skin.

And the Arizona Wildcats men’s basketball team dominates, leaping and jumping and dunking into giant plastic bins of blue cheese dressing …

OK, we’ll admit it: We’ve been thinking about buffalo wings the entire time.

There’s no better accompaniment to March Madness, whether you’re watching at home, following your bracket in person or lounging at a sports bar, than the crispy, spicy, fatty morsels of deep-fried fowl. If a better vehicle for sauce and dressing consumption is out there, we haven’t seen it.

Wings are spicy and crispy and — if they’re good — come piled into in plastic baskets with French fries, celery and sauces. The hotter, the better: The extra heat just gives us an excuse to order another cold beer.

Fortunately, Tucson loves both its wings and its Wildcats. Over the next five weeks, Star readers can vote for their favorite wing joints, stops, shacks, pubs and bars, with the winner being crowned the week of the NCAA Championship game.

Our 32-restaurant bracket comes with two No. 1 seeds: Wings over Broadway and Wings & Rice. Both joints have their superfans: Nonimator Tom Urda wrote that “Tucson needs Wings and Rice just like the Wildcats need T.J. McConnell to run the offense.”

Rocco’s Little Chicago serves up wings — and, lately, political statements — with a flair; the restaurant is a No. 2 seed, along with Trident Grill.

Story lines are already bubbling up like grease from a fryer: Will West Side staples Rusty’s and Bianchi’s advance to face each other in the Final Four? Will local establishments knock out the national chains? Which New York-themed restaurant makes the best of the upstate foodstuffs: Wings over Broadway, Native New Yorker or New York Pizza Department? Or is it East Coast Super Subs?

Will a BrushFire (BBQ Co.) burn through Oregano(’s)? And why are Throwbacks and Home Plate taking part in a basketball-themed contest, anyway?

Visit the Star’s Facebook page and StarNet to vote starting today.

Just keep the sauce off your bracket.

The sports editor of the Arizona Daily Star.