“Well, it was a two percent solution in Mississippi — Rick Santorum beat Newt Gingrich in Mississippi by two percentage points, and by somewhat more than that in Alabama. And, yes, once more, Santorum outperformed the polls,” writes E.J. Dionne. (Washington Post)

With wins in Alabama and Mississippi, Politico’s Arena asks: Is Rick Santorum on the verge of the GOP nomination? Cato’s David Boaz says Santorum won’t be the nominee, but second place makes him the likely candidate for the next election cycle, if history is any guide.

CFR’s Peter Orszag: To boost U.S. productivity, elect a new Congress (Bloomberg)

“Since November, the administration’s policy of applying pressure to compel Iran to negotiate has rushed instead toward conflict. A worrying International Atomic Energy Agency report on Iran’s nuclear activity in that month prompted a new round of crippling sanctions against Iran’s central bank and oil industry. Iran responded by threatening to close the Strait of Hormuz and cut off oil sales to parts of Europe. Israel and the U.S. administration’s Republican critics concluded that the one- two punch of sanctions and talks wasn’t working, and it was time to go to war,” writes Brookings’ Vali Nasr. (Bloomberg)

Jonah Goldberg: Obama’s pump debacle. (National Review)

Cato’s Michael Tanner: don’t retreat, re-aim. (National Review)

“The Egyptian government’s prosecution this winter of seven American democracy workers catalyzed a two-month crisis in American-Egyptian relations. But after Washington threatened to withhold $1.3 billion in annual military aid to Egypt, the standoff swiftly subsided. The presiding judge resigned from the case, travel bans on the Americans were lifted, and most of the Americans were on their way home by the beginning of March,” writes Eric Trager of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy. (New York Times)

Room for Debate asks: March Madness is great, but what about the “student” in the student-athlete? (New York Times)