March is a time when the frosty fog of Wisconsin’s winter melts into the morning dew of spring. It also marks the start of NCAA conference tournaments and the beginning of March Madness.
The Atlantic Sun, Big South, Horizon, Ohio Valley and Patriot League conference tournaments are already underway; with the Missouri Valley and Northeast tournaments starting tomorrow. The teams are playing for more than a conference championship, however. They are trying to obtain the punched ticket for the big dance starting on March 16.
Every upcoming day, there will be tournaments starting and progressing. Saturday will have three championships and the end to the Ivy League season, which awards the season winner with an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
With only three days of March in, the madness is already beginning. In the Atlantic Sun, No. 1 Lipscomb was knocked off by No. 8 Kennesaw State. In the Ohio Valley, No. 3 Austin Peay was upset by No. 6 Tennessee Tech. And tonight, No. 7 Holy Cross upended No. 2 Bucknell in the Patriot League.
These one-bid conferences are only the beginning. Next week, the ACC, Big East, Big Ten, Big 12 and SEC tournaments begin. Next week is dubbed championship week, because we will see 26 championship games from March 8 to March 14. There will be buzzer beaters, celebrations on the court and nets being torn down; there will be careers coming to an end and others just beginning; there will be tears, both for joy and sadness.
March Madness brings us some of the best stories of the year; the tale of the underdog or the player who was cut from one team only to thrive on another. The stories keep us enthralled; they attract us t our computers and televisions to dissect every aspect to write a research paper in our minds.
March is a time for budding trees, fresh air and the sunshine growing warm like a cup of tea in the microwave. March is a time for cabin fever to end and sports Madness to begin.