March Madness. It’s the term used to describe the U.S. men’s college basketball tournament. This is the event that starts with 62 selected teams, chosen by a panel, and four are then invited to take part in two play-in games to determine the 63rd and 64th teams that will compete in the three-week-long tournament.
The great thing about March Madness is when David beats Goliath. That is, schools you’ve never heard of until this tournament (Hello Middle Tennessee State) knock off the powerhouses and favourites.
Each year, the tournament is divided into four regions. Each region has 16 teams, seeded one through 16. Fans fill out “brackets,” seeing if they can figure out who is going to win the tournament. Brackets get busted and fans get peeved when seeds lower than 10 knock off the higher seeds. It happens every year and this month was no exception.
Michigan State was a two-seed. Some experts picked them to win the whole thing. Lots of people had Michigan State going to the final four. What a lot of people didn’t have was the Spartans going out in round one to a 15-seed, Middle Tennessee State.
But the madness in March isn’t restricted to basketball. Or sports. Oh no.
Let us – OK, me – count the ways.
1… Polluted water in Spallumcheen. A meeting was held this week to discuss the water advisory quality in place for the Steele Springs Water District, affecting about 300 residents and Splatsin Band members, since March 2014. Two years. The meeting was between Steele Springs officials, Save Hullcar Aquifer Team (Hullcar aquifer is the main source for Steele Springs), and Splatsin Chief Wayne Christian and representatives from the provincial ministries of health, environment and agriculture.
Victoria has vowed to make sure all drinking water in Spallumcheen is safe. However, there seems to be reluctance from the government to accept the evidence that the source of the high nitrate levels,which led to the water quality advisory being issued, is a dairy farm above the aquifer. Two years and there’s still no agreement or acknowledgment on the source. Mad.
2…Donald Trump. That’s enough, right? Do you realize how close this man is to becoming the president of the United States? Lots of people say “it will never happen.” Well, lots of people also said Trump would “never get this far.” Yet here he is, topping some polls on his way to becoming the Republican candidate where he’ll likely go up against…
3…Hillary Clinton. Although, personally, the more I see/read/learn about Bernie Sanders, the more I’m convinced he’s the man for the job.
This whole U.S. election procedure is drawn out wayyyy too long. Remember how we Canadians complained about a 78-day election campaign last year? The president won’t be elected until November and there’s still more madness, er, voting to be done to get down to the last two candidates standing.
4…Rob Ford. The former crack-smoking mayor of Toronto dies of cancer at an all-too-young 46. Ford, of course, became the victim of jokes and TV talk show fodder when he admitted smoking crack. Those same people who made endless fun of Ford were all of a sudden eulogizing him, saying “Hey, we all make mistakes.” Interesting.
Ford may have been a lot of things, but he was a father and husband and, unlike a lot of the people making fun of him, he came forward and did something to try and make his community better.
5…Hockeyville. This, of course, is a good thing. Lumby is up against St. Isidore, Que. for the title of Hockeyville 2016. Both communities get $100,000 in arena upgrades and the winner will host an NHL pre-season game. The contest has certainly brought about some of the best community spirit we’ve seen in a long time with people around the village, North Okanagan, province and ex-Lumbyans (Lumbyites?) living elsewhere now voting for Lumby.
That kind of madness we can use more of.