The Madness Of March

Basketball, St. Pat's Day and the end of Winter, the Madness of March

Even at a paltry 28 days this year, the month of February seemed to drag on and on. Perhaps it was the frustration of watching Aaron Rodgers and Mike McCarthy collectively choke on their own mind-numbing play selections as the Slack threw away a trip to Super Bowl 49. Or maybe it was the typical Wisconsin Winter coming into play, featuring the first real heavy snow storm followed by what seemed to be like weeks of sub-zero temperatures. Possibly it was because my wife, Cyndi, was able to escape to sunny Florida while I continued to pour 55 hours a week into a new position at work.

Whatever the cause, February 2015 has finally come to an end and I couldn’t be happier.The Madness of March is upon us once again, and all the early indicators promise another exciting month of basketball, revelry and yes, finally, warmer weather.

Bo Ryan’s Badgers get things started in fine fashion tomorrow in their season ending home game against rival Michigan State, and everyone’s favorite coach to despise, Tom Izzo. Things haven’t been so rosy for the Izzonators in 2015, but, as usual, Coach Tom has his troops playing better as the NCAA tourney approaches, and the tilt tomorrow at the Kohl Center deserves the national limelight it will receive. We can only wait and see if big Frank Kaminsky, Same Dekker and Josh Gasser and company perform up to snuff in what promises to be a white-knuckler preview of the BIG 10 tournament in two weeks.

On the professional side of the hardwood, the surprising Milwaukee Bucks continue to tread in the uncharted waters of the NBA playoff standings. At 32-26 after a disappointing road loss to the hapless Lakers last night, Wisconsin sports fans are holding their collective breath in anticipation of another possible Brewers-Packers collapse. This writer has to disagree with that theory though, and even as half-empty as I sometimes see the sports world in Wisconsin, I believe Jason Kidd and his defensive-minded group of youthful athletes will finish either fifth or sixth when it comes time for playoff basketball in The Association”. That probably means a match up with the Bulls or the Cavs, obvious first round challenges, but nonetheless a step in the right direction for a franchise that at one time seemed destined for Seattle.

And lest we not forget, hope springs forth once again from the Arizona desert, where the Milwaukee Brewers toil in the warmth of the Maryvale sunshine, destined to finish another season somewhere around 81-81. Never mind that Ryan Braun’s thumb has been declared fully recovered, the Brewers did little in the off season to match the fire power of the Cardinals, Pirates, Reds, and yes, the up and coming Chicago Cubs. They will be hard pressed to keep pace with those clubs and stay out of the bottom of the NL Central cellar. But hey, we can still follow the progress of LuCroy’s hamstring and the whereabouts of Hank The Dog, necessary distractions from sports pages that will be dripping with basketball coverage.

Nevertheless, the attention now is on the orange ball and the Madness of March, perhaps the most enjoyable month of the year for cabin fever reeling sports fans, especially here in the frozen Midwest. Shamrock shakes are back, Guinness sales are on the rise,visions of leprechauns dance in our heads, and maybe, just maybe, the Badgers will be doing the jig once again in April, this time in Indy.

Please welcome, the Madness of March. Once again, it’s way over due.

And For What

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