Life speeds up in March. First, Daylight Savings Time gives us an extra hour of evening light. Wipe the sleep out of your eyes, because there’s no time for the lethargy you can get away with in January and February. March comes in like a lion. March springs us into Spring. March brings Madness.
In the branded parlance of college basketball, March Madness signifies that 65 teams will be picked to play in the NCAA tournament that crowns a college champion. What are the local hopes of making the Big Dance? San Diego State University better hope the princes that produce the tourney brackets like their Cinderellas with average looks and feet that fit slightly over-sized glass slippers.
The University of San Diego men—who made the NCAA tournament last year and returned the same starting five—are already eliminated from making the field. Ditto the USD women.
March Madness is more fun when you have a local entrant. The SDSU women have a strong chance of getting in. But the Aztec men are in a tenuous situation. They swept a season series from UNLV—but now must face the Runnin’ Rebels in the Mountain West Conference tournament tomorrow afternoon, in Las Vegas. Should San Diego State steal a third game from Vegas, they then have to stand up to 24-6 BYU.
If the Aztecs want to make a trip to the NCAA tournament, they’d better make nice with their fairy godmother. Barring a wave of the magic wand, they’ll just be one more pumpkin playing in the postseason also-ran sideshow known as the NIT.
Ron Donoho, formerly executive editor of "San Diego Magazine," is a regular contributor to NBCSandiego.com who covers local news, sports, culture and happy hours.