There's something special, even loveable, about Hoosier Hysteria. This craziness has been selling tickets for 103 years. Many people have timed their lives by this tourney.
They remember what year they got married because that was the season when Muncie Central was upset by E.C. Washington.
Today, three area teams have a shot to get to Indianapolis — Bowman Academy (2A), Andrean (3A) and Merrillville (4A). Here are some leftover notes from this week's report.
Have fun. Drive safe. And happy St. Patrick's Day.
Bowman moves up with a win: If the Eagles beat Tipton today in Huntington, the Eagles will get bumped up to Class 3A in next year's boys basketball tournament, according to IHSAA spokesman Jason Wille.
The tournament success factor would give Bowman six points in two years and move the Eagles up to 3A with a win. If this happens, Tipton would stay down in 2A. Tipton will be the lowest enrollment school in 3A in next year's tournament.
Bowman won the Class A tournament in 2010, was 2A state runner-up in 2012 and is looking to get back to Indy with a win today.
"I told the guys we could win in 2A this year and come back and win it in 3A next year," Bowman coach Marvin Rea said. "No one's ever done that before."
Deja vu: Merrillville coach T.J. Lux was a sophomore on the Pirates' 1993 team. That team was nicknamed the "Bald-headed Guerrillas." Like this year's team, few outside their locker room expected that team to get this far.
Merrillville lost to Carmel 59-52 in the semistate championship game in Lafayette.
"Twenty years ago," Lux said. "We had a terrible shooting night and coach (Jim) East kept looking down the bench. I was hoping he'd put me in because I thought I might be able to hit some shots."
Two years later Lux and the Pirates did get to Indy and lost by a point to Ben Davis in the state championship game.
Merrillville's football team in 1993 lost to Fort Wayne Snider in the semistate, just like this year's Bucs did. And now Carmel, again.
The knuckleheads: Lux gives big props to his assistant coaches, Cliff Hughes, Brian Fogarty, Mike Holden and Bob Owens. But especially Hughes and Fogarty.
Hughes was a teammate on the 1995 Pirates team and Fogarty played at Lake Central in the same time frame.
"What a couple of knuckleheads," Lux said with a wry smile. "Cliff is our defensive coordinator. He does a lot to get our guys in the right places. Brian came in and helped us with our offense this year. We were pretty good last year, but he brought a fresh perspective. It opened up the floor.
"We all go at it all the time but we couldn't have got here without them."
College math: Andrean coach Carson Cunningham was proud as punch the region has three teams in the semistate. The college prof started doing some college math at Wednesday's practice.
"It's cool that Northwest Indiana has three teams, all within six miles of each other, that make up 20 percent of the semistate field," Cunningham said of the 16 teams still alive in Indiana. "And it's 38 percent if you just look at the northern semistates. That's pretty cool."
Call me a homer: Here are my picks for today. Bowman beats Tipton 58-54. The Eagles move up to 3A next year and the Blue Devils stay in 2A. Andrean beats Concordia 60-56. Cunningham wins the semistate and his game cardigan gets picked for J.C. Penney's fall catalogue cover shot.
And in the shocker, Merrillville beats Carmel 59-58. Jenkins hits a 35-footer at the buzzer. Then, insurance rates in Marion County go up as three Lake County teams descend on the state capital for next week's games.
This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.