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March is coming

The air is starting to change, the games are starting to matter, and we should all be excited.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-West Regional Stan Szeto-USA TODAY Sports

I walked out of the house today and felt a familiar tightening in my chest. At first I wasn’t sure why, and no, I wasn’t having a heart attack. Then I realized something: it wasn’t frigid. Winter in NE Ohio comes in like a lion and recedes slowly and begrudgingly, frequently dumping feet of snow in late March or early April. (Or, two years ago, on May 17th). There are days, though, where the air starts to change.

One of the enduring memories I have of March Madness is of opening the windows to get the first hints of spring air into a house gripped by electric heat and the lingering staleness of February. This morning, that 40 degree air seemed to be arriving. It’s impossible to feel that and not get a little spring in the step. Tonight, Xavier plays a massive conference game, the smaller conferences are starting to look toward the start of their tournaments, and even the Winter Olympics lack the building narrative urgency of college basketball. March is coming, the brutal fist of winter is relaxing ever so slightly, and it’s impossible not be excited.