March Madness and spring sports sizzling hot

Published 2:07 pm Thursday, March 25, 2021

By now if you are like me, your March Madness bracket looks more like chicken scratch due to all the unbelievable upsets and games to this point as there now are only 16 teams left to compete for the 2021 National Collegiate Basketball Championship as Gonzaga, Baylor, Alabama, Loyola-Chicago, Arkansas, USC, Florida State, Houston, Michigan, UCLA, Oregon, Syracuse, Oregon State, Creighton, Oral Roberts, and Villanova are left.

And to be completely honest, right now I would love nothing better than to see either Loyola-Chicago or Oral Roberts win the title just so the tournament can live up to its madness name.

After all, who would have thought that the likes of Ohio State and Illinois would have been long gone from the tournament but that is the case as this year’s contests have been worthy of watching just to see if there is going to be an upset.

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I don’t think that I personally have watched as much of March Madness in previous years as I have this year due to the craziness that has been going on. I mean literally, I have watched games where a team had a double-digit, first-half lead only to be beaten in the second half.

After all, isn’t that what this tournament is suppose to do is create excitement to keep fans watching to the very end as has been the case this season.

I dare say there is a perfect bracket anywhere at this point as many who have placed a few dollars on a bracket are just hoping to be the last one standing at the final game to win that office or friendly pool.

It should be a great weekend of basketball as the 16 teams wind down to eight as the tournament is on a downhill slide to the final collegiate basketball game of the 2021 season.

And speaking of some excitement, the opening couple of weeks of spring high school sports have been off the chain filled with big wins, thrilling comebacks, and a sense of being just a little bit normal as fans continue to come out to support their team or player.

The Elizabethton Cyclone baseball team is off and running as the team stands at 6-1 after a win over Providence Academy on Wednesday. This team is exciting to watch if nothing more than the way they take the field and come off after a half-inning.

So far, the team has been blessed with solid pitching while knocking the cover off the baseball as there has been no one more consistent at the plate recently than Ashton Wilson and Gabe Treadway.

Watching the Cyclones is worth the price of admission.

The other teams in the county are having mixed results and just trying to get a game in due to the weather has been more of a challenge than anything.

Softball-wise, the Elizabethton Lady Cyclones and Unaka Lady Rangers so far have shown they are ready to make a run at the Spring Fling State Softball tournament in Murfreesboro.

With good pitching, solid hitting, and aggressiveness on the basepaths both Lady Cyclones head coach Ken Hardin and Lady Ranger coach Kenneth Chambers have experienced softball at the state level and realize that it takes the total package to compete at that level.

Cloudland is another team that is going to be hard to deal with as the Lady ‘Landers have talented players and may be just a click behind due to basketball but rest assured that they will be there when it counts.

And Happy Valley can’t be counted out either.

Soccer and track have been going as well with some great competition in the early phases of the season.

All and all, it looks to be an exciting close in regards to sports as the school year quickly absconds to an end.