By Mardeio Cannon | OBSERVER Columnist

Every year around the first or second week of February, the Super Bowl captures the attention of most sports and non-sports fans in the U.S. who get caught up in the hype.

However, even with all the Super Bowl parties and betting, the best and most exciting sporting event in America every year is the NCAA Basketball Championship for Men and Women called “MARCH MADNESS.”

I usually don’t pay much attention to college basketball during the regular season. However, like a butterfly coming out of its cocoon when March rolls around and all the teams are set in their perspective brackets, I start to get excited. 

Once the teams are announced, I don’t fall into that American ritual and fill out my brackets. That’s because I tried several years ago, and on the first day of the tournament, my bracket was busted, so I just got frustrated and quit filling out any brackets. The reason that 95% of brackets get busted after the first two days of the tournament is that some upstart college team with 2,000 students start winning games that they shouldn’t win and this year was no exception.

Saint Peter’s University, a small Jesuit college in New Jersey, started the trend by upsetting perennial college powerhouse the University of Kentucky in the first round. The Saint Peter’s “Peacocks” went on to make it to the “Elite Eight,”, becoming the first 15 seed to do so. The Peacocks, led by their African American head coach Shaheen Holloway, lost a chance to advance to the Final Four by losing to the University of North Carolina Tar Heels, also led by their African American head coach Hubert Davis.

The upcoming game this weekend against their rival, the Duke Blue Devils — in what could be Duke head coach Mike Krzyzewski’s last game in his Hall-of-Fame career — might be the most-watched game in NCAA Tournament history. Enjoy the game and the Men’s and Women’s Final Four this weekend.


Last word on the Will Smith slap heard around the world at the Oscars last Sunday night.

Why is it that some people are still calling it a staged event or “fake?” Everyone has an opinion of Will Smith walking on the stage and slapping a startled Chris Rock. If this incident was staged, what is the advantage of both men to do so? Smith will likely be punished in some way by the Academy and his wholesome image is now tarnished so much so that he may never get to star in any more epic movies. Rock is being criticized for making such an insensitive joke that his career is now tarnished also. Smith let his emotions ruin receiving his first Oscar and he will now be known for the slap instead of his work as a movie and television star. Hopefully we all can put this sordid incident out of mind and move on.