Eyes On: March Madness
It's time to fill out your brackets.
Yes. March Madness tips off tonight with Selection Sunday. Aka, when the teams competing in the men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments are finalized. The men’s selection begins at 6 pm ET on CBS, followed by the women’s at 8 pm ET on ESPN. For those who don’t know: Sixty-eight teams are picked for each of the tournaments. Thirty-two of those teams will have received automatic bids after winning their respective conference tournaments (check out the list here), while the other 36 will be announced during tonight’s ceremonies. After that, the best of the best in college basketball will spend the next month vying for the national championship — and fans at home will be hoping their bracket swishes come true.
And that’s true for both the men and the women?
Now it is. Reminder: March Madness hasn’t always been an even playing field, err, court. In fact, the women’s tournament was only given the same number of teams — and the March Madness branding — last year. That came after female players called out some big disparities, leading to an internal investigation. The result? Surprise, surprise, the NCAA had dropped the ball on gender equality.
What else should I know?
Early predictions for the women’s tournament (whose games begin Wednesday) favor Indiana, Stanford, UConn, and defending champion South Carolina. Meanwhile, in the men’s tournament (whose games begin Tuesday), all eyes are on Houston, UCLA, Purdue, and defending champion Kansas. But nothing is a slam dunk yet. And there’s already been some drama off the court, with some coaches getting benched: Last week, Georgetown and California fired their men’s basketball coaches. While Syracuse said goodbye to Jim Boeheim — after 47 years as the men’s head coach.
A couple of years after the NCAA’s big gender reckoning, an equal roster of men’s and women’s teams will leave it all on the court during March Madness. Whether you’re a basketball lover or just in it for the snacks, the tournaments are always a good time.
Silicon Valley Bank, which caters to some big names and scores of smaller startups in the tech industry, collapsed on Friday — becoming the largest bank failure since the financial crisis of 2008 and the second largest in US history. The FDIC has taken control of the bank, but TBD if and when all customers will be made whole. Meanwhile, US employers added 311,000 jobs last month, continuing the labor market’s hotter-than-anticipated streak. Speaking of jobs, GM — which said it wasn’t planning any layoffs — is now offering buyouts to most of its 58,000 salaried workers. Plus, Meta is “exploring” plans to launch a new app that rivals Twitter. And in other Elon Musk news, the Twitter and Tesla CEO is reportedly planning to build “a sort of Texas utopia” for employees outside of Austin. Maybe there, Model Y steering wheels won’t fall off while people are driving.
In other news…
China’s president Xi Jinping took an unprecedented third term — widely seen as a play to stay in power for life. And the country also helped broker a deal in which Saudi Arabia and Iran agreed to restore ties. Closer to home, reports of sexual assault at US military academies rose 18% from 2021 to 2022, hitting a record high. A Texas man is suing his ex-wife’s friends for allegedly helping her get abortion pills to help induce an abortion. In a win for the gun lobby, Visa and Mastercard put their decision to start categorizing purchases at gun shops on hold. Plus, SCOTUS wants more than $12 million from Congress for protection and security.
Last week, the FDA approved a nasal spray to treat migraine symptoms — and issued a call to action to make formula safer for babies. Meanwhile, the biotech industry is taking a look at lab-grown breast milk. If you hate exercise, that might literally be a gut instinct. And if you’re looking for two more things that might help you live longer, try eating less salt and gender equality.
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Sunday Scaries, Who?
Here’s one tip for a better start to your week.
Sundays may not always be scary, but time passing quickly sure can be. Especially when you’re shorted an hour (thanks, Daylight Saving Time). If you feel like this weekend is slipping away after — hopefully — turning your clocks forward today, you’re not alone. And you're not making that scary feeling up: The older we get, the quicker time flies, according to some experts. But before we get too far down an existential rabbit hole, keep in mind that there are ways to ease up, and make time actually feel slower. Here’s a few…
Get bored. Instead of always being on your phone — whether that’s because you’re texting friends, answering work emails, or just mindlessly scrolling — try embracing boredom. Take a break from your screen and observe your surroundings. Bonus: This practice can help you notice the simple joys around you, which can increase your well-being.
Nix the ‘shoulds.’ Try not to make life about what you ‘should’ be doing. Of course, that’s not always easy to do, especially when you have some downtime. But taking time to sit still has benefits, and it can be its own goal.
Take the long way. Society might put a premium on efficiency and productivity, but no one said it’s a requirement. Taking time to literally or figuratively stop and smell the roses can make regular life more enjoyable — and shaking up your day can be as simple as small changes to your routine. Think: Trying a new commute home or spending a little more time on self-care. Spicing up your routine can give your experiences — and your mind — a refresh.
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