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Peterson: Even COVID can’t dim ‘Madness’

In the wacky and wild year that COVID 19 has imposed on all of us, it seemed that “March Madness” was also in peril.

But that wild and crazy time is still in effect.

Sure, the players are still required to wear masks on the basketball floor, at least for the prep cagers.

And they still have those ridiculous cardboard figures in the stands for college and pro events.

But there were real, live people in the stands at Dollar Bay High the other night for the matchup of the Blue Bolts and Jeffers.

Those two are top-level teams in our area, both capable of going deep in the upcoming tournaments.

Speaking of the tourneys, the Michigan High School Athletic Association has adopted a seeding system this year in hockey and basketball for the first time.

This is going to help the better teams in the long run, although the local hockey situation is about the same it has been for decades.

That means Calumet, Houghton and Hancock all have an equal shot at advancing. All three teams have the talent to contend for a state title.

In basketball, Jeffers was shifted to Class C for the first time in at least 50 years.

The district will be played on the infamous geographical shifting system.

Jeffers, a likely No. 1 boys seed, will probably get to host an opening round tournament game. The Jets will be competing against teams like L’Anse, Hancock, Calumet, Westwood, Ishpeming, etc.

Powerhouse Negaunee was shifted to Class B, a break for the other teams in the field.

An unbeaten Calumet High girls basketball team will also get the benefit of a bye. The Copper Kings have the weapons to advance far.

A fourth sign of March Madness was the championship won by the Michigan Tech women’s basketball last weekend.

An under .500 team just a year ago, the Huskies reeled off 18 straight wins on the way to an improbable 20-1 campaign.

Normally, that would given the Huskies of coach Sam Hoyt a home berth for the NCAA regionals a giant advantage.

But COVID concerns have caused the regional to be moved to a neutral site this season.

Still, it’s shaping up to be another rerun of the time of the year we all look forward to.

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