Good morning Columbus. What you need to know — enter our bracket contest (win prizes); Adi, Claire and Icemen are champs; pollinator park; cone zone season

Greetings Columbus —

Let’s just say Republic Publisher Chuck Wells is in a good mood today.

His Butler Bulldogs (20-13 and a No. 10 seed) have a date in Detroit against Arkansas (20-13 and a No. 7 seed) on Friday in the first round of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament.

The only other Indiana team in March Madness is Purdue, and the Boilermakers (28-6 and a No. 2 seed) tangle with Cal State Fullerton (20-11 and a No. 15 seed) in the first round, also in Detroit.

You see where this is going right?

A Hoosier basketball-palooza could be in the works in the Motor City. It the two Indiana teams get by the first round, Dickie V. will be shouting this from the hoops mountaintop: THAT IS AWESOME BABY!

I am predicting right now what cliches Butler coach LaVall Jordan and Purdue coach Matt Painter might be saying to their players who could be getting ahead of themselves: We’re taking it one game at a time. We’re focused on the next game. We’re not looking ahead on the schedule.

Now, we do want you to look into the future and participate in our Battle of the Brackets contest.

We would never want to contribute to the millions of dollars of lost productivity in offices across America (wink, wink) as workers spend their March filling out brackets, checking scores and livestreaming the games on company time.

But when you get home from work today (another wink, wink) we are inviting you to enter our Battle of the Brackets contest. You can win cash and prizes.

We’re going old school on this — you’ll need a copy of the print paper. But here’s the good part: In our contest, if your bracket gets busted the first week, you can try again the next two weeks. Click here for all the details.

Good luck!

Here’s what else you need to know —

Big sports weekend: Columbus aka Title Town.
Columbus East’s Adi Minor, Columbus North’s Claire Thompson and the Columbus Icemen brought home some big hardware. All the details —

Story: Best friends share second in all-around; Minor top in 2 events.
Story: Icemen set tone early on way to 2A crown.
Story: Thompson gets mental attitude award.

Coming to Columbus: Pollinator park.
If bees, butterflies and other animals and insects don’t move pollen, we are are not going to be each much healthy food. We’ll update you on the latest developments in establishing a looped trail system, benches and outdoor classroom near the Pleasant Grove area on the east side of Columbus. Tuesday’s Republic.

Motorists, be warned. Cone zone season is upon us.
This is happening today: Traffic signals are being installed on State Road 58 at ramps for Interstate 65 — and at the State Road 58/International Drive intersection — as preliminary work gets underway for the $143 million project on I-65 between Seymour and Columbus.

Spreading understanding about autism.
Columbus East senior Kyndal Gary was diagnosed with autism as a child. Now he’s written and illustrated a book called “Something’s Different About Andrew.” Story here.

Otter Creek gets a new general manager.
Joe Hoover’s ties to the golf course run deep. “Otter Creek brings a passion that no other place brings. I grew up here. My father was a founding member. My mom would drop me off in the mornings, and my dad would pick me up in the evenings,” the Hauser graduate said.  Tuesday’s Republic.

Twitter: Hoosier Hysteria at fever pitch.
Seymour was the center of the Indiana basketball universe on Saturday. New Albany’s Romeo Langford was working his talent at the regional. And someone else (IU coach Archie Miller) was scouting the talent. The Tribune (our sister paper in Seymour) tweeted this:

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Scarlett Syse is group editor of The Republic. Contact her at