The Madness is coming! Selection Sunday's buzz hasn't even worn off yet as fans of eight schools turn their bleary -- and likely hungover -- eyes to American Airlines Arena here in Miami, where Utah, Arizona, Cleveland State, Wake Forest, Arizona State, Stephen F. Austin, Temple, and Syracuse will begin the first round of NCAA Tournament play on Friday.
Accustomed to hosting Super Bowls, VMAs, and eight million pastey tourists, Miamians won't miss a beat as frenzied postseason glory unfolds about them. But what about traveling fans? Here's what to expect when you're spectating:
1. Yes, you can eat that. South Florida is a vibrant culinary hodge-podge, and visitors should venture beyond their comfort food zone and try something new. Even the chupacabra-on-a-stick they used to sell outside the Orange Bowl was a worthwhile foray into the exotic.
2. You aren't actually melting. South Florida feels like the surface of the sun, so sitting inside a steel-framed upside-down muffin tin doesn't make much sense. But if there's one thing Floridians do well, it's
parking driving directions air-conditioning. If you survive the boiling walk from car to arena, we can near-guarantee you'll leave alive.
3. Do not feed the animals. This could apply to stray alligators, ocean creatures, or Heidi Montag and Spencer Pratt wandering around South Beach looking for TMZ. You could lose a hand.
Enjoy our fair city, basketball fans. May you have at least one shining moment that doesn't involve third-degree sunburn.
Janie Campbell is a Florida native who believes in the pro-set and ballpark hot dogs. Her work has appeared in irreverent sports sites around the internet.