The NCAA can have its March Madness.
This week, January Jostling has come to Osceola County.
The Orange Belt Conference boys basketball tournament started Tuesday at the sites of four higher seeds at 7 p.m.
Osceola, the reigning Class 9A state champion (the state pared back to seven classes this year) and the defending OBC champion when the standings were based on regular-season play, is the No. 1 seed by virtue of being ranked No. 36 in the state by MaxPreps.
The losers bracket and semifinals will be played today at Tohopekaliga, at 2, 3:45, 5:30 and 7:30.
A 73-61 win over Liberty on Tuesday put the Kowboys (14-4) in the 7:30 semifinal against Celebration (7-8), who beat St. Cloud, 61-48, last night.
Gateway (a 57-47 winner over Tohopekaliga Tuesday) and Poinciana (a 47-28 winner over Harmony) will play in the 5:30 semifinal.
The fifth and seventh-place games will be at St. Cloud on Thursday at 5 and 7 p.m., and the third-place and championship games will be Friday at Tohopekaliga at 5:30 and 7:30.
The top seeds have already tangled this season, with Osceola besting Poinciana, 58-43.
This will be the fourth bracketed team sport tourney held in the county this year. St. Cloud’s had a great run, finishing runner-up to Osceola in the fall’s volleyball tournament that went to an epic five-set final and sweeping the boys soccer (in November) and girls soccer (last week) tournaments.