Sport: Hoosier Hoopla

At Monroeville, a whistle stop on Indiana's frozen countryside, a bonfire crackled and popped. The celebrating went on until 3 a.m. At Portland, two counties away, the townspeople snake-danced around another bonfire. It was the same way at Crawfordsville and Jasper. All Indiana seemed to be aglow. Indiana's 37th annual high-school basketball tourney was on.

The natives called it "Hoosier hysteria" or "Hoosier hoopla." All but three of Indiana's 782 public high schools—from little Raub High (student body: 18) to Indianapolis' Arsenal Tech (student body: 4,578)—were entered. The grown-ups took it more seriously than the kids. Farmers stopped working. Storekeepers closed up...

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