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Nor'easter Horns In On March Madness And The Last Days Of Winter

A man walks through snow during the morning commute in Manhattan on Tuesday.

Eavesdrop on any conversation Tuesday, and there's a good chance it will be dominated by two subjects: college basketball playoffs and the weather.

Even if the storm won't affect you, it is proving to be a challenge for some college basketball teams.

To beat the snow, teams began their travel early so they could be sure to make their tournament time.

"We are closely tracking the weather and working with our travel partners and teams in the tournament to ensure the safety of our student-athletes, coaches, administrators, officials and fans," the NCAA said in a statement. "This includes looking at departure times for teams that will play in affected cities."

The Midwest said goodbye and good riddance to the storm that is now taking aim at the mid-Atlantic and Northeast.

Many people who recently had been enjoying very warm temperatures had hopes that snowstorms were behind them.

Spring isn't until Monday — and even then, that doesn't guarantee an end to snow.

The powerful nor'easter has caused the National Weather Service to issue blizzard warnings in parts of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.

The storm is expected to dump 1 to 2 feet of snow on New York City.

Coastal flood warnings are posted from Delaware to Massachusetts.

Schools in Boston, New York City, Philadelphia and elsewhere closed in advance of the storm.

In Washington, D.C., the U.S. Office of Personnel Management is allowing for a three-hour delayed arrival for nonemergency employees at area federal offices. There's also an option for unscheduled leave or telework.

U.S. airlines were prepared for Mother Nature's full-court press. They already have canceled more than 6,000 flights as the storm was forecast to disrupt travel.

Tracking service FlightAware.com reports more than 1,500 flights on Monday were canceled and more than 4,600 on Tuesday.

State officials are warning drivers to stay home if possible — and if they do go out, to exercise caution. Also a reminder: Turn on headlights and brush snow off vehicles' back windows and roofs.

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy issued a travel ban starting at 5 a.m. Tuesday. State roads will be closed except for those whose services are absolutely essential for emergency purposes, Malloy said. The ban is in effect until further notice.

In Chicago, 34 cars were involved in two crashes on the Kennedy Expressway on the city's North Side. Express lanes were closed for hours.

Along with students who want a day off from school, ski resorts are ecstatic about the snow — the warm winter has hurt business.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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