Happy Pi Day, the nerdiest holiday of the year. To mark 3.14, the numerical constant known as pi, Philly is celebrating with pizza, pies, and even marriage. This morning’s news is aptly filled with stories from school, but they’re not about hitting the books. For starters, we’ve taken a look at the fallout surrounding the “Varsity Blues” college admissions scandal through a local lens. But on a much more pleasant note, we’ve also got our eyes on the local basketball teams gearing up for conference tournaments.

— Aubrey Nagle (@aubsn, morningnewsletter@philly.com)

It’s conference tournament season in college basketball, and first-place Villanova’s next stop is the Big East Tournament. But an evenly-matched conference means the defending champs won’t have it easy, even with the leadership of senior Phil Booth.

Temple is hoping for a bid to the NCAA tournament, but first they have to go through the American Athletic Conference Tournament, which begins tonight. The outcome of Friday’s game could cement their spot.

Securing a return to the NCAA has been the obsession of senior guard Shizz Alston. Both he and the team have come a long way since their last appearance at the big dance.

One Villanova researcher who has studied the youth sports pipeline calls the charges against dozens of people accused of buying their kids’ way into college just another example of a corrupt admissions system.

Local college students and faculty agree, saying the scheme undermines notions of higher education as a meritocracy and exposes bias towards the wealthy.

In Philadelphia, the University of Pennsylvania is still reeling from an admissions fraud case of its own.

It could be a steamy summer for SEPTA as they face the heat of a lawsuit with effects that could ripple across its services.

The suit argues that the state’s use of turnpike toll revenue to support public transportation is unconstitutional.

If it’s successful, it will cost the state $450 million a year and upset the future of transit in our region.

What you need to know today

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This looks like a whimsical movie set, @jasoncoopman. In a great way.

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Opinions

"March 14, 2019"
Signe Wilkinson
"March 14, 2019"

“Perhaps the wealthy will have to get used to being second-guessed the way so many black students have been for so many years. They’ll see how it feels when classmates demand to check their grades or SAT scores to see if they qualified for their spot at an elite university.” — Columnist Jenice Armstrong on the college admissions bribery scandal and the privileges of the wealthy.

What we’re reading

Hazel Edwards, 21, of West Philadelphia, helped craft Policy 252 for the Philadelphia School District, regarding transgender and gender non-conforming youth.
Stephanie Farr / staff
Hazel Edwards, 21, of West Philadelphia, helped craft Policy 252 for the Philadelphia School District, regarding transgender and gender non-conforming youth.

A Daily Dose of | Advocacy

Hazel Edwards left Boys Latin of Philadelphia Charter School after coming out as trans. Now she’s an advocate for LGBTQ students and leads trainings at Boys Latin.