The NCAA Tournament tips off, snow impacts life in the northeast, the Federal Reserve begins a two-day meeting, Merkel gets delayed, and Brexit can move forward. These headlines lead your morning Tuesday, March 14, 2017.

LET THE MADNESS BEGIN

The NCAA Tournament tips off today with the opening doubleheader of the First Four in Dayton, Ohio.

Mount St. Mary's will take on the News Orleans in the opener. The winner will advance to take on top-seeded Villanova. Kansas State faces Wake Forest in the nightcap. The winner plays Cincinnati in the opening round.

The First Four wraps up Wednesday when North Carolina Central faces UC Davis before Providence takes on USC.

WINTER WEATHER CAUSING DISRUPTIONS

Heavy snowfall is impacting more than air travel. Local elections for most New Hampshire towns were scheduled for Tuesday. Many towns decided to postpone them, even though the secretary of state's office said they couldn't.

"We think that's a very important part of the process," Gov. Chris Sununu said. "But given those differing opinions I don't think we're in a position to mandate that towns stay open."

He said towns are postponing elections "at their risk," suggesting they could be open to lawsuits for voter suppression. His office is recommending towns that choose to move their elections make sure someone is available to provide absentee ballots during the scheduled voting time.

FEDERAL RESERVE BEGINS MEETING

For years after the Great Recession ended, investors fretted sometimes panicked over the prospect that the Federal Reserve might begin to raise interest rates from record lows.

Now? The Fed seems all but sure to raise rates Wednesday for the third time in 15 months and to signal more hikes probably coming. And the response from investors has been something akin to a yawn.

TRUMP-MERKEL MEETING RESCHEDULED

After accusing German Chancellor Angela Merkel on the campaign trail of "ruining Germany" by welcoming refugees, President Donald Trump was supposed to have his first face-to-face meeting with the German leader at the White House on Tuesday.

The encounter will have to wait a few days because of poor weather. One of former President Barack Obama's strongest allies instead will travel to meet Trump on Friday.

UK PARLIAMENT GIVES GOVERNMENT POWER TO BEGIN EU EXIT

After a United Kingdom Parliament vote Monday, Prime Minister Theresa May has the power to file for divorce from the European Union as early as Tuesday.

May spokesman James Slack repeated the government's position that it would happen by the end of March.

"I've said 'end' many times, but it would seem I didn't put it in capital letters strongly enough," he said.