Although I’ve watched almost as little college ball this year as Fox News, I’m nonetheless happier than an Ohio State fan at a glory hole to once again witness the spectacle that is the greatest tournament in sports. As always, I can’t help but have a few typically brilliant observations:
Boeheim’s Rhapsody – In a surprise to absolutely no one on earth, Nick Nolte was thrown out of coaching at Big State for giving Shaq and Penny tractors. Or something. Then in similar news, Syracuse head coach Jim Boeheim was awarded Coach of the Year by the Illiterate Basketball Players Association, or the Q.R.6. Evidently, the fact that many universities are masquerading as legitimate learning institutions, when in reality they’re merely the minor leagues for the NFL and NBA, is still news to some people. The funniest part about the supposed scandal is that the charges of academic fraud were not until after The Orangemen won the title in 2003 with obvious Rhodes Scholar, Carmelo Anthony. Future radio legend Primetime Sam Roberts was classmates with Melo at Syracuse. In the one and only time Melo showed up for history class, he sat in the back draped in an oversized hoodie like he was Trayvon Martin, and promptly went to sleep. Suddenly in the middle of the professor’s ramblings he stirred and raised his hand. Everyone in class was aghast, the school’s star athlete is not just attending class, but has something to say?
“Yes Carmello?” said the professor, trembling with anticipation.
“War is bad, it makes me sad,” offered the towering Wise Man.
Then he covered himself back up with his hoodie, put his head back down on the desk, and went back to sleep.
So obviously the academic problems didn’t start until after he left.
Full Metal Bracket – Even more than usual, the first two rounds of the this year’s tourney have swiftly annihilated about ninety nine percent of the country’s brackets, leaving only the random broad or two at the office who filled theirs out by picking their favorite uniform colors. Most astounding about this bracket holocaust is that even though everyone picked Kentucky to run the tables, they still somehow all managed to get it wrong.
Stole-tending – One game that’s got a lot of foolish publicity for it’s supposedly controversial ending was UCLA vs. SMU, aka The Alphabet Soup Game. Watching it live, it looked rather obvious that UCLA’s last-second three had no chance of going in—the Bruins would have needed some NC State-type shit to pull that basket off—but the SMU kid panicked and blocked it anyway. There’s been a few angles to dispute this or that, but in the end the play rightfully cost the Mustangs the game. First Chris Webber had the infamous Timeout Game, now there’s this. Hopefully the kid who goaltended gets the same kind of millions of reasons to get over his heartbreaking loss that C-Webb did too.
Head of the Class – I thought I was watching the women’s tournament the other night when those West Virginia hillbillies beat the Avon Barksdale-coached Maryland squad. Terrapins freshman standout Melo Trimble took a few little bumps on the noggin like they were shotgun blasts, then sobbed and writhed around on the floor in agony like a six and-a-half-foot vagina. What a friggin baby. It’s the NCAA tournament you pansy, unless you’re leaking brain matter from your ears your head is fine. Holy hell I can’t tell if this kid is just an exceptional sissy, or if it’s a generational thing. In one of the most famous plays in Celtic lore, when Kevin McHale yanked Kurt Rambis down on his head the way you’d pull a man off a ladder, the goggle-eyed gangly bastard sprang to his feet instantly wanting to throw punches—he didn’t lay on the floor weeping for forty-five minutes. This SMU wuss laid on the ground like he was waiting to be chalk-outlined. One thing that was definitely generational about that epic play that’s often overlooked however was McHale’s punishment for nearly paralyzing somebody:
A plan old two-shot foul.