Monday, March 19, 2007

A Spielberg Guide To The Sweet 16

Like the films of Steven Spielberg, the NCAA tournament generates millions of dollars while bringing excitement to fans. This year, March Madness has mostly been The Lost World for underdogs. The teams that did survive the first two rounds all relate to a movie by the great director. Here is a Spielberg guide to the Sweet 16.


North Carolina: Hook. A shot sometimes used by Tyler Hansbrough. When he battles down low, it’s usually a War of the Worlds.

USC: The Color Purple. Like the purple-clad Lakers, the Trojans want to be a hot ticket in downtown L.A. Unlike the Lakers, USC has won consistently this month.

Vanderbilt: Always. When people talk about the SEC, that’s how often they overlook the Commodores.

Georgetown: AI. Allen Iverson ended his Georgetown career with an Elite Eight loss in Atlanta. These Hoyas want to finish the season there, too.


Ohio State: Schindler’s List. Ron Lewis was the Buckeyes’ Oskar Schindler against Xavier. With little hope of survival, he gave them new life.

Tennessee: E.T. The lovable alien was short and had a glowing finger. Chris Lofton is short and typically has a hot hand. He probably likes Reese’s Pieces, too.

Texas A&M: The Sugarland Express. In Spielberg’s first feature, a couple failed to outrun the law in Texas. Aggie opponents fail to outrun Acie Law in Texas.

Memphis: Close Encounters of the Third Kind. During their 24-game winning streak, the Conference USA dominators have only had three close encounters.


Florida: Jurassic Park. Like the film’s dinosaurs, Joakim Noah and Al Horford use their size to wreak havoc.

Butler: Raiders of the Lost Ark. Twice they lost to the Wright State Raiders, who were better behind the arc. The Bulldogs are from Indiana, but don’t have a Jones.

Oregon: Catch Me If You Can. It’s what 5’6” dynamo Tajuan Porter says to defenders while leaving them in the dust.

UNLV: Jaws. The Runnin’ Rebels’ first Sweet 16 appearance since 1991 will inspire countless Shark references.


Kansas: The Terminal. For Bill Self, the first round was like Viktor Navorski’s JFK Airport experience. He got stuck there way too long before finally escaping this year.

Southern Illinois: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Against Holy Cross on Friday, the Salukis ended the last hope of the Crusaders.

Pittsburgh: 1941. That’s the last year in which the Panthers made it to the Final Four. Coincidentally, it was the first Final Four announced by Billy Packer.

UCLA: Saving Private Ryan. The movie’s opening battle scenes were like the first half of the Bruins’ victory over Indiana: a brutal 20 minutes that made viewers squeamish.