Sunday, March 16, 2008

A March Madness Guide, From A To Z

The field of 65 has been released, so it’s time for another edition of March Madness! Before you fill out those NCAA tournament brackets, here’s a quick primer, from A To Z.

Alamodome: As the Final Four site, everyone wants to end up there. Asked for comment, David Stern remarked, “Basketball finals in San Antonio? Those ratings will suck!”

Bulldogs: The mascot is well-represented by Butler, Drake, Georgia, Gonzaga, and Mississippi State. Plus, since “Hoya” is just part of a Latin phrase, Georgetown also has a Bulldog mascot. Because who wants to dress up as a Latin phrase?

Commercials: Non-Duke fans hope this will be the only way to see Coach K during the Final Four.

Double-Header: Georgia will demand one if the Dawgs upset Xavier in the first round.

Eleven: Record number of NCAA titles for UCLA. They have a real chance to make it twelve, since Florida is nowhere to be found.

Favre, Brett: A long-running Packer who finally called it quits. CBS viewers wish the same were true of Billy.

George Mason: The CAA champs were everyone’s favorite Cinderella two years ago. They’ve since been replaced by Amy Adams.

Hansbrough, Tyler: A guy you’re probably tired of hearing about by now. But I’m a UNC alum, so you’ll get more Psycho T and like it!

Initial Entries: American, Portland State, Texas-Arlington, and UMBC are in the Division 1 tournament for the first time. However, since Portland State and UMBC are both in the Midwest region, they can’t all make the Final Four.

Jesus: Appropriately, he’s well-represented during Easter Week. Both his parents (St. Joseph and St. Mary) are in the field.

Knowledge of Hoops: Something that has absolutely nothing to do with winning an NCAA Tournament pool.

Longhorns: Texas could play the South Regional and the Final Four in its home state. But first comes the long-awaited Battle of Austin versus Austin Peay.

Missed Free Throws: The potential downfall for Memphis, as you’ll be reminded constantly during a close game for the Tigers. Also the potential downfall for Clemson, as you’ll be reminded constantly during a close game for the Tigers.

National Championship Game: The title matchup will have two new participants, since Florida and Ohio State were left out of the field. The Buckeyes will just have to lose to an SEC opponent for the NIT championship.

One and Done: What Kansas State’s Michael Beasley and USC’s O.J. Mayo will be after their freshman seasons. And what one of their teams will be in this tournament, since they meet in the first round.

Pre-season Polls: The top four teams were North Carolina, UCLA, Memphis, and Kansas, which happen to be the four #1 seeds. So the last four months were just a formality.

Queasy: How the sappy One Shining Moment should probably make you feel. But since it’s accompanied by awesome hoops highlights, you love the damn song.

Rocky: Just a few days ago, Philly was in danger of being shut out of the field, but Temple, Villanova, and St. Joseph’s all made it. As for Final Four contenders, you can look to Rocky Top and Rock Chalk Jayhawk.

Seinfeld: A show that will be quoted constantly, thanks to the already overused line of “Love the Drake!”

Twenty: Number of defeats for Coppin State – the most ever for an NCAA Tournament team. Being in Baltimore and losing 20 games makes Coppin State a perfect fit for the Orioles’ rotation.

Upsets: You know they’ll happen. You just won’t pick the right ones.

Victory: The only experience Davidson has had in 2008, with its last loss coming on December 21 to NC State. Yes, THAT NC State. Seriously, I’m not kidding!

Wildcats: Apparently a favorable nickname for bubble teams, as Arizona, Kentucky, Kansas State, and Villanova all squeaked into the field.

Xenon: The most underrated noble gas, which ... oh, whatever, I’ll just go with Xavier.

Yankee: Like Alex Rodriguez, the Final Four contenders hope to be at their best in April.

Zebras: Another word for referees, whom fans will blame for their team’s elimination. Unless their school loses by more than 30. No, they’ll still blame the refs.