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Monday, March 13, 2006

Mad as a March Hareness!

It's that time of year again, when fans of collegiate basketball here in the United States turn their brains to blancmange pudding trying to figure out which of 65 teams will win the National Championship. Like the FA Cup in England, this tournament is known for producing spectacular upset victories, where the Lilliputians of the mid-major and lower conferences occasionally bust the bollocks of the Gullivers at the top of the polls.

Yes, female cheerlearders will tremble in giddy delight, whilst the male ones will demonstrate their basketball prowness by hurling these attractive and relatively bare-skinned young ladies through hoops in fits of basketball frenzy. Fans will paint their faces in colours relatively close to that of their favourite teams, screaming taunts at free-throw shooters, their opposite fans, and those fans' mums.

We will enjoy the thrilling spectacle of grown men in natty business attire jumping about like lunatics on pogo sticks (admit it...you thought I was going to say Cruise) in response to a young person's last second heave of a bright orange ball through a similarly orange metal hoop, dressed with woven string. They will hug each other like sheep ranchers in Oscar nominated also-rans, shake their fists in joy so powerful it could be mistaken for anger by small children, and they will point their index fingers into the sky and declare that they are "Number 1!"

This will happen at least 20 times during the tournament. Of course, as many before me have pointed out (no pun intended), only one of these teams will be correct about the whole "Number 1" thing, but what the hell, the illusion was fun while it lasted. right. That's just one reason why they call it "March Madness."

Anyway, like every male human being above the age of 9 living in the United States, I too have filled out a bracket. Whilst, due to size limitations, I can't reproduce the entire thing here, I can link you to a fairly good approximation of my bracket. Also, I've offered a detailed prediction of the tournament highlights below.

Atlanta Regional -

Duke beats Southern when Jethro Clampett misses a basket in the closing minutes to tie the game. Billy Packer, after being teased for calling Duke's coach "Coach K" for two decades, pronounces Krzyzewski as "Cher-Cher-ski." Krzyzewski responds by smiling, dressing Packer as a cheerleader, and dunking him through a basketball hoop. The jaws of life are needed to extricate Billy.

LSU loses to Iona after spending the first 38 minutes of the game trying to figure out what the hell an "Iona" is. They then miss a three-pointer at the buzzer that would have sealed the win. The laugh is on Iona later when they have to confess to the media that they don't know what "Iona" means either. This explains the vagueness of their cheerleading yells.

Texas vs. Penn is delayed when officals of the Texas State Department of Corrections accidentally delivers 1500 felons to the game, mistakenly believing that the American Airlines Center in Dallas had been designated the "Texas Pen." At least 3 of these inmates turn out to have been actively recruited by Division I schools.


Oakland Regional -

Memphis loses to Oral Roberts when, distracted by the sight of the ghost of Oral Roberts soliciting contributions in the audience, their point guard stumbles on the way to an uncontested winning layup. Ironically, the "ghost" turns out to be Texas Governor Rick Perry, who had accidentally fell into a vat of flour whilst soliciting campaign contributions. This fact would never have come to light though without the contributions of a bright group of teenagers and their strange, ravenous, talking dog.

Xavier vs. Bradley. Not the actual teams, who lose to Gonzaga and Kansas respectively, but two guys named Xavier and Bradley who get into a fight during a postgame show and accidentally muss Jim Nantz's hair, which sets off a partial collapse of the space-time continuum. Xavier goes on to face Arkansas in the Regional final and invents the "box and one defense without the box" and gigantic sentient squid establish a colony in Dayton, Ohio and declare Nantz their ruler.


Washington D.C. Regional-

UAB beats Kentucky by repeating the word "sibilance" 12,000 times during the first half. Several Kentucky players have psychotic episodes, including one who becomes convinced he is Ashley Judd. This deeply confuses long-time Kentucky fan Ashley Judd, who is in the stands, and can't understand why a large, male, blonde, unshaven version of her is on the court. In a fit of Hollywood extravagance, she marries herself in an on-court halftime ceremony.

Air Force shocks Illinois by bringing out the big guns when their motion offense stalls out in the second half: F-16s and Sidewinder missles . Illinois escape with minor casulaties but lose by 250 points. Air Force's second round opponent, the University of Washington, surrenders 24 hours in advance of their second round game.


Minneapolis Regional -

Villanova beat Monmouth in a furious comeback necessitated when 'Nova falls behind by 40 points in the first half because they spend the whole time laughing at the name "Monmouth." They recover and go on to win 128-40.

Nevada and Montana battle it out for most desolate state. Nevada loses after Montana litters the gym with brochures for Las Vegas and Reno. Nevada does win the award for the hottest cheerleaders though - 120 in the shade. (What did you think I meant?) Montana must be content with the fact that it is almost Spring and their school will soon be thawed out enough to attend classes.


Final Four -

Murray Abramovich Polytechnical College versus Appalachian Detroit Valley U.

San Quentin State versus Martha Stewart Southern

National Champion: Winkle U. in double overtime

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