It’s March! And all over America, portly white guys and the white women who love them are screaming: Have you filled out your Bracket? Who’s in your Bracket? Are you in the office pool with your Bracket? Is your Bracket still alive? Are you Bracket Busted?? WHO YA GOT???
What the f*ck is a Bracket? says I.
The Bracket is the tournament structure of the qualifying 64 teams making the Division 1 playoff tournament in NCAA Mens Basketball. Just making the final 64 is a triumph for most schools, but for the 20 or so College Basketball powerhouses its the most severe test of their multimillion dollar programmes and their long and successful history as cradles of their sport.
Its a severe test because collegiate basketball is the best and most fair version of the sport played. Pro basketball has more studs, skills and spitting (and only slightly more illegitimate children) but at the collegiate level the games are faster, purer (flopping at this level means only you probably play for Duke) and generally way more exciting.
And March Madness is the pinnacle.
Its a one-shot winner takes all tourney where the best team on paper often doesn’t win.
The Round of 64 leads to the Sweet Sixteen, then the Elite Eight, and the ultimate, the Final Four. As you can see, a highly paid marketing consultant was involved.
Even President Obama, not technically a white guy, is hyped for it.
I disagree with POTUS above. Despite their Evil Empire mein (I remember reading an article years ago about Coach K having biometric security for his office floor. Who does he think he’s protecting his pick’n’roll strategies from? The Russians? Jason Bourne?) Duke are a great balanced team with a great coach. If you like rooting for the bad guys then Duke is your team.
Every time I see coach Rick Pitino I giggle a little, mainly because I remember him crying and broken during his disastrous Celtics run, but much like fellow pro washout Pete Carroll in football, Pitino is an superb college coach.
He has rebuilt Louisville into a devastating fast break team that has real chops. Any team that beats these guys will have to be favoured to win it all.
Best Player: Terence Williams
DeJuan Blair. He’s really good. And kind of scary.
Or maybe he’s just experienced this story personally (HERE, scroll down about a third of a page to ‘Jim’. You will curse me later).
Some other guys play with him. And there’s a coach.
They really are smoking good. They have the Obama seal of approval, and whether he saves the world or not he knows his hoops.
But this is shooting fish in the barrel. This team is LOADED.
They even have a large white guy who can actually play, despite looking like a 7 foot tall Andrew Mehrtens.
But this has been a strange College Basketball season, with every team with great expectations screwing the pooch at the first opportunity. So who knows, it might be Gonzaga that wins. Just because I like saying the name. GON-ZAAA-GA. Try it with a kind of New York thing: GUN-ZAAAAA-GA. Cool. No idea where the f*ck it is though.