3rd Annual March Madness Column

Dear Ballers and Ballerinas,

As many of you know, March Madness is upon us with the NCAA tournament just about underway. Unlike previous years where I got the teams mixed up and tried to discontinue the spread of March Madness, this year I have decided to embrace the madness and try to be more constructive in my commentary. I’ve listed my top keepers, sleepers, and creepers in each region to help you make your picks.

Keeper: Princeton (25-6)
It pains my heart to say it, but after key wins against perennial Ivy-League powerhouse Dartmouth both home and away as well as a team from Presbyterian College called the Blue Hose, Princeton is a definite keeper in the big dance. In their first round, they should have a cakewalk against the University of Kentucky because tigers are larger than wildcats. It’s no surprise why the most recent U.S. News and World Report rankings have Princeton ranked second in the country.

Sleeper: Alabama State Hornets (17-17)
With a 39.7 percent field goal percentage good enough for 322nd in the country, the Alabama State Hornets possess a formidable offense that could sting any team. They’ve created quite a buzz recently as their only loss in the past 12 games came by a single point to Grambling State. As if this wasn’t reason enough to fear these busy bees , they have a guy named Ivory White.

Creeper: Thad Matta, Ohio State Head Coach
Apparently this creeper played high school basketball for a team called the Cornjerkers. Don’t believe me? Look it up. No, seriously, look it up.

Keeper: San Diego State Aztecs(32-2)
San Diego State has been a glistening 31-0 this season when not playing BYU. In a season highlighted by an epic 9-point win over the Horizon League’s Green Bay Phoenix, SDSU’s nearly 34,000 Stanford rejects are amped about their school’s entry into the tournament. They’re 0-6 career in tournament games so karma would suggest they’re due to win six straight and become national champions.

Sleeper: Connecticut Huskies(26-9)
Senior point guard Kemba Walker has made quite a name for himself in UConn’s blue and white. His basketball heritage extends back to his late father Mufasa, a former Denver Nugget and 2-time NBA All-Star. With his abusive uncle Scar now out of the picture, Kemba has taken the opportunity to become head of the family. Kemba and his girlfriend Nala plan to get married following the tournament in a civil ceremony officiated by close family friend and baboon, Rafiki.

Creeper: Kyle Singler, Duke Forward
I’ve never seen a lankier, sweatier, blonder white kid.

Keeper: Akron Zips (23-12)
152 year old ESPN commentator Brent Musburger really likes what the zips bring to the table. True to their name, he says he hasn’t seen pizazz or panache like this in over eight decades. He thinks the Zips have the spunk to go all the way. This plucky little team from the MAC (not to be confused with the MAAC or MEAC) is guaranteed to win everything.

Sleeper: Kansas Jayhawks(32-2)
In the heartland of rural America, a small Kansas school has captured the hearts of many. Although on Selection Sunday, most people scoffed at the complete unknown Kansas, this underdog team won the Big 12 championship to get the long-shot bid. The way they’ve been playing, I wouldn’t be surprised if they stole a first round game.

Creeper: Ben “Psycho B” Hansbrough, Notre Dame Guard
He is the younger brother of 4-time NCAA creeper of the year, crazy eyes himself, Tyler “Psycho T” Hansbrough. I can only imagine what their high school hallways were like.

Keeper: Pitt (27-5)
After Pitt’s role in Inglourious Basterds, Pitt has become a household name. Pitt has been named to the prestigious Ocean’s 11, Ocean’s 12 and Ocean’s 13 lists which I am told are similar to Jay Bilas’ Power Rankings. Despite the controversy created by an official Pitt video called Fight Club, Pitt has taken the bold stance to “not talk about Fight Club.”

Sleeper: St. John’s Red Storm (21-11)
Never underestimate a team with a Dwayne, a Dwight, a D.J., and a Dele, especially if they have a pair of Maliks and a guy named Paris. I don’t know whether this is a basketball team or the cast of Tyler Perry’s next movie, but I do know that number 55, Rob Thomas was real sweet playing with Santana.

Creeper: Jimmer Fredette, BYU Guard
What’s creepier than a guy named Jimmer? A Mormon named Jimmer. Born on a southern plantation and christened into the Baptist Church, Jimmer was abducted by aliens and dropped in Utah where he started playing basketball in a Mormon summer league at the age of 15. He fell in love with the Mormon religion and basketball.

Good luck in your bracket pools! I’m sure you’ll dipsy-doo great, baby!

Eat your heart out Joe Lunardi,
A.T. Piskai, Bracketologist

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