4th Annual March Madness Column

The past three years I’ve provided predictions for who would ultimately win the NCAA tournament, expressed my concern about the March Madness epidemic, and accurately called the keepers, sleepers and creepers of the tournament. I’ve proved my expertise in the field of being a baskevist (AKA a basketball activist), but people continue to ask me. “Hey shithead, if you’re so smart why don’t you make a winning team.” I always tell them the same thing: that it’s too easy to make a successful basketball team because they’re all the same. If you don’t believe me, all you need to do is get the following players.

Despite being only 5’ 9”, your hot-head will talk more shit than the rest of your team combined. He’ll be the one to motivate your team, score 7 points a game on lay-ups and 50% foul-shooting, and turn the ball over when your team needs it most. He’ll simultaneously be the greatest asset and greatest obstacle to your teams success.

How to spot him? A good hot-head gets in one altercation for every four games he plays. For the 70% of the season that he’s academically eligible and not suspended, this works out to be approximately 5 games a season.

With the hot-head instigating fights, you’re going to need a 6’10”, 270 pound gym rat from Overbrook. He never smiles and only lets people leave the paint on stretchers. He fouls out in 85% of games, often by the four minute mark in the second half. A good enforcer will average 1 point, 0.2 assists, 0.1 steals, 6.5 blocks and 21.5 intimidations per game.

How to spot him? He’s the guy with beach balls for biceps.

Until sophomore year of college, this 7’3” lanky 190 pounder spent most of his winter’s crocheting with his Aunt June. He never played sports growing up, because of an over-protective mother and interest in making pies. He has feet for hands and a peanut for a brain. The slightest breeze blows him off his line to the basket, but by the end of the season he has started making 60% of his layups so things are looking up. His head may be in the clouds, but don’t expect him to bring any thunder.

How to spot him? He’s easily the tallest player out there and he smiles every time someone throws him the ball.

Strong off-hand. Good defense. Hustle. Crafty. The fundamentalist does all the little things right. He knows how and when to use a bounce pass, he’s never out of position, and he doesn’t speak much. How this guy managed to slip through the cracks onto a college basketball team, we may never know. He won’t be the player on this team to go pro, but he’s the only one who should.

How to spot him? He’s the only player on either team to have taken a charge, and he’s taken six of them in the first half.

Every team needs a token white guy. Most often, you’ll see him as a specialized shooter with good size for a small forward. The 6’8” swingman will knock down open shots with consistency, but don’t expect much of him past that. He usually has a gender-neutral name like Jesse or Pat. He wears knee high white socks and the same shoes that he had in high school. He’ll own the all-time high school scoring record for South Dakota, but hey, it’s still South Dakota.

How to spot him? He’s white.

Eagerness and inexperience sum up the red-shirt-freshman. He missed last year with a chronic thumb injury, but he’s finally ready to make his debut when the Hot-Head is suspended. He’s in college, plays like a high schooler, and looks like a middle schooler. He claps a lot during media timeouts and argues with the referees from the bench. If it were a school night, he’d be in his PJ’s by halftime.

How to spot him? He’s the guy sitting next to the coach with the rally-towel.

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