Monday, March 20, 2006

Obligatory March Madness Post

This year's NCAA tournament has been nothing short of exciting. Lots of close games, game-winning shots, mid-majors pulling upsets over former powerhouses, CBS offering live broadcasts online (complete with phony Excel sheets just in case one's "boss" walks by, you know, in case you have a job like a loser), and Adam Morrison's mustache still hasn't grown in any farther.

One thing that's surprised me, though, is how easily players are making clutch free throws. When did this trend start? Icing games? Being calm under pressure? When one team is leading by 2 with under 10 seconds or so left, and they get to shoot free throws, didn't it used to be that one of 'em would always be missed so that the other team, now down by 3, would have one more opportunity to frantically drive the ball up court and get a shot off at the buzzer? Sure, it wouldn't go in half the time; rarely, in fact. But it made the endings more suspenseful. Nowadays, dudes will step up and make both free throws, making for an insurmountable 4-point lead that leaves the winning team playing half-hearted defense just to please their coach, and the losing team trying to get off a 3-point bomb that won't make a difference regardless because they know they're going to lose but don't want to concede to that fact by dribbling out the clock.

Now that the Sweet 16 has been decided, the Elite 8, Final 4, and eventual NCAA champion will follow. All this will determine who are the best players and teams of the tournament, but I would like to take a moment to acknowledge those whose God-given talent lies not only on the court, but also on their driver's licenses.

Best Name
Gonzaga's Pierre-Marie Altidor-Cespedes, whose last name is compromised of 2 names, both of which sound like an allergy medication which would have a fancy commercial, likely to be shown some time during the tournament. Imagine, if you will, a beautiful day... the sun shining over a hill, light clouds floating in the sky, flowers blooming... and then I asked my doctor about Altidor... see what I mean?
-- Runner-up - George Washington's Pops Mensah-Bonsu, who was born to have grandkids. Incredible to have your 1st name be "Pops", and it's questionable whether that is even the best part of your name
-- 2nd Runner-up - UCLA's Luc Richard Mbah A Moute, who has an "A" in his name and not even as an initial. Though I'm sure it's universally recognized, remember that you can't spell "bad" or "ass" without the "A". Word to Juelz Santana, Young Jeezy, and Arthur Fonzarelli

Best Resemblance
UConn's Josh Boone

and ousted Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony member Bizzy Bone

Boone, a junior, will probably need another year in college to become a viable draft pick in the NBA, considering he could use a few extra pounds and has a limited offensive game, not to mention shooting only 55% on free throws and having the audacity to airball one in the closing minutes of UConn's last win. But if he does make it to the pros, I'll be campaigning for his nickname -- either Bizzy Boone or Thuggish Ruggish Boone or something along those lines. Going to Cleveland would make the situation perfect.