Granted, March Madness hardly is as exciting as chatting about cutting government spending to eliminate all taxes and all entitlements or justifying why we’re shooting three-pointers at Libya while taking a pass on Tunisia, Egypt, Bahrain, Jordan, Syria, Saudi Arabia and Somalia.
Still, the NCAA hoops tourney sure is concocting a surreal storyline as it dribbles on to Houston for next weekend’s Final Four.
First of all, reportedly only 7.5 people in the entire country picked the Butler did it, Virginia Commonwealth, Connecticut and Kentucky to be in the Final Four.
Underdogs and upsets, like oxygen, have been everywhere and anywhere. Top seeds became extinct. Ohio State, Kansas, Duke and Pitt all vanquished, just like all my brackets.
Suddenly we are left with two Davids in Butler, which somehow made it to the title game last year and now is making a Final Four sequel despite a crummy regular season, and Virginia Commonwealth, the only bank in America that fields a Division I basketball team. Imagine that VCU had to play a NCAA play-in game after gagging hoops analysts for even being granted that!
So how does having two Cinderellas coming to the ball work? Will there be enough glass sneakers, especially when these two face off in Saturday night’s semifinals?
The other semi pits two Goliaths, or ugly stepsisters if you will, in UConn and Kentucky.
UConn and Kentucky have storied but recently sullied traditions. Both teams evidently shower with dirty water.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun, older than dirt, was recently suspended for orchestrating a cheating scandal that was uglier than the skinny Star Jones and has pundits calling the school You Con.
Kentucky coach John Calipari is the ultimate car and snake oil salesman. Never try to open a doorknob that Calipari has just opened. You will have no shot because of all the oil he slicked on it. This guy, as one wise guy put it, owns the patent on vacating Final Four berths.
First of all, Calipari had nasty scandals at Memphis and UMass. More than that, he apparently has absolutely no interest in academics. He has taken the one-and-done, don’t-even-pretend-that-you-even-give-a-damn-about-graduating philosophy to a Ph.D level. Calipari couldn’t even throw a textbook at his players because they’ve never even seen one, let alone read one. And these kids get their books, tuition and board for free.
So the Final Four brackets are Good vs. Evil.
So as not to risk divine intervention of a wrathful nature, I’m rooting for Good in the title game, whether it be Butler or VCU.
By the way, don’t swallow that crock that the NCAA rewards the best team in the country. It simply rewards the best team in the tournament. Like the Kentucky Derby or the Daytona 500, it pays off to be hot down the stretch.