It's once again time for the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, or as most refer to it, March Madness. And instead of doing an analysis and picking the winner, like I do (badly) every year, I've decided to go another way. I'm sure you've all seen those Facebook 25 random facts lists. Well, here is my 25 Random Facts list about the tournament.
1. Every player is a scholar/athlete, even though on most teams the only scholar sits at the end of the bench and never takes off his warm-ups.
2. Expect to hear the argument that the tournament needs to be expanded because 65 teams just isn't enough.
3. And did you know that North Carolina coach Roy Williams is a genius?
4. As is Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski - especially if Dick Vitale is near a microphone.
5. Expect to hear countless jokes involving the mangling of Krzyzewski's name.
6. Here is some accepted wisdom which is actually backed up by some stats: a 15 seed will defeat a 2 seed.
7. But a 16 seed has never defeated a 1 seed.
8. A 12 seed defeating a 5 seed is no longer considered to be an upset.
9. CBS announcer Gus Johnson will be working a 30-point blowout, yet he'll be shouting like it's a one point game with five seconds to go.
10. Meanwhile, CBS announcer Jim Nantz will work a real barn-burner that goes into three overtimes, but you won't know it because he will have put you to sleep with his utter lack of charisma and talent.
11. My friend Jodie has my permission to slap me upside the head if I ever pick Kansas to win the tournament again.
12. Jodie also has permission to do that if I ever again pick Arizona or any team coached by Bob Huggins.
13. Probably only two of the Number One seeds will make the Final Four.
14. Duke's All-American studs will not be able to convert their three pointers, and, having no inside game (again), will get upset early in the tournament.
15. But Dick Vitale will still call Coach K a genius.
16. Expect to, at least once a game, see old video footage of North Carolina State coach Jim Valvano hopping around the basketball court after his team's 1983 upset of the Houston Cougars.
17. North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough will mug some opponent under the boards, yet it will be Hansbrough getting the free throws.
18. A mid-major making the Sweet Sixteen is no longer surprising. But the Ivy League team winning a game will be a shocking upset.
19. CBS will latch onto some unknown player with a funny name from a mid-major and anoint him as the savior of college basketball.
20. CBS is desperately pleading with the NCAA to include Kentucky in the tournament because they need the Ashley-Judd-in-the-stands-cheering-on-Kentucky shot.
21. You will lose in your office pool. Probably because you will continue to pick Kansas - until that one year when you don't pick Kansas and they win it all.
22. At least one game will be won on a half-court last second shot.
23. But you will miss that shot because CBS is forcing you watch the Aggies lose to BYU.
24. Jim Nantz will tell, again, and again, and again, and again, some inspirational story that only he finds to be inspirational.
25. The best part of the tournament will be at the end of the final game when CBS plays a reel of highlights from all of the games.
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