So, are you feeling good? Have you studied your spread sheets, win charts, RPI graphs; consulted with your insiders, your psychics, your “rain men”; input your numbers into the supercomputer specifically designed to come within the smallest of percentages of you ever having a girlfriend?
In other words, have you filled out your NCAA bracket yet? The Madness doesn’t wait, you know. Part of the fun is processing the myriad information of match ups and potential meetings in only a few days before making what could become your greatest achievement or your most ignominious failure.
Originally meant for a fun diversion, these pools are now hugely popular and there’s billions of dollars at stake here (legally, of course). So each piece of information, regardless of how trivial, may mean something in your prognostication. Though most obscure facts have found their way into papers and onto the Internet, I have found a few that you may have missed. Feel free to incorporate this knowledge into your last-second entries. For instance, did you know:
Rick Pitino actually receives royalties every time John Calipari copies his shtick.
Missouri is the “Show Me State,” but be warned, they actually have a law that makes it illegal to show them.
No Jewish school has ever won the tournament. Sorry Davidson, Temple, and Murray State.
Lamar coach Pat Knight is a distant relative of legendary coach Bobby Knight… That is to say, he’s his son, but their relationship just isn’t very close.
St. Bonaventure’s nickname comes from its name (the Bonnies). St. Louis, on the other hand, did not go with the “Louies,” instead choosing the more obscure Billikens.
Norfolk, Long Beach, and Murray are not, in fact, states.
Famous Harvard Crimson basketball alumni include Jeremy Lin, and– uh… okay, come back to this one… (there’s gotta be someone else, right? The school’s like 500 years old.)
Duke University is the most hated college, athletically-speaking, in the Nation… and that’s before you even mention their lacrosse team.
It is written in Duke’s by-laws that they must not be ranked lower than a #3 seed and must play their opening round games in a state that borders North Carolina.
Duke and the University of North Carolina are located on Tobacco Road and therefore are not allowed inside any restaurant in New York City.
Michigan State coach Tom Izzo is the first coach with two z’s in his name to take his team to the tournament since Adolph “Red” Zazoo did his Fighting Lemurs in the 1940s.
Connecticut coach Jim Calhoun is a close, personal friend of mine. He just doesn’t know it.
Brigham Young is at-large. If seen, approach with caution.
The Florida Gators won back-to-back titles in 2006-2007. Their success prompted a brief national craze known as Noah-ing, where one would grow his hair into a big, poofy mess and act like a spaz.
Though the term “Cinderella team” refers to one who exceeds expectations, Cinderella herself never made it past the second round.
The Virginia Commonwealth Shockers were not named for their basketball abilities, but rather for their penchant of streaking on campus.
Crosby Stills Nash and Young actually has a national championship! (1950)… I’m sorry, that’s CCNY (City College of New York), not CSNY.
The term “bubble team” comes from the fact that “not-a-chance-in-hell-of-winning-the-title team” was too long.
No one actually knows where Iona University is. In that sense, it’s sort of like Area 51.
No #1 seed has ever lost to a #16 seed in the first round of the tournament.
Syracuse was the first #2 seed to lose to a #15 seed in the first round (ironically, a mere 24 hours after I accepted their offer to attend). This year, as a #1 seed playing a #16 seed, they look to make history again.
And with those little tidbits sprinkled into your brain matter, let the games begin! And may your pools be filled with the chlorine of good fortune and not urinated in by the bratty child that is elimination.
[Attached image by: Arvind Balaraman]