Your bracket is already dead, and you didn’t even get to finish lunch on Day 1. The NCAA Tournament is destroyed for you, and now you get decide if you are willing to watch games for their own sake, and for greater glory of the student-athlete experience in America.
And to that, let me just say, “Ahh-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!!!!!”
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Oh, and here’s to Alabama-Birmingham, which celebrated the closing of its football program by advancing in the basketball tournament.
Lost in the hoop-de-blah around Jim Boeheim’s diabolically-timed middle finger to the NCAA is the fact that the old NCAA would have doubled back and brought down more grief on Syracuse just for his impudence (see USC). Now, he’s essentially daring them to up their game at a time when he knows that he and the NCAA are nearing retirement.
On the back side, there’s really no rooting interest here, because both sides have it coming, at least one way or another, and it’s hard to go white-hat-black-hat when everyone in the college athletics industry wears a ski mask.
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And wasn’t it hilarious that so many people got their delicates in a knot over Boeheim interfering with the first full day of the NCAA Tournament? If that irked you, you are what we call “part of the problem.” I mean, Boeheim is also part of the problem, but Boeheim can’t be a problem if the NCAA and their access to your pupils weren’t part of the problem too. It’s like getting in a bar fight and getting mad at the other guy’s left fist but not his right.
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The toughest player in college basketball isn’t an America, and he isn’t even playing in America. That would be a plucky Brazilian 6-foot-6 forward who averages 18 and 10 for the Medicine Hat College Rattlers named Guilherme Carbagiale F—. Yes, the F-bomb.
But it isn’t some clever change-your-name-by-deedpole-for-a-laugh plot. Courtesy The Medicine Hat News, this is his real surname, one he is not ashamed of because it doesn’t mean in German, his background, what you want it to mean, you dirty-minded brutes. Nor does it sound like that; it’s pronounced Foo-key.
“When they asked my opinion I said I want to have my last-last name, I’m not ashamed of it,” he said. “I would rather always use my last-last name. Back in Brazil that’s what I use, I don’t use my first-last name.”
That would be his middle name, which the college asked him top go by for reasons of propriety “In a lot of ways, at the beginning we were just going to avoid any confusion or any potential issues,” head coach Craig Price said. “Now we’re at the point of, this is the guy’s name, he’s an all-Canadian. We shouldn’t be avoiding it, he’s proud of being a Rattler and we want to support him. I think he takes great pride in his heritage, in where he comes from, and technically in what his name is.”
Of course, averaging 18 and 10 and leading your team to the Canadian Colleges Athletic Association national championship tournament gives you some throw-weight in that direction. He went for 9 and 12 in an 80-63 loss to Holland Thursday, and the box score reflected a continued unease with his name.
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Speaking of names, Yahoo Parenting reports that the boys’ name Inigo is about to disappear from use, which makes me tell all prospective parents or parents under construction, “If you don’t know the cultural value of ‘My name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die,’ your children should be named by the state.”
Yes, this isn’t a sports item, but some things are too important to pigeonhole by role or job description.
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And finally, underdogs in the tournament are 16-4 so far. America’s bookies thank you, and make their boat payments at the same time. And every day is Christmas, one way or another, for someone not named you.