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March 18, 2003 Columns No Comments



Hidden Headlines of March Madness

by Mitch Schneider

In the next several days, you’ll hear and read prediction after prediction in regards to the upcoming NCAA Tournament. From Dick Vitale to Dick Cheney, it seems everybody and their mother will soon throw in their two cents as to what’s going to happen in March, and every one is confident that their prophecies will come true.

Every one, that is, except me.

I’ve decided to indulge you not with boring analysis, but with a list of NCAA Tournament stories that you probably won’t read about in the next few weeks.

Why waste your time worrying about what some stiff in a suit said before filling out your brackets, when you can spend that time contemplating the following NCAA Tournament headlines?

Enjoy.

Report: ‘Cats suspended from Dance, Walton accepted jersey

TUCSON, Ariz. – The NCAA committee announced on Monday the Arizona Wildcats have forfeited their entire season for using an illegal player. Luke Walton, Arizona’s senior forward, was declared ineligible after he was found to be in possession of a 1977 Portland Trailblazers “throwback” jersey.

The jersey, a replica of the one worn by former NBA- and college-great Bill Walton, was apparently given to Luke as a present in early December. The NCAA prohibits any gift-giving of any kind to student-athletes, and as a result, the committee has stripped Walton and his team of 17 wins, along with Arizona’s at-large bid in the upcoming tournament.

Young Luke could not be reached for comment. The elder Walton replied in an impromptu press conference: “That’s horrrr-ibbble!”

Red Raiders accept late NCAA-bid, Vermont up next

LUBBOCK, Texas – In the wake of Arizona’s abrupt dismissal from the NCAA Tournament, the NCAA committee announced Texas Tech will replace the Wildcats as the West’s No. 1 seed. Due to scheduling conflicts, the committee decided “it would just be easier to insert Texas Tech as the top seed, rather than reshuffle the entire 65-team field.”

After being told of the NCAA’s decision, Bob Knight, coach of the Red Raiders, has asked Texas Tech to refund his $250,000 salary.

ESPN-analyst threatens NCAA, Vitale arrested

BRISTOL, Conn. – College basketball analyst Dick Vitale was arrested late Sunday night after threatening the entire selection committee in the hours following the announcement of the NCAA Tournament brackets.

Vitale’s profanity-laced tirade included the statement, “Seton Hall? Boston College? Auburn? That’s awful, baby, just awful! I’m going to wax every one of you mother-[expletive] with my bald head. That’s absolute bull-[expletive], with a capital ‘A!'”

It has been reported Vitale will not be able to post bond until after April 7, 2003, the last day of the NCAA Tournament.

Duke coaches switch teams

DURHAM, N.C. – In an unprecedented move, the head coaches of the Duke University men’s and women’s basketball teams have decided to switch positions in time for the upcoming men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments.

Mike Krzyzewski, coach of the men’s team, believes he has a better shot at winning his fourth NCAA title with the women’s club. He has spoken to women’s coach Gail Goestenkors about making the move, and both have decided it would be in the best interest of the school to swap jobs for the remainder of March and April.

“They’re a one-seed, we’re a three-seed,” said Krzyzewski, referring to the respective seeding for the Duke women’s and men’s teams. “I can’t handle mediocrity, so I’m going to go coach the ladies.”

IUPUI to add more letters

INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana. – After earning its first-ever NCAA Tournament bid, IUPUI (Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis) officials announced they plan to add three more words and letters to their school’s name in time for March Madness.

IUPUI will now be known as IUPUIONA, which will stand for Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis of North America.

“Since this is our first time to the Dance, we really want to stand out,” said Gerald Bepko, chancellor of IUPUIONA. “Now, no one will ever forget Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis of North America, and its contribution to college basketball.”

Upon hearing the change, Kentucky guard Keith Bogans replied: “IUPUI-whatever. We’re still gonna kick their [expletive].”

NCAA play-in teams argue over seeding

HOUSTON, Texas – Texas Southern University has filed suit with the NCAA claiming it should have been selected as the “16a.” seed rather than the “16b.” seed it currently holds. Texas Southern cited wins over Grambling, Lamar and Alcorn State in its suit, and believes UNC-Asheville (its opponent in the play-in game) has not at all proven its worth as a 16a seed.

“Who have they beaten,” said Texas Southern guard Rakim Hollis. “Elon? Winthrop? Radford? I’ve never even heard of those schools.”

“We want to be the 16a. seed. It’s a matter of respect,” added Texas Southern coach Ronnie Courtney. “And we want to be the team that Texas destroys in the real first round.”

Buffs party too hard, miss plane to Tampa

BOULDER, Colorado – After excessively celebrating its first NCAA Tournament bid in six years, members of the Colorado men’s basketball team missed their plane ride to Tampa in time for their first round match-up with Michigan State.

As soon as the brackets were announced on Sunday, the entire Buffalo team joined in with the entire CU student body in a massive celebration that is still going strong. Apparently, the players were having so much fun, that they forget to board their 10:20 a.m. flight out of Denver bound for Florida.

“What can I say?” said Colorado center David Harrison. “We go to a party school, and we were really stoked to finally make the Dance. I guess we just forget to go to the airport. It happens.”

     

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