Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

March Madness Without Research

  • I know I usually cheat a little on the tenets of Without Research, but I promise not to this time, mostly because I sincerely don’t give a shit.
  • It is a basketball tournament, but LeBron is not in it.
  • Florida is (was?) in it, and number 11 on that team is a young man named Josh Jackson who has an immense upswoop of afro; he looks like Huey from The Boondocks.
  • Brother on the Dead went to U of F, so I root for the Gators when it comes to college sports.
  • My alma mater did not have sports, unless you count experimenting with heroin and homosexuality a sport.
  • So I just root for BotD’s school, and I noticed Josh Jackson on the teevee; I was like “Yay, Josh Jackson,” and then I saw something about him the internet and I think he may have shit on the hood of a woman’s Kia.
  • I have remained a fan of people who have done far, far worse things than that.
  • First there are 64 teams.
  • Then, 32.
  • After that is the Sweet Sixteen.
  • I think they want us to call this round the “Elite Eight” but that’s just horrible.
  • Finally, four.
  • The NCAA tournament is a reverse logarithm, if you think about it.
  • Did Bill Walton win it?
  • I’m going to assume that Bill Walton won it.
  • Duke.
  • Wow, am I not even going to attempt the coach’s name Without Research.
  • You know who I’m talking about.
  • University of North Carolina.
  • They are the Tar Heels, but I think they’re also a goat.
  • Xavier and Gonzaga.
  • Every fucking year with Xavier and Gonzaga, and I have absolutely no idea where either of them is.
  • I mean to look it up every year, but then I don’t because I just don’t care.
  • I do know that “Xavier” is not pronounced like Professor Charles Xavier, but like Xavier Cugat.
  • The X makes a Z sound.
  • Which is silly: just be Zavier, Xavier.
  • Stop confusing comic book fans.
  • There are seedings, and sometimes teams can be overseeded or underseeded, even though neither of those words are words.
  • A team will be deemed the Cinderella Story.
  • College basketball is broken into geographical groupings called “families;” and coaches have to swear a blood oath, or omerta, to the family and regularly kick up cash and teenagers’ knees.
  • I have been informed I am sort of talking about the mafia; I apologize for the mix-up.
  • There’s the SEC, which is in the South, and the ACC, which is not.
  • And the Conference of Champions, which is in the West.
  • (The conference probably isn’t actually called that, but I don’t know the real name of it and that’s what Bill Walton calls it.)
  • Is there a Big 10 for basketball, or is that just a football thing?
  • The tournament takes the best teams from each conference and pits them against each other in gentlemanly, amateur competition until we know who the victor is; sport at its purest.
  • Nah, just shittin’ ya: the whole shebang is just a reason to gamble.
  • You fill out your brackets, which are decision trees made up of the dreams of teenagers, and then you got yourself a one-in-a-quadrillion shot of getting it right.
  • Wait, I was wrong: one-in-14-quadrillion.
  • (Yeah, I cheated. I don’t care about the basketball, but the corruption and money are interesting.)
  • $10 billion every year, and here’s the fun part: only a quarter or so of that goes to American bookmakers; the rest leaves the country via the internet, and I’m positive that it only goes to the nicest people.
  • Obama used to love the tournament, and he would do a spot on ESPN every year about his bracket and what he thought of the teams.
  • He was witty and charming, and he could tell a joke or take one.
  • When they asked Trump to fill out a bracket, Kellyanne Conway stepped in front of the president, and then her face split open lengthwise and cancer flew out, and tuberculosis, too; all the pestilence of earth, foul and roaming, and Kellyanne shrieked Bii-YAAAAAALLL and the ESPN reporter was never seen again.
  • If you stop dribbling the ball, you cannot start dribbling it again or the ref will call you for a double-dribble, which is the least-imaginatively named penalty in sports.
  • (High-sticking is pretty on-the-nose, too, now that I think about it. TotD prefers that fouls be described more abstractly. “Icing.” That could mean, like, anything. Everyone’s on the ice at all times. “Balk” is a good one. Balk is an obscure verb, and it gets bonus points for being awkward to say.)
  • Is there a Final Four for Quidditch?
  • Fuck, I hope not.
  • You know people play Quidditch, right?
  • I despise these screeds from the pasty patsies at the Times (that useless Frank Bruni did one this weekend) about “the terrible state of our students.”
  • The kids are all right.
  • They got a reason to be pissed.
  • But when I see those little shits waddling around on broomsticks pretending to be wizards and shouting dog Latin at each other, I want to get the Time Sheath and have President Nixon call in the National Guard to their campuses.
  • Stop playing Quidditch, children.
  • If you want people to know you’re from the suburbs, then go buy yourself a frisbee and start an Ultimate team.
  • Do not Quidditch, children; we will not defeat Radical Islamic Terrorism that way.


  1. The Walton Gang won 2 NCAA Finals of a 7 consecutive NCAA Title streak for UCLA which started with Lew Alcindor(Kareem Abdul Jabbar). I remember the 1974 Finals that broke the streak when David “Skywalker” Thompson & the NC State Wolfpack won a very improbable NCAA Title over UCLA. The Walton Gang had an 88 consecutive game win streak. Unfortunately he played before sports medicine had become an actual science, otherwise, Walton would have been one of the all time NBA greats(he kind of is anyways, but durability counts in such endeavors). That Blazers team was totally kick ass for a season & a half until Walton had another of what became an endless line of leg injuries. I believe he won MVP that year-just checked he won the 77-78 NBA MVP playing 58 games. He really was that great. This video has ancillary GD content.

    A moment of David Thompson in that NCAA title game:

    • Chicago sports writer and radio host Terry Boers calls Walton the best college basketball player of all time. That’s high praise from a knowledgeable source. And the Good ole Grateful Dead have nothing to do with his opinion.

  2. Luther Von Baconson

    March 20, 2017 at 11:17 am

    Dudenerton Tech. Go Grey Gonads!

  3. Luther Von Baconson

    March 20, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    oh & some Cugie. just ’cause.

  4. hugh.c.mcbride

    March 21, 2017 at 7:34 pm

    The most fascinating fact (from a very small list of facts) that I know about modern college basketball is that Michigan State has a guard named Lourawls Naim Jr.

    Not to pat myself on the proverbial back, but if you’re gonna have a limited number of facts, knowing that there’s a real person in the world whose first name is “Lourawls” ain’t a bad thing to have on your list.

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