• 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.