Everyone's going nuts with the NCAA men's basketball tournament---March Mental Illness, is it? I confess I've never liked watching basketball much. Not because I sucked at it; I sucked at football and baseball too, but I enjoy watching them.
Also, my college was not exactly a Division I school. Not Division II, either. Or III. In fact, our division looks more like a late-model Super Bowl. Division XLIV, maybe. I forget. I did not attend a single game for any of the sports in my time there. The Fighting Meh had to fight on without my rooting them on. (Also the Fighting Lady Meh.)
Some of their opponents could be pretty brutal, or so I heard. Here's the rundown on some of their competition in this year's Eastern Thruway-Turnpike Championship Series:
Jersey Shore College of Cosmetic Studies
A bad stretch in midseasons from the Blushing Bandits left them 12-12. Coach Revlon's Curling Iron offense still occasionally startles opponents, and when they get the ol' Alley Goop going they can be competitive.
Ulster County Community College
Look for a big turnout from the "Sixth Man," UCCC's rabid fans, in the first game against the Hamptons. "Being a two-year school makes us something of an underdog," admitted power forward Rob Gyrble. "Everyone's under twenty or over forty. But what we lack in experience we make up for in energy... and vice-versa."
Queens School of Arts
A disappointing year for the boys from the Big Borough, but despite finishing 7-17, they're in the tournament. Coach "Two Coats" Scungilli promises that the Artistes will shellac the competition. While they have a great running game, they've been known to turn into drips late in the third, and then their opponents roll right over them. They may look good on paper, but their backs are to the wall.
Fashion Institute of Technology
The Battlin' Basters hope to keep their opponents hemmed in and tied up with their renowned defense and rebounding. If they can tailor a close one against the Fighting Meh in the opener, they could go all the way.
Culinary Institute of America
A five-game winning streak has left the Chefs hungry for more. But the Newark boys are raring to eat their lunch in the first round. Can the Chefs take a bite out of Newark and avoid the pangs of defeat? Coach Boyardee says "Si, si!"
Apex Technical School
When not repairing air conditioning units or perfecting soldering techniques, the Guys From Apex are shooting hoops like wildmen. Strong on offense and free throwing but weak on D, Apex's games have tended to be high-scoring affairs. A tendency to commit technical fouls may be their undoing.
Newark College of Stenography
The Pencil Pushers haven't been the same since center Dixon Ticonderoga, "Old No. 2," graduated, but they still managed to put together a winning season. Can they take it to the hole against the CIA? They'll have to stay sharp, says Coach Pitman.
Hamptons Celebrity Sciences Academy
Losing center Alvin "Cheech" Marie to a case of acute ennui has really hurt the Fanboys in their last two games. The rest of the team says they can rebound like Jennifer Aniston, but word is that they feel like a Kardashian... Rob Kardashian. Can the Fanboys put it together and find victory...and, yes, love?
Joe's Turnpike Auto School
Joe is not only the president of the school, but also the sponsor, and plays point guard when his knee is not acting up. The Hubcaps had a great year, going 21-3, but there are concerns that the team may be hungover for its big match today at Apex. The team bus driver, also hungover, was warned that failure to appear would mean a forfeit, and has promised to switch over to coffee after this beer.