March 14, 2007

Testa’s NCAA Tournament Burning Questions

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For basketball junkies, March Madness is as seasonal an affliction as the flu is for the elderly or Uggs are for sorority girls. This year’s Selection Sunday was no different as the prospect of filling out the perfect bracket to dominate the Sun office pool left me with more burning questions than my last trip to Gannett. While the good doctors only gave me penicillin to ease the pain, here are some answers to questions not involving this year’s George Mason.

Is No. 10 seed Gonzaga better off without sophomore forward Josh Heytvelt?

The 6-11 sophomore forward was averaging 15.5 points and 7.7 boards for the Zags before he and teammate Theo Davis were kicked off the team when police found the two in possession psychedelic mushrooms back in February. The team didn’t miss a beat, finishing the season 5-2 and winning the WAC conference tournament in convincing fashion. While we’re on the topic of surreal experiences…

What will it take for CBS to fire Billy Packer?

This guy is one tough monkey. Listening to Packer describe Duke’s Gerald Henderson’s elbow to UNC’s Tyler Hansbrough face was kind of like watching “The Sarah Silverman Show.” It’s not really funny, but you can’t help laughing. Moving on to one of Packer’s favorite subjects …

What does the term mid-major really mean?

Everyone knows the six BCS conferences aren’t mid-majors but after that it becomes murky. Does anyone remember seeing a regular season Missouri Valley Conference game on ESPN before George Mason made its Cinderella run to the Final Four last year? More importantly, what is the Ivy League? A sub-major, a minor, or something completely worthless such as my government major? Speaking of bad decisions …

What’s softer, a two-gallon economy size jug of Downey or Memphis as a No. 2 seed?

I thought Conference USA had gone the way of Fox’s glow puck. Syracuse should think about leaving the Big East because apparently going 16-0 against the likes of UTEP and Southern Methodist is all takes to impress the Tournament Committee. Still what did the Orange expect after switching to those awful Nike uniforms. Now if you want to talk about people I’d actually like to see in skin-tight tops …

Who looks better in college colors, ESPN’s Erin Andrews or actress Ashley Judd?

Andrews used to be a cheerleader at Florida, but did anyone else see Judd in The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood? The only thing wilder than the story of girlhood friends may be trying to decide:

My pick, No. 12 Arkansas over No. 5 USC, because someone’s bound to be upset when Razorbacks get too close to Trojans. Speaking of awkward …

How often will we have to see Florida’s Joachim Noah’s dance during this year’s tourney?

I haven’t seen that much crump since the last time I had afternoon tea at Buckingham Palace. I don’t think there’s a player I dislike more in this year’s tournament (Penn’s senior forward Mark Zoller doesn’t count as a real player). I hope Noah dances up a storm in the Tourney because the only move he’ll be doing in the NBA will be the flop. While we’re on the topic of things that will be fun to watch …

Who should Cornellians root for in this year’s Tourney?

While denizens of the East Hill won’t get to see the Red in this year’s tournament, they can still take pride in cheering for one of the team’s former players, Louisville sophomore guard Will Scott. Scott saw limited time as a freshman at Cornell and transferred to Louisville, where after sitting out a year, he has become a valuable sharpshooter off the bench, hitting 45.7 percent of his shots from behind the arc. Of course, if Cardinals coach Rick Pitino reminds you too much of Al Pacino in the Devil’s Advocate, you could always root for everyone’s favorite castrated turkeys, the Hokies of Virginia Tech.

Paul Testa is a former Sun Assistant Sports Editor. Clevelend Rocks will appear every other Wednesday this semester.