Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Who is this man?

(a) The bassist for the post-emoelectropunk band The Monterey Park Penis Debacle (not yet formed but already a Pitchfork buzz band!).

(b) A salesman of portable butane stoves who is accused of abducting a missing white woman at a Caribbean resort.

(c) Some ass who used to shoot spitwads at you in geometry class and now works at Leo's Auto Parts.

(d) One of the two best college basketball players in the country.

It's March Madness time, which means the American economy stands to lose up to $3.8 billion in lost productivity as workers obsess over their brackets and click refresh on the live box score a milliion times instead of doing good ol' data entry. The man with the trailer-park moustache on the top-right corner is Adam Morrison, one of leading lights in the resurgence of the Great White Hopes in basketball. He plays for Gonzaga, an overrated team with suspect defense that'll wear down in three tourney games.

Since I've only watched about 2 hours of non-Pac-10, non-Gonzaga NCAA b-ball this year, my bracketology IQ is roughly 53. With the other regions, I'll probably go with a bunch of Big East teams like everyone else. Nobody respects the Pac-10 this year, but UCLA, under Howland, is really clicking and is my pick to emerge from the West. Had the chance to watch the Bruins demolish my beloved Bears at the Staples Center in the Pac-10 tournament championship game last Saturday. Stifling defense coupled with terrific guard play are a tough combination, especially when you've got perimeter shot workin'.

The Cal Bears have a typical Cal team under Ben Braun -- plodding, defense-oriented, probably a 2nd round knockout at best. This year we've got the most dominant player in the Pac-10, sophomore power forward Leon Powe, who figures to at least overpower the smaller NC State. It'll be good to see Powe, a classy, hardworking guy from a very disadvantaged background, get some national publicity and hopefully boost his draft position, especially if he can do well against projected top-3 pick LaMarcus Aldridge of Texas in the 2nd round. But let's not get ahead of ourselves.

[I owe some people responses to dangling threads down below. I'll try to get to them by the end of the day, maybe; a big chunk of my time today will again be spent at Staples as I'll be seeing Kevin Garnett in the flesh for the first time.]