March 23, 2008

The Cougar Lounge - Sweet And Low

"I like the Irish going to the Sweet 16."

- CBS sports announcer Seth Davis, casting one of his many aspersions toward Wazzu leading up to the Cougars' ultimate 20-point victory over Notre Dame that sent Wazzu - not Notre Dame - to the Sweet 16.




"They could go all the way. They way they played us tonight, you know, just shows it. We were one of the best offensive teams in the country coming into this tournament…I feel they can go all the way, and I know we'll be rooting for them."

- Notre Dame junior guard Kyle McAlarney after the loss to Wazzu. You taking notes, Davis?




"At Kansas in 1995, all I heard was 'Oh gosh, if you can just win two games, you can get back to Kansas City.' We won two games and got back to Kansas City. Well, I know a little about geography. The University of Virginia is nowhere fricking close to Kansas City. They beat our ass. That building didn't help us win, those fans didn't help us win, our team still has to play."

- North Carolina men's hoop coach Roy Williams, indicating that he does not figure the Tar Heels' gaudy 22-1 record in NCAA contests played in North Carolina will help his team if they play the Cougars in Charlotte - and displaying his love for geography."




"They intend to move every piece of snow because they are bringing in their own snow."

- Liaison to the mayor of Columbus, Wisconsin, Kate Lueders explaining the actions of the film crew shooting Johnny Depp's new movie Public Enemies in Columbus - and possibly implying that those Hollywood types don't think Wisconsin snow is good enough and therefore, needs a snow stunt double.






The bracket monkeys have invaded the Lounge with their reams and reams of paper, some with brackets all filled out, others with notes written on little scraps of paper - but all ready for March Madness to begin last week. The Madness begun, as scheduled, but perhaps some people did not receive the memo. In Denver where plucky little Washington State [we will get back to them] played, they had no problems filling the arena with a boisterous crowd, but it seems that was a problem for some of the other arenas around the country where shot after shot of games being played showed rows and rows of empty seats - particularly in the lower seats closer to the court. This leads us to one of two conclusions - either the fans were not interested in NCAA games in that part of the country or the ticket prices may have been too high, possibly to help the NCAA make even more money off the Big Dance. Whatever the case, it may be something the NCAA will want to address for next year's Big Dance as rows of empty seats for first round games are not good for a billion-dollar tourney.


What is good for a billion-dollar tourney are upsets [the more the merrier], last-second shots at the buzzer [the more the merrier] and Wazzu. The upsets have been there - San Diego over Connecticut, Villanova over Clemson [along with the one that should have been, Belmont over Duke, but the Blue Devils got their rightful comeuppance against West Virginia], the buzzer beater was there [Western Kentucky over Drake] and, of course, Wazzu is still there - in the Sweet 16 for the first time ever since the 64/65-team format was instituted by the NCAA for the tourney. Now if they can figure out a way to fill the seats at some of those first-round games, the howls of the bracket monkeys will subside.

The howls of the bracket monkeys were heard loud and clear after the Sweet 16 was determined for the NOTY - aka, the Name of the Year contest. That is because the previously dangerous Danger Guerrero a 6-seed coming out of the formidable Dragonwagon Regional was made to be more safe by 2-seed Alpacino Beauchamp, who we don't think has a particularly creative name, but who squeaked by Danger. But the big winner in more ways than one was local boy [from Spokane] Charley Willard Horse Dick who obliterated [by a 69-31 margin in voting percentage] the formerly mysterious Johnny Moustache, to advance to the Elite Eight where he will face oddly named 9-seed Phyllis Mangina and we like Dick's chances in that one. Meanwhile, our remaining F4 pick and top seed, Destiny Frankenstein, continues to roll through the opposition and will now face the Lounge's darkhorse candidate, Spaceman Africa,. Technically, the Lounge cannot lose here, but Frankenstein-Horse Dick match-up in the Final Four does seem to be destiny speaking.

In other non-March Madness news, did you know that Paris Hilton gets a new show on MTV this autumn? Yeah, we did not care either.

"I had the Cougs going to the Sweet 16 all along!" says a confident Question Mark, who, as a longtime bracket monkey, also likes bananas.

Well, you know, Mark, most people not named Seth Davis probably had them going to the Sweet 16 - at least most knowledgeable people [a Lounge disclaimer]. Winthrop [or Winthorpe, as the Lounge likes to call them, from the film fame of Trading Places] scored 29 points in the first half against the Cougars but did not have enough Randolph and Mortimer Duke clout to corner the defensive market and it all fell apart for them in the second half like a house of cards and they could only get 11 points on the big board - nearly an NCAA record for low-scoring in a half. Notre Dame was full of lucky charms with their green uniforms and all, but the Leprechauns needed more than cute hoop attire to solve the Wazzu defense and they could only muster one more point - and they got their last two on their final possession in a blowout - than Winthorpe.

"Wazzu can beat North Carolina. There, I said it," says Rancid Polecat #2, who just returned from reality to spend his salad days in the Lounge during March Madness.

You can say it #2 because you could never say it before. Wazzu has never played North Carolina. That is "never" as in never-ever. They have, however, played Arkansas, and, curiously enough, they beat the Sooey Pigs on their way to the 1941 NCAA title game against Wisconsin. How 'bout that for a whole bunch of weirdness in the connection department? But we are getting well ahead of ourselves here. The Cougars can indeed beat North Carolina but first, let us see if that will be their opponent in the Sweet 16 and second, if that is the case, let's see if Roy Williams really does know his geography. Virginia to Kansas City? Easy. Let's hear about Pullman to Charlotte.


Since there is an entire week for Cougar fans and well-wishers to get to Charlotte, perhaps they might want to consider a sweet ride across the country. Such a historic occasion requires a historic vehicle and we found a bunch of them at the Cars of the Stars Museum where you can choose from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Herbie the Love Bug, the DeLorean used in Back to the Future, the Lotus Esprit from the James Bond flick The Spy Who Loved Me - both the road and submarine versions - and the original Munsters "Koach", but the Lounge already has ours picked out - we will using the original Batmobile.

Finally, the Lounge Scientists claim to have discovered the source of happiness - giving money away to others. In a pair of studies, the scientists found that money given to others tended to produce more happiness than spending it on personal toys and various material possessions.

"Very minor alterations in spending allocations - as little as $5 - may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day," says Lounge Scientist #16, Elizabeth Dunn, a psychologist at the University of British Columbia, who is reportedly very happy about her findings.

As little as $5 may be enough to produce real gains in happiness on a given day? Many a five or seven-game parlay purchaser during March Madness can attest to that notion.





+++++++sponsored by Clark's Restaurant+++++++++

Attention COUGAR fans and well-wishers! Hoops season is here and you have the hunger. How can you afford to go one day further without some tasty morsels from Clark's Restaurant in Grays Harbor - home of the Best Hamburger in Twin Harbors for nine consecutive years? Come in for the burger, fresh homemade fries and milkshakes concocted from homemade ice cream. Go ahead, we dare you to try and pass up more than 12 varieties of hamburgers to choose from, full dinners, lunch and full breakfast served daily. Clark's Restaurant 360.538.1487. Seven miles south of Aberdeen, Washington on Highway 101. Proud supporter of CougZone. Mention this ad for a free small ice cream.



 

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