“Classic” Scratchbomb: March Mid-Major M’Insanity

Now that college hoops will be relevant for the next two weeks or so, celebrate with this “classic” Scratchbomb article, originally published March 7, 2007.


The month of March is here, evidently, which brings along with it the NCAA College Basketball tournament. This annual sporting event inspires thousands of unfortunate torso paintings, and turns office workers across the nation into amateur bookies. It sends the public into a collective, oh I don’t know, madness one might say. I wish there were some alliterative way to describe the tournament and the frenzy that spreads across the nation in its wake.

Maybe, Spring Psychopathology? Yeah, that rolls off the tongue.

Of course, most of the tournament berths are already sealed up through conference championships or bribery, and even the majority of the remaining teams to be selected won’t exactly come out of left field. But the NCAA always picks a few so-called mid-majors, schools you probably haven’t heard of unless you went to them or have a severe
gambling problem.

Betting on any small school is a dicey proposition. Everyone likes a Cinderella story, but
the likelihood of West Ass Crack Teacher’s College going anywhere in the tourney is minimal at best. Unless Billy Packer thinks it’s a travesty that they were picked for the tournament in the first place. In that case, the team should at least make it to the Sweet Sixteen.

Still, it’s fun to dream of king-killers, because hey, we all want to murder monarchs, right? This Sunday, the NCAA will finalize the tournament spots in an event known throughout the land as “Weekend Winnowing”. Here’s a few of the small-school squads who just might make the cut.

East Mississippi A&M: Once known for having one of the best small-school programs in the country, EMA&M was scandalized in 1991 when it was discovered that their point guard was actually a Holstein. The school argued that having cattle in its starting five was actually a disadvantage, but the NCAA still banned the school from the tournament for five years, and the cow was sold to Black Angus. EMA&M is now back to its winning ways, and extremely difficult to beat on its home court, mostly because that court doubles as a kill floor.

San Quentin State: This school prides itself on giving troubled youth a second chance. Failing that, third, fourth and fifth chances are equal as common for its student-athletes. Their most versatile player is Deshawnjames Williams, who usually plays center but is also used as a shooting guard when he brings a glock onto the court. Jamatador Oneill is the team’s leading scorer (37 ppg, 17 confirmed kills), but he gets into foul trouble often. During the Penal Conference final, Oneill T-ed out early in the second half when he stabbed an opponent in the throat as he took a free throw.

Lancaster County Community College: Champs of the Mennonite Conference, the only one to still use wooden peach crates for baskets. Their most feared player is 6′ 7″ forward Ezekiel Schmidt, whose 31.7 ppg average is even more impressive when you consider that he must run up and down the court in suspenders and leather shoes. This may be the last chance for LCCC to crack the tourney, as many of its best players will soon be lost to the NBA Draft, and to rumspringa.

Tompkins Drama School: Their point guard is in love with the head cheerleader, who doesn’t know she’s carrying another man’s baby. Their center’s toughest opponent is himself. What their forward doesn’t know about their shooting guard could kill them both. And their coach is carrying a deep, dark secret that could tear his school apart–if his wife doesn’t destroy it first. But put them together, and this ragtag group of misfits will leave it all out on the court, where they just might have…the right stuff. Unless they pull a Big East team in the first round; then they’re dead.

Boffo’s Clown College: BCC is known for its tough brand of play. Few opponents can score from the post when their sophomore Pinky employs his unstoppable Squirting Flower defense. It doesn’t matter much on the court, but the school is also renowned for having the smallest team bus in the NCAA.

Monsanto Institute of Technology: MIT has created a near-perfect basketball team, literally. Using DNA samples from NBA legends and a patented genome extraction and self-replication technique, the school grew its starting five in large, fluid-filled vats that mimic the conditions of the womb. This procedure has drawn condemnation and protests from nearly every single political and religious leader in the world , though it has eliminated all suspicion of recruiting violations. Freshman 32XJ7 is a standout for his flawless three-point shot and the unnerving, soulless cast of his eyes.