Issue 67: The Best March Madness Moments That Weren’t Basketball

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Every season, March Madness brings us tons of joy — and plenty of heartbreak to go along with it. And despite a two-year gap between the last tournament and this one, we’ve still seen lots of exciting moments.

Heck, even the very first game of this year’s men’s tournament — a 7-10 matchup between two very average teams in Florida and Virginia Tech — went to overtime on a Naheim Alleyne pull-up three with 1.4 seconds remaining. That’s MADNESS!

But for every cool on the court play, there are just as many memorable moments that have nothing to do with basketball at all.

Oftentimes, these are emotional moments, like when Villanova’s piccolo player bravely carried the team home, even though they had just lost in a massive upset. Sometimes, they’re just totally silly.

That’s what today’s email is all about—the things that don’t really involve basketball.

What Does Cameron Krutwig Do for a Living?

Cameron Krutwig is the star center for the Loyola-Chicago Ramblers, who just pulled a massive upset over the 1-seed Illinois Fighting Illini. He got tackled by his teammates during his postgame interview, which was very cute.

But he also became an internet sensation, thanks to the fact that he doesn’t really look like a great basketball player. He’s certainly a chunk, using his big ol’ booty to knock people out of the way, but he has terrific footwork, so he’s able to craft his way into easy hoops.

Oh, and at some point, he grew a mustache. It’s…not great. But it’s made him famous as people try to determine what he actually does instead of play basketball.

Guesses have ranged from starring as Rod Farva in the Super Troopers movies to working the night shift at a Circle K and giving you the two extra pennies in the jar. Delightful.

The Return of the Headband!

As someone who cannot rock a headband at all, I’ve appreciated seeing it making a stylish comeback this season.

In the first round, Tanner Groves drew Jackie Moon comparisons (while his younger brother Jacob had heavy Napoleon Dynamite Vibes) as his “lumberjack with headband” look led to 35 points as Eastern Washington nearly knocked off the mighty Kansas Jayhawks.

Meanwhile, Gonzaga’s Drew Timme took headbands to the next level by combining his with a handlebar mustache. I’m certain I’ve seen this same look at my local gym, but that guy wasn’t scoring 30 points against a Big 12 school.

After Gonzaga defeated Oklahoma, Timme was told his mother said if he made the Sweet 16, he’d have to shave the mustache. He responded that after the way he played, she’d probably let him keep it a little longer. Baller.

Also, let’s give an honorable mention to LSU’s sweet sneaker game. It’s like headbands, but for the feet.

All the Dance Moves

When a team makes the NCAA Tournament, people often say they’re “going dancing,” as the tournament itself is commonly referred to as the Big Dance.

So why would you stop dancing once you’ve arrived, especially when you win and advance? UCLA sure hasn’t. And those are some NICE moves.

But they’re not the only ones. Creighton’s Blue Jay mascot is also getting in on the action. The Houston Cougars added water bottles for extra excitement. Oral Roberts did some odd hybrid galloping horse jockey thing.

As a side note, you might think making it to the Sweet 16 would be good enough to get you verified on Twitter. As Oral Roberts has learned, it does not.

Advance that Bracket

The NCAA certainly has a lot of issues (as we’ll see below), but they rectified one a few seasons ago by letting teams advance themselves on massive brackets.

One of the most enjoyable parts of this time of year is picking your teams and then watching them advance. “Never mind that I had Illinois winning it all,” you might say. “I correctly picked Sweet 16 upsets like Syracuse, UCLA, and USC!” (Not based on a true story at all or anything.)

Then you’d go and tell your friends about it, but they don’t care about basketball as much as you do and think you’re speaking in hieroglyphics to them, despite that being a written language.

Anyway, here is USC’s Isaiah Mobley doing a couple of stutter steps before slapping his Trojans onto the board (I suppose the length of “Southern California” makes it an easier adhesive than “USC”) as the final team into the Sweet 16.

And everyone is thrilled. As they should be.

Social Media Being Used for Good

I think you and I agree that social media can be a scary place. People post news articles with no context (or even comprehension), folks spout off hate from behind the safety of their keyboard, and even positive images may be carefully curated to show a fictionalized view of reality.

But sometimes, social media is used for good, and it’s lovely when it is.

The men’s NCAA Tournament is being played in Indiana this year, while the women’s tourney is in Texas. Despite the differing locations, it seemed reasonable to expect the men and women could have equal amenities, like weight rooms and swag bags.

That turned out to be untrue. The men had a spacious weight room, with plenty of free weights, medicine balls, squat racks, and all other kinds of gear. The women had literally one rack of dumbbells and some yoga mats stacked on a folding table.

Now, the NCAA tried to say the discrepancy was due to a lack of space, but Oregon forward Sedona Prince debunked that pretty quickly with a TikTok video (linked here via Twitter because that’s how the internet works now) showing there was, in fact, ample room.

Thankfully, the general public (and many athletes) called the NCAA out on their nonsense. And as Prince updated, the women now also have a legitimate weight room they can use as they prepare for the biggest games of their careers.

This doesn’t solve everything, of course, but it’s still nice to see people using social media to enact some meaningful change.

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That’s all ’til next time. Thanks for reading!


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