Let's be honest here, just for a second.
("Honest? You?" you're saying).
Let's talk about what we really want out of life, aside from the obvious, like a street-legal Ferrari 330 P3 from the 1960s, a private island in the Caribbean and decent beer that doesn't taste like someone tripped and spilled a carload of hops in it.
("But absurdly hoppy beers are what true beer connoisseurs treasure!" you're saying).
("Absurdly hoppy beers are vile swill treasured only by people who don't know anything about beer!" is my response).
Anyway ... what we want out of life, what we secretly crave, is utter chaos. At least, in March we do.
It's why we root for the 15 seed to take out the 2 seed and the 13 to waylay the 4 and the 12 to beat the 5 the way tradition dictates. And it's why there's really only one team to root for this weekend, as the Final Four plays out down there in Houston.
That team would be Syracuse.
Yes, the cheaters. Yes, the 10 seed no one thought should have gotten into the tournament to begin with. Yes, the team with the lowest RPI in the history of the tournament.
The anarchist in me -- in all of us -- wants to see Syracuse win because it would be the most deliciously ridiculous thing ever.
It would mean the regular season really doesn't mean anything, which is the only downside to a Syracuse win. People who despise college buckets have been saying that for years. Of course, the same people who say that are people who conveniently ignore the fact that the NBA regular season -- which lasts roughly as long as the Pleistocene Age -- means even less.
That's because after all that Pleistocene-ing, the teams everyone figured would be at the top back in October always seem to wind up at the top. Which makes you wonder why anyone bothers to pay attention until, like, mid-April.
But that's another rant for another day.
Today, we'll celebrate the delicious possibility of the Madness -- specifically, the possibility that Syracuse could still cut down the nets Monday night. This would be awesome, because it would mean the NCAA would have to hand its trophy to Jim Boeheim, whom it suspended for nine games back in December for running a dirty program. It would be the greatest gritted-teeth moment since the NCAA had to hand its trophy to Jerry Tarkanian, whom it hounded for years mainly because he said mean stuff about the NCAA once upon a time.
The best part of this scenario?
It's not all that far-fetched. The 'Cuse play the only top seed left in the tournament, North Carolina, in the semifinals, a matchup that's already happened twice. In the first meeting, Carolina won by 11 at Syracuse. In the second, Carolina squeaked by 75-70 in Chapel Hill.
So if you're looking at this and seeing a mismatch, you need to get your eyes checked. This will not be a mismatch. Or at least it's not likely it will be.
And if the 'Cuse happens to pull the not-so-shocking upset?
Then it gets 2-seed Villanova or 2-seed Oklahoma in the title game. Both of whom would be heavily favored, but maybe no more than top-seed Virginia was. And the 'Cuse handled the Cavaliers by six in the regional championship game.
So, it's possible. Not probable, but possible.
A 13-loss team winning the national title?
Hey. Let the Madness be the Madness.