Friday, April 05, 2013
“We’re number 69! We’re number 69!”
That was the exultant cheer raised by alumni as Northern Wisconsin University defeated Boise Southern A&M, 53 – 39, to win the basketball tournament nobody aside from degenerate gamblers and die-hard alumni cares about, the N.I.T. (National Inivitation Tournament). The cheer stemmed from the fact that the NCAA “March Madness” tournament includes the top 68 teams. The N.I.T. field is made up of the remainder, all fighting hard for the honor of being declared the 69th best team in the country.
“I’ll probably get to keep my job, so I guess it’s better than nothing”, said NWU head coach Moe “Larry” Curley.
The Pickerel were led by star center Mustafa Scheinblum-O’Shaughnessy. The 7’ 6” player, an animal husbandry major until he found out it didn’t mean what he thought it did, was passed over by all other Division One schools due to 37 outstanding arrest warrants and an inability to spell his name correctly on the SATs. He scored 41 of his team’s 53 points, as well as sixteen of Boise Southern’s points when he became confused concerning which basket was his and threw down eight separate thunderous dunks on the wrong goal.
“He’s not the sharpest knife in the drawer,” said coach Curley, “but he generally scores more for us than for the other team if we keep him pointed in the right direction.”
Boise Southern’s leading scorer (aside from Scheinblum-O’Shaughnessy) was freshman point guard Jud Jenkins, with twelve points. Immediately following the game, Jenkins declared himself eligible for the next NBA draft.
“I most likely don’t have a hope in hell of making an NBA team, but if I go to training camp and get cut, I can probably fool some Italian or French league into thinking I’m worth signing,” said Jenkins. When asked if remaining in school and getting his diploma might not be a better option, he said, “Not a chance. All I have to do is fool one European millionaire into thinking I’m hot stuff and I’ll be set for the next ten years. The best I could get with a diploma from this place is a job selling sheep door-to-door.”
Scheinblum-O’Shaughnessy was asked whether he might follow a similar path and declare for the draft.
“Don’t know nothin’ ‘bout that. Coach say put a ball in the hole and he get me pile o' burgers and shit.” He then stood up, walked toward the showers, and knocked himself cold when his head crashed into the top of a doorframe.
“Oh, Jesus, not again…”, said coach Curley.
A tournament official, under promise of anonymity, said that it is getting harder and harder to find teams willing to divest themselves of all dignity in vainglorious pursuit of a championship with less meaning than a bucket of warm spit. He said that next year they may begin inviting mail-order diploma mills.
“I hope we can keep Mustafa conscious long enough next season to make the NCAA’s,” said Curley, “Otherwise, I might have to take that job down at the DMV my brother-in-law keeps telling me about. I don’t know how much more of this humiliation I can take.”