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Thursday, March 08, 2007

From, The Star Ledger "Bracket Boy: The King is all shook up by Memphis"

From, The Star Ledger
Bracket Boy: The King is all shook up by Memphis

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

People often ask our resident college basketball expert, "So, Bracket Boy, what did you do in the off-season?" Usually, the answers are nothing extraordinary. Two years ago, for example, BB went on a bracketology cruise with Vitale. "That Joe Lunardi is one hell of a shuffleboard player," our man said.

But boy, does the Boy have a tale to tell from this summer! Let him explain:

"I decided I needed to do some extra research on the team that perplexes me the most in this tournament -- the Memphis Tigers -- so I headed down to Beale Street.

"Well, while I was in Tennessee, I figured I ought to say hello to the King. No, not Pat Summitt -- she's over in Knoxville. I went to Graceland to see the media room, the billiards room, the famous jungle room, and finally outside to the grave.

"When I got there, I saw him -- Elvis himself! Unfortunately, my damn camera jammed, so I have no evidence, but when has BB steered you wrong before? It was not the young, Sun Records Elvis. It was the bloated, shouldn't-be-wearing-leather, "Suspicious Minds" Elvis.

"Anyway, the King comes up to me and he says, 'Hey there, lil' buddy. You down here to check out my Tigers?"

"Your Tigers? I never knew you were a sports fan!"

"Hey man. I had three TVs in the media room. That was 1969. What you think I was watching? MTV?"

"Oh. Right."

"Lemme tell you something, my orange friend. Them Tigers, now they ain't playing a schedule like some of the tournament teams. That ain't their fault. But those boys can ball, you follow? I once sang a song, BB. It was called '(Now and Then There's) A Fool Such As I.'"

"Uh ... your point is?"

"Don't be a fool. Don't skip the Tigers."

Our resident expert left Memphis with two thoughts: 1) He needed more Elvis on his iPod. 2) Maybe the King was right. Maybe Memphis, a team loaded with talent that has a tournament-proven coach coming off an Elite Eight appearance, shouldn't be overlooked.

It will depend on the matchups, of course. Memphis lost two players to the NBA, Rodney Carney and Shawne Williams, and guard Darius Washington to Europe, and replaced them with a freshman point guard in Willie Kemp, three sophomores led by Chris Douglas-Roberts and junior Joey Dorsey.

This team is young, but still talented -- and very deep, with coach John Calipari using as many as nine players. Are they untested? Absolutely. But George Mason reached the Final Four last March, and Memphis should get a No. 3 seed in the tournament.

"I know, achieving perfection in Conference USA is like being the coolest guy on a bracketology cruise," BB said. "Hey, maybe I can get Vitale to agree to Barbados this summer."

Bracket Boy is lonesome tonight, so please, check out his fully interactive Web site at, or drop him an e-mail at

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