If there’s one thing that any editor will tell you, it’s that the news sells papers, but a good angle will bring those same customers back. As the NCAA Tourney season begins, so begins the annual barrage of human interest stories concerning amazing athletes overcoming incredible odds, coaches who have defied the norm, and teams whose heart has brought them to the Dance. These stories, inevitably, will be peppered throughout CBS’ broadcast of the tournament — with the intention of having us learn that there is a human side to this roundball game that shares a common thread in our own lives.
As a public service to you, the Reader, I have sifted through and collected the angles for the many human interest stories you’ll see over the next few weeks. This will allow you to pick and choose your favorite triumphs of the human spirit. You’re welcome.
Ohio State Lost two teammates to bad clams during an away trip to Valparaiso.
Central Connecticut State Has more players graduating with a degree in Animal Husbandry than any other school.
BYU Former Angels’ first baseman Wally Joyner gives the Cougars a rousing pep talk before each game.
Xavier Team collectively knits a quilt on any bus ride exceeding two hours.
Tennessee Dedicating this season to the late Bam Bam Bigelow.
Long Beach Fought the NCAA for the right to wear Jams as a uniform.
Virginia Reached an agreement that, should they win, the state will honor the team’s request to exhume the body of Zachary Taylor for autopsy.
Albany Has no gym, plays games in the parking lot of an area Men’s Wearhouse.
Louisville Promised Barbaro, just before he died, that they’d win it for him.
Stanford Mascot is suffering from dutch elm disease.
Texas A&M Point guard is a ghost.
PennRefusing to play at any time slot coinciding with Grey’s Anatomy.
Nevada Cheerleading squad is deathly afraid of robots.
Creighton Head Coach Dana Altman’s skull is on the outside of his face.
Memphis Has the blues.
North Texas Senior Rich Young once met Richard Dean Anderson in an elevator.
North Carolina Cried at the end of Con-Air.
Eastern Ky. Hates birthdays, declares that it’s staying 39.
Marquette Is big-boned.
Southern Cal. Over half the team has debilitating neck problems from wearing oversized sunglasses.
Michigan St. Head Coach Tom Izzo’s battle with an ingrown hair.
Arkansas Forward Sonny Weems battle with incontinence.
Texas Superstar Kevin Durant’s battle with ninjas.
New Mexico State Can’t stop sweating.
Vanderbilt Regrets that it has but one life to give for its country.
George Washington Practices in full Revolutionary War regalia.
Washington St. Has an openly metrosexual player.
Oral Roberts Is combining this post-season with its annual “Let Go and Let God” fund drive.
Boston College Has seen The Departed, like, twelve times already.
Texas Tech Is indifferent toward global warming.
Georgetown Was recently captivated by a Latin etymologist’s speech on the Greek Neuter Plural roots of the word hoya.
Belmont Going to Europe this summer to “find itself.”
Kansas Is constantly asked to play “Nothing Left to Borrow” by people who think they are the bluegrass-alt-country band of the same name.
Kentucky Head Coach Tubby Smith hand-picked his entire 2006 team from a particularly attentive Rafferty’s wait staff.
Villanova Is the safe word for Bill Raftery and Lesley Visser.
Virginia Tech Once knew this guy who totally drank a bottle of Jaeger in fifteen minutes.
Illinois Still reeling from a team headband requirement violation earlier this season.
Southern Illinois Team is adapting to new “Two for flinching” rule.
Holy Cross Warms up before games to The Very Best of Anne Murray.
Duke Team denies they had anything to do with J. Lo’s speculated pregnancy.
VCU Recently lost three days of class and practice time when the Dairy Queen caught on fire.
Pittsburgh Is sorry it started that thing about your sister.
Wright St. Is single-handedly responsible for the extinguishing of the 2005 California wildfires.
Gonzaga Team battling delusion that it is covered in snakes.
UCLA Freshman guard Russell Westbrook can eat forty tacos in ten minutes.
Weber St. Coached by Wings funnyman Steven Weber.
Florida Was lost at sea for ten days, forcing them to eat eight practice balls.
Jackson St. Is for real.
Arizona Freshman Chase Budinger wishes people would stop calling him Bud.
Purdue Reported ties to the Irish Republican Army.
Butler Voted for Ace Young over 1,000 times during the 2006 season of American Idol.
Old Dominion Doesn’t care what you say. Bones is a good show.
Maryland Plays bridge with the elderly on Tuesdays and Friday nights.
Davidson Thinks it looks better with short hair.
Notre Dame Senior guard Kieran Piller can only shoot a foul shot after reciting T.S. Elliot’s The Wasteland in its entirety.
Oregon Plans to commit mass suicide when the Great Mother Bird comes back from heaven for them.
Winthrop Won episode #1032 of Family Double Dare in November 1989.
Miami (Ohio) Has a thing about the consistency of fish, doesn’t care for it.
UNLV Won two of their conference tournament games on the flop.
Georgia Tech Four of five starters have Irritable Bowel Syndrome; fifth has lazy eye.
Texas A&M CC Has had explosive diarrhea for two weeks.
Wisconsin Hates Mondays.