Michigan State Spartans
All you need to do is mention the name Mateen Cleaves and The Flintstones. When that Spartans crew won the title back in 2000 that got shoved down all our throats ad nauseam. Mateen Cleaves is now doing in studio work for the tournament and it’s a constant reminder of how annoying it was to see him smiling and dancing after they won the title.
This is a very starless Michigan State squad so feel free to use numerous “who’s that guy” references. Sure it’s bottom of the barrel humor but chances are it’ll work once or twice since the only guy that anyone actually knows is Tom Izzo.
With Louisville, it’s like shooting fish in a barrel thanks to Rick Pitino’s liaisons in a restaurant bathroom. Coach must have been a big Digital Underground fan and doing his best to get “busy in a Burger King bathroom” (or the Louisville equivalent). Hating on the other teams has no boundaries, nor does Pitino’s sexual proclivities.
For those that don’t want to use R-rated material then I suggest going down the Montrezl Harrell route. Dude is a beast and is one of the players you’d least like to see in a dark alley. You could try and drop some name humor since most of us aren’t sure how to pronounce his name, but that’s kinda weak sauce. Plus, if he finds out about it that’s not likely to end well for you. I recommend sticking to the Rick Pitino jokes, it’s a much safer play.
The Gonzaga versus Duke is a haters dream. Gonzaga is the lovable mid-major loser that can never seem to get over the hump and get the respect like some of the powerhouse schools. Few casual fans care enough to know much about the current players on the team. Instead, focus on the most infamous Gonzaga basketball family, the Stocktons. Chances are there will be numerous mentions of John Stockton and his son David during the game. This is your opportunity to talk about how much you couldn’t stand the Utah Jazz, Stockton to Malone, or John Stockton’s boy sized medium shorts.
It’s not possible to hate on Gonzaga without throwing a few grenades Adam Morrison’s way. Despite the fact that he was an absolute stud in college, all anyone seems to remember is him crying after they lost in the tournament and then being a huge bust in the NBA. There’s ammo for days.
Duke Blue Devils
Duke is the Notre Dame football of college basketball – the team that fans love to hate on the most. They’ve got a strong lineage of things to hate so most of your vitriol will be spread about a wide variety of targets, almost all of them being former Duke players. My personal favorite is making fun of Thomas Hill for crying after the Christian Laettner shot.
Save all your Christian Laettner hate, we all know ESPN just did a 30 for 30 on him. No doubt this will come up at some point during the day, so be prepared to change the subject to something like, “I can’t stand how Wojo used to slap the floor” or “all this team does is flop and take fake charges.”
If you’re with more knowledgeable college basketball fans feel free to bring Greg Paulus up. He was one of the most “Dukeish” players of recent memory, which makes him extremely hateable.
I want to hear from you. If you are gonna be hating on any of these teams what jokes are you throwing out? Hit me up on Twitter @BaconSports and let me know.
Betting Bacon Bits
• Michigan State is rolling but this isn’t your typical Spartans squad. There’s no Draymond Green or Gary Harris and at some point that’s going to catch up with them. Unfortunately, I don’t trust this Louisville squad much so I don’t feel too good about taking them, even getting +2.5.
• Gonzaga was a trendy high-seed pick that many chose to bow out of the tournament early. Duke is a super-public team. I can’t image there’s much public action on Gonzaga +2.5.