MEMO TO SELF: Figure out who can win NCAA basketball tournament. But, whoa, it's hard enough to figure out what the schools are. Is it Robert Mason and George Morris, or the other way around? Or are Mason and Morris the authors of Propositions 42 and 48? What's the difference among East Tennessee State, Middle Tennessee State and Tennessee Ernie State? The first two were invited to play in Nashville, and the third wasn't invited at all. Neither were Connecticut and New Mexico. Very confusing. Maybe I'll try to figure out who can't win the tournament, instead. How? Alphabetical order.
A. Alabama. Because Crimson Tide coach Wimp Sanderson won't schedule South Alabama, which Alabama faces in the first round.
B. Boise State. Because the Broncos weren't invited. In one of the West subregionals, it's Idaho that plays at Boise State, not Boise State at Boise State.
C. Clemson. Football.
D. Duke. Because of Danny Ferry. We're allowed only one Danny per decade. The other one (Manning of Kansas) won the Danny national championship last year.
E. Evansville. The Aces' first-round opponent, Oregon State, will not let retiring coach Ralph Miller go without one last NCAA victory.
F. Florida. Too many tennis balls on the court (see Gators versus Vanderbilt, Jan. 25).
G. Georgia Tech. Plays Texas to play Missouri to play Syracuse to play Illinois. In the immortal words of Yellow Jacket coach Bobby Cremins, "Are you kidding?"
H. The Hall, as in Seton. Coach P.J. Carlesimo has initials for his name and a Smith Brothers beard for his statement. One gimmick? O.K. Both? Never happen.
I. Indiana. So Bob Knight coached the hell out of the Hoosiers. He only deigned to travel the 16 million miles to the desert because he thought he was going to fight George Patton. When he finds out it's George Mason, he may bench all five starters and eat that ugly red sweater.