It's that magical time of year again: the beginning of the NCAA basketball tournament.
And although I earn my way on this earth keeping the fairer sex cravenly satisfied, I've also been told by kings, poets and socialites alike that I have a penchant for collegiate basketball forecasting.
Such has been in the DelVecchio lineage ever since Papa Vecchs correctly picked the Final Four of the 1984 N.I.T. (Hail to the Victors, indeed!)
I didn't ask for this gift. But I feel compelled to use it. Just like Ghandi or Ted Danson would have.
Now that the field of 65 has been named, I'm going to skip over the tedious early round rib ticklers and pirouette right to my sacred Final Four--and into your basketball pool's pants.
Now take your brackets out, DelVecchians. And get ready to get paid!
The Midwest: Denny's Pick is Michigan State
All I ever hear anymore is "Kansas this," "Kansas that" and "I want Kansas to make love to my wife while I watch from the corner rocker with nipple clamps and leather bustier on." And it makes me want to vomit. Kansas, while the prohibitive prom queen of this ball, lacks the basketball I.Q. to get out of the second round. And they're pregnant. That's right. They got knocked up by the Quarterback. Oops.
KU's going down early. And tears will flow in . . . any cities that actually exist in Kansas.
Ohio State could make some noise, as may the remaining, non-incarcerated Tennessee Volunteers, but the net cutters are going to be dressed in green and be from the third most beautiful land grant university north of Ohio, east of Wisconsin and west of New York: Michigan State. (Extra kudos to MSU's athletic braintrust for handing a kindly Italian dwarf the coaching reins after Jud Heathcote was lost in the Andes and forced into unthinkable acts of cannibalism--and humanity.)
The West: Denny's Pick is Butler
I simply don't see a squad that my East Camden Community College intramural division "C" team from 1989 couldn't beat by at least 20. (Much love to Off in the Shower. I miss you guys!!) So I'll just go in alphabetical order.
Butler it is.
The South: Denny's Pick is Duke
My heart says St. Mary's is going to make a run. My descending colon reminds me that Duke is not only the best team in this region, but also the most unabashedly punchable. That's a tough combination.
My sentimental pick is Waco's very own Baylor Bears--a team returning to Division I hoops play after a 96 year hiatus. A lot of pluck but, in the end, probably a tad too much suck. Props for the whole David Koresh thing, though. Gave me a sexy Halloween costume for the better part of the 90s. (A proud litter of early August-born DelVecchians out there thank them, too.)
The East: Denny's Pick is West Virginia
Although there's a 35% chance that Bob Huggins ingests his point guard before the Sweet Sixteen, I like the Mountaineers.
If he were still the Wildcats' coach, Louisville's Rick Pitino would more than likely have lost his penis somewhere in New Orleans. Whether his previous employer's hyper talented, freshman-laden squad can outperform their ex-skipper's rapacious sexual appetite is an open question.
Who else do I think could make a nice run? How about Cornell? They play an all-girl music academy and the JV team from the Wisconsin School for the Blind en route to the Sweet 16.
In the closest vote in the last several paragraphs, I'll take West Virginia.
So there you have it: Michigan State, Butler, Duke and West Virginia.
Use the picks wisely, and try and stay away from ultra high stakes bets lest a wayward rodent alter history, leaving you on the bathroom floor of a grimy ski lodge shitroom about to perform an act of immeasurable intimacy on a lifelong friend in front of dozens of Rumple Minzed-up dipsomaniacs.
My finals picks will be up soon. Stay tuned.