Finally, the Big 6 Conference Tournaments are starting. I like watching scrappy teams play to not be in the play-in game as much as the next Lady…, but now it really starts. I am going to be in Chicago on Friday for back-to-back-to-back-to-back Big Ten games and I AM PUMPED! I got my foam finger ready to go, and hopefully nobody from Craig’s List hears about it. Tonight, I bring you your Big Ten Conference Panty Raid. Here is a link to the bracket. I’m going to predict an Iowa win. Partially because I’m a homer, but also because Alford has the best record in the BTT since its inception in 1998. The Hawkeyes are also tied with Illinois and Michigan State for most BTT titles. Go Hawkeyes!
I’m feeling nostalgic today, so I discuss each team as a character from Saved by the Bell. Follow me and feel free to sing along……when I wake up in the morning and the alarm gives out a warning, I don’t think I’ll ever make it on time (doo doo)…..
Tops of the list (and tops in our hearts) are the plucky Badgers from Wisconsin as Zack. Zack was slick, cool and good at everything. This picture reminds me why I had such a crush on him. Mmmmm mmmm. Everybody wanted to be friends with him, much like Wisconsin. They’re one of the best teams in the Big Ten this year and their style of play is smooth and cohesive. Also, pretty much everybody likes Wisconsin. Bo Ryan seems like a great guy! They have Chris Rock on their team! What’s not to like? You may be asking, “Andrea, why aren’t the Big Ten champion Buckeyes playing Zack? They won the conference.” It’s because nobody likes them. They’re the big, bad, winners that nobody can stand, which makes them an obvious choice for…
Mr. Belding. Ohio State is totally Mr. Belding. They come along with their fellated-by-ESPN Greg “I am Not Left-Handed” Oden and their 15-1 conference record and everybody hates their breathing guts. All the other guys are hanging out, Bucky, Herky, the Chief, Pete, a Hoosier, and they’re running some kind of scam involving zit cream that turns your face red, and along comes fucking Brutus with a “Hey, hey, hey, what is going on here?” He ruins all the fun. Pretty soon, a plucky Rod Belding-esque Oral Roberts is going to come along and ruin Ohio State’s rafting trip.
After the two powerhouses in the Big Ten, we’ve got the stand-alone 10-6 Indiana Hoosiers as Albert Clifford Slater. First off, nobody knows what the fuck a Hoosier is and nobody knows what the hell AC wore for the 4 years of SBTB. Secondly, Indiana is the second banana this year and AC was always Zack’s second banana. Finally, Indiana is (most likely) going to get locked in the boiler room of the second round of the tourney with the Big Ten’s Jessie Spano, Illinois. How appropriate. They were always fighting and Indiana will finally get to tell Illinois to “put on something cute, and move it into the kitchen!” It’s too bad that Slater couldn’t be Iowa, since that’s where he got a wrestling scholarship (IOWA, REPRESENT!), but Iowa is just way too appropriately…
Screech. Iowa is Screech. This year Iowa, with an 8-6 non-conference record and only 17 total wins, inexplicably gets to hang out with the cool kids. Due to the tiebreaking procedures of the Big Ten tournament seeding, Iowa has somehow managed to wangle itself a kiss from Purdue’s Lisa by getting the #4 seed in the tournament. Much like Screech winning the dance-off with “The Sprain,” they have the Big Ten’s LEADING SCORER in Adam Haluska. WTF? They also have a guy who gets to play when they’re either up or down by a lot named J.R. Angle who looks a lot like Kevin the Robot. Finally, last year Iowa totally got its beloved Hound Dog stolen by Franklin Finkley’s Northwestern State and unless they run the table in the Big Ten Tourney, they’ll be sitting at home singing, “Oh give me a school with a big swimming pool and a library crammed full a-books. Where seldom is heard a complaint from a nerd and the chess team has plenty of rooks. Home, home at our school. Where the Swiss steak makes everyone drool. Where dissecting mice can be awfully nice. Oh, Iowa, I think you’re a jewel.”
Speaking of Screech’s smooch from Lisa in the tournament’s quarterfinals, Purdue is our resident Lisa. Purdue is a member of the “in-crowd.” Some analysts still have Purdue as a bubble team and they finished tied for 4th in the Big Ten. However, everybody forgets about them all the time. Somebody asked me who the top teams in the Big Ten were and, much like everybody likes Kelly better than Lisa, I said Michigan State before I said Purdue. Lisa stuck around when Jessie and Kelly inexplicably disappeared, and this year Purdue is ahead in the standings of both Illinois and Michigan State. I can only hope that Purdue has a run-in with its mom after drinking and driving and gets grounded for the quarterfinal game against my Hawkeyes.
Illinois was an obvious choice as Jessica Myrtle Spano for two reasons: 1) they will (probably) play Slater in the second round of the BTT and 2) they had a bit of trouble this year, much like Jessie’s drug problem. I would never make light of an addiction to caffeine pills (okay, I totally would), but I really would not make light of the situation involving Jamar Smith. Except to say that I imagine him returning to his apartment, all discombobulated and confiding to his roommates, “I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO EXCITED! I’M SO……….SCARED.” [sob] (What, you thought you’d get through this post without a mention of the GREATEST SCENE in SBTB history? You thought wrong, my friend). Just for a cheap shot: I doubt any Illinois players can do geometry either. Furthermore, Illinois said goodbye to its non-PC mascot and Jessie helped say goodbye to the use of non-environmentally friendly plastic foam. Ready? “1-2-3-4, don’t use plastic foam no more! 5-6-7-8! 9-10-11-12!”
Ahhhh, here’s the one the boys all like: Kelly Kapowski. Michigan State is totally Kelly Kapowski because even though they’re a down on their luck 8-8 team, everybody still wants to take them to The Dance. I feel like even if they lose in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament and their dad loses his job and they have no money for a prom dress, Joe Lunardi is still going show up at Michigan State’s house with a corsage and take them to a replacement NCAA Tournament at a picnic table. Tom Izzo is a classy coach and, according to a survey from last season, the coach the most non-MSU players would want to play for. Just like head cheerleader, captain of the volleyball team (WTF?), prom queen, and all around pretty girl Kelly, they seem awesome and nice and then you play them and they go all, “I brewed up some poison and gave it a coat and now I’m gonna shove it down your pretty little throat.” Also, MSU is going to be dangerous in the tournament. They will be the BEST 8-8 team there and will be looking to blow everybody’s bracket like a $5 hooker, much like how Kelly went all slutty on 90201 after her tenure on SBTB.
Speaking of Zack’s love interests, the tenacious little wolverines from Michigan are my Stacey Carosi. They were once a heralded program, belle of the ball for one magical summer at the Malibu Sands resort. Now, they are all fat and star with Kevin James on the King of Queens. They are also 8-8, but in a battle for the Date to the Dance, Kelly is going to win out over Stacey every time. Sorry, Michigan, but if any 8-8 team gets a date, it’s gonna be MSU. Michigan is trying desperately to join the cool kids’ volleyball team so that we can come together and beat the snotty guys from North Beach (ACC), but Stacey just isn’t invited this time. Also, much like Ms. Carosi’s bitchy persona I find Michigan fans to be so ridiculously obnoxious.
Now we’re down to the Big Ten Bottom-Feeders. 8 teams in the conference are 8-8 or better, which is insane. I thought these three would be hard to figure out in terms of SBTB characters, but they’re really not.
Minnesota is totally Miss Bliss. Down there in the first season, forgotten by the rest of the group of kids. She’s not gonna trip anybody up. Also, Williams Arena (or “The Barn”) where Minnesota plays is the 4th-oldest arena in Div I basketball and have you seen Haley Mills lately? She’s almost as old. It also has this weird raised floor, trying to be all “different” and “engaging” by playing a pratical joke on itself and hiding a rock star named Stevie.
Northwestern is Violet Bicksterstaff, by a mile. The shy nerdy member of the Big Ten who snorts when it laughs and pushes up its big dorky glasses. NW is the only private school in the conference, so it’s all smart and stuff. It also sucks at everything except chess and singing in the glee club (Tori Spelling can really sing, if you didn’t know). This also works because for years, Northwestern has been crazily good against Iowa. When NW brought those corn-fed hillbillies home to meet its parents, Iowa thought Mrs. NW was a man and tucked the tablecloth into its pants. Violet is going to get trounced by Kelly Kapowski in the first round of the Big Ten Tournament.
And finally, the freaky girl who showed up for no reason and ruined our little group of cool kids is Penn State as Tori Scott. In 1990 Penn State zoomed into town on its motorcycle, looking all cool in a leather jacket and totally ruined the Big Ten. We’re the Big TEN! Not the Big Eleven, TORI. Like Tori “fighting” and eventually hooking up with Zack, Penn State has been good in football and has managed to trip up a few teams in basketball (coughIowacough). Hopefully, Penn State will eventually get trapped in an elevator during an earthquake, totally freak out and we’ll all have to kill her.
Woo hoo! Iowa! Also, I produced every single one of these references straight out of my own head. I didn’t have to look anything up. I am alternatively proud and sort of disgusted.
All-Big Ten Hottie Team
Mike Henderson, G, Iowa, 6’2, 190
Craig Moore, G, NW, 6’3, 190
Steve Holdren, F, Ill, 6’5, 215
Patrick Houlihan, F, NW, 6’5, 190
Dan Vandervieren, C, Purdue, 6’10, 250