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March Madness: Long Island University is in the NCAA Tournament

Conference: Northeast (27-5)
Famous Alumni: AJ Benza! Who can forget his career highlight? The audio is at the bottom; I’m pissed the actual video isn’t on the web. Dina Meyer (pictured) was in 90210 back in the day. Brandon Walsh slept with her. She was his professor’s wife. She also wanted Dylan (so he would finance some documentary of hers), but he rebuffed her advances because he was dating Kelly.
Stat You May Care About: LIU is the 4th highest scoring team in the country (82.6 ppg).
Resume: Their highest-rated opponents in the regular season, based on RPI, were Iona and Northwestern. LIU lost by six and 16, respectively.
Mascot: Blackbird. Here’s a good time to link a great Beatles song!
The Only LIU Player You’ve Ever Heard of: Charlie Jones. One-time scoring machine. Well, hardcore hoops fans may have heard of Richie Parker, who was kind of a big deal in the Northeast before forcing a girl to give him oral sex.
Last NCAA Appearance: 1997. The Blackbirds lost to Villanova, 101-91.
Who the Bleep Are These Guys?: The Blackbirds are a (very) poor man’s Kentucky from 1996. A slew of talented, interchangeable players. Nobody plays more than 30 minutes a game; nobody averages more than 13 points per game. They’ll play an eight-man rotation. And yes, I’m aware that ’96 Kentucky team was ridiculously stacked, went 34-2, and everyone on the roster (ballboy included!) went to the NBA and became an All-Star.
Who Defends Harrison Barnes?: Either Jamal Olasewere or Julian Boyd. I won’t pretend to know anything about either of them. But they’re both 6-foot-7, and Barnes is 6-8, so it seems likely one of them would defend Barnes.
Prediction: UNC is favored by 18, but that could swell to 20. I’m not sure what to make of UNC yet. Three straight slow starts in the ACC tourney? What gives? I’d probably take LIU if it gets to +20, only because UNC will pull its stars with a big lead and LIU wouldn’t.

 

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