The Madness begins (for real, none of this First Four filth) on Thursday at noon when Greg Gumbel bumps the local news and then proceeds to infuriate all 29 fans of "The Young and the Restless." It’s a few of the best few minutes of the year for any sports fan. Cliched for sure, but you truly get that “Christmas morning feel” around 11:59 a.m. on the first Thursday of the tourney.
One of the biggest storylines we’ll be following as soon as the Big Dance tips is, “Which female fan will steal the show, Katherine Webb-style?” during this year’s tourney. I just filled out my bracket and wittled my way down to a Final Four: Kate Upton out of the Anna Nicole Region, Katherine Webb herself out of the Kathy Ireland Region, Amanda Marcum out of the Brooklyn Decker Region and Juli Boeheim out of the Nina Hartley Region.
Kate Upton has always been associated with the sports world, because it seems that sports fans are the only people out there who truly appreciate her. Critics call her fat. We defend her. Critics say she’s dumb. We defend her. Critics wanted her to stop dating Justin Verlander. We put an end to that.
She seems to be gearing up for a big run this March, considering what has gone down the past few days. A teenage boy, who claims to be a huge nerd (that’s in these days, remember), asked Upton via a Youtube video if she would go to prom with him. Upton curiously responded via Twitter, tweeting to young Jake Davidson, “you can call me Katie if you want! How could I turn down that video! I'll check my schedule.”
That’s right, if there’s one thing Upton knows how to do, it’s finding a way to stay relevant.
Katherine Webb’s fame is waning but if she can get on CBS cameras in the next few weeks and cause Jim Nantz to break code and not act like an alien, she could win our hearts all over again. Just confirming — we all know that’s still her role in American pop culture, right? … appearing at the biggest events in college sports and making old play-by-play men tingly?
In the relevancy category: Webb is starring on that diving TV show that I
purposely forgot to watch.
Amanda Marcum is a sleeper, but she is about to endure one hell of a media ride. Marcum, a former Maxim cover girl and Victoria’s Secret model, is actually married to Florida Gulf Coast head coach Andy Enfield. Jake Davidson, take note: It is possible to land a major league woman even if you’ll always be a Birmingham Baron.
According to NaplesNews.com, Enfield and Marcum met when Oklahoma State was playing in Boston during the 2003 NCAA tournament. Marcum is a big Cowboys fan and Enfield, who was an assistant coach with the Celtics in the late ’90s, was introduced to her through a friend. Enfield actually gave Marcum a ride to the game, and the rest is history.
“I thought he looked like a great driver that would give me a free ride,” Amanda said jokingly. “And we had lots of things in common — especially sports — and we talked and talked about that. I thought he was really funny and very confident. And I’m a sucker for sports guys, obviously.”
Finally we get to Juli Boeheim. Yup, she’s like a team with three or four fifth-year seniors making it to the grand stage, but she’s a proven winner this time of year. On an annual basis, we all see her in the stands on TV and gaze in amazement at just how in the world Jim could have scored that. I’m sure it had nothing to do with him being a millionaire hoops coach.
She was a big deal when I was in college, but her fame has sadly plummeted (@JuliBoeheim has a whopping 328 Twitter followers) in recent years.
Here’s saying Juli’s got one more magical month left in her.
Matt Burke is sports editor and a columnist at Metro Boston. Follow him on Twitter @BurkeMetroBOS