1. Curse-Breakers. Have you ever played Mario Kart and, just when it looks like you're going to win, the computer defies physics and sends Wario out to give you some competition? And then, thanks to a freaking green shell, Wario ends up winning? That's pretty much the relationship between AU and Holy Cross the last few years, with Holy Cross coming into Washington and crushing any Eagle hopes of postseason glory. But not this year. Not the year we were in the top five three-point shooting teams in the country. Not the year All-Patriot Leaguer Garrison Carr set the league record for threes, mainly of the impossible variety. Not the year Brian Gilmore has risen to Eli Manning levels of clutchness. Not the year coach Jeff Jones devoured a human child, although he does that every year just to get himself pumped up.
2. A Proud Legacy. Sure, this may be AU's first time in the NCAA Tournament (eighty-one years, people. We're like the Jews in the desert times two, plus two, minus one). And the seats at Bender Arena are more likely to be half-empty then half-full. And no one in our backcourt is over six feet tall. And the girls at our D.C. school (most politically active in the nation, natch) are more likely to whore themselves out to David Vitter then any athlete (note to AU Women's Initiative: just kidding). (But not really.) But no matter. Our school had its place in basketball history secured long ago. We are the people who brought you Kermit Washington, also known as the guy who knocked the fuck out of Rudy Tomjonavich. You're welcome. We also gave you David Aldridge. We're sorry.
3. A School for You...Ladies. Remember those women I offended in my second point? Well there are plenty more where they come from, considering American has a Brian Wilson-esqe ratio of two girls for every boy. Of course, most AU ladies are busy getting ready to control the world via low-paying internships and positions as Legislative aides and body painting sessions (h/t to the Sports Bog). But that doesn't mean they're too busy to root for the Eagles. Don't stop believing. — David Grossman