NCAA Pants Party: Memphis Vs. Oral Roberts

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Memphis Tigers (30-3) vs. Oral Roberts Golden Eagles (21-11).
When: Friday, 3 p.m.
Where: Dallas.



1. It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp. Memphis really, really wants to make it to the Final Four. It has been 21 years since the Tigers went that deep in the tourney. In that year, Prince won an Oscar for the Purple Rain soundtrack. This year, Memphis' own Three 6 Mafia wins an Oscar for original song in the movie "Hustle and Flow." Prince is a funky, R & B artist. Three 6 Mafia is a funky, gangtsa rap artist. Oh, my God — the Memphis Tigers are going to the Final Four again!

2. Pull-Up Patsies. Memphis has only one senior who contributes greatly on this team. The Tigers have five freshmen who clock significant time on the court. Freshmen make mistakes. Freshmen need experience playing against high-caliber teams to iron out those baby cheeks. Memphis plays in Conference USA. Repeat: Conference USA. Oh my God, the Memphis Tigers are going to lose in the second round!

3. Reality TV, March Madness Style. Memphis is loaded with talent — and unselfish talent at that. The current Tigers have a 10-1 road record. They are 6-3 versus top 50 RPI teams and 11-3 versus the top 100 RPI. This team starts three players who will play in the NBA in the next year or two (Rodney Carney, Darius Washington and Shawn Williams). They've got the coach. They've got the players. They've got a high seed (presumptively). Now, all they have to do is something they haven't done in a long time — win in the tourney. — John Harris


1. Bill Self Was There Back When He Had Real Hair. Kansas' toupeed head coach started his coaching career at Oral Roberts in the mid '90s, a mere 10 years ago. He turned the team around, raising their record from 6-21 in 1995 to 21-6 in 1997, after which he went to Tulsa, Illinois and finally Kansas. Self actually once appeared on a one of Oral Roberts' television programs with the televangelist, something that was not required of him in Champaign or Lawrence.


2. The Famous "Club Dread" Joke. OK, so maybe you didn't actually see "Club Dread," but nevertheless, the university was the source of yet another joke about its name in the film. Witness:

Penelope: I go to Oral Roberts.
Juan Castillo: Oral Roberts? Is that like Anal Johnson? Because I have done that a few times. Or was it Dirty Sanchez? Yes. It was that.

This is not particularly amusing, but still earns points for containing the phrase "Dirty Sanchez."

3. Yeah, About The Televangelist Thing. Yes, the school was indeed founded (and humbly named) by Oral Roberts, who is most famous, of course, for telling his parishioners in 1986 that if they did not raise $8 million by March of that year, God would "call him home." (Sadly, we didn't get to find out if Roberts really had such a conversation with the Almighty; they hit the number.) Roberts has claimed to have personally raised the dead and, last year, said that a vision of a "cloud over New York" has told him Christ is coming soon. (After he dies, Roberts has told followers that he plans to return and rule the world with Christ.) March Madness, indeed. — Will Leitch


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