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March Madness Guide To Saying Things That Will Make Your Friends Think You Know About Basketball

If you're like a majority of regular American's, you'll spend at least some time watching college basketball this weekend. NCAA Tournament games will be played wall to wall from Thursday afternoon through Sunday evening. Even if you aren't a college basketball fan, there's a good chance you find yourself in a situation where you're watching games with people who allegedly "know ball".

So if you find yourself in that situation, and you're feeling uneasy because you yourself aren't a ball knower, here are a few easy things to say at any point of the game that will trick people into thinking you have any sort of idea what you're talking about when it comes to college basketball.

"They have to make their free throws"

This is sentence that will apply to any team. Free throws are a crucial part of the game. You simply HAVE to make your free throws if you want to win games. 


Anytime an offensive player is driving to the basket, just yell "And-1". Basically anytime anybody shoots a basketball, or goes for a dunk/layup, and there's a defender in his immediate area, you're free to yell for an And-1. The ref won't always call it, but that doesn't matter. It's just something you say to try and will your team into a chance at another point. 

"If their shooters get hot they'll have a chance"

There's not a team in the world who will lose a game if their shooters get hot enough. I don't care if you're 16-seed Stetson going up against 1-seed UConn. IF Stetson's shooters get REALLY HOT, they have a chance to win the game. Nobody will be able to disagree with you.

"They just need to play at their tempo"

Another sentence that will work with any team. Every team who's ever played a game of basketball plays at "a tempo". What that tempo is? That's irrelevant. Tempo is an extremely generic, all-encompassing term that will fool your friends into thinking you know what a team's playing style is, despite knowing nothing more than their nickname and team color. 

"They've gotta start moving the basketball"

You can break this one out any time you see a player dribbling the basketball for more than a few seconds without passing it off to a teammate. If you're feeling cocky, you can drop this after your team makes basket. Say your team's point guard dribbles around the top of the key for 10 seconds, then makes a difficult step-back three-pointer. It's great that he made the basket, you'll take it for now, but that's not a sustainable offense. You can't rely on that all game. Call him out for not moving the basketball enough. If they really want to get their offense going, they MUST start moving the ball.

"Great set"

Rico Bosco say this all the time. This might be a little bit tricky for a basketball novice to identify. But in general, if your team scores a basket that comes after a series of passes, you're probably safe to drop a "great set". Realistically, the people you're watching basketball with won't really know how to identify a "great set" either, so you should be safe to let this one fly a few times per game. 

"Zach Edey is the fucking worst"

Doesn't even matter if Purdue is playing. You can say it whenever and people will agree. Nobody likes that guy. In case you don't know, Zach Edey is an 8'6" player on Purdue who has no basketball skills other than being way taller than everyone else. For some reason, the refs like to cater to everything he does. It's pathetic, and painful to watch. Everybody agrees with this. The more you can bash Zach Edey, the more people will respect you as a basketball fan. 

"Why don't they ever intentionally miss three-pointers and have their big guy stand off to the side of the basket where he can catch the air ball and put it back up for an easy two"

This is just something I've been wondering for a long time but am afraid to bring up myself because I'm scared of sounding like an idioit, so I'm pawning off this question on you. Tell me this wouldn't be an awesome play. Your point guard brings the ball up. Early in the shot clock, he pulls up for a three-pointer. Naturally, everybody crowds around below the basket for a rebound. Everybody assumes the shot is either going to go in, or bounce off the rim. But what if the shooter intentionally aims to miss the rim. Have the shooter shoot the ball a foot to the right of the rim, and make sure your center is waiting for it. He could just camp out off to the side, catch the shot like a pass, the put it right back up for an easy two. I swear to god that could work. Somebody bring that up to your group of friends and report back to me whether they think you're a genius or the biggest idiot in the world.