MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:
And now it's time for BackTalk. That's where lift the curtain on what's happening in the TELL ME MORE blogosphere. Editor Ammad Omar is back with us today. What's going on today, Ammad?
AMMAD OMAR, BYLINE: Hey, Michel, it's March and you know that means it's time for March Madness.
OMAR: It's the 75thh anniversary of the NCAA men's basketball tournament this year, so the NCAA is celebrating the top 75 players and moments in the tournament's history. And one guy who is on all of those lists is Christian Laettner. I caught up with him. He's a Duke University graduate. He's the only player to start on four teams that went the Final Four; all four years he was in college he started on those teams. He won two champions, even played on the Olympic Dream Team. But one of his most famous plays - and one of the most famous plays in the history of college basketball - came when the Duke Blue Devils were down by one point against Kentucky in the 1992 East Regional Final with seconds left on the clock. Christian Laettner still remembers that moment and how his coach Mike Krzyzewski - also known as Coach K - set them up to win.
CHRISTIAN LAETTNER: So our spirits are down, but we call an immediate time out, which is a great play. He infuses us with confidence, which is a great play. He breaks apart the totality of what we're trying to accomplish into little pieces. He drew up a play called home run, which we practiced and practiced for like the last month of the season. It didn't work against Wake Forest three weeks before the Kentucky game, but he said hey, we've been practicing and practicing, go out there and let's see what happens.
OMAR: And what happened was this...
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Bobby Hurley up to forward Laettner, they throw it the length of the floor, Laettner catches, comes down, dribbles, shoots, scores. Christian Laettner has hit the bucket at the buzzer. The Blue Devils win it, 104 to 103. Look out, Minneapolis, here come the Blue Devils.
OMAR: I should mention Christian Laettner didn't miss a single shot in that game and Duke went on to win the national championship against my Michigan Wolverines, unfortunately.
MARTIN: Have you gotten over it?
OMAR: Not quite.
MARTIN: Not really.
MARTIN: Well, you were very courteous despite that. Good for you. Well, whether your team makes history or breaks your heart, this year the NCAA wants you to vote for your favorite moments and players, so you can go to NCAA.com/March Madness for that. But we decided that we want you to join our March Madness party, if you would like. We are calling it TMM Madness and you can check it out on our Twitter feed @TellMeMoreNPR. We have directions there about how you can get involved in our bracket challenge, and you can see how you stack up against Ammad, me and the Barbershop guys.
OMAR: Yep. Once the NCAA field is set on Sunday, you can pick who you think is going to win each. You get points for picking the winners of each game, but you have to make your picks before the second round of the tournament. The later the round, the more points you get. The tiebreaker is the total combined score of the championship game on April 8th. And if you win, we'll mention your name on air.
But I hate to brag, Michel.
MARTIN: Actually, you don't.
OMAR: Well, maybe not. But regardless, I'm the defending champ among my friends, so I like my chances.
MARTIN: Your three friends? Yeah.
OMAR: No comment.
MARTIN: We'll see about that.
MARTIN: What, did you just go to law school last night or something? What happened here?
OMAR: Editorial training, Michel. But that's neither here nor there.
OMAR: I should add though, that we reserve the right to terminate, modify or suspend this contest due to any of an act of God, unavoidable accident, epidemic, fire, blackout, act of public enemy, war, riot, or civil commotion, enactment, rule, order or act of government or governmental instrumentality or tribunal, among other things. All the rules are online, Michel.
MARTIN: Duly noted.
OMAR: Don't say I didn't warn you about that riot or...
MARTIN: You're not going to intimidate me. I'm still going to win. I'm just letting you know. You didn't scare me. You did not scare me.
OMAR: Get your picks in. Get your picks in, Michel.
MARTIN: OK. Let's step off the basketball court for a minute. Anything else?
OMAR: Yeah, if you're online, checking out that bracket on Twitter and what have you, you'll also want to get involved in our TELL ME MORE poetry series. We're asking people to tweet us poems once again for National Poetry Month using the #TMMPoetry. And we've already got some tweets in, including one from renowned poet Nikki Giovanni. She wrote this about Morgantown, West Virginia. Pinto beans, fried cornbread, clean spring water, rocking chair, your smile, home, peace.
Send us your poems. Go on Twitter. Use that hashtag, TMMPoetry.
MARTIN: Why, thank you, Nikki Giovanni. Thank you very much. Anything else, Ammad?
OMAR: All right, Michel. Up next is the Barbershop. It's one of our most popular segments. It's a group of guys, journalists, commentators, politicians, whoever. Today we have a priest, actually who talk about the news of the week. We also have an occasional roundtable of women journalists and commentators that we call the Beauty Shop. But we found out that not everyone loves those names or the whole concept.
Here's Ivan Hentschel from Wimberley, Texas.
IVAN HENTSCHEL: I'm an adult male and I nearly always go to a beauty shop. Actually, it's a unisex place, I suppose, to get my hair cut, and usually a woman does it. Beauty shops are no longer the closed conclave of women and barbershops are not the exclusive territory of men. I find the stereotyping a little odd and curiously dated. Having a gaggle of women discuss current issues without any commentary by men, and vice versa in my mind, promotes a kind of sexual divisiveness and some gender values and judgments and qualifications, which is both surprising and a little anachronistic. This is 2013. Thank you.
OMAR: Thank you, Ivan. Well, he goes on to say that beauty shops and barbershops should both be called grooming shops, appearance clinics or maybe even attractiveness boutiques. So there you have it. Anyway, that's all I've got, Michel. The barbershop attractiveness clinic is up next.
MARTIN: OK. Thanks, Ammad.
OMAR: Thank you, Michel.
MARTIN: And, of course, remember, at TELL ME MORE, the conversation never ends. To tell us more, you can visit us online @NPR.org/TELL ME MORE. Please remember to leave us your name. We're on Twitter. Just look for #tellmemorenpr.