A Poem for the NCAA Basketball Tournament Bill Littlefield of Only a Game (from NPR and member station WBUR in Boston) celebrates basketball's "March Madness" with an ode to "Bracketology."

A Poem for the NCAA Basketball Tournament

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All this March Madness is getting to the host of NPR's Only a Game. When under such duress, Bill Littlefield can only express himself in rhyme.

BILL LITTLEFIELD: Tennessee, North Carolina, Memphis, Duke and Drake; Kansas, Georgetown, Texas, Stanford, would be a mistake to shortchange Wisconsin's Badgers or UCLA. One of these will win the men's side, that seems safe to say, unless some team I haven't mentioned make a mighty run, that's what makes the madness that occurs in March such fun.

Nor is madness merely meant for men. The women play and among those most consistent, it is safe to say Tennessee, Connecticut, North Carolina, Duke, Stanford's hot I'm told, and Rutgers wouldn't be a fluke, though, like Baylor, they have lost a few along the way.

LSU is pretty good and Maryland could play well enough to win the marbles just two years ago. And regarding women that is all you need to know, unless Old Dominion sneaks on the mighty pack, or Oklahoma, led by Paris, gets its mojo back.

If you haven't heard your favorites in this lengthy list, rest assured, it's highly likely some team that I've missed will surprise a team I've mentioned early in the scrum. For although my life is sports, I'm just about as dumb as anybody else when picking teams that will advance. Partly it's because of dumbness, partly it is chance.

Anyway, when all my brackets crack and tumble down and it's clear to all that I'm no expert, just a clown drawn to filling in those brackets, brave as any nut charmed by March's maddest greedy, profit-seeking, but I should mention it's for entertainment, nothing more. And if you believe me, there's a bridge I'm selling for anything you'll give me. It's the Brooklyn Bridge, so, hey. You believe the brackets are for fun, I'm here to say, here's some stuff to make your hair grow also, wait, there's more. Wear these beads around your neck, you will never snore.

In the office, in the bar, and on the factory floor, lads and lasses fill out brackets as in days of yore. Tennessee, North Carolina, Memphis, Duke and Drake, know that soon you will be rich unless you should mistake mere potential for performance, or the ref should call some foul only he perceives that brings about the fall of Tennessee, Connecticut, North Carolina. Gee, I wish you stronger brackets than the ones filled in by me.

LYDEN: Bill Littlefield hosts Only a Game for NPR.

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