You know what helps you get over your team blowing a 27-point lead? Day one of the NCAA tournament! Here we go people – it’s officially March Madness! So, who ya got? My final four is Louisville, New Mexico, Kansas and Miami, with Louisville beating Miami to win it all. My daughters picked Michigan St., Ohio St., Akron and Syracuse, with Ohio St. beating Akron. You can take that to the bank.To commemorate the start of March Madness – and a great time to be a sports fan overall – I’m dedicating today’s blog to the five best basketball movie characters. Enjoy.
- Jimmy Chitwood; Hickory (Hoosiers). There really is no one else who could hold this spot, right? Jimmy ‘I can make it’ has to be number one. Deadspin took it so far to prove it, breaking down his offensive stats – all you need to know is that Hickory had a team offensive rating of 100 without Jimmy, 163 with him. When you factor in the fact that he was loyal to his coach and his team and shot free throws on a dirt court…well, the choice is clear.
- Scott Howard, aka Teen Wolf; Beavers (Teen Wolf). I like Teen Wolf at two because even though he had to play in an altered state to dominate, like the 2009 Orlando Magic and the 2013 version of Dwayne Wade, it wasn’t illegal.
- Henry Steele, Western University (One-on-One). The three spot was tough. I took a bit of a risk here because not as many people know about this movie but it’s a good one. And features one of the best ‘eff you’ games in movie history, capped off by one of the best lines (‘shove the scholarship up your ass with a red hot poker’).
- Jesus Shuttleworth, Lincoln High School (He Got Game). I felt I had to this or Blue Chips here due to the fact that the main characters were played by real NBA stars – so they’re going to rank high on the list. I wasn’t as big a fan of Blue Chips as He Got Game…plus, the name ‘Jesus Shuttleworth’ alone earns consideration.
- Sidney Deane/Billy Hoyle (White Men Can’t Jump). This is a little bit of a non-traditional pick but I felt I had to represent the playground style. I like White Men Can’t Jump better than Above the Rim and felt that Sidney and Billy were double threats with their ability to hustle and school you. Plus Billy ends up with Rosie Perez so….he wins.