I FINALLY FIGURED out who's behind the push to expand the NCAA men's basketball tournament field to 96 teams.
It has to be paper companies that are trying to boost sales of 11-inch by 18-inch paper.
Because that's the size sheets we'll all need if we ever intend to enter another office bracket pool in our lifetimes.
Hey, I'm not entirely against the Higher-Ups super-sizing the field. In a way it makes sense for the NIT's 32 teams to get swallowed up by the bigger fish. Those teams will at least now have "something" to play for, other than the ridicule that comes with winning the NIT (which, we all know, is only overshadowed by the ridicule of winning two NIT titles in a row).
But on the other hand: Isn't the idea of selecting the best of anything by lining up 96 samples in a row a little bit - what's the word I'm looking for? - stupid? No, worse than stupid. How about "stewpid."
Do 96 movies get nominated for the Best Picture Oscar? Are 96 politicians listed on the ballot of U.S. President? Are 96 women entered in the Miss America contest?
No, because nobody's interested in the 96th-best of anything.
To end this conversation once and for all, see what I mean by looking at my list of "My 96th Favorite of Everything":
96th favorite college basketball team: South Carolina College of North Carolina
96th favorite college football blog: LesMilesAteMyHat.com
96th favorite sports cliche: "chin music"
96th favorite sports memoir: "World Series Memories" by Chipper Jones
96th favorite Super Bowl commercial: The "John Madden wrestles Woody Allen at a sumo match" Doritos spot
96th favorite bobblehead doll: The Steve Spurrier "Bobble-visor"
96th favorite college mascot: The Fightin' Dingoes (Brisbane Community College, Australia)
96th favorite jersey number: 12
96th favorite adjective: "Dabo-licious"
96th favorite Gatorade flavor: Laser-Blast Cream Cheese
96th favorite Tiger Woods excuse: temporary amnesia
96th favorite New York Yankee: LeBron James (pending publicity stunt in 2011)
96th favorite McDonald's menu item: Hint 'O Mint McRib
96th favorite movie: "Goodfellas 2: Witness Relocation Christmas Vacation."
96th favorite TV show: "Around the Horn."
96th favorite rock band: Journey
96th favorite Journey cover band: Broken Arms
96th favorite Stephen King novel: "The Dark Tower XII: The Werewolf Wore Jorts"
96th favorite rapper: Tim Tebow
96th favorite way to spell 'Krzyzewski': Krzewvsky
96th favorite Spring Break destination: Fort Lauderdale, Maine
96th favorite punchline: "Then the Alabama fan walked in the bar and said, 'Look what I almost stepped in.'"
96th favorite obscure 'Star Wars' character: Zuckuss
96th favorite 'Star Trek' character: Older, fatter Mirror Universe Kirk
My evil twin brother Orville's
96th favorite sports hoax: Mark McGwire eats 100 Chicken McNuggets in 25 minutes on $100,000 bet
96th favorite Guesspert column: This one.
ORVILLE'S LAST WORD
"The 'Win a Trip to the Final Four With Orville' contest has been suspended until further notice - unless you can figure out a foolproof way to make counterfeit tickets to get us in Lucas Oil Stadium."
ESPN.com runs Greg's Power Rankings every Monday. Count your blessings at Twitter.com/HardyVision