Most years, fans of Syracuse University would be gearing up for Selection Sunday, waiting to see which lower seeded team analysts like Seth Davis would pick to upset the Orange this season. Well, because of the fact that we’re all feeling a little blue about the Orange not participating, and because the NCAA has a tendency to take action against anyone who dares use their copyrighted phrase, we’re going to rhyme with it and introduce you to March Sadness.

And obviously, people tend to enjoy drowning their sadness in adult beverages. Or, if you’re underage, let’s say root beer. That’s close enough, right?

To give you a more vested interest in the next few weeks of college hoops action, we decided to help give your drinking a real purpose, other than making the pain go away and helping you to ignore your real life responsibilities. Those are old, played out reasons. Why not make it into a sport, right?

Because of the length of time that’ll pass through each of the next few weekends of wall-to-wall basketball action, I’d recommend avoiding playing with hard liquor. Beer is probably best, since you’ll be able to nurse a few through each game and, you know, not face your own sort of self-imposed “media blackout.”

  • Let’s get this one out of the way: any time the play by play or color commentator brings up Syracuse’s sanctions, take a drink. Please note this does not apply to games played at the East Regional in Syracuse, because we don’t want you to kill yourself via alcohol poisoning.
  • Any time it sounds like Kevin Harlan is either having a seizure or an orgasm over a seemingly routine play (such as a reverse layup or a bounce pass), take a drink.
  • Any time Reggie Miller references his playing days, take a drink.
  • Any time Doug Gottlieb says something smug, take a drink (use your own discretion).
  • If Bill Raftery says that someone has onions, take two drinks.
  • Whenever Jim Nantz uses flowery prose to describe any player, coach, or game, take a drink.
  • If you’re watching with friends, anytime someone mentions wishing that Gus Johnson or Jay Bilas was working this year’s games, take a drink.
  • Anytime Len Elmore butchers a player’s/coach’s name, take a drink.
  • If Kentucky’s quest for perfection is mentioned during a Kentucky game, take a drink.
  • If Kentucky’s quest for perfection is mentioned during any other game, finish your beer.
  • If a white player is referred to as “scrappy” or a “deceptively athletic” or a black player is referred to as “savvy” or “well spoken,” take three drinks and roll your eyes about the fact that people are still circumventing being outwardly prejudiced by using these terms.
  • If a play (made basket, steal, turnover, foul) is missed because the camera was too busy showing us the coach or some random fans in the stands, finish your beer and aggressively flip off the TV.
  • If the broadcast switches to a new game, only to immediately go to commercial, finish your beer, aggressively flip off the TV, and swear off ever buying whatever the hell they’re advertising.
  • If a team seeded 13 or lower wins in the first round, take a shot in celebration. Unless they beat a team you’re rooting for, in which case take a shot out of sadness.
  • If a team seeded 13 or lower wins in the second round, take two shots and start telling people you believed they had Cinderella potential all along. People will believe you, really.
  • Whenever Coach K is referred to as “classy,” take a drink.
  • Whenever you can clearly see Coach K mouthing a curse word, take a drink.
  • Any time Seth Davis refers to “green juice,” take a drink, but definitely not a drink of green juice because it sounds so gross. Please note, this is a rule that typically only applies if you follow Seth Davis on Twitter.
  • When watching with friends, anytime someone says, “What the hell is truTV!?” take a drink.
  • If someone hits a game-tying buzzer beater, take three drinks.
  • If someone hits a game-winning buzzer beater, finish your beer, set up a Nerf hoop, and immediately re-enact it, taking an additional drink for each time you miss the shot.

Well, I hope this makes your March Sadness a little more bearable. Feel free to add your own rules in the comments.

Let the (drinking) games begin!

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