Big Dance has ‘Shining’ tradition

Every sports book has been counting the days until Sunday when the 65-team bracket is set for the NCAA Division I men’s basketball national championship tournament.

But don’t refer to the event as that. Just call it March Madness. Even the Big Dance will do.

Best get your household chores done before the CBS Sports Selection Show begins a three-hour run at 3 p.m. Sunday.

All the drama. All the analysis. All the hoopla.

Nothing tops a live shot of a room filled with disappointed players when they realize they were not picked for the Dance.

You get to watch their bubble pop right before your eyes.

But you’ve devoted too much of your time leading to the Dance if you know that the tournament has an official song.

And, sadly, it’s not “Basketball Jones,” a recording by Cheech and Chong in 1973.

“One Shining Moment” is the official tune, and Jennifer Hudson will sing it this year.

A television audience of 40 million and more than 71,000 fans at Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium will hear her sing it before the national title game April 5 — unless they are getting a beer, placing a bet or visiting a restroom.

“I am so excited to be singing such a great song behind the likes of Luther Vandross and Teddy Pendergrass,” she said.

Someone needs to tell her both of those dudes are dead.

Another omen for Hudson is that her producer, Harvey Mason Jr., produced this year’s version of “One Shining Moment.”

He was a member of the Arizona Wildcats when the team reached the NCAA Final Four in 1988. But this will mark the first year the Wildcats do not make the Dance since 1984. It had been the longest active streak in Division I.

■ NOT SANDRA OR GOLDIE? — Fresh off winning the Academy Award for best actress, Sandra Bullock was passed over for consideration as the new head football coach at Calvin Coolidge Senior High in Washington, D.C.

Bullock starred in the role of a football player’s mentor in “The Blind Side.”

Also not making the final cut was Goldie Hawn, who guided her inner-city prep team to a championship in the 1986 movie “Wildcats.”

The job instead went to Natalie Randolph, a 29-year-old biology and environmental sciences teacher.

Randolph was introduced Friday at a news conference. She played receiver in a women’s football league and was an assistant at another D.C. school.

■ JERSEY BOY — While we’re in the nation’s capital, a visit to the White House on Friday revealed administration spokesman Robert Gibbs at his daily on-camera briefing wearing a red-and-white Canadian hockey jersey.

It was payoff for losing two bets over the U.S.-Canadian hockey rivalry at the Winter Olympics.

The first wager was on the women’s gold-medal game.

Gibbs went double-or-nothing on the men’s title game with Dimitri Soudas, the spokesman for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Gibbs lost both bets.

It wasn’t long until Gibbs yanked off the Canadian jersey to reveal a USA one underneath.

COMPILED BY JEFF WOLF
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

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