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The Breakdown: Mmm … cookies

Sports editor Bryce Evans
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It’s that time of year again. Every March, millions of Americans eagerly await this day; they sit at a table, do all the calculations, fill out the sheet of paper – erase, fill it out again.

The possibilities are just too much to comprehend right away. I mean, anything can happen. You can go for your old favorites or try the new “flavor of the year.”

Sometimes, the best way to do it is to just let your instincts take over; don’t think too much.



No, I’m not talking about March Madness and the NCAA basketball tourney.

This is even bigger: ordering – and then receiving – Girl Scout cookies.



Just catching a glimpse of one of those small cardboard boxes turns me into C.C. Sabathia at Golden Corral: No matter how much I eat, I just can’t stop.

I ate an entire box of Thin Mints on Monday, and it was awesome.

So, in honor of these delicious delicacies provided to us by the Girl Scouts of the USA – and that other thing starting up right now – let’s use the names of various cookies to break down the NCAA hoops tourney.

Peanut Butter Sandwiches/Do-si-dos/Savannahs: No one can really decide on what these peanut-butter filled sandwich snacks are actually called – and they’re not really anything to get excited about. Basically they’re the same as the NCAA tourney’s four Tuesday and Wednesday games, the ones played before the Madness really begins Thursday. Some call the series the “First Four,” some say it’s the opening round, others say “play-in.” I say they’re not worth worrying about. Bad teams beating bad teams, only to get wiped out in the next round. The cookies don’t hold up to the rest of the field and neither do these games.

Caramel de Lites/Samoas: These too have a different name depending on the region you live in, but no matter where you buy them, they’re pretty darn good, or at least one of the best-sellers for the Scouts. They’re a dependable choice. Really, they’re the No. 1 seeds: Duke, Ohio State, Kansas and Pitt. If you don’t know what you’re doing – either with filling out a bracket or filling out your cookie orders – don’t panic, just go with something dependable, pick the Samoas, pick the No. 1 seeds. Duke’s the defending champ and is likely to get star freshman Kyrie Irving back from injury; Kansas has the Morris twins, who are a tough matchup down low (and can confuse other teams by looking exactly the same); Ohio State has one of the best players in the country in Jared Sullinger; and Pitt, well, all they’ve done is win the regular-season title in arguably the strongest conference of all time. It’s the safe bet.

Shortbread: People actually eat these ones? I thought they were just on the list as a joke. Um, kind of like University of Alabama Birmingham and Clemson and Virginia Commonwealth making the Dance. It’s weak, and in such a strong field, there’s just no place for them – the cookies or the schools.

Thin Mints: The best of the best, and they literally live up to their names: They’re thin and they’re mint. You order them every year, knowing they’ll be good, but every year, they still surprise you by how much you really like them. This is our annual lineup of stars in the hoops tourney. Every single season, we know there’ll be one or two guys who play out of their minds, lighting it up, filling up the stat sheet and leading their teams deep into the tourney. Kemba Walker of UConn, Jimmer Fredette of BYU, Harrison Barnes of North Carolina – all of these guys could propel their teams to a Final Four appearance. Walker’s my favorite – a speedy, slashing, undersized point guard with a killer step-back jumper and ice in his veins as the clock winds down. And the kid will graduate in May – as a junior. You know when you put Thin Mints in the freezer and it makes them taste that much better? That’s Kemba Walker.

Yup, the day is here. Whether you’re sporting a green Spartans jersey or wearing a green troup sash, this is a great time of year.

Sports editor Bryce Evans has promised the NFLPA he will be among the top prospects who boycott the draft.


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