College Basketball: 8 Annoying Clichés That Must Disappear

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2012

College Basketball: 8 Annoying Clichés That Must Disappear

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    There is no better sporting event than March Madness. For three weeks the entire nation is captivated by upsets, nail-biters and brackets.

    It is college basketball in its most perfect form.

    But college basketball can also be imperfect. No, I’m not talking about John Calipari’s recruiting tactics or Chris Webber’s ability to count timeouts. Rather, it is the clichés we as fans are forced to deal with anytime we tune into a game.

    We have heard them all—defense wins championships, playing above the rim and taking it one game at a time, to name a few—but some are more tiresome than others.

    Here are eight of the worst offenders. Feel free to list some more that annoy you in the comments section.

Diaper Dandies

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    Maybe this should have been anything coined by Dick Vitale. His list of phrases is too long for one slide to contain—dispy-doo dunk-a-roo, P.T.P. (prime time player) trifecta, etc.—but diaper dandies takes the cake.

    In a vacuum, it really isn’t any worse than the other "Vitale-isms," but other announcers have started to adopt the diaper dandy phrase when discussing freshmen players.

    It’s easy to avoid Vitale if you want to (may I suggest the mute button), but if a handful of announcers are comparing 18-year-old young adults to diaper-clad toddlers, it becomes much more difficult.

The Rock

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    I don’t mind metaphors, but this one needs to be retired.

    The basketball is not a rock. In fact, what characteristics do rocks share with an orange, inflatable, round ball anyway?

    Clark Kellogg’s use of the term "pumpkin" to describe the ball receives a lot of flack, but at least it makes a semblance of sense.

    Not that I am advocating for other announcers to start calling the ball a pumpkin, but it beats the rock.

Giving 110 Percent

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    I know this can be applied to any sport, but feel free to remind me in the comments sections if you wish anyways.

    Without harping on the obvious too much, how exactly is this possible? Maybe if a No. 16 seed decided to give 120 percent, we would finally witness a top seed falling in Round 1.

    Sorry Kansas, your 100 percent effort in the NCAA finals last season wasn’t quite good enough—Kentucky was busy breaking the laws of physics and mathematics by giving 110.

The Big Dance

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    Maybe I am alone on this one, but calling the NCAA Tournament—the pinnacle of the sport’s season and the one time it truly dominates the national spotlight—the Big Dance seems to cheapen it in a way.

    I understand the Cinderella parallels, but this isn’t a high school dance.

    Although, some of the coaches do use more hair gel during the "Big Dance" than those same high schoolers at the prom.

Make-Up Calls

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    I feel for referees. No, really I do.

    Anytime they have to make borderline calls they are always wrong in somebody’s eyes. It’s a thankless job that only gets noticed when there’s a mistake.

    That being said, the concept of a make-up call is ridiculous. It’s become so cliché for an official to make it up to a team or coach whenever there is a bad call that it seems strange when they don't.

    Making another poor call does not erase the last one the referee made. In fact, it just exacerbates the real issue: poor officiating.  

    Just ask any kindergarten student you know—two wrongs don’t make a right.

The Refs Should Let Them Play

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    Take it easy officials—this one is not aimed at you, despite appearances to the contrary.

    This is directed at announcers and commentators who feel that referees should change the way they officiate games depending on the situation. The logic follows that if it’s a big game or moment, the refs should loosen up on the whistle.

    Actually they shouldn’t. What they should do is their job: call it when it’s a foul and don’t call it when it isn’t a foul.

    A foul is a foul whether there’s two minutes left in a Final Four game or 15 minutes left in the first half of a non-conference snoozer.

Shooting from "Downtown"

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    Marv Albert may have made this cliché famous, but pretty much everyone uses the term downtown to refer to three-point shots today (including yours truly—I never said I was innocent).

    But why does it have to be from downtown? Why couldn’t Jimmer Fredette have been an excellent shooter from the suburbs?

    Or while we are at it, why stick to just urban settings—how about shooting from the farmlands or plains?

This Game Has Turned into a Track Meet

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    No, actually it hasn’t.