(Because I'm a former comic book geek, and I have a half-hour until my next meeting...)
Time to avenge past wrongs.
9-2 in the Tournament the past 2 years.
No Gators with ponytails and unconscionable shooting ranges blocking the doors.
14-2 against teams that made the Tournament THIS year.
Forget RPIs. We've gotten the NO. 1 seed. TIme to show HOW we earned it.
19-2 against the Pac-10, the toughest conference in America, THIS year.
We are as battle-tested as we can be.
IT'S TIME. The epic contests begin now. The big crossover event. The multiverse-shattering drama. The double-bagged collector's item story. Shoot, SI has already chimed in with the variant covers (though, sadly, no trading cards or holograms).
And look who we have in the blue and gold? We've got the HEROES.
The X-Men? Nope, not with another school named Xavier in our bracket, for crying out loud.
The Justice League? Not quite. Superman's wearing an Orlando Magic jersey now.
The Fellowship of the Ring? Nah, we covered those guys already, and I can't do embedded pictures that well.
Nope. We're here to right past wrongs. We're here to take back what should have been ours last year, and 2 years ago.
We're here to prove that our record is not based on horse shots and horse-feather calls.
We're here to prove that while Final Four berths are great achievements, that's not all we're going for.
Webster's defines "avenge" in part as, "to exact satisfaction for a wrong by punishing a wrongdoer."
Digger. Vitale. Hubert. Everyone at ACCSPN who salivates at every drop of flop sweat coming off the brow of Tyler Hansborough. The ones who turn a blind eye to the arrogance and well-coiffed thuggishness of Coach K. The geniuses who would spend the first 20 minutes of SportsCenter drooling over a post UNC-Duke press conference even if Tiger Woods had won the Masters while standing on a broken leg and getting his other one gnawed raw by rabid beavers.
To all the "pundits" who think we'll only go so far, no further -- YOU ARE WRONG.
Meet the Avengers.
Darren Collison = Captain America
Leader, point man, the guy we turn to when nothing seems to be going right. The guy who can take on guys twice his size and cut them up. That's our Cap.
Russell Westbrook = Spider-Man
Quick, strong, and incredible leaping ability; always ready to tangle up opponents.
Josh Shipp = Hawkeye
Even with his recent slump, still our purest shooter... and the best trick arrows in the business.
Luc Richard Mbah A Moute = Iron Man
Forget the injuries; he's still got the most diverse arsenal of athletic skills on the team. Speed. Strength. Vertical. Length. Just watch what other gadget or gizmo he can pull out of his game.
Kevin Love = Thor.
Our own God of Thunder. Thunderbolts from Asgard are replaced by 80-foot whips on the inbound plays. In his hands, the ball is an enchanted hammer -- one that slays giants.
Lorenzo Mata-Real = The Hulk.
If I need to explain this one, well, you haven't seen any of our games, have you. Hulk SMASH.
Alfred Aboya = Beast.
Big? CHECK. Strong? CHECK. Fast. CHECK. Freakishly agile? CHECK. Smart? Guy can already graduate by THIS summer and run for office in Cameroon. That'll do.