The Herald Bulletin

Afternoon Update

Sports

March 19, 2014

Read before jumping into the deep end of NCAA pool

(Continued)

Is this a great country or what?

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CELEBRITY ALUM

Think the folks in Congress have trouble making up their minds now? Just wait. Nothing gets politicians procrastinatin' and prevaricatin' like the NCAA tournament.

Thirty-one states and the District of Columbia dispatched at least one representative into the 68-team field that began play Tuesday night. California topped the list with five, North Carolina, Ohio and Texas boasted four each, six others had three and Indiana — a.k.a, the "heartland of hoops" — had zero.

Generally speaking, elected officials from states with more than one entrant fear voters so much they'd rather talk about raising taxes than which school they're backing. They make picking between them sound like "Sophie's Choice."

That made Michigan Sen. Debbie Stabenow thumbing her nose at the maize-and-blue recently seem refreshing.

"Oh, Michigan State! Michigan State," she gushed during a groundbreaking ceremony at the university Monday.

"I have to tell you, after yesterday," Stabenow added, referring to the Spartans' win over state rival Michigan in the Big Ten championship game, "we are back. We've got the full team going, Coach (Tom) Izzo is primed and ready and I think we'll take it all."

Just to rub it in, she unveiled the little rhinestone number — courtesy of MSU Today alumni magazine — pictured here: http://bit.ly/1eiqiFK

Stabenow received both her undergraduate and graduate (magna cum laude) degrees from Michigan State, so while she might need those Democratic votes over in Ann Arbor someday, it won't be until 2018 at the earliest.

Even then, Stabenow barely cracks the "how-to-alienate-alumni" list. Since-retired North Carolina Sen. (and UNC alum) Brad Miller locked up the top spot in 2012 when he told BracketRacket: "I have said very publicly that if Duke was playing against the Taliban, then I'd have to pull for the Taliban."

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