The Art of Sports Talking: ‘Bakkekball!’

A week from today and the day after that might be the best back-to-back days of the sports year, not counting Saturday-Sunday at The Masters.

We are talking about the beginning of March Madness. Games from Can ’til Cain’t.


Actually, the Women’s March Madness begins Wednesday, so you can add a day to the fun. Men’s starts Thursday.

And actually AGAIN, you can go back to Tuesday, March 14, because that is the first day of the “First Four” play-in games in the men’s bracket: the winners of those four games will make it to the Field of 64.

And you can go back two MORE days to Sunday, because not only is that the day of some Power 5 tournament finals, it’s also Selection Sunday.

Let’s break it down quickly:

Selection Sunday, March 12: Men’s Selection Show is at 5 on CBS, Women’s at 7 on ESPN.

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 14-15: Men’s First Four.

Wednesday-Thursday, March 15-16: Women’s First Round, wall-to-wall games.

Thursday-Friday, March 16-17: Men’s First Round, more games than you can shake a peach basket at. And no, I won’t be at work those two days.

And the fun continues right on through the first few days of April. Because …

Women’s Final Four: Friday, March 31 and Sunday, April 2, Dallas, American Airlines Center.

Men’s Final Four: Saturday, April 1, and Monday, April 3, Houston, NRG Stadium.

True. It’s a lot to absorb. But we can do it. We just have to stick together.

And this after we just got through wrapping up Marsh Madness. Almost. (We’re looking at you, Calvary Cavaliers and Bossier Bearkats, who each play for state titles Friday, Calvary at 2 and Bossier at 6. Go Cavs and Kats!).

So to get us ready for the madness that is March NCAA basketball, a quick primer. 

Back in the summertime, we had an Introduction to ‘Sports Talking’ and determined that The World of Sports has a language all its own, and that each individual sport has an even more specialized lingo. A field goal is different in football than in basketball. “Pin” is one thing in bowling and another in wrestling. A skater spins lots and lands; a second baseman spins once and throws.

And on like that.

Briefly, so you can talk the talk this month, know that a basketball is also a roundball or b-ball or the rock. 

String music, coined by Louisiana Sports Hall of Famer Joe Dean of LSU, is a jump shot that goes through the hoop and touches nothing but net. It’s the opposite of an air ball, that touches neither net nor goal but instead just, well, air. Not a good look. 

Foul trouble is when a player or team is in danger of reaching the limit of fouls allowed without disqualification or penalty. Foul trouble is also what you are in when you sit next to a fan who smells like an old sneaker. Fowl trouble is when the concession stand runs out of chicken tenders.

The bank is open if a player banks a shot in off the backboard. A double dribble occurs when a player is bouncing the ball, touches it with both hands, then touches it again. You’re in danger of a double dribble if you drink too much and the bathroom line is long. Don’t want that, sports fans.

technical or T is a penalty for poor conduct, in which case the player or coach might get T’ed up by the official. If you’re dropping dimes, you’re dishing out a lot of assists, or passing to other players who immediately score, maybe with a step back, off a strong post move to the rack (which is the basket), on an alley-oop or a fadeaway or layup or slam dunk, all different sorts of shots. If a person scores enough, they are said to be putting on a clinic, in which case they are probably schooling defenders.

It was my pleasure to drop some dimes for your basketball benefit. Enjoy the show. And stay out of foul trouble.

Contact Teddy at or on Twitter @MamaLuvsManning