Everything about the way the NCAA tournament is covered from a media standpoint is extremely regimented. There is a strict schedule to everything from the shootarounds to the locker room access to the timing of the media buffet line. There’s also allotted times for press conferences, obviously. The NCAA sets up giants platforms so that the coaches and student athletes tower above the ink stained wretches of the fourth estate, while answering questions of varying importance and merit.
All told these are usually a fairly rote affair, so let’s credit Wisconsin’s Nigel Hayes for having a little fun with the process. Over the weekend he began saying a bunch of unusual words like “cattywampus” to mess around with the stenographer who has to transcribe the presser. (Yes, if you’re working media you don’t even technically need to attend the press conference if you want to use a quote.)
Anyways, the Badgers are about to play North Carolina in the West Regional semifinals in Los Angeles. Hayes took the oppurtunity to once again play with the stenographer on Wednesday. First he drops another weird word, “Syzygy,” and then calls the stenographer “beautiful,” loud enough for the mic to pick up. Obviously — judging by his reaction — it was a stunt, but a funny one at that.
A little levity like this from Hayes is much appreciated in a sea of “can you talk about” half-questions.