Who is it in the press that calls on me?
I hear a tongue shriller than all the music
Cry "Caesar!" Speak, Caesar is turn'd to hear.
Beware the ides of March.
What man is that?
A soothsayer bids you beware the ides of March.
(Julius Caesar Act 1, scene 2, 15–19)
Caesar should have paid a little more attention to that warning, but what can you do? Chief Executives back then - as now - couldn't take every threat assessment seriously, not even one that came from an occult source that had reported reliably in the past. Anyway, I'm sure Caesar figured that, if worse came to worse and his enemies in the Senate made a move on him, then Brutus would have his back. If you can't trust your closest political ally, mentee, and family member, then whom can you trust?
But, political assassinations in ancient Rome do not concern me today. Rather, I'd like to present Shakespeare's Final Four Picks, which come to us courtesy of the American Shakespeare Company, those wonderful people who present Renaissance theater the way it actually was - contemporary, entertaining, popular and often bawdy - and never the antiquarian oh-so-serious highbrow way that it is presented most everywhere else. (I'm looking at you, Folger Shakespeare Library!)
Here are the teams the Bard likes:
Kentucky Wildcats vs West Virginia Mountaineers
Will’s Tip: “Wildcats in your kitchen” (Othello, 2.1)
Northern Iowa vs Ohio State
Will’s Tip: “Lament thy miserable State” (Merry Wives, 3.5)
◊ NORTHERN IOWA
Duke Blue Devils vs Saint Mary’s Gaels
Will’s Tip: “From all such Devils, good lord deliver us!” (Shrew, 1.1)
Kansas State Wildcats vs Butler Bulldogs
Will’s Tip: “Down, down, ’Dogs, down” (2 Henry IV. 2.4)
◊ KANSAS STATE