This year, the real March Madness isn't B-Ball -- it's B-Boys. Bad boys. It's been a banner year for men behaving badly.
In the post-season, excitement is building to a peak for sports fans -- as contenders for Worst Celebrity Husband move through their brackets toward the championship. No longer are simple sexual shenanigans enough to rise to the top. Taking risks is required to compete at this level; the bar is higher -- the behavior is lower.
Elliott Spitzer -- his game is old news. Governor Mark Sanford looked strong early in the season; but he's wilted, and fallen by the wayside.
2010 has brought out some very stiff competition.
After battling it out in tabloid headlines, the season comes to a head. Four of the biggest losers in marital history emerge from the wreckage to compete for the final championship.
The FINAL FOUR:
Charlie Sheen: The veteran and perennial crowd pleaser, Charlie comes through in the clutch after a few years out of the running. Looking sharp, he returns to the court with some new moves.
Even with his strong comeback, he remains far back in the pack this year. Still, he always has a few tricks up his sleeve. And with so many years of experience on his side, you can never count Charlie Sheen out of the game.
Odds: 10 to 1.
Tiger Woods: Even the Chinese calendar called it: all along, this has looked like the Year of the Tiger. A new entry in this tournament, he crashed onto the scene -- pushing aside the competition the same way he's dominated his sport. The trophy seemed to be his in a romp-even when he dipped under the radar for a few months and his story lost a little steam.
In a typical Tiger finish, he's storming back into the spotlight--scoring with new details of his text messages. No surprise there -- he's famous for the long drive, with great stamina and staying power. As the ultimate competitor; it's a safe bet that he will pull out all the stops. If he can sustain his top form, it will be hard for anyone to hold that Tiger.
Odds: 5 to 2.
John Edwards: Politicians are often the toughest competitors to beat; and 2010 could be the year the South will rise again. John Edwards is a scrapper; his story just won't die. Coming into the finals with his rank at the bottom of his category, he's been consistently willing to get down and dirty, proving he's in this for the long haul.
After he laid low for months, he dug down deep in his latest run for the trophy and he's not letting up. His momentum is building in the last few weeks -- thanks to the existence of that celebrity staple, a sex tape; the publication of a book by Andrew Young, his former aide; a new People Magazine cover story on Elizabeth; and the explosive power of Rielle Hunter's naughty GQ pictures, which all prove John Edwards is still in the hunt.
Jesse James: The dark horse, completely unranked, zooming out of nowhere, he dropped a bombshell into this tournament, and is already positioned in the driver's seat. During his short run at the championship, he's become one of the tournament's most colorful characters. Muscling to the top of his bracket, Jesse is clearly the sentimental favorite -- for breaking the heart of America's sweetheart.
He timed his move perfectly, coming just after she won her first Oscar, only days after she told America how happy she was that he's got her back. And technically, he does -- only there's a knife in it.
Although Jesse is the least experienced competitor, his Oscar worthy performance as a loyal loving husband gives him a real chance to score a major upset, and sneak in with a come-from-behind victory.
2010: the toughest competition in memory. The only men still standing are the cream of the crop, the biggest men in the game.
It's a tough call; at stake is not only the tournament championship, the winner of Worst Celebrity Husband will get that title he richly deserves: Player of the Year.