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The Dagger: College Basketball Blog

Five songs to put you in the holiday spirit (or make you hit mute)

Jeff Eisenberg
The Dagger

To help everyone get in the holiday spirit, the Dagger has collected five of the best videos of college basketball teams performing Christmas carols this December. Some are surprisingly not awful. Some are just as bad as you'd think they would be. All five are worth a listen.

1. No team received better musical accompaniment than Michigan State, which had Tom Izzo on the accordion as it delivered an enthusiastic rendition of "Jingle Bells" at its annual holiday radio show. Izzo took accordion lessons for two years, but he now insists that the only songs he can play are Christmas carols.

2. If this whole basketball thing doesn't work out for Illinois, it's probably safe to assume that none of the Illini have a future in the music industry. Their hilariously terrible version of Jingle Bells ranged from mediocre to just plain cringeworthy depending on which player was behind the microphone.

3. It's probably safe to assume that none of the University of San Francisco players wanted to be singing "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" any less than guard Dominique O'Connor (No. 0 in the front row). As the rest of his smiling teammates belt out the Christmas favorite, O'Connor's head is bowed and he's mouthing the words like all of us did at one point or another as kids during sing-alongs we couldn't escape.

4. In addition to this rendition of "Jingle Bell Rock." Gonzaga's women's team also sang "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" and "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer." Give them credit for their bravery — and their impressive array of holiday hats — if not for their ability to stay on key.

5. Who doesn't know all the words to "Jingle Bells?" Apparently, the Cal basketball team. The surprisingly enthusiastic Bears knocked the opening verse out of the park, but they had to gloss over the chorus. Maybe next time somebody will stand behind camera with the lyrics.

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