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March Madness mysteries: The return of the three-point monocle

Jay Busbee
The Dagger

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Trey-goggles.

There's something about watching the bench guys on a college team celebrate, isn't there? They're probably better than anybody you've ever played basketball against, and yet they still look dorky and ridiculous there, waiting and hoping to get thirty seconds of garbage-time run.

That right there is Andrew Smeathers, a bench player for Butler who was absolutely giddy in the final seconds of his team's victory over Bucknell. When Butler hit a late three, Smeathers began rocking the giddy three-point monocle.

Now, if you've followed basketball for any length of time outside the tournament/playoffs, you've probably seen the three-point/OK sign, sometimes with one hand, sometimes with two, somewhere along the line. But where did they begin? They've been around playgrounds forever, but according to this Wall Street Journal article, the three-point goggles kicked into high gear in Portland in 2011 between teammates.

[Also: NCAA tournament Friday viewer guide/a>]

Patty Mills, now with the Spurs, heckled then-teammate Rudy Fernandez, now playing in Spain, about Fernandez' poor eyesight from long range. Fernandez began burying three-pointers, and made the goggles as a "who needs glasses?" move.

The gag made its way to the college ranks via Blazer Wesley Matthews, who passed it along to friends at his alma mater of Marquette. Darius Johnson-Odom, now playing basketball in Russia, began throwing up the goggles, and before long, the entire Marquette campus — and, soon, much of the college basketball universe — was rocking the admittedly ridiculous look.

So, yes, a Butler bench guy is two years late jumping on the trend. But so what? He's having fun. And he's got a better seat than any of us.

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