Written by Josh Alman
The title, flavor text, and clues about college basketball and March Madness suggest that a key to this puzzle is One Shining Moment, the song plays at the end of March Madness broadcasts to a montage of highlights from the tournament. Such a montage has been played each year since 1987, and a convenient list of all of them is available at this link.
Solving the clues (see below for all the data), we see that they give people (or a mascot or location) who appeared in consecutive One Shining Moment montages from 2007 to 2016. As suggested by the numbers in music notes, we can reorder the people by the time they appear in the montage, and use the numbers in notes to index into their names, to get the final answer: SCOREBOARD.
|Clue||Solution||Solution Note||Year in One Shining Moment|
|James Bedell thinks he’s the second-to-worst player ever to win an NBA Championship.||Gabe Pruitt||James Bedell compiled a list here.||2007|
|He survived a fight with a bear at his first Sugar Bowl.||Smokey||Smokey the dog, mascot of Tennessee, fought with the Baylor bear at the 1957 Sugar Bowl.||2008|
|He was the only referee in Louisville’s loss at West Virginia in 2010 who wasn’t suspended from officiating a conference tournament.||Les Jones||He ended up working the ACC tournament that year.||2009|
|Although Jim Larranaga is his friend, he told reporters that it’s okay to not like Jim this weekend.||Tom Izzo||Tom’s Spartans are playing against Jim’s Hurricanes in the first round of March Madness this weekend. See here.||2010|
|He shares his name with a former Toronto Raptors player and a current Toronto FC player, but has never played for Toronto himself.||Michael Bradley||This is Michael Bradley, who shares his name with Michael Bradley and Michael Bradley.||2011|
|He hasn’t correctly chosen a March Madness winner in his bracket since 2009.||Barack Obama||He released his bracket each year he was president.||2012|
|He’s Harvard’s winningest player.||Christian Webster||He has 90 career victories.||2013|
|He was robbed and shot in an Uber.||Cleanthony Early||See here, for instance.||2014|
|Some say he looks a lot like Ted Cruz, but his parents don’t think so.||Grayson Allen||Do you think they look similar?||2015|
|Shooting percentages go way down here compared to any other open dome.||NRG Stadium||Multiple statisticians have noted how hard it seems to be to shoot the basketball at NRG stadium.||2016|
Reordered by time in the corresponding One Shining Moment video:
|Name||Year||Time in video (see here for all videos)||Index Number (from music notes)||Letter (index number into name)|