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Posted at 10:53 AM ET, 03/18/2010

In honor of March Madness, cinematic basketball silliness

By Jen Chaney

In less than a couple of hours, the Madness begins. And by that I mean the NCAA Tournament, a celebration of college hoops, bracket busters and (alleged) lowered productivity in offices throughout this great nation.

If you haven't yet, there's still time to enter the Post's own Bracket Challenge. (Need help making those last-minute picks? See which teams a few celebrities have selected, or compare your choices to those made by some Post personalities, including this Celebritologist.)

And for those who are desperate for something to occupy these last precious moments before we all get sucked into the buzzer-beater vortex, I offer this look at five utterly ridiculous moments in basketball-movie history.

Zac Efron: No. 1 in your hearts, but not a No. 1 seed on your NCAA brackets. (Disney)

There are plenty of fine films about the sport; "Hoop Dreams," "White Men Can't Jump" and -- despite its absolutely horrific '80s-era score -- "Hoosiers" all come to mind. But for some reason, basketball also has provided the basis for some ridiculous flicks. And no, I'm not just talking about "Kazaam!," since technically, Shaq played a genie instead of a baller in that one.

Here are samples from five of the sillier selections, each delivering at least one moment that no one in their right mind would consider shining.

"BASEketball": Trey Parker and Matt Stone attempted to capitalize on their "South Park" fame with this movie about two guys who invent a sport that combines basketball, baseball and a lot of broad comedy. Turns out baseball and basketball are perfectly fine existing as they are, and that Parker and Stone are much funnier when they're animating Cartman.

"High School Musical": You can pretend you have no idea what I'm talking about. But in your heart of hearts, you know that Zac Efron actually plays a basketball player in this Disney Channel song-and-dancer, one who takes a break from practice to lead his teammates in the following flashy musical number. Yeah, I'm pretty sure the Kansas Jayhawks won't be doing this before they prepare to take on Lehigh later tonight.

"Space Jam": Sure, it was fun for the kids. But just because the Nike commercial was cute, that doesn't mean it should have been a movie. Personally, I still find something very weird about the prospect of Michael Jordan making a lay-up with a potential assist from Bill Murray, Bugs Bunny or Foghorn Leghorn.

"Teen Wolf": Children of the '80s have a soft spot for Michael J. Fox as a semi-nerdy, b-balling, colossally hairy high-schooler whose true love in life turns out to be a girl named Boof. (Hey, no one ever promised this was an Oscar winner.) But frankly, we should all be impressed by the kind of height Fox can achieve once he goes full-on Lon Chaney, Jr.

"The Fish That Saved Pittsburgh": This may be the best re-donkulous basketball movie of all time. Which is another way of saying: man, this movie rules! The story of a losing basketball team that begins to triumph after seeking help from an astrologer (Stockard Channing), it features appearances by Dr. J, lots of Velveeta-laden disco music and Maryland's dearly departed Capital Centre. So get on the court ... and get fun-kay!

By Jen Chaney  | March 18, 2010; 10:53 AM ET
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