It has been said that the NCAA Men’s Division One Basketball Tournament is the only true pure thing in all of sports. It’s the kind of thing that you would make up with your friends if you were trying to think of the biggest sports spectacle you could. And it is always a huge hit with everyone in the country. But there aren’t many people left who know of something that used to happened in March which wasn’t anywhere close to as much fun.
In 1927, the Miskatonic University basketball team, having finished their season 23-0, decided to try to get the other teams in the Northeast to have a tournament with them. The spring rains had made many of the roads impassable, but they managed to coax several teams from the region (the farthest being the Colby squad from Maine) into a double elimination tournament with the 8 teams they managed to pull together. The whole thing took place over three days (the weekend of March 18-20) and by Sunday afternoon, 14 players, six students, one equipment manager and Herton Mandritch would be dead. Mandritch killed by local police, and the rest at the hands of Mandritch.
Mandritch was a 42 year old gardener who had been a mainstay at the Miskatonic campus for years. Tall, pale, and reserved, he tended the grounds of Miskatonic as part of a group of seven. The other six members of the groundskeepers department were not at work they day of the killings, but the police could not successfully link any of them to the murders. For years afterward, though, Detective John McCleary insisted that they had to have been involved. “There is no way one person could have planned this out so well, and executed it so perfectly, excuse the pun.”
And there was also the fact that someone took Mandritch’s body before the coroner arrived on the scene…
These and the rest of the details next week in Part II of The Real March Madness.
Categories: Acadia Einstein