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This evil smoke monster thing appears to be working out

A funny thing has started to happen in the month of February. Back in 1977, time traveling castaways stranded on a mysterious island in the South Pacific managed to detonate a hydrogen bomb, which irrevocably altered the course of world history. The island subsequently sank into the ocean, Flight 815 arrived on schedule in Los Angeles six years ago, and the islands myriad of strange inhabitants subsequently dispersed back into an unfamiliar and unforgiving world.

One of these newly-freed emigrees was a certain EVIL SMOKE MONSTER, capable of assuming human form, and with a taste for polar bears and DHARMA-brand jars of peanut butter. Now, things weren't so easy for ol' smokey for a while. Living through disco was rough, and that awful period in the early 90's where everyone was fond of Starter jackets was just about enough to make it nostalgic for Lord Dogen's poison capsules.

But then, a funny thing happened. Unbeknownst to all observers, Rutgers athletic diretor Tim Pernetti is actually an immortal figure who too was lived on that mythical island. Pernetti used his considerable, unparalleled resources, rugged good looks, and uncanny powers of persuasion to convince beleaguered Rutgers basketball coach Fred Hill Jr. to go into hiring following a brutal loss to Marquette in late January. Tim had finally resolved to do the unthinkable: play his trump card, and unleash onto the Big East (basically the world, because no other conference actually matters) a force the likes of which they had never previously comprehended.

Mr. Pernetti needed a coach. One who not only had a good fundamental knowledge of the game, but commanded players' respect, and had an ability to connect with influential local basketball programs and AAU leagues. More importantly, he needed a candidate that could pose as doppleganger for his former coach, as the world was still under the impression that Mr. Hill was still in charge. Luckily enough, the perfect candidate was just about to fall into his lap, and had considerable experience replacing bald men.

With no flight 815 having crashed in this timeline, our lovable SMOKE MONSTER was in need of work, and readily agreed to Pernetti's proposal. His mission, should he choose to accept it, would be nothing short of the miraculous. Reverse three decades of miserable Rutgers basketball, whipping the team into NCAA tournament shape, reengaging the fanbase, and securing enough booster donations to revitalize the RAC and placate the cantankerous C. Vivian Stringer, whose insurmountable will had yet been matched or tamed by decades of extensive DHARMA research.

Sure, there were hurdles along the way. The SMOKE MONSTER, being evil and all, required a constant, if not excessive parade of human steaks of turmoil - typically, malnourished Irish children unfamiliar with the concept of 'defense'. The renegade mad hostile, J.R. Inman, was momentarily able to escape his captivity and and surround the RAC in a circle of ash last Thursday. Smokey and his charges were briefly imperiled, but then Adebisi N'Diaye came in and flew everyone to safety in his missionary plane filled with heroin statues. Then Mike Rosario finally got over his God complex, Dane Miller sunk some free throws, and before you knew it, Georgetown was deader than than NBC's Winter Olympics.

How sweet it is. All hail the SMOKE MONSTER, may his reign of terror signify the coming of one thousand years of darkness and the Seton Hall Pirates facing agonizing defeat in our forthcoming long awaited showdown.