PROVIDENCE, R.I. -- They will arrive, sweaters casually draped over their shoulders and clutching Kate Spade bags, their sockless feet shoved into loafers and their collars perfectly popped, to root for their team -- either the undermanned scrappers from that rough-and-tumble campus of Duke University or the plucky underdogs from the hardscrabble world of Yale University.
And America will pause to light a candle and mourn the temporary death of March Madness, when the light-beer game stepped aside for the Chardonnay crowd.
Duke versus Yale, elite versus upper-crust, Biff versus Bronwyn.
The two teams' tale of the tape does not just include points per game for each team (81.5 for Duke, 75.2 for Yale) but also the average SAT score for the Class of 2019 (between 1400 and 1590 for Duke; and 1410-1590 for Yale) and their acceptance rates (11 percent for Duke, 6.3 for Yale).
It's an easy layup of a comparison, one that doesn't frankly play out on the basketball court at all -- down to seven guys, the Blue Devils have made their way on grit more than glamour, while the Yalies rely on their defense and rebounding -- but why should that stop anyone?
Since the two teams won their first-round NCAA tournament games Thursday to set up Saturday's game, a thousand memes and GIFs have been born in their honor, plenty finding their way to the players' social media feeds.
So to get to the bottom of this issue of Preppy Power Play, we decided to ask the tough questions:
What's the toughest or most interesting class you've taken?
Chase Jeter: "Anthropology of media, film and Facebook. The title is a little misleading. It sounds easier than it is. Like anything with anthropology, you've always got to ask the question, 'Why? Why? Why?'"
Marshall Plumlee: "Biodiversity. It looks at conservationism and extinction rates about a variety of species."
Matt Jones: "Probably a computer science class I'm taking right now. It's pretty challenging. I've got to put my mind around it, especially when it's a class I don't really want to be in."
Grayson Allen: "I took a psychology of business class. That wasn't hard but it was interesting, just looking at finance and business and how psychology plays a role."
Brandon Ingram: "Public speaking. I think I'm pretty good at it, but it was interesting, the teacher made it interesting with the assignments she gave us."
Blake Reynolds: "Bioethics and law. It's a little tough. It's dealing with the legal and moral impacts on different medical cases, like medical malpractice and the ethics and legality of it all."
Anthony Dallier: "I'd say freshman year calculus. I got a B-minus, but going into the final, you could have told me I would have gotten anywhere from a B-plus to a D and I would have believed you. Yeah I was going to be an economics major but I realized I wasn't really a math guy, so that's why I switched to political science."
Nick Victor: "I took a class on the Rwandan genocide and it talked about what preceded it, and the different approaches that have come out because of it."
Brandon Sherrod: "The moral foundation of politics. It was very dense and it was taught in a lecture format, so you didn't have as much of an intimate conversation and relationship with your professor." Asked if he could then explain the Donald Trump phenomenon, Sherrod laughed. "That's pretty unexplainable."
Do you have a thesis due anytime soon?
Yale: Yes. Victor turned in his on for-profit colleges and how they target lower-income communities in December. "I had like 40 pages to write in three weeks." Justin Sears and Brandon Sherrod are currently working on theirs. Sears has a book to read and a movie to watch on Rwandan genocide, his thesis topic. "Yeah, it really brings you down and I don't want to do that right now. It's March." Sherrod is six pages (double-spaced) into an at least 25-page paper on the quality of education at charter schools in Bridgeport, Connecticut, versus public schools there and whether charter schools should receive state funding. "It's really hard when you're on the road."
Duke: No. Allen on Sears' thesis: "Wow, that sounds a little bit challenging. Props to him for trying to do that in March." Ingram: "What? No, I don't think I could do that."
Popped collars and Vineyard Vine labels on your campus?
Duke: Yes. Jones: "We see guys with the jeans, sweaters, that whole alumni look. You definitely see it. Me? I wear my Duke-issued hoodie and gear."
Yale: Yes. "I'd say a rough estimate, maybe 20 to 40 percent of our students wear that. I don't. I'm kinda broke."
Do you own a pair of boat shoes?
Duke: Yes: Allen, sort of. "I don't now, but I wore them in high school but we had to wear a uniform." No: Ingram, Jones.
Yale: Yes. "Looking around this room, maybe 30 percent," Sears said. Told Dallier owns a pair, Sears amended his estimate. "Anthony wears them? Do you Blake? OK, maybe 50 percent."
Singing center Whippenpoof?
Duke: No. "No, no I can't sing at all," senior Plumlee said. His biggest worry? Rejoining his ROTC battalion and finishing the paperwork for his spring commissioning in the Army.
Yale: Yes. Sherrod spent a year with the elite singing troupe and still sings to himself at the free-throw line.