Fallon pulling for Syracuse, Christmas

Jimmy Fallon, favored to bump Jay Leno from the Tonight’s Show hot seat next year, has embraced March Madness by picking a favorite college basketball team.
More specifically, he’s adopting one of the Orange as his player of the tournament, Rakeem Christmas.
“His last name is Christmas and his number is 25,” said Fallon. “How cool is that.”
Fallon started doing his shout outs to Jim Boehim’s team last week, but he continued it Monday by rewarding one of his audience members a prize because Syracuse advanced to the Sweet 16, where it will play No. 1 East seed Indiana on Thursday night.
“Through out the tournament, if Syracuse wins, how many points they score we’re going to give a prize to the person sitting in that seat number.”
Monday, he presented a bowl of oranges to the young woman sitting in seat No. 66, and she then had the option of trading for what was under a box. She chose the box, and won a juice squeezer … but no oranges.
But here’s the thing. Sitting in the front row of his audience Monday was a college kid wearing a red Indiana hoodie.
Fallon didn’t seem to notice that Syracuse’s next opponent had a fan sitting in his audience. But I’m guessing that that’s because Fallon likely has no clue who Syracuse plays next.
Which, of course, would make him the perfect replacement for the sports-challenged Leno.
That’s even demonstrated in his focus on Rakeem Christmas.
“If you want rebounds for Christmas, he’ll get ‘em for you.”
Christmas, a 6-foot-9 sophomore, has averaged 4.7 rebounds this season <-? not exactly a rebounding machine.

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About Randy Beard

Randy Beard has been at the Courier & Press since 2007 and became the sports editor in 2012. He has previously been a sports editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He began his professional sports journalist career in 1976 and has spent his career primarily covering college sports in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. He's also covered the NFL, the original North American Soccer League and professional tennis and golf. He's covered two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, dozens of NCAA basketball tournament games, an Olympics, a World Cup and once hung out with soccer legend George Best for two days and sat in a golf cart with Jan Stephenson.

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