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Taliban Hoping a Victory Will Get Them in NCAA Tourney

(Kandahar, Afghanistan) A top Taliban commander said Wednesday the group has 4,000 fighters bracing to rebuff NATO's largest-ever offensive in northern Afghanistan, and added he is "hopeful" that a strong showing will earn the insugents an NCAA at-large bid.

"All of our men are well-equipped and we have the weapons to target NATO," said Mullah Abdul Qassim, the top Taliban commander in Helmand province. "We just have to get this win. This will get a lot off our shoulders as far as the NCAA Tournament goes, but we still have to take care of business here."

Qassim said the Taliban would adapt to conditions on any court they play on during March Madness.

"The Taliban know traditional fighting. If we need to fight in a group, we will. If we need a suicide attack, we will do that," he said, watching as his players worked pregame drills. "Plus, we know how to get the big bodies in the paint, grab rebounds, and score points off turnovers."

The Taliban, currently 18-11 and on the bubble, hope to prove they deserve to play in the Big Dance.

"We've just had two great games," Qassim said. "This is going to be a battle, man. That's what it's all about when you get here. If we can get into a position where we've got the lead, we're usually pretty good because our guys shoot well."

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YEah, but they're playing without their big man, 7'2" center Mullah Mahmood.

Apparently he has some uniform troubles.
And don't forget their 7-6 record while guard Obaidullah Akhund, the Tagab Valley's top 3-point shooter, was sidelined by a sprained right knee. He led the Taliban in scoring before the injury.
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