That’s the only way to describe what’s happening in Washington right now when it comes to the Arctic Refuge.

Who’s playing?

Led by team captain Ted Stevens, a veteran player out of the University of Pork-Barrel Politics, the Beltway “Oilers” have a reputation for driving straight to the basket over and over again, no matter how many times they miss the layup. The team is coached by a crew of Big Oil lobbyists who draw up plays that stretch the rules and attempt to confuse the opposition.

Defending the other end of the court are the Arctic “Warriors,” a team known for its never-say-die attitude and strong play off the bench. Hot off an overtime victory during last year’s championship game, the Warriors are looking for a repeat performance in 2006.

This year’s tournament tip-off happened last night in the U.S. Senate, where the Oilers succeeded in passing a budget resolution that included Refuge-opening language by a score of 51-49.

This is just the first game in a long tournament. The next Oilers-Warriors match-up will occur in the arena of the House of Representatives, where the Oilers will attempt to score another win by putting Arctic drilling in the House version of the budget resolution.

The best part of this March Madness? You can have a big part in the final game.

Call your senators and representatives and asking that they vote NO on any final budget resolution with Arctic drilling.