Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Conference Tournament Predictions

Conference tournaments are upon us and it is one of the most exciting times of the year. Time for teams to make a quest for the NCAA Tournament; Time to see who will be dancing and will be packing. So sit back and relax, and enjoy the ride.

Click on Brackets to Enlarge Predictions

Atlantic Sun Predictions

East Tennessee State and Belmont are head and shoulders above the rest of the conference. There is no doubt in my mind that these two will be in championship. I didn't pick any upsets in this tournament. I like ETSU in the end with the experience and play makers.


I gotta go with Complete Sports on their MVC Champion prediction. Southern Illinois is one of the best defensive teams in the country and one of the top 15 teams in the country. The MVC is deep and anyone can make a run, especially one of the top 6 seeds.
** Sorry about the brackets not completely showing up. I didn't have time to do them on Excel so I made them on paint and for some reason they don't completely show up. Just bear with me**

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

As Good As It Gets

I am not going to lie and I apologize to all NHL fans out there but I am not one of you. I do not like the NHL much at all. I much prefer college hockey. I, for one, feel like they play a much more pure and finesse game and there's a lot less of just, "I'm going to skate right through you" attitude. Although I particularly dislike the NHL I have been waiting for the right time to post an NHL article and I think this is about as good as it gets (as far as the NHL is concerned).

I'm sure you all already know what this is regarding but it's just too good to pass up. It was probably the best game of the season thus far and Hell, any time you have a goalie fight and 100 penalty minutes it can't go unnoticed, and I won't allow The Sports Flow to miss this one(however mildly delayed it may be).

Things took a turn for the worst (better in my opinion) at 5:07 into the second period with Buffalo up 3-2 when Drury was bowled over by a blind-side hit by Ottawa's Chris Neil. Drury lay on the ice with blood flowing from his forehead, while Sabres rookie UND's own Drew Stafford fought Neil, both receiving 5-minute fighting penalties. The remained of the ensuing chaos occurred after the subsequent face-off.

The brawl began after the ensuing faceoff when Buffalo's Adam Mair punched Senators' star Jason Spezza in the head. All 10 players then squared off, while Biron skated to center, where he was met by Emery. Both goalies traded several punches before Peters took on Emery, landing several heavy blows. Then things really got interesting as both coaches got in to a heated yelling match. The game was delayed for about 20 minutes while officials sorted out the penalties.

I know that a lot of readers might think that the shot on Drury was a cheap shot but I don't. The hit came about .2 seconds after he had shot and his head was still down. The league has proclaimed the hit clean and so does The Sports Flow. The dirtiest part of all was when Peters came in on Emery. Granted about another 30 seconds and Emry would have killed Biron (Sabres Goalie) but you can't go after a goalie like that - unless if you are a goalie...then that's just plain awesome.

I know it's a few days old but this is a great video and you should watch it. The more I watch it the more I like it and that's what convinced me to finally do an NHL post. My favorite part is when the goalies are ripping off their helmets and gloves and Emry, for the Senators, has this smile on his face that is screaming "Bring it on."

As far as I'm concerned this is as good as it gets in the NHL.

Monday, February 26, 2007

Ohio St. vs. Wisconsin Post-Game Analysis

The game marked the first time Big Ten teams have met in a 1 vs. 2 game. Before Sunday, Ohio St. was 0-3 against top 10 teams, and desperately needed a win to remain in the running for a number 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

The game was dominated by defense as the final score indicates. Both teams did an excellent job of keeping the other team off the boards and limiting each other to one scoring opportunity each time down.

Both teams traded baskets numerous times, but as the second half wore on, Wisconsin showed some poise and had some key shots. It looked like the Badgers were going to hang on but that's when OSU freshmen PG Mike Conley (inset) took over. Conley came up with some huge buckets late in the game. The freshman out shined the experienced Wisconsin guards late and proved himself even more with one last shot. Conley drove the lane and made a runner with 4 seconds left to give the Buckeyes a 49-48 victory over Wisconsin, clinching their second consecutive Big Ten title.

Before the game, I really thought Wisconsin would come out on top. Wisconsin has the experience, the dominant front court, which kept Oden off the boards and held him to 11 points.

But in the end it was the always surprising freshman who thrived and lead his team to the top.

Ohio St. deserves a number one seed after this huge win. They needed a win against the Badgers to solidify it. But the main question is, if this Buckeye team wants to make any type of national title run, they need to stop relying on the three point basket. And if the NCAA Basketball title is going to come through Columbus, it will have to go through the hands of freshmen Mike Conley and Greg Oden.

The Badgers sustained a key loss in Brian Butch, one of their main post players to an elbow injury early in the 2nd half.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Urban Legends: The Gyroball

Ive heard a lot of hoopla about this pitch that Matsuzaka supposedly throws. People have been calling it the Gyroball. Upon hearing about it the first time i knew very little and over the weekend I've done quite a bit of research on the validity of the so called "Gyroball."

Picture this...a pitch that's thrown like a fastball … that spins like a bullet … that takes a sharp, late turn over the plate, swerving sideways up to possibly three feet! This is how I've found the gyroball to be described.Now, does that sound like just another breaking ball to you? If the gyroball is real, it's the greatest pitch you've never seen. A pitch that shouldn't be possible and can't be explained and baseball isn't ready. Mariano Rivera's cut fastball moves a few inches, max and for years It's been almost unhittable. Think of the possibilities!

The gyroball is big...potentially huge. Baseball hasn't seen an original pitch in three decades, not since Bruce Sutter's split-fingered fastball, which only turned a minor-league washout at the time into a Hall of Fame reliever. Hitters still haven't caught up. The gyroball could be just as revolutionary, if not more.

The gyroball is like the yeti of baseball. Some people deny it's existence while others attest to it's validity. In my weekend research I came across some videos on YouTube. So take a look at this:

Slow Motion (check out the spin):
Poor quality but check out the break!:

It seems the Gyroball defies physics and seems quite improbable. However when you hear that it's legit, and there is video proof of what looks to be the supposed "Gyroball" it's hard to deny it's existence. Regardless, you can tell that it is definately not a curveball, nor is it a slider so we definitely have something new on our hands. I personally believe it is the gyroball and thus that the gyroball exists (just maybe not to the extreme effect of a 36 inch break at the plate)

What do you think? Does the gyroball exist? Does Matsuzaka throw it? I guess come April we'll find out for certain.

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Back in Action

The Duke Lacrosse team will finally return to the field Saturday. They've been waiting a year for this moment, and will try to put everything that happened in the past behind them.

After a year of hardship, agony, & pain- everything will be forgotten Saturday when Duke faces off with Dartmouth. The players are anxious to get the season underway and know that if things don't go as expected, people might speculate about them being guilty again.

The game will be televised nationally and there's expected to be a huge celebration before game time. Players will run onto the field through an inflatable tunnel and past smoke machines. More than 60 reporters are expected to be there, which is unusual for lacrosse.

Everyone is expecting a huge crowd, but aren't exactly sure how many. But they're not expecting a crowd of protesters; which would be the last thing these players and university need.

Duke returns six all-Americans this year and are ranked as high as 4 in some pre-season polls. But it may not be all about a national championship.

The players want to keep looking forward. Nothing can change what happened last spring, but the players want to move on, and show that Duke lacrosse has returned.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Spring Training Position Battles

Pitchers and Catchers have already reported to Spring training and position players will soon be filing in. So, I wanna touch on what I think will be a few pivotal position battles to watch.

1. Red Sox Closer
Contenders - Mike Timlin, Jonathan Papelbon, Joel Piniero
My Favorite - Jonathan Papelbon

Papelbon was an allstar last year and put together a tremendous Rookie campaign as the Red Sox closer. Although Piniero will give him a run for his money i think that Papelbon should hold on to his spot as the closer. I see Piniero fitting in well as a set-up man or long relief pitcher. Also they need Piniero to possibly step into the rotation if injury strikes and need presents itself.

2. Dodgers Right Field
Contenders - Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, Marlon Anderson
My Favorite - Matt Kemp/ Andre Ethier

With JD Drew gone the Dodgers have a relatively large void to fill in RF. I think you can bank on seeing a Kemp and Ethier platoon in RF this season. Ethier will bat left-handed and Kemp right-handed in the platoon. This should work out fairly well for the Dodgers. If it hadn't been for Ethier's slump in the second half of last season I would give him the job but I think a platoon seems most probable.

3. Royals Third Base
Contenders - Mark Teahen, Alex Gordon
My Favorite - Alex Gordon

The future is NOW in KC the fans and the organization are both ready for him. If they know anything about what is good for this team Gordon will come away with the job and a few more seats will be filled. Look for the Royals to favor Gordon here with this one. Alex Gordon is my pick for AL Rookie of the Year in 2007, and also for an MVP further down the road. He is the best prospect in all of baseball and I think that the job will be his. Even though Teahen put together a nice little season for himself last year - 290 AVG/.357 OBP/.517 SLG, - I think the Royals will for somewhere else to put him (Probably 2B or a corner OF spot)

4. White Sox Center Field
Contenders - Rob Mackowiak, Ryan Sweeney, Brian Anderson
My Favorite- Brian Anderson

Anderson had a terrible first half last year, however he was able to bounce back in the second half (257 AVG/.301 OBP/.393 SLG). That's obviously not that good but I think he will come out with the job. He has the potential to be a good hitter and his defense is what will get him the job. If Mackowiak's glove was a little better in CF I would give him the job.

5. Cubs 4th and 5th Starters
Contenders - Angel Guzman, Carlos Marmol, Wade Miller, Jason Marquis, Sean Marshall
My Favorites- Wade Miller and Jason Marquis

If Prior, Wood, and Lilly can hold their own and somehow manage to not get injured I would go with these two for the next two spots in rotation and in that order (Miller (4) and Marquis (5)) Angel Guzman and Carlos Marmol have great young arms and I think they will no doubt make the team. I just think that coming out of camp you gotta go with experience and give it to Miller and Marquis. With those two as your 4th and 5th starters that rotation should win a lot of games.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Bizarre Baseball Injuries

With the recent news of Ken Griffey Jr. breaking his throwing hand while wrestling with his kids. Oh yea, and don't forget the oft-injured Kerry (or should I say Carrie) Wood slipping on his way out of a hot tub and injuring his stomach/chest. It seems to me that baseball in particular tends to have some slightly bizarre injuries. So I did some thinking and here are my recent favorites in no specific order for the 1990s.

John Smoltz, Atlanta Braves
John Smoltz is one of the best pitchers of his generation, but he is no homemaker. Smoltz once severely scalded himself while trying to iron a shirt while he was wearing it. Pretty Impressive...

Glenallen Hill, Toronto Blue Jays
Drastically less talented and much less renoun as John Smoltz but as far as bizarre injuries are concerned he gave him a run for his money on this one. Hill suffered from an intense condition of arachnophobia. On one occasion he recieved cuts on his feet, knees, and arms during a violent dream about spiders. He smashed into a glass table and fell down the stairs all in his sleep. This landed him a spot on the 15-day DL as well as a spot in history as probably the first athlete to be sidelined due to arachnaphobic-related injuries. This injury is probably what he is most known for. Glenallen played from 1989-1991 with the Toronto Blue Jays mainly as a role-player and pinch hitter.

Sammy Sosa , Chicago Cubs
Most people remember Sammy for the epic homerun race he had in '98 with McGwire. Also worth mentioning is the fact that Sammy once sneezed so hard that he threw out his back and brought on backspasms and thus missed a few games.

Marty Cordova, Baltimore Orioles
Was the AL Rookie of the year while playing for the Twins in '95. However during his stint with the Orioles he had a certain injury which i recall quite well. Apparently unhappy with his baseball tan he went to a tanning salon and fell asleep in the tanning bed. He sustained severe burns on his face from the tanning lamps and had to miss a game or two. How do explain that one to the guys in lockerroom?

Adam Eaton, San Diego Padres
A few years ago (while playing for the Padres) Eaton was trying to open up a DVD and was having some trouble. He tried to use a pairing knife to get the plastic wrapping off and ended up stabbing himself in the stomach and punching himself a ticket to the Emergency Room

Steve Sparks, My beloved Milwaukee Brewers
This almost makes me embarassed to be a Brewers fan....ALMOST. Steve Sparks was a welltraveled knuckleballer who, in 1995, attended a motivational speaking seminar hosted by the Brewers. At the seminar they ripped phone books in half as part of the presentation. Sparks was so fired up he went home and tried it himself...Bad idea. Sparks dislocated his shoulder performing the stunt.

And there you have it my whackiest baseball injuries of the 90s. Anything worth mentioning that I forgot?

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

College Hoops Top 10 Power Poll

1. Florida (24-3)- Some may argue with me putting them here, but didn't they beat Ohio St. at the beginning of the season? So that's the main reason why I have them at number one still. Plus I won't discredit their loss to an improved Vanderbilt team at all. But still, this Gator team has the best starting five in the country, but in order to maintain a one seed they need to get through the toughest stretch of their schedule playing South Carolina at home, at LSU, at Tennessee, Kentucky at home, and the brutal SEC Tournament.
Next game to keep an eye on: vs South Carolina 2/21

2. Wisconsin (26-3)- The Badgers were my number one, but they fell tonight to Michigan St.; huge loss for them. Wisconsin is still the team to beat in the Big 10, and there's no reason to doubt them winning the Big 10 title. Alando Tucker is putting up player of the year type numbers with 20.4 ppg and 5.5 rpg. The experience is showing for this Badger team and there is no doubt they will be a one seed by tournament time, even with the recent loss.
Next game to keep an eye on: @ Ohio St. 2/25

3. Ohio St. (24-3)- I am still a little hesitant about this team being able to compete with some of the top teams. The Buckeyes rely way too much on the three ball, which could be a cause for a concern if they want to make any type of final four run. Greg Oden is a force down low and will be the main man come March, but Michael Conley (inset) is showing improvement all over the court and is proving he can be the floor leader even as a freshmen. In order to be a one seed, OSU needs to win out, have an impressive showing at the Big 10 Tournament, and oh yeah, beat Wisconsin at least once, whether it's on February 25th or in the conference tournament.
Next game to keep an eye on: vs Wisconsin 2/25

4. UCLA (23-3)- This UCLA team gets it done on both sides of the court, and have plenty of threats to get the job done night in and night out. After a very impressive win at Arizona last Saturday, the Bruins have key games coming up, with the more particular ones coming on the road against Washington and Washington St.
Next game to keep an eye on: vs Stanford 2/24

5. North Carolina (23-4)- The Tar Heels are the deepest and youngest team in the country. Which may be a cause for a concern in the big dance. The Heels no doubt have some big wins under their belts, but the upcoming ACC schedule will be tough. UNC needs these wins to continue to gain experience, which will be the number one key in order to make a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
Next game to keep an eye on: vs NC St. 2/21

6. Memphis (23-3)- Memphis may play in a weak conference, but I really like this Tigers team. They got a much needed win at Gonzaga last Saturday and continue to impress. There is no doubt this team can make a repeat Elite 8 run from last season, and they have the toughness and experience to do so.
Next game to keep an eye on: vs Houston 2/25

7. Kansas (23-4)- I never know which KU team will show up. The Jayhawks are very athletic and have the play makers to play with anybody in the country. But the question is, will they be able to make it out of the first round?
Next game to keep an eye on: @ Oklahoma 2/26

8. Texas A&M (22-4)- I feel this A&M team is still under the radar and is my dark horse pick right now. The Aggies have it all, defense, post play, three point shooting, and tremendous guard play; definitely characteristics to a national title team.
Next game to keep an eye on: @ Oklahoma St. 2/21

9. Washington St. (22-4)- The Cougars have a huge game coming up at Oregon on Thursday and should be ready for Aaron Brooks and Co.
Next game to keep an eye on: @ Oregon 2/22

10. Nevada (24-2)- If you're looking for a sleeper team in the tournament, well this is your team. The Wolf Pack have one of the best players in the country in Nick Fazekas (avg. 20.6 ppg & 11.5 rpg) and have the experience to make an impressive run.
Next game to keep an eye on: @ Boise St. 2/24

What's your College Hoops Top 10 Power Poll? I want to see your arguments.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Go Figure

Well it wouldn't be my hire if I was the GM (which all you readers probably know) but the San Diego Chargers hired Norv Turner as their headcoach over the weekend. This came as quite a surprise to me and I view it as a relatively poor hiring. I never even considered Norv Turner when thinking of my top 3 hirings earlier in the week. Let's hope they see something in him that I don't.

To me this just doesn't make any sense. In my opinion they had much better candidates who interviewed and were very interested in the job. When you have guys like Mike Singletary, Ron Rivera, Rex Ryan, and Mike Zimmer interviewing for the job and you chose Norv Turner I think you should have some explaining to do. Because if I was a Chargers fan I would like to know what the hell they were thinking.
Norv turner will get his third crack at a head coaching job in 2007. He's 58-82-1 with one playoff appearance in nine seasons leading an NFL team. About the only thing that I can figure is that they went with the only offensive-minded candidate in hopes that he will help with the progression of Phillip Rivers. Norv Turner (as the offensive-coordinator with the 49ers) is largely credited with the progression of young QB Alex Smith.

And get this; Norv Turner gets the head coaching job. Longtime league assistant coach Ted Cottrell was named the D-coordinator. And then Ron Rivera (One of my guys for the head-coaching job) accepted a job as the LB coach with San Diego. That makes no sense to me. If they not only don't give him the head-coaching job nor the D-Coordinator job; why on earth would he leave Chicago for an assistant coaching job (LB coach). Personally, I think it foolish on the part of the Bears to let Rivera go as well as for the Chargers not to make him head coach. But maybe not, I guess with Schottenheimer gone we will see how deep San Diego can really go into the playoffs.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

NBA Dunk Contest

Even though you could probably call this the JV dunk contest, it still was pretty exciting to watch. I would much rather see Lebron, Kobe, T-Mac, or Vince Carter in it, but it was still worth watching. The few dunks that stuck out the most were Gerald Green's and Dwight Howard's, you'll just have to watch the video and see for yourself in case you missed it.

Overall, it was a good dunk contest. Green and Howard were great to watch, same with Nate Robinson, but I don't know why Tyrus Thomas was there. David Stern should really consider having the best dunkers and players participate in the contest instead of having them judge it. Maybe it would bring in more revenue... but hey it's the NBA!

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Guilford vs Macon College Game Winning buzzer beater

I came across this video on You Tube. Guilford vs Macon College, full court buzzer beater for the win, you have to see it to believe it. Pretty much a once in a lifetime, miracle shot.

I've seen my fair share of buzzer beaters, whether in person or on TV. But this one is probably the best because of the time left on the clock, and he just grabs it, turns around and chucks it... pretty impressive.

Friday, February 16, 2007

Bonds finally signs with Giants

Barry Bonds finally signed his $15.8 million, one-year deal Thursday, ending more than two months of bickering between him and the San Francisco Giants over contract language.

Bonds will report to Spring Training on Monday and will participate in the first full-squad workout Tuesday. Bonds is only 22 homers shy of Hank Aaron's HR record of 755.

Bonds signed on Tuesday and it was then mailed to the Giants and then faxed to the commissioner for official approval. Bonds and the Giants came to an agreement on December 7, and the deal was then announced on January 29.

But his first contract enclosed a clause stating he’s responsible for promotional appearances and it was declined by the commissioner's office. Management and the players' association agreed last year during bargaining not to allow any language in new contracts regarding promotional appearances other than the standard clause in all player contracts.

Bonds has now filled the last Giants Spring Training roster spot. Bonds has been working out at UCLA during the off season and appears as healthy as ever, according to his agent and trainer. Bonds is coming off arthroscopic surgery on his left elbow after last season.

Bonds' 115 walks led the National League, extending his MLB career mark to 2,426. He hit .270 with 23 doubles, 77 RBIs and 74 runs scored in 130 games, amazing totals considering he was hitting .235 as late as Aug. 19. The double in his final at-bat of the 2006 season was his 99th hit of the year, pulling him within 159 of the 3,000th hit mark. The RBI count has him 69 away from 2,000.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

San Diego Sweepstakes

I wanted to do a post on the NFL and with the recent firing of Coach Schottenheimer from the Chargers I thought it would be fun to play GM. So here I am going to give you MY top 3 guys for the job as well as an outside-shot/wildcard guy whom I would hire to coach the Chargers in '07 if I was the GM.

First off I would like to start by saying that everyone and their mother should be chomping at the bit to interview for this job. You take a look at what you are inheritting if you get hired: The best RB in the NFL (possibly the history of the NFL---> LT), a good young pro-bowl QB (Phillip Rivers), an awesome TE (Antonio Gates), and a great Defense loaded with playmakers (i.e. Shawn Merriman). So, my point is that it shouldn't be hard to get people to interview for the job if interest is expressed in them.

#1. Mike Singletary - Personally, I feel like the Bolts interviewed the best man for the job already. Singletary, interviewed yesterday for a head coaching job for the third time since early January. Singletary thinks he's ready to move up after four seasons as an assistant and so do I. While people argue he has a lack for coaching experience he may. However, look at what he has done with his short time as a coach. He was LBs coach on the Ravens and you guys know what kind of a group he had over there. He also spent the last two years coaching in SF as "assistant head coach - defense". With not much to work with he's definitely done more than an adequate job. He's young and he spent 10 years as a motivational speaker after retiring. This will come in handy as far as shaping the young San Diego players.

#2 Ron Rivera - Why has no one hired this guy yet?! I really wanted the Packers to make him head coach last year when they were hiring...but they didn't. I think Jerry Jones made a big mistake by not making this guy the coach of the Cowboys and I think the Chargers need to give him a long look. Just look at what he does year in and year out in Chicago with their defense. I think he would also be a great fit for the job and if he was the head coach of my football team I would be more than satisfied.

#3 Rex Ryan - Rex is the D-coordinator for the Baltimore Ravens; so there's a pretty good resume to begin with. It's definitely worth mentioning that Baltimore's defense gave up the fewest yards and points in the NFL last season. This guys is great at what he does, and I personally think that he would be a good head coach in the NFL.

In case you haven't picked up on the trend the guys that I really like for the job are all defensive gurus. I feel it wise to go in this direction - if I was doing the hiring for the job anyways.

*Longshot/Wildcard Bill Parcells - If Bill was interested in the job I think that I would be just about obligated to give him a strong look. Bill is a historically good coach and a great disciplinarian. He could really help in the development of some of the young guys on that team, especially Rivers. If Bill shows interest in the job I gotta consider him. And on top of everything he has much more experience than the other guys on my list.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

NBA Midseason Selections

I wanted to do something on the NBA and I got an idea from Complete Sports. It wont be exactly the same obviously, but we'll share our award selections with you.

MVP: Gilbert Arenas- How clutch has Arenas been this season? He has two walk-off 3 pointers, set a franchise record with 60 points vs the Lakers, put up 54 vs Nash and Co., and he also dropped 51 against the Jazz, who by the way are in first place.
So basically whenever it is crunch time, this guy steps up and takes over. Arenas is arguably one of the best players in the league. He is no doubt the MVP midway through the season, and being in first place of the Southeast division doesn't hurt either.

Rookie of the Year: Brandon Roy- I also agree with Complete Sports that Brandon Roy is Rookie of the year. Roy leads all rookies in scoring with 14.7 ppg, fifth in rebounding with 4.3 rpg, and he's third in assists with 3.0 apg and also in steals with 1.27 spg. It just seems like he doesn't make the mistakes that most rookie guards do. He can recognize anything on the court, when to pass, when to shoot, and he is very smart with mismatches. If Roy was healthy he would be the runaway Rookie of the Year.

Sixth Man: Ben Gordon- Gordon isn't quite as inconsistent as last year. He fills his offensive responsibility well and knows what to do with the ball. He can come up with a big play at anytime of the game. You can argue that Leandro Barbosa should be 6th man, but in my opinion, Gordon is more important to the Bulls, than Barbosa is to the Suns.

Defensive Player of the Year: Emeka Okafor- Okafor is one of the strongest players in the NBA. His game starts on the defensive side. Okafor can guard anyone in the league and does a great job of keeping players out of the paint and protecting the rim.

Coach of the Year: Avery Johnson- Avery does indeed know the game well. He utilizes his players very well and starts it all on the defensive side. With work-ethic one of his number 1 priorities, he gets the best out of his players, and the 43-9 record definitely shows it.

Most Improved Player: Kevin Martin- Martin has exploded as the Kings go to guy. His shooting is phenomenal (.496 from the field) and can make a clutch shot down the stretch. Martin is averaging 20.6 ppg and is very consistent as well. There is no doubt he can surge his Kings (with the likes of Bibby and Artest) to a deep playoff run if he keeps putting up numbers like this.

Game Changing Performance of the Year: Gilbert Arenas vs the Lakers- Arenas scored 60 points vs the Lakers and the Wizards needed every one of them. He shot 17 of 32 from the field, had 8 rebounds, and even dished out 8 assists.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Time to Panic?

The ESPN/USA TODAY top 25 poll came out yesterday and for the first time in 184 weeks Duke is not ranked. And rightfully so; what other team in the land can possibly lose 4 games in a row and remain in the top 25? Duke is amid their worst losing streak in 11 years. They have lost the last four games including a recent 12 point loss in Maryland this week.

It seems to me that Duke just can't quite get it together. Against UNC no one really played well except Scheyer and against Maryland McRoberts was great but it takes more than one good performance to beat a lot of the teams in the ACC. So while those guys have been good at times they can't quite just put together a nice all-around "team" performance Greg Paulus is having a horrific sophomore season. It will be important to the Blue Devils to see if he can improve his play over the course of the rest of the season. Once heralded as a blue-chip prospect out of high school he is proving to be a quite a disappointment to the Cameron Crazies.

If you take a look at Florida as the unanimous number 1 team in the land, they spread the ball out beautifully and are the best at playing as a team. They make the extra pass every time down the floor and keep everyone involved no problems, no egos, just playing great team basketball

If Duke wants to get back on track at BC tomorrow it definitely won't be easy. They are going to have to play tough defense containing Jared Dudley and spread it out on offense and try to get everyone involved. Duke is currently sitting 6th in the ACC at 18-7 ( 5-6 in the ACC). So you tell it time for Coach K and Co. to panic?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

"The Edsel Show"

I would like to announce that Stefan and I were asked to be a feature in the "Blog Dawgs" section of the "The Edsel Show" on ESPN Radio 1050 based in Williamsport, PA -hosted by Mr. Eddie Walker. I just wanted to get the word out about this because it is kind of exciting and I think it could be a lot of fun. Perhaps you would like to tune in and listen yourself. We will be on Monday, February 12, from 3:25-3:40 pm central standard time. Here are some links to the shows site and the link where you can listen to us live:

College Hoops Top 10 Conference Rankings

Since the football season is over and we are in the middle of February, with not much else going on; I decided to do a College Hoops Conference Rankings Poll, just to get an overview of what's going on around the country.

1. Pac 10
Top team: UCLA
Tournament shoo-ins: UCLA, Wash. St., USC, Oregon
On the Bubble: Arizona, Stanford, Washington
Cellar dweller: Arizona St.
Projected Player of the year: Aaron Brooks- Oregon

2. ACC
Top team:
Tournament shoo-ins: UNC, Boston College, Virginia, V-Tech
On the Bubble: Clemson, FSU, G-Tech, Maryland, Duke
Cellar dweller: Wake Forest
Projected Player of the year: Jared Dudley- BC

3. SEC
Top team: Florida
Tournament shoo-ins: Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, Vanderbilt
On the bubble: Georgia, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Alabama, LSU
Cellar dweller: South Carolina
Projected Player of the year: Joakim Noah- Florida

4. Big Ten
Top team: Wisconsin
Tournament shoo-ins: Wisconsin, Ohio St., Indiana
On the bubble: Iowa, Michigan, Purdue, Illinois, Michigan St.
Cellar dweller: Penn St.
Projected Player of the year: Alando Tucker- Wisconsin

5. Big 12
Top team: Texas A&M
Tournament shoo-ins: A&M, Kansas, Texas, Oklahoma St.
On the bubble: Kansas St., Oklahoma, Texas Tech, Nebraska
Cellar dweller: Colorado
Projected Player of the year: Kevin Durant- Texas

6. Big East
Top team: Pittsburgh
Tournament shoo-ins: Pitt, Georgetown, Marquette, West Virginia, Notre Dame
On the Bubble: Louisville, Villanova, Providence, UConn
Cellar dweller: Cincinnati
Projected player of the year: Demetrius Nichols- Syracuse

7. MVC
Top team: S. Illinois
Tournament shoo-ins: S. Illinois, Missouri St.
On the Bubble: Creighton, Bradley, Wichita St., Northern Iowa
Cellar dweller: Drake
Projected Player of the year: Nate Funk- Creighton

8. MWC
Top team:
Air Force
Tournament shoo-ins: Air Force, BYU
On the bubble: UNLV, SDSU
Cellar dweller: TCU
Projected player of the year: Luke Nevil- Utah

9. WAC
Top team:
Tournament shoo-ins: Nevada
On the bubble: New Mexico St., Utah St.
Cellar dweller: Idaho
Projected Player of the year: Nick Fazekas- Nevada

10. C-USA
Top team: Memphis
Tournament shoo-ins: Memphis
On the bubble: UCF, Houston, Tulsa
Cellar dweller: East Carolina
Projected Player of the year: Morris Almond- Rice

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Pro Bowl Snub Hub

The Pro Bowl is coming up tonight so i wanted to sound off on who I think should be there that isn't, as well as who you readers think should be in Hawaii for the 2006-2007 season. Drop a comment and lemme know your snubs.

#1- Brian Westbrook (Philadelphia Eagles) - RB
Westbrook stands out to me as the person who most deserves to be on the squad. With over 1,200 yds rushing and 7 tds he carried the Eagles to the playoffs. Still not enough for you? Westbrook led all NFL starters in YardsPerTouch with an average of 6.0. Also worth mentioning that Westbrook was on the injury report just about week in and week out.
#2 - Roy Williams (Detroit Lions) - WR
For starters he played on a team that sported a simply atrocious offense. Most people don't know this but Williams had more receiving yards than every other NFC receiver not named Donald Driver.
#3 - Terrell Owens (Dallas Cowboys) - WR
Hate the guy. Hate the publicity. Hate to do this...but besides all the drops he led the NFL in TD catches with 11. That counts for something...I think.

#1 Tom Brady (New England Patriots) - QB
Something just doesn't seem right about Phillip Rivers and Carson Palmer being selected and not Brady. As far as I am concerned Palmer can stay but he had more passing yards and TDs than Rivers...not right.
#2 Kellen Winslow Jr. (Cleveland Browns) - TE
Had a quiet breakout year. His main problem was that Antonio Gates and Tony Gonzalez both play in the AFC. Keep him off the motorcycle and give him a legitimate QB to throw to him and maybe he'll be Honolulu-bound next season.
#3 Nick Mangold (New York Jets) - C
Had a much better rookie season than the heralded D'Brickashaw Ferguson. Shoulda been heavily considered.

#1 Leonard Little (St. Louis Rams) - DE
More sacks than Julius Peppers, more sacks than Will Smith -- and Little doesn't make it.
#2 Walt Harris (San Fransisco 49ers) - CB
Matched against the top receivers in the NFC West, and Harris still distinguished himself with an NFC tied-for-best 8 interceptions. And for any doubters out there that don't know much about Walt Harris think about all the great Defensive support he was getting from his studly supporting-cast in SanFran (pick up on the sarcasm).
#3 Charles Woodsn (Green Bay Packers) - CB
Had 8 INTs on the season as well. Being the hardcore Packers fan that I am this one really stung for me. He also scored 1 TD and was responsible for recovering and/or forcing 4 fumbles on the year.

#1 Trevor Pryce (Baltimore Ravens) - DE
Hard for an established Pro Bowl player, on a winning team, with 12 sacks to get bypassed. But Pryce did. With so many great players on such a great defense it must make one increasingly easy to pass-up or something? Beats me...
#2 Luis Castillo (SanDiego Chargers) - DT
A player that might produce as much, if not more, than "lights out" teammate Shawne Merriman and without the chest pounding and steroid use.
#3 DeMarco Ryans (Houston Texans) - LB
This rookie led the league in tackles. Shouldn't that be enough?! Oh yea, and he plays for THE TEXANS.

Honorable Mention- Not only did the AFC have better teams with better records than the NFC did, but also had a lot more really good players who were deserving - Especially on the defensive side of the ball. So...kudos i guess.

Ray Lewis (Baltimore Ravens) - LB
Bart Scott (Baltimore Ravens) - LB
Warren Sapp (Oakland Raiders) - DT

Friday, February 9, 2007

Zook breathing life back into Illini

Quick, name the school with arguably the #1 recruiting class in the Big Ten!......
If you guessed: Ohio St., Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn St. or even my beloved Iowa Hawkeyes you are wrong. I myself am an avid college football fan and an advocate of the Big Ten Conference and I had to double check this one. The answer is the University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Yes, you heard me correctly the 2-10 Fighting Illini. Depending on where you visit you can find the Illini's class of 2007 ranked anywhere from 10th-17th in the nation; ranked right on par, at some sites even ahead of Michigan and Ohio St.! They have a top-10 recruiting class in the nation, yet they didn't even finish in the top 10 in the Big Ten.

Ron Zook, renoun as as a much better recruiter than coach, is hoping to prove otherwise this year. At Florida he produced wonderful recruiting classes but had 3 successive 5-loss seasons before being fired mid-season in 2002.

Zook landed four ESPN 150 prospects, including Martez Wilson, the nation's No. 1 defensive end (luring him away from the likes of: Florida, Miami, Michigan, Notre Dame and USC). Zook's recruiting class no doubt features a stockpile of defensive talent, however he went out and got some offense to compliment it. Headlining his offensive recruits is Arrelious Benn (featured right), ranked the No. 3 wide receiver in the country by Scouts Inc. He enrolled early at Illinois, after choosing the Illini over Florida State, Maryland, Miami and Notre Dame.

How does he do it? I mean sure, the Illini showed minute progress last year with a win over Michigan St., and close losses to Indiana, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Ohio St. (close is constituted by a TD or less). One possible reason is -one of my favorite names in the game- their explosive QB Juice Williams who will be just a Sophomore next year. Or is Zook passing $100 dollar bills under hats? There is speculation out there, and for good reason. What is Zook selling? It's not their record, history, facilities, and probably not his coaching.

For now what can you say? Until something materializes all you can say is "wow", "congrats", and "I can't wait to see what this team can do in the next 2-3". Hats off to Mr. Zook and it will be very interesting to see what he can do with these players once he gets them on campus.

"A coach once told me it's better to be a bad coach with good players than a good coach with bad players." - Ron Zook-

Fighting Illini recruiting class of 2007 stats and rankinkings compliments of:

Thursday, February 8, 2007

Big Victory for Tar-Heels

The Duke-UNC rivalry is one of the best in sports. North Carolina knew they were going to have their hands full Wednesday night, especially playing at Cameron Indoor Stadium, one of the toughest places to play in the country.

North Carolina started off slow, the Blue Devils had all of the momentum just about the whole game. Duke was making shots from all over, playing stellar defense, and keeping track of Tyler Hansbrough all night long. Duke executed the game plan very well, which was force UNC to play a half court offense. UNC had trouble adjusting early on and Duke was off and running.

Once again the UNC young guns took charge late. As the game wore on, Roy Williams continued to go deep into his bench. This was a huge factor in the Tar-Heels late run. North Carolina looked fresher and found ways to knock down the critical shots against the fast-starting Blue Devils.

North Carolina didn't take its first lead until there were about 5 minutes left, but shot 59 percent after halftime and hit 7 of 8 free throws in the final 31 seconds to seal it.

Like I've said before, this team is very talented and deep. UNC has the make up for a national title run. With marquee wins like this one, it only helps the freshmen gain more experience, for when it counts most in March.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

National Signing Day Recap

Florida takes recruiting title

The Florida Gators came into National Signing Day as the top dog and finished the day on top as expected. The Gators let a couple of top prospects get away in WR (ranked #1 WR in the country) Terrance Toliver and S Chad Jones (ranked number #1 S in the country) to LSU. But still managed to sign 10 five star players, 13 four star players, and 4 three star players, and 12 top 100 players overall. Some key prospects that the Gators signed that could make an impact from the get go could be: TE Aaron Hernandez, WR Deonte Thompson, LB Lorenzo Edwards, DT Torrey Davis, DE Justin Trattou, S Major Wright, and athlete Chris Rainey. All of these players could get valuable playing time early on, especially on the defensive side with only 2 starters returning.

The Gators got on a roll early and late. They got a huge recruiting boost early, especially with the 7 prospects from Lakeland (Fla.) High School and captured recruiting momentum late after winning the national championship. They signed many elite prospects at just about every position, especially on the defensive side. This has to be one of the top recruiting classes of this decade; at least on paper.

Meanwhile, the nations top prospect, Joe McKnight (inset) decided to go out of Louisiana and sign with USC. The highly touted RB was undecided coming into signing day and also heavily considered LSU, Alabama, and Ole Miss. McKnight should see the field right away even with an already deep rushing attack at USC. McKnight is a superb back and can make a dazzling play at any point. His style of play is often compared to NFL star, Heisman Trophy winner, and USC Alum Reggie Bush.

My Top 5 Signing Day Team Rankings:
1. Florida- landed top prospects from just about every position
2. USC- signed top 3 prospects in the country
3. LSU- signed loads of talent on both sides of the ball and signed some of the bigger names on the d-line and secondary
4. Texas- reloaded on the defensive side and on the much needed 0-line
5. South Carolina- Spurrier has always been a great recruiter and he reloaded with talent all across the board Top 5 Team Rankings:
1. Florida
2. LSU
3. USC
4. Texas
5. Tennessee

Monday, February 5, 2007

Tragedy in SoCal

USC kicker Mario Danelo was found dead at the bottom of a 100 foot cliff. An autopsy performed Monday showed that Danelo's blood alcohol content was a stifling .23 at the time of death. That is more than three times the legal limit in California. So to say that Alcohol played a part in Mario's death would be an understatement.

Police have ruled out homicide, and at this point his family, friends, and teammates say that suicide is also out of the question. If this is true than the USC football team has succumb to an extremely tragic accident.

Mario Danelo, son of NFL kicker Joe Danelo was a walk on in 2003. In the last two years he has only missed two FGs going 26-28 in his USC career. Danelo made 15 of 16 field goals this season and led the Trojans in scoring with 89 points. He made two field goals in the Rose Bowl on New Year's Day to help USC beat Michigan 32-18. This kid, from what I've read, was a good kid and looks like he would have made a great kicker in the NFL. My condolences go out to his family, friends, and the USC Trojans, even though I truly despise them.

Sunday, February 4, 2007

Superbowl XLI Recap

Superbowl XLI was, at times, a roller coaster of emotions and in retrospect a pretty good game. I was relatively pleased with the outcome of the game (Even though i didn't care for either team). I won $20 playing squares, $10 bucks on the line, and both of our predictions on the game were pretty solid.

Colts 29 Bears 17

grittysquirrels: Colts 27 Bears 14
ming01: Colts 23 Bears 17

I am going to have to go ahead and refer you to my Super Bowl Preview ( ), because it was relatively accurate in almost all aspects covered. This game was very entertaining in the first half, however in the second half it took a bit of a dive. As far as play is concerned the Bears' D was good, but not good enough to cover for Rex's (once again) inconsistently bad play. I honestly think Griese might have given the Bears a better shot at winning Sunday night.

The weather played a relatively significant part in the turnover-ridden game Sunday night. Both teams turned the ball over quite a bit (mostly via fumbles) however, Rex had some costly INTs. Special Teams did loom large (as predicted). Robbie Gould had but one FG, while Vinateri chipped in his part as well. It is also worth mentioning the Vinateri actually missed a kick in the playoffs, but it doesn't really matter, he's still the best.

Also, Devin Hester proved that he is somewhat of a stud and can do it when the stage is set. For the Bears' only offensive draft choice in '06 he was not too bad of a bad pick. Here's an idea, maybe try a little more of that because you lost this game with your offense. Your Defense holding Indy to under 30 (keeping in mind how Rex gave the ball away incessantly and the defense was on the field for way too long) is a moral victory. Get some position players in draft and fix your problem at QB. If Rex is your man, then figure out how to help him grow a pair and not get rattled every time he makes a mistake (as often as it may be). Ever since the Arizona game in week 6 Rex has been simply abysmal, he better get it together in the offseason if the Bears are going to be playing in February next year.

The biggest surprise for me would have to be how well the Colts ran the ball against the Bears' D. I was definitely not expecting them to be as proficient running the ball as they were; especially between the tackles. The other thing that surprised me was how weak the Bears' running attack was. The Colts outrushed the Bears 191 yds to 111 yds. The Bears also were only 3-10 on third down conversions, and the stagnant running attack didn't particularly help in this aspect. Overall the Colts had the ball for 38 mins while the Bears had possession for just under 22 mins. and that about tells the story. The game's mvp was Peyton Manning, who is indeed deserving. However i would have given the MVP to a split Rhodes/Addai effort.

Overall, fun game to watch, i had a good time. Congrats go out to Mr. Peyton Manning, arguably the hardest working man in the game, and Mr. Tony Dungy, probably most deserving of this ring. But now there is just one problem: Now that there is no more football to watch, i don't know what to do with myself.

Kansas vs.Texas A&M Post-Game Analysis

What a Saturday it was in College Men's Basketball. It was a day of upsets as four top 10 teams fell. With the more particular one coming in Lawrence, Kansas.

This was the biggest game of the year in the Big 12 so far and it didn't disappoint. The victory was A&M's first over Kansas since the Big 12 was created in 1996, and the first for any Big 12 South Division team in Allen Field house since the start of the league. It left the Aggie's all alone in first place just three years after stumbling 0-16 through the conference season.

Both teams were a little slow in the first half as defense dominated early on. No team could get off to a fast start but Kansas lead for much of the half. The Aggie's defense showed right away why they're one of the best in the country. They did have a few sputters at times and some costly fouls, but the defense held its own early on.

The second half was a little different as it look liked Kansas would hang on in the end. But the Aggie's showed some poise, especially coming from senior guard Acie Law. Law didn't back down to the Jayhawks and showed why he is one of the top PG's in the country. He hit some big shots late in the game and just took over. The most particular shot coming from the three pointer late in the game to go ahead 67-66, and the Aggie's' first lead since it was 26-24 in the first half.

A&M's experience played a part in the victory over Kansas's young guns. Law completely took over, but it didn't matter which other Aggie's players were out there, he was still going to make plays.

Law deserves to be in consideration with Kevin Durant for National player of the year, especially if he keeps the Aggie's in first place of the Big 12. Texas A&M is now off and running; with Acie Law leading the way, there's no way you can count the Aggie's out of the national title picture.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

SoundOff: The Wrong Time to Play the "Race Card"

OK Readers, this is what is going to be called a SoundOff. This means that I wanna see a lot of comments rolling in on this. I wanna know what you think about the situation and the article.

Two days ago was the infamous "Media Day" for Super Bowl XLI (page down to see Super Bowl Preview). Media day is a thing that everyone talks about and covers extensively but the average sports fan doesn't care about. Nonetheless ESPN had every warm body they employ out in South Florida to interview the players and coaches.

Needless to say the man of the hour on Tuesday was Tank Johnson (pictured right). All being the recent coming-abouts of the death of his bodyguard at a nightclub, his weapons charges, and altogether 3 arrests in the last 18 months. When reporters asked Tank about the situation he went on a rant saying that it was just "white America" out to get him as a black man and athlete. And that this so called "White America" won't let him live a "normal life."

WAKE UP! Last time i checked having the police break down your door to seize 3 handguns and 3 rifles (three of which were loaded!) over 500 rounds of ammunition when you have two little daughters in the house is not normal! Neither is being arrested outside a nightclub for flashing your loaded handgun to passerby's from your vehicle. Neither is your bodyguard being shot dead at a nightclub soon after the third arrest!

I am sorry but for Tank to play the "Race Card" here is an insult to all those who have ever been truly discriminated against: and to you I apologize and offer you my sympathy. But not you Tank Johnson. For us to have the first all black-coached Super Bowl (Tony Dungy and Lovie Smith) ever and you to use the "Race Card" in such an idiotic and inappropriate fashion is ridiculous. And a time when we should be celebrating how far African Americans have come as coaches in the NFL, you cast your giant 6-3, 300 lb. shadow of stupidity on the week by doing this. You should be the most pleasant, happiest, kindest person in South Florida right now. Do you not realize that a judge just (very generously) decided to allow you travel with your team to play in the biggest game of your life!

In fact, when reports asked him "Tank, are you sorry?", Tank replied "For what?" as he turned his back to the cameras laughing. You are a bum and you deserve to be watching this game on your couch at home. This is an embarrassment to the NFL, and the Chicago Bears organization. All I know is that you better come to play this Sunday Tank, because right now Lovie is wishing he left you at home.