Monday, March 31, 2008

MLB Playoff Predictions

MLB Playoffs


Yankees over Indians
Yankees get revenge from last year’s first round loss to Cleveland.

Tigers over Angels
Tigers have no problem sweeping the Angels.

Yankees hold off the Tigers in a classic seven game series.


Mets over the Braves
Mets hold off the Braves in 5 games

Diamondbacks over Cubs
Chicago can’t hit Arizona’a pitching.


Mets over Diamondbacks
Probably go 7 games. If Pedro’s healthy, hard to beat Santana and Martinez in a 7
game series.

World Series

Yankees over Mets
What! A Subway Series? That’s where we’re headed. The Yankees finally get
that elusive 27th title.

NL West

NL West

This division is tough. The teams are all pretty similar, solid pitching and
good defense which will produce a heck of a lot of 2-1, 3-2 games.
1 through 4 is a basically a toss up, with the Giants holding up the rear.

1. Arizona Diamondbacks
You have to like Arizona with its starting pitching. If Randy Johnson can put together a half of solid pitching, they’re even scarier. Their rotation is right up there with Atlanta. The only major negative for the Diamondbacks is the fact not many people could name a single position player. Conor Jackson, Stephen Drew and Eric Byrnes is your cleanup hitter, it’s like the movie Major League when the grounds crew is looking at the lineup, “Who are these guys?”
Did you know Arizona was 18 games over .500 and were outscored by 20 runs?

2. Los Angeles Dodgers
I almost like them to win the division. Joe Torre will fit right in with a National League. I can’t wait to see him finally go small ball. You know, Juan Pierre gets on base and then bunt with Rafael Furcal.

Andruw Jones is a nice addition who brings the long ball with him. Russell Martin had a nice rookie season. Brad Penny is a solid number 1 starter and the Dodgers expect big things from Japanese import Hiroki Kuroda.

3. Colorado Rockies
I mean what, Colorado had to win like 20 some games to push the Padres to a one game playoff! Troy Tulowitzki, Garrett Atkins and Matt Holliday are nice. Todd Helton is getting older. The Rockies probably have the best lineup in the division, but Jeff Francis is your number one and pretty much only starter. And you play your home games at Coors Field.

4. San Diego Padres
I really like the Padres’ starting rotation with Jake Peavy, Chris Young and Greg Maddux. OK, so we know it will be hard to score runs on the Padres, but how are the Padres going to score runs for themselves? They’re star player is Adrian Gonzalez or Khalil Greene. Their pitching will allow them to compete.

5. San Francisco Giants
The Giants are rebuilding and don’t look to compete for a couple years. Barry Bonds and his leather chair are gone and the clubhouse will finally seem like a baseball clubhouse. The team should be loose, have no pressure and will have a lot more fun…Until the middle of Summer. Barry Zito is looking like an overpriced bust. But I like the addition of Aaron Rowand.

NL Central

NL Central

Again, everyone in the Windy City believe the 100 year anniversary will break the Curse of the Goat. Good thing for the Cubs they play in maybe the worst division in baseball. After Chicago, it’s a toss up.

1. Chicago Cubs
Derek Lee is healthy again and looks to put up MVP numbers. Alfonso Soriano is a stud and Kosuke Fukudome might be the best newcomer of the year. Their pitching isn’t outstanding, but should be good enough to win the Central.

2. Milwaukee Brewers
The Brewers will go as far as their pitching can carry them. Not far. They were the best team in the division last year until September when they ran out of gas. Ben Sheets is only one man and Eric Gagne could be trouble in the bullpen, at least he’s back in the NL. The Brewers’ lineup has 5 games with more than 20 homeruns last year. Should challenge the Cubs in this division.

3. Houston Astros
For how bad the Astros were last year, they were within 5 games of 1st in August. Hunter Pence, Lance Berkman and Carlos Lee provide stability and pop in the middle of lineup. Miguel Tejada probably has too many distractions that will hurt the team. Speedy CF Michael Bourn will turn out to be a great off season pickup. Besides Roy Oswalt, the pitching is questionable and they don’t have a closer.
Did you know rookie Catcher J.R. Towles had 8 RBI’s in one game last September?

4. Cincinnati Reds
The Reds are another team that will score some runs but will Aaron Harang repeat another solid season (16-6, 3.73 ERA), can Bronson Arroyo show the Red Sox they made a mistake, and will newly acquired Joss Fogg have a breakout season? And can Ken Griffey Jr. stay healthy for the entire season?

5. St. Louis Cardinals
Wow! What has happened here? Not long ago, the Cardinals were a for sure thing to win the National League. Hell, they won the World Series two years ago! Jim Edmonds and Scott Rolen are gone. Albert Pujols has all kinds of injuries and Chris Carpenter starts the year on the DL. Not good Cardinals Fan.

6. Pittsburgh Pirates
The Pirates last again? No pitching. Zach Duke exploded into the majors two years ago, but was a no show last year. Freddy Sanchez and Jason Bay are solid ball players wasting away.

NL East Preview

NL East

With the addition of Johan Santana, the Mets look to walk away with East. But it won’t be easy with Philadelphia and Atlanta lurking close behind.

1. New York Mets
The Mets have 4 potential MVP’s in Jose Reyes, David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Santana. Reyes and newly acquired Luis Castillo provide one of the best 1-2 hitters in baseball. This should mean a lot of RBI opportunities for Wright and Beltran. Pedro Martinez and Carlos Delgado’s health is questionable. Delgado needs to improve on his career low .258 batting average from last year. The Mets have a lot to prove from last year’s historic collapse.

2. Atlanta Braves

As usual, the Braves have one of the best pitching rotations in MLB. Tim Hudson, John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, and Mike Hampton, real nice! If anyone can take the Mets, it will be Atlanta.
Did you know that this will be Chipper Jones’ 16th season in the majors? 16 years! Hard to believe.

3. Philadelphia Phillies
The Phillies have last year’s MVP (Jimmy Rollins), a former MVP (Ryan Howard), and maybe this year’s MVP (Chase Utley). However their starting pitching is horrible. Jamie Moyer may be their ace and he’s like 50 years old.

4. Washington Nationals

The Nationals have one of the best young prospects in Ryan Zimmerman, and that’s about it. They went out and added trouble their team with Paul Lo Duca, Elijah Dukes and Lastings Milledge. The latter two could develop into big league studs. They also possess no pitching, not one starter with a winning record last year.

5. Florida Marlins
No big surprise here, another rebuilding year for the Marlins giving South Florida the trifecta of horrendous professional sport franchises for the year. Very nice Keystone Combo in 2B Dan Uggla and SS Hanley Ramirez.

NBA Line of the Week for 3/24 to 3/30

Andre Iguodala (lets all say it 3 times together), has lifted the Philadelphia 76ers to the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference. Last week, the 76ers showed their potential with a huge road upset last Monday (3/24) against the NBA's best, the Boston Celtics.

In the fourth quarter, Philadelphia went on a 19-0 run with Iguodala (Arizona) scoring 10 straight points. The victory put the 76ers above .500 for the first time all season.

Philly's new AI's numbers:
28 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds, 3 steals on 10-17 shooting.

I can't forget about the game Lamar Odom had last Monday night (3/24). Odom (Rhode Island), had a huge game to help the Lakers avenge a previous night's loss to Golden St.

Odom's line in the Laker's 123-119 OT thriller:
23 points, 5 assists, 21 boards, 5 blocks on 10-15 from the field.

Tree Links

In honor of opening day, here's a slideshow of the nook and crannies of some of today's MLB ballparks.

Also for baseball, bookmark this site, because it's freakin awesome. Lo-Hud found or developed this tool that will tell any current MLB player's salary. Pretty Sweet.

NCAA Tourney fun with Sports Illustrated.

Sports Illustrated has also added a pretty sweet addition to its web site. The Vault allows you go back every magazine published by SI. You can view covers, articles and more from the modern sports era.

I always love the NY Post headlines. Now, vote for your favorites.

Thank You Deadspin! We Can All Enjoy The Masters

"Can you believe it? I mean, the Swami at The Masters!" Special thanks to Will Leitch and his awesome Deadspin blog so no one will have to go through the grueling torture that is the self promoting Chris Berman. I think this also might take Berman off his high horse. Double Score!

By now, we've all seen the Berman videos a hundred times. If you didn't get them emailed to you, a buddy showed them to you on a blog. ESPN quickly asked You Tube to pull the videos off the website. But Leitch and Deadspin would not let the egotistic Berman off the hook. Deadspin published a post showing all kinds of Berman videos exposing the phony for exactly everything he is.

Berman has been a pioneer for ESPN and has helped build ESPN into everything it is today-a self promoting, monopoly sports channel. Berman even paved the way for the many annoying and really no so funny anchors whose jokes and catchphrase get old after five minutes. Can anyone say Stewart Scott? (Oh, by the way he decide to change his name to Stu. That's hardcore!)

Also, have you notice guys like Berman and Scott have stepped down from some of their previous duties. I mean remember when you turned on ESPN and either Berman or Scott always seemed to be on. Now, it seems they're grown to good for their old days. Scott seems to only show up for his NBA gig and Monday Night Countdown. Oh, and whenever there's a big North Carolina (Scott's alma mater) game, he seems to have to cover their highlights.

For Berman, he used to be involved in every thing ESPN did; every Sportscenter, MLB game, special reports and interviews. Now, he's dwindle his services to a select few shows: The U.S. Open, the Home Run Derby (where he can really shine promoting himself), his NFL highlight show with Tom Jackson (makes you wonder if it's TJ who really makes that show), the occasional plays of the week, and of course the Swami Says (Yeah, those are always close).

Funny how some of the best have left ESPN, Dan Patrick and Andrea Kremer. It seems ESPN may have lost it when they merged and sold out to Disney.

See where your favorite ESPN personality ranks on BallHype's leaderboard.

A good article about Berman missing The Masters.

AL West Preview

AL West
This is basically a race between the Angeles and Mariners and will probably go down to the last week of the regular season. Also, you can never count out a team like Oakland. They always seem to get the most out of their players.

1. Los Angeles Angels
I have to go with the Angels because they won the Division last year and added Torii Hunter. Also, this a perfect Mike Sciosia team. You know, a scrappy small ball team with defense and some pop. The addition of John Garland will the help the rotation and looks like Kelvim Escobar could be out for quite some time. Their bullpen is solid with K-Rod closing games.

2. Seattle Mariners

When you have Ichiro Suzuki as your leadoff man, anything is possible. I just think guys like Raul Ibanez, Richie Sexson, Brad Wilkerson, and Adrian Beltre are too inconsistent. Yeah, they’ll all provide some power, but will either of them hit over .280? Obviously Erik Bedard was a huge acquisition. With Felix Hernandez behind Bedard, you’re looking at one of the best 1-2 starters in the league.

3. Oakland A’s
Just looking at this lineup makes you wonder how the A’s won’t finish in the cellar. Not one household name. But this is a team that will get players on base and win a lot of low scoring one run games. Why? How? Joe Blanton and Rich Harden lead a young and inexperienced starting rotation. But I think they’ll pitch well enough to keep them in games. Keith Foulke, Alan Embree and Huston Street comprise a very solid bullpen. Of course it’s another rebuilding year for Oakland (aren’t they all?), but Billy Beane’s teams always seem to compete.

4. Texas Rangers
The Rangers have a decent nucleus with Michael Young, Milton Bradley and Hank Blalock so they’ll score some runs. But the problem with Texas, like every other year, will again be their pitching. You can expect this team to be involved in a lot of 11-10 games.

AL Cental Preview

AL Central

If there were any questions before, the AL Central is now the toughest division in baseball. Having to play each team 19 times throughout the course of the year, the teams in this division will obviously beat each other up. This makes it tough to think the Wild Card will come from the AL Central. Kansas City still looks to be everyone’s punching bag.

1. Detroit Tigers
First off, they have the most lethal lineup in MLB (I know, they’re neck and neck with the Yankees). In fact, this lineup might be reminiscent of the Yanks’ Murders’ Row lineup in the 1920’s. They can kill you from top to bottom.
How can you not pick this team? They should flirt with 100 wins.
The only thing holding them back may be their pitching. We’ll have to see if Dontrelle Willis’ can make a smooth transaction to the American (This is where the real heavy hitters are) League. If the D-Train isn’t derailed, then the Tigers’ starting pitching poses a nice 1-2 punch with flame thrower Justin Verlander.

2. Cleveland Indians
Here’s a team that ran out of gas last year. They had Boston on the ropes up 3-1 on the hated Sox and blew the ALCS. Will this haunt the Indians or provide more motivation? This Cleveland team is very scrappy and find ways to get runners on base and move them around, you know, good, smart baseball. They’re flexible in the way they don’t rely on one player, unless you’re talking about Grady “All World” Sizemore. He’ll again be mentioned as a possible MVP candidate again.
*I’m giving the Indians the Wild Card on that alone.

3. Chicago White Sox
The Pale Hose really have a nice lineup and the additions of Nick Swisher and Orlando Cabrera could be pivotal. What does matter is the starting pitching. All kinds of potential with Mark Buehrle, Jose Contreras and Javier Vasquez. But potential to pitch like 2005 again or tank like when the latter two wore Pinstripes?

4. Minnesota Twins
Considering the franchise players they moved in the off season, I think this team will surprise people and they’ll thorn in every opposing team. Remember, Francisco Liriano’s back, but will he be the same, and if he is, winning every fifth game doesn’t help. Joe Nathan is one of the best closers in the game and the Twins still have a little pop in their lineup with 2006 MVP Justin Morneau.

5. Kansas City Royals

OK, so they have two decent starters in Gil (the savior, all hail) Meche and Brian Bannister, but it’s not like these guys will shut down the opposition every night out. Because we all know the Royals lineup is a joke. Their big name and pick up in the off season, Jose Guillen? Jose Guillen! Yeah, that’s something to be excited about. I mean with his personality and all the baggage he brings to the clubhouse, he should be a great mentor for Alex Gordon. Speaking of “AG,” he should have a breakout season but what can you ask for a team whose star player is a sophomore who hopes build off a rather dismal rookie campaign. Ok, I’ll give you Billy Butler. And by the way, can anyone name the Royals’ new manager who has everyone along the Lewis and Clark trail panties in a bunch?

AL East Preview

AL East

For years, this division was considered the toughest. It still boasts the two best teams this century and now the Tampa Rays (Now, do we call real life devil rays just rays or sting rays? What a bunch of bull. Talk about people with some personal issues and a lot of time on their hands.), are slowly moving their way up on the food chain. The Rays could find themselves finishing third this year. I think they’re still too young, but hey, they’re not the Orioles.

1. New York Yankess
Of course I’m picking the Yankees. The whole lineup is back from last year’s team that nearly scored 1000 runs. I’ll guarantee you this, the Yankees won’t be under .500 at the end of May. They still have an All Star at every position and the only question may be First Base. Right now, you’re looking at Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui, and Jason Giambi platooning at the DH spot. For that to work, Giambi will have to play in the field more often the Yanks would like.
This is the first time in well over a decade the Yankees open the season with a new manager. Joe Girardi will be a players’ manager and will give the team a more loose and laid back feel.
As for the starting rotation, Chien-Ming Wang will go out and quietly win 17-20 games. Andy Pettitte and Mike Mussina both have something to prove this year. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Moose Man finally gets his 20 wins. Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy both showed flashes of brilliance last year, but these young guys will have to shoulder an entire season. The bullpen is set for now with Joba Chamberlain starting in the setup role and of course Mariano Rivera doing his thing.
The Yankees created another heated rival this Spring with Tampa Bay. We all know their history with Boston and last year’s A-Rod/Toronto fiasco, and the Yankees are hated more than ever in the East.

2. Boston Red Sox
They’ll still be near the top with David Ortiz and Manny Ramirez being maybe the best 1-2 punch in all of sports. Also, Manny is in a contract year, that could be lethal. Their rotation reminds me a lot like the Yankees last year. You can probably stick a fork in Curt Schilling. Josh Beckett’s been injured this Spring and that may slow him down this year. So far, Dice K has been a .500 pitcher along with Tim Wakefield. Also, the Red Sox cut Doug Mirabelli so who catches for Wake? Jon Lester and Clay Bucholz came into the league strong last year, but how will they hold up for an entire season? The Red Sox have a lot of questions and are relying on too much young talent to repeat this year. Don’t have them as the Wild Card.

3. Toronto Blue Jays
The Blue Jays added David Eckstein and Scott Rolen to a lineup that includes Alex Rios, Veron Wells and Frank Thomas. Roy Halladay will always be up for a Cy Young. They’ll need a solid year from both A.J. Burnett and Dustin McGowan. More good news, B.J. Ryan will be back and healthy. (Remember B.J. Ryan?)

4. Tampa Bay Rays
The Rays are still way too young to even be motioned as contenders. Everyone’s talking about 3B Evan Longoria (Don’t think he’s related to Eva), but he’ll start in the minors and will probably be called up to early. Scott Kazmir (the one the Mets let go) starts the season on the DL. Carl Crawford is one of the best all around players in MLB. Very similar style to Grady Sizemore.

5. Baltimore Orioles
Don’t even think I need to waste my time hear. Red Headed Step Child. The biggest news and question, have they traded Brian Roberts yet?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

NBA Line of the Week for 3/17 to 3/23

Vinsanity is back? Well, for one night at least. Now, that Jason Kidd is gone and the soon to be Jay Z's New Jersey/Brooklyn Nets are in shambles, Vince Carter is trying to prove he can still lead a horrible team into the playoffs.

Earlier this season, Carter had been rumored to be traded across the Hudson to the NY Knicks, but even the Knicks would not render his services. Scary, huh! Carter showed some flashes of Vinsanity last Wednesday (3/19) when he led the depleted Nets to victory over the Atlanta Hawks 125-117.

The win kept the Nets within striking distance of the eighth seed and a first round sweep by the Celtics.

VC's line: 39 points, 8 assists, 10 rebounds, 17-26 from the field.

In a tribute to Carter, the video of him dunking completely over a 7 foot guy in the Olympics never gets old.

Other high rollers last week:

Kobe Bryant put up 36 points, 14 rebounds, 8 assists in a losing effort to Golden State. You can only hope these two teams meet in the first round...heck any round of the playoffs. NBA action! It's Fantastic!

Finally, I've been pimpin this guy for awhile. No, not Lebron, but Chris Paul. Right now, the man is this year's MVP. I mean, how many other people can you name on his team. What team does he play for (City and mascot)?

CP has been willing the Hornets to the top of the Wacky West Conference. Last Monday, Paul led his team with 37 points and 13 assists to come from behind and beat the Chicago Bulls. The Hornets were down big most of the game but finished on a 24-4 run in the final 7 minutes. CP and the Hornets went 3-0 last week with wins over Chicago, Houston and Boston.

Paul has even been making Tyson Chandler actually look like a Lotto Pick.
Check out CP's highlights from just that one game.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

March Madness

Let the Madness and bets begin....

OK, so you're not in Vegas and you couldn't get out of work. But hey, I know all you do at work is read blogs and look at poon all day, so I'm sure in today's working world, you won't have a hard time keeping up with all the action. And there's also Bodog.

If anyone cares, my Final Four: North Carolina

I have the Tar Heels defeating Memphis for the championship.
I like UConn to go far. They played and succeeded in one of the toughest conferences and they've got that coach with tons of tourney experience.
I also like Stanford to make some noise with the Lopez brothers.

In the East,possible Cinderellas: Winthrop, St. Joseph's, George Mason (of course) and I have Butler getting to the Elite Eight.

In the Midwest, watch for Siena and the USC/Kansas St. could be key. I could see the winner of this game going as far as the Final Four.

The South, I already said Stanford to go far, and I also like Temple or Oral Roberts. Saint Mary's could be deadly as they try to become the new Gonzaga.

For the West, of course I like UConn, I also like West Virgina for the same reasons. Keep on eye on Xavier and Baylor. Baylor's coached by the little Drew kid. Yeah, the one with the Buzzer Beater from Valparaiso.

NBA Line of the Week for 3/10 to 3/16

If you haven't been paying attention to the NBA, or all you hear about is how this is Kobe's year to win the MVP, Lebron James and Chris Paul continue to put up crazy numbers leading their teams to the playoffs. Baron Davis also stepped it up last week, but this week's Line of the Week goes to the Orlando Magic and Turkey's own Hedo Turkoglu.

Turk has been a great role player throughout his NBA career. Now, he's helping Orlando quietly become one of the Eastern Conference's best teams. Last Monday (3/10) Turk recorded just his second ever triple double as the Magic knocked off the Atlanta Hawks 123-112.

Currently the Magic are 45-25 good enough for the third best record in the conference.

Turkoglu's line for the game: 23 points, 13 assists, 10 rebounds.

Also noteworthy, the Denver Nuggets. Lost in Selection Sunday in the Rockets' 22 game win streak, the Nuggets lit up the scoreboard with a 168-116 crushing over the Seattle Supersonics. Denver set a season high for total points and 84 first half points. They had 8 players in double figures!

Marcus Camby contributed another solid performance with a triple double in 26 minutes!
His line: 13 points, 15 boards, 10 dimes for the big fellow!, and 4 blocks.

It got ugly fast for the Sonics, who gave up 168 points to the Nuggets, the third-most in regulation in NBA history.

173-Suns (vs. Nuggets) Nov. 1990
173-Celtics (vs. Lakers) Feb. 1959
169-76ers (vs. Knicks) March 1962
168-Nuggets (vs. Sonics) March 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Outta Rocket Fuel

It was a lot of fun, but the Houston Rockets finally played as expected and their improbable run came to a harsh halt. They had no inside game, they showed no aggression and the adrenaline and emotional drive finally ended.

The Boston Celtics were far too much. The Celtics had this game circled for the last two weeks. I hate to admit, but Boston may be the best team in the NBA. It's still tough to say just how they'll fare against a top team in a seven game series. Detroit and Orlando look good in the East. And a Lebron James led Cavs team can pull off anything.

Now for the Rockets, they face a tough road trip. I'm willing to bet right now they won't even make the playoffs.

If they do, probably as a 7 or 8 seed. They showed their true colors tonight, Tracy McGrady was, well, Tracy McGrady. They had no real offensive scoring threat. They were on the wrong end of every horrible call all night. And if Dikembe Mutumbo is the key guy down low, well then you might as well suit up Hakeem Olajuwon.

Matt Ryan Works Out

Matt Ryan finally has a "Pro Day" workout and now NFL Scouts and ESPN personnel, (I won't say any names, Todd McShay, Mel Kiper, Chris Mortensen!) are all on his nuts, all pretty much agreeing that Ryan will be a top 8 pick and possible number one. Some say he's a franchise Quarterback.

Well, duh! Where have all these people been the last couple of years? Even if you haven't watched College Football, haven't you seen video of this guy by now? Why does it take a combine or NFL "workout" before these "pro" scouts to realize just how good a certain players are. I mean look at last year. It took the combine for scouts to realize Adrian Petersen was a top ten pick. Even this year with Darren McFadden.

I've lobbied for the Dolphins to take Matt Ryan with the top pick since December. I've watched Mock Drafts for the last few months and have seen Chris Long, Glen Dorsey, Sedrick Ellis projected as the number one pick.

Biggest College Basketball Game in Nebraska?

The NCAA Selection Committee was smiling on the Cornhusker State. First off, Nebraska is a football state, and we all know how that's worked out lately, when the calendar turns to Winter, Husker fans quickly jump the "I'm a Creighton Basketball fan, I've always loved Bluejay Basketball."
And when to Bluejays go south for the Winter, Nebraska latches onto the always reliable Kansas Jayhawks. So this year, Kansas should be able to avoid any first or second upsets since they'll pretty much have home court advantage.

The biggest game, and maybe the most hyped and most watched game of the First Round is Beasley/Mayo, Kansas St./USC. The game will be played at the Qwest Center in Omaha and yes, it's quite possible these two sick ballers will be 1 and 2 in June's NBA Draft.

What's even better about these two playing each other is the fact that one of these guys will give Nebraska a second viewing.

It's amazing the selection committee gave this game to Nebraska. They could have put this match up in basketball crazed Carolina or major markets D.C. or Denver. I mean the state has never been known for quality basketball. The 1993 class of Eric Strickland, Terrance Badgett, and Andre Woolridge is the most noteworthy.

Other huge basketball games the state has played host to:
Nebraska playing Kansas in Lincoln and knocking off the Jayhawks being ranked in the top 5 (1992 & 1993).
Nebraska pulling off maybe their biggest non conference upset in 1990 when Beau Reid drilled a game winning 3 to knock off Steve Smith and Michigan St. when Sparty was a top 5 team.
I also recall Nebraska upsetting the Byron Houston/Big Country led number 1 Oklahoma St. Cowboys in 1994.

The old Civic Center in Omaha played home court to Creighton Basketball when the Tony Barone and the Blue Jays (Chad Gallagher/Bob Hartsted era-1990) beat the Missouri Tigers, led by Doug Smith/Anthony Peeler.

Who knows, five years from now, this game may become bigger than it is right now.

It's been great watching Bob Knight on ESPN. Not only the fact that he continues to slouch and has no idea which camera is on, but everyone else wearing suits and the General wearing some cheap ESPN sweatshirt.

This all coming from a guy who once made statements about these statements about the media:
"Everyone learns to write when they're in second grade. Than they go on to bigger things."

"When I die, I want them to bury me with my face in the ground so my critics can kiss my ass!"

Biggest question/concern about March Madness? What does Joe Lunardi do for the next 11 months?

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Catch 22

Rocketmania has hit the deuce deuce mark. Even more impressive, the Rockets knocked off Kobe Bryant and the first place Lake Show. I know, Pau Gasol didn't play, but when you get win streak this high, you start running out of excuses.

Tracy McGrady had zero first half points yesterday and finished with 11. Rafer Alston cashed in a career high 31. Luther Head's playing great and Luis Scola's come from nowhere to be a pivotal piece to the team.

Shane Battier has finally played up to his potential and did a great job D-ing up Kobe yesterday.

The Rockets have won 22 games in 47 days. They climbed from tenth in the Western Conference all the way to the top. They've only beaten 8 teams with records over .500, but let's not forget, they've won like 8 in a row without Yao Ming.

Like I said before, this team is so much fun to watch right now. The ball always seems to bounce their way lately. The Rockets have swagger and attitude and aren't being pushed around. Mutumbo's back to waving the finger again. Alston was talking smack yesterday. And Bobby Jackson has been playing out of his socks!

This has definitely been the year for win streaks. First we saw the Colorado Rockies' improbable run, only to stab themselves in the back by winning the NLCS to quickly and then having a week off.
We all remember what happened to the Patriots.
The Memphis Tigers basketball team had an impressive streak and flirted with perfection.
Tiger Woods. Need I say more?
I guess what makes the Rockets and Rockies more exciting is the fact that no one would ever imagined these teams pulling off such a feat. I mean with Tiger and the Patriots, it was expected.

With all that being said, the Rockets will lose tomorrow night at home to the Boston Celtics. Good thing they didn't have to play them on St. Patty's Day.

After that, it's a three game road trip to New Orleans, Golden St. and Phoenix.

Rockets win streak quiz

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Calm Before the Storm

Yes, Butler's dancin! The No. 10 in the country has already been labeled a 5 seed by Joe Lunardi. Who is this guy? I mean, if you've paid any attention to this guy's picks in the last week, you'd see he's changed his mind more times than Hillary Clinton on Foreign Policy. Why do we need this "expert" advice on the NCAA Brackets. With conference tournaments in full swing, upsets always happen and therefore, bubble will bust. (See San Diego knocking off Gonzaga. Hey Lunardi, what effect did this have on Syracuse, Florida, Kentucky?) What a douchebag!

The Big East Tourney is already underway and tomorrow tips off the rest of the major conference tournaments. Get ready for the best time of year.
Once the tournament starts, you won't get a chance to catch your breath cause the next thing you know, it's opening day for MLB and The Masters tees off, and St. Patty's Day mixed in. Also, maybe some nice weather for the Northeast.

NBA Line of the Week for 3/3 to 3/9

Tracy McGrady receives this week's honor. I'm not a huge Rockets fan, but living in Houston, you can help but watch the Rockets winning every night. Out at the local pubs, the entire bar stands up and cheers for their home team's continued winning ways.
Maybe the Rockets have been beating mediocre teams, but hey, they play in the Western Conference, they've won 7 in a row without Yao Ming, and like Rick Adelman said, "Hey, we all play the same schedule." It's a lot of fun seeing a team's momentum carry night after night, total reminiscent of the Colorado Rockies.
It's also nice to see Tracy McGrady gain a little respect. After the Hawks, the Rockets have upcoming games against the Lakers and Celtics. I'm sure once the Rockets lose to a good team, they'll go flat just like the Rockies. This win streak doesn't even guarantee a playoff spot for Houston, so let's not talk about T-Mac getting out of the first round yet.
Here's T-Mac's averages for the week while the Rockets went 3-0:
32 points, 8 dimes, and 5 rebounds.

Bron-Bron watch:

King James continues to carry the Cavs basically by himself. Last Wednesday (3/5) on the world's biggest stage, Madison Square Garden, James put up 50, 10 dimes and 8 boards as he single handily helped the Cavs avoid the embarrassment of getting beat by the Bricks. Cleveland was 2-1 and the "blockbuster trade" hasn't made them any better. It was pretty much an even swap.

Also, Chris Paul continues his candidacy for MVP. This guy is willingly the (nobody watches) New Orleans Hornets to the top of the Western Conference.
Paul averaged 28 points and 13 assists to lead the Hornets to a 3-1 mark for the week.

Oracle of Omaha Richest in the World

Nebraska's own Warren Buffett is now the richest man on the planet! Buffett knocked off Bill Gates and his net worth 62 billion! dollars is tops in the world.

In related news, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is the youngest self-made billionaire. The guy is 23 years old and worth 1.5 billion!

Rockets Keep Winning

What's happened since the last time the Rockets have lost.

Speaking of hot streaks, ESPN lists some of their favorite streaks of all time.

Eliot Spitzer has taken attention away from the Democratic nomination race and is the laughing stock of the country. Here are just of a few jokes from late night talk show hosts.

Lou Holtz's face looks like my ballsack!

Now's he's on the college football Hall of Fame ballot.