I hate Louisville but I have to admit that was a great basketball game last night for the championship. They were tenacious and well-coached as soon as they got down 12 in each Final Four game. :) Michigan represented well but the officiating was dreadful. Both teams benefited at times, but that was the crew that deserved the title game? Woof. Ticky-tack calls out on the floor but maiming under the basket went free. And that was a clean block by Burke on Siva with about 5:00 to go...
They kept mentioning during the game that Trey Burke was the consensus Player of the Year. Just goes to show what a down year it was for college basketball. Even until a few weeks ago the POY was still up for grabs among several candidates. I'm not sure he would have been an All American last year with the season he had this year. Last year it was Anthony Davis of Kentucky and Thomas Robinson of Kansas as the frontrunners with plenty of other talent including several UNC, Syracuse and more that could have easily won it this year if they had stayed. Not trying to knock Burke. He had a very good year. But it is just indicative of the drop this year versus last year in overall talent. We all knew this was going to be a down year because the NBA labor situation forced many good players to stay an extra year and they all split for the last draft. If you get a chance this year you go because the one and done kids coming in next year will make for a great draft class in 2014. You should see plenty of on the fence-type talent try their hand this year because they will most likely find themselves outside the lottery next year. This is a draft based on potential and not outright talent alone, even at the very top. Nerlens Noel blew out his knee and the latest draft projections have him still going first or possibly second to Ben McLemore of Kansas.
It was a down year but nothing tops the tournament as an overall event. I can't wait for them to toss it up again next year.
So it came out this week that Auburn may have cheated. They allegedly paid players and fixed grades to make them eligible. After careful investigation and lots of reading on this topic I have come to this very thorough conclusion:
I am not shocked.
I know you must be impressed with the vetting process I must have used. Who could have guessed that an SEC football program might be crossing the line. I know I just singled out the SEC there because it is an easy reference, but there is no doubt illegal activities occurring at a lot of places. They have to keep up with the Joneses (or in this case, the Alabamas). There are even stories floating around out there that John Wooded was paying players at UCLA. Not many things surprise anymore.
And then there is Rutgers. That videotape of the coach abusing his players is an atrocity. Ok, maybe not an atrocity but I really wanted to use that word in here somewhere. The name calling, the hurling of basketballs, the pushing and shoving. I mean this guy must be an idiot. First of all to be coaching this way, but in the age of cell phone cameras and everything else, it amazes me that people think it won't be found out. But do we believe this is occuring only in New Jersey? This will happen again in a couple years or so where somebody else gets busted for being a jerk. We just hope it isn't the school we align ourselves to.
The Final Four is this weekend. It has been a little bit down in terms of excitement but it is still the greatest sporting event. I suspect Louisville and Syracuse will play for the title with the dirty birds winning it all Monday. I think the zone will cause problems for the Cardinals offense but with Syracuse's struggles on offense they will have trouble scoring enough with the Louisville half-court defense making it even harder. So of course this means Wichita State will play Michigan because I suck at predictions. Enjoy the games and try to keep your bones in your leg at all times.
Dallas Maverick owner, and big mouth, Mark Cuban says he might give a shot to Baylor female college basketball player Brittney Griner to play in the NBA. He said he would consider using a second round draft choice on her or at least offer an invitation to summer league play.
This is classic Mark Cuban being Mark Cuban and wanting press. He will get hammered for this. Some will defend him. I like Cuban. He almost amuses me. But now he has to follow thru on his claim. He has to make the choice available to her. My guess is he won't draft her but give her the summer invite. But she will never suit up in a game. It will never happen. I am not saying the wheels won't be set in motion, but my guess is she will decide to reject the offer at some point or suffer an "injury" that prevents her from playing with NBA talent. My guess is a shoulder or hamstring will "prevent" her from being able to give it a go and she will go the WNBA eventually. I would actually like to see it happen but don't think it will. I wish there was a female strong enough, quick enough to give it a go. But someone needs to start at the college level. How much playing time would she have gotten on the men's team at Baylor this year? My guess is not much quality time. While she is long and lean and perfect for the women's game, she would be a liability with guys.
Robert Griffin III of the Redskins and former Baylor Bear came to her defense earlier this week after Griner and her teammates were beaten by Louisville in the ladies tournament. He said the style of play was rough and mean. Have we forgotten what Griner did 3 years ago to Jordan Barncastle of Texas Tech? Rough play led Griner to punch her in the face. Brittney can handle the rough play, RGIII.
Here's to hoping it happens for Cuban, Griner and anyone else who wants to see this, but I don't think it ever gets past the "What if" level...but it wouldn't bother me if it did.
Well, hello Baseball. How have you been? It is nice to see you have returned. You have been missed. Now get your act together. Two days in (actually it only took 3 innings) and already baseball proves it needs expanded replays. Just get it right. It doesn't take that long to look at a replay and say, 'Yep, he's out" or "That ball was trapped." If baseball is worried about the length of games, then limit the number of pitching changes allowed in a game, or take out visits to the mound unless you are pulling him. Or put the pitchers on a timer to throw the next pitch, or make sure players don't step out of the box after every pitch and adjust every single piece of attire they are wearing. (Hi Ryan Braun.) Just get it right. Here is something else for you to think about: How about the same rules for both leagues? I hate the difference of DH or no DH. Have you heard about the Pot? Use it or get off it in terms of making the change to a uniform league. Having a DH in only one league to me is the equivalent to the Eastern Conference in the NBA requiring 6 fouls before fouling out and the Western Conference requiring only 5. Then when they play out of conference the road team has to adjust to the new rules. That just sounds idiotic, right??? It is ridiculous that there is no uniformity between the AL and NL. Fix it, Bud.
John Axford. Yep...I'm worried already. Some will say it is too early to get on him for blowing a save on Opening Day. What!?!?!?! Wasn't this a MAJOR concern to start the season? And the ugly head has reared. I'm just worried.
The gruesome injury to Kevin Ware of Louisville is sad. I never want to see injury to anyone, even if he does play for Louisville. But I still haven't seen the play where he got hurt. I was in the car at the time of the play and made sure I did not seek the replay. I asked people if I should and many said to Avert my eyes. My 12 year old daughter saw it and she forbids me to see it. I will stay away, I think. I would rather "Not see" than to wish I could "Unsee" it.
By the way...there are no trips and no money for reading this. Who do you think I am, the head of Pac-12 officials?