Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Tourney and a Crazy Race

Yes I understand it has been a while but with work picking up I find it hard to write all the time. I also made the "wise" decision to join a race team running across Florida. The Sunset to Sunrise Relay has teams run 180 miles from Ft. Myers to Jensen Beach. Each team has 12 members who each run three legs of the race. Our team was a little shorthanded with only nine people so some of us had to pick up the slack. I ran four legs and 21 miles. I'm still sore three days later. It was a good time and something I can say I did but I'm not sure if I will ever do it again.

Even with all of the tournament games and crazy upsets I still have a shot at placing in my pool. I can't win but finishing in the money is a victory. It's late but here are some thoughts on some of the tournament games.

1's vs 16's - Blowouts all around. Was there any doubt?

2's vs 15's - K State and Ohio St. dominated. Morgan State hung around with West Virginia before the Mountaineers flexed their muscles. Apparently Robert Morris was robbed by bad calls in losing to Villanova in OT. I didn't see the game but the hoops Gods got Nova back later.

3's vs 14's - Baylor won a tight one while Pitt and New Mexico took it to Oakland and Montana. Ohio pulled off a stunner against Georgetown knocking out one of my Sweet 16 teams on the first day.

4's vs 13's - From the moment the matchups came out I liked Murray State against Vandy (Jim and KA can vouch for me). The Racers are really athletic and Vandy struggles with those types of teams. It took a buzzer beater to win but Murray State made me look good. Maryland took down a game Houston team. I don't know why everyone didn't like the Big 11 teams but Purdue and Wisconsin both produced big wins.

5'2 vs 12's - There is always at least one upset in this matchup. I got mine wrong. I got Butler beating UTEP and Michigan State beating New Mexico State. Temple coach Fran Dunphy had never lost to one of his former assistants and picked a bad time to start in losing to Steve Donahue and Cornell. I also picked the wrong Aggies when I thought Utah State would beat Texas A&M.

6's vs 11's - Big East teams blew it for me as Notre Dame and Marquette both went down. Xavier and Tennessee did pull off strong victories.

7's vs 10's - Half right and half wrong again. I couldn't pick the Gators so that was easy. Clemson and Richmond lost games they never had a shot of winning. Clemson coach Louis Orr still hasn't won a tournament game.

8's vs 9's - I couldn't pick the Noles to beat Gonzaga because the Zags have too much offense. FSU struggles to score points. It hurt but my money was on it. UNI's Ali Faroukmanesh nailed the first of huge threes to life UNI to victory. I wish Gary Johnson could make free throws and Texas would have beaten Wake Forest. Cal blew out Louisville.

Kansas vs UNI - Thank you Ali Faroukmanesh for ruining my bracket.

Maryland vs Michigan St. - And thanks to you Corey Lucious for taking another of my Sweet 16 teams.

Tennesee vs Ohio - Georgetown ruined this in the first round.

GT vs Ohio St. - Jon Diebler fills it up and the Tech guards can't hang with Evan Turner.

Syracuse vs Gonzaga - The Zags had no shot and the Cuse zone ate them up.

Butler vs Murray St. - The Bulldogs won the matchup of mid-majors by playing the same style as the Racers but better.

Xavier vs Pitt - The Musketeers won this time around in a rematch of last year's Sweet 16 battle.

BYU vs K St. - Jimmer Fredette couldn't shoot the Cougars over the Wildcats backcourt of Denis Clemente and Jacob Pullen.

Wake vs UK - The Deacs never had a shot.

Cornell vs Wisconsin - I had neither of these teams going to the Sweet 16 anyway.

Washington vs New Mexico - I had Marquette going from this spot anyway but the Huskies pulled off a nice win.

West Virginia vs Mizzou - DaSean Butler refuses to let his team lose.

I did get two teams in the final four by getting WVU and Duke into it. How does your bracket look?

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

UConn Women, Championship Week, and Big Ben

The UConn Womens Hoops team has again won 70 straight. 71 to be exact heading into the tourney. The question that keeps coming up is is all dominating way UConn keeps winning good for women's hoops? No team has come close to beating them and they are beating teams by an average of 15 points a contest. The Huskies have also beaten the number two team in the country three times. I guess its good for women's hoops that they're winning, I mean at least we're talking about it. What do you think about UConn's dominating ways, and will you watch more women's hoops now?

This a great time of year. All week births into the Big Dance are being decided, every game that's played counts. The teams that are on the fringe are hoping that the right teams wins each of the little conference tournaments. Last night, Gonzaga stole an at-large bid after losing the conference tournament and automatic qualifier to St. Mary's. Later this week the Big 6 play their conference tournaments. It should interesting as their hasn't been a dominant team in college hoops this year.

This thing with Ben Roethlisberger is troubling. Yes I even find myself saying that this girl is in it for a money grab, but why does Big Ben keep butting himself in these situations. Last year he was accused of sexual assault in Lake Tahoe and now again in Georgia. I'm not sure if Ben Ben needs to change the company he keeps but he needs to change something.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Justin Upton got paid, what does it mean for B.J.

It just scrolled across the bottom line that Arizona Diamondbacks have agreed to pay outfielder Justin Upton $51.25 million over the next six seasons. Upton is 22 years old and going into his fourth season in the Show. He was an All-Star last season after hitting .300 with 26 home runs and 86 RBI. He also stole 20 bases.

While Justin deserved the deal and Arizona may win in the long run by buying out some arbitration and free agent years, this puts his brother B.J.'s employer the Rays in a bind. We all know the story of B.J. Upton. He was rushed through the system as an infielder, then finally found a position in the outfield. After hitting .300 a few seasons ago, B.J. struggled at the plate and with his effort. His defense has been solid for someone learning the position, but he still hasn't completely fulfilled the potential that made him the second pick in 2002.

The Rays just won their arbitration hearing with B.J. to pay him $3 million this season. With Justin getting such a big deal, is B.J. going to want to get a large long term deal?

Now I have been a big B.J. supporter, I'm not sure how this is going to shake out. The Rays have budget issues and Carl Crawford and Carlos Pena are free agents after the season. Pena is expendable, but CC has to be kept around. The Rays have to let people move on at some point, but is now the time for B.J. to go? What do you think the Rays should do with Desmond Jennings on the way and B.J. looking for a payday?