Monday, March 31, 2008

Things that surprise me heading into April

1) Kosuke Fukudome: I know it's early, but I didn't think this guy would even hint at being legit. His three-run, game-tying home run in the bottom of the 9th inning capped off a 3-for-3 day at the plate, and not only shows he could be for real, but he's clutch, too! I'm not sold yet, but that's a nice start.

2) Washington Nationals: 2-0?! Yeah, its just two, games, but they've taken out Tim Hudson and Brett Myers! L-Millz went deep today, and the Nats are putting some runs on the board! On the other side, J-Roll and Utley are looking good to start the season. The east might be better than I thought.

3) Kansas City's bullpen: Again, it's only the first game for them, but the Royals went toe-to-toe with the Tigers and won in 11 innings. I thought it was going to be a slugfest (see: later this post), but KC's relievers only gave up a single run in five innings of work. Also surprising is that it wasn't Todd Jones who lost the game for the Tigers.

***The Braves put up a five-spot in the 9th against Pittsburgh. I wanted to add an Atlanta 0-2 record to this list, but I can't jump the gun. If they can't complete the comeback, chalk that up in the surprise column.

Things that DIDN'T surprise me today

1) Cleveland 10 White Sox 8: This year's A.L. Central is last year's A.L. East. Okay, before I go that far, let me state that I still expect the Yankees to take part in their fair share of 13-12 games, but it's dangerous to be a pitcher in the Central this year. Just ask Mark Buehrle and C.C. Sabathia.

2) Josh Willingham still owns the Mets: Johan, welcome to reality. You'll probably throw a lot of shutouts in this league, but never against the Marlins. Willingham is a beast. If he hits .250 this year with 22 home runs and 80 rbi's, I bet he hits .350 against the Mets with 18 home runs and 50 rbi's. He's a poor man's Chipper Jones, or Pat Burrell if you will.

3) Chris B. Young, 1-4, HR, 3 K's: Get used to it. He'll hit .250 this year with 162 home runs and 486 strikeouts. I might be exaggerating a little, but if Willingham is a poor man's Larry Wayne Jones, Jr., this guy can totally be a poor man's (not so poor if he hits 162 home runs) Adam Dunn.

Sunday, March 30, 2008



I missed the ball on that one. For all the lovin' I give to mid-majors, and all the hatin' I put on mid-major haters, I really disrespected Memphis. I barely even put them in the Elite Eight in my bracket and didn't even think twice about taking Texas to come out of the South Region. Now the Tigers are putting a hurting on the Longhorns, and my bracket bragging rights are just about down the ole' johnny crapper! Maybe that 36-1 is legit!

At least it wasn't Wisconsin that killed me.

Friday, March 28, 2008

I don't care how you pronounce his name.

I owe Stephen Curry my life.

Peace out, Wisconsin. YOU SUCK.

(says the Duke fan)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

The softer side of Bobby Knight!

The General appeared on Sportscenter tonight sporting a pink sweater. The guys did their segment on Sweet 16 analysis and I didn't even notice it. Then at the end of the segment, Dickie V, with impeccable acting skills, asked Coach Knight why he was rocking such an interesting sweater. Bobby then took a minute of face-time to explain his wife's involvement in Breast Cancer awareness and gave the movement a hot shoutout.

I like this, mainly because it's on a much bigger stage than people are normally exposed to it. My exposure to the issue (in the realm of the sporting world) has been limited to women's college sporting events (basketball, softball), which don't have nearly as large of a fan base as men's college sports, or Sportscenter in this case, so only those with a keen interest in women's sports were aware of the efforts being made by the NCAA to raise awareness. This is a good step.

It's not like a one-minute blip will change the world, but allowing the General to bring it up is progress.

Next, I'd like to see UCLA playing in pink jerseys.
Oregon fans would have a field day with that one.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

That didn't take long

In my last post, I said:
"Kelvim Escobar will also have a great season (unless the fantasy gods strike an arm injury upon him because I'm praising one of my players)."

Today the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim announced Escobar is out indefinitely, with a target return date of June.

The lesson learned here? Never joke about the fantasy gods. Never question their authority, and never, NEVER brag about your own players. They will get hurt.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Slapped in the fantasy face

Both of my drafts this year worked out where I got Curtis Granderson, who is on the upper-echelon of players in terms of all-around fantasy value. He hits enough home runs and drives in enough runs to be valuable, has a decent batting average, steals a bunch of bases, and then the massive amount of runs he scores just puts him over the top. Needless to say, I was thrilled to have him. I read his ESPN blog last year, and I'm even thinking of friending him on myspace.

Then of course, the fantasy gods, being the cold-hearted bastards they are, break Granderson's finger in a spring training game. He's starting the season on the DL.

This doesn't bode well for my hopes to rebound from a miserable fantasy showing last season, highlighted by a May trade of Chien-Ming Wang and Paul Konerko (who were both awful at the time) for Chris Capuano (who was money in the bank at the time). I don't think Capuano won another game the rest of the season while Konerko proceeded to hit about .400 the rest of the way and Wang won about 18 more games (lest we forget the 10-strikeout game he had against the Mets while I was facing the team I traded him to).

That was my fault for breaking the #1 fantasy rule: Trade players when their value is at its highest, not its lowest. (See: Ian Kinsler, Akinori Iwamura, or Chris Shelton for you bitter fantasy owners out there)

With that out of the way, here are my pre-season fantasy awards:

The Tom Brady Award (Fantasy Stud: Offense) - Mark Teixeira, 1b, Atlanta Braves. The obvious picks could be Hanley Ramirez, Alex Rodriguez, etc...but I think Teix has a solid first half in Atlanta, and then blows up the second half. 45 homers, 120 rbis, .310 batting average, NL MVP

The Rex Grossman Award (Fantasy Bust: Offense [drop him now!!!]) - Nick Markakis, OF, Baltimore Orioles. 97 runs scored, 23 homers, 112 rbis, 18 steals, and a .300 batting average is sexy, but he's not a #1 or #2 outfielder. That will shine this year as Markakis hits .270 with a decrease of 20 runs and rbis. He'll probably hit 20 homers and swipe 20 bags, but don't count on him to carry your team.

The Dickie V Award (Fantasy Diaper Dandy, BABY!!!) - Joey Votto, 1b, Cincinnati Reds. Showed signs of stardom when he came up late last year. He'll bust out for a solid rookie campaign. Snag him if he's available. 32 home runs, 115 rbi's, .290 batting average.

The Ernie Bologna Award (Fantasy Sleeper) - Nick Johnson, 1b, Washington Nationals. First base is deep this year, so Johnson is going unnoticed. He broke his leg in '06 and missed last season recovering. This isn't a nagging injury, so he should be back to true form. He appears to have won the starting job over Dmitri Young, and I don't know how much they'll be splitting time, but I expect Johnson to pick up right where he left off. 30 home runs, 108 rbi's, .303 batting average.

King of the Hill Award (Fantasy Pitcher) - Carlos Zambrano, SP, Chicago Cubs. Assuming you didn't get Johan Santana, this is a pretty good bet. You've gotta love having ace pitchers in the NL Central or the AL West, where offense is questionable. Kelvim Escobar will also have a great season (unless the fantasy gods strike an arm injury upon him because I'm praising one of my players).

The Mike Hampton Award (Self-Explanatory) - Mike Hampton. Just kidding. He can't win his own award. Justin Verlander, SP, Detroit Tigers. Expectations are getting lofty for Verlander and his team. I don't think he'll start 25 games this season, nor will he win 15 or keep his E.R.A. below 4.00.

The Preparation H Award (Top Relief Man) - Takashi Saito, RP, Los Angeles Dodgers. Lots of great closers to choose from who will all get plenty of save opportunities. Putz won't replicate his '07 season, Nathan won't have nearly as many save opportunities as he had last season, and other teams that will win a lot of games have shaky closers. Saito and Papelbon are the way to go.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

The story of a technologically inept blogger and his NCAA bracket[s]

So I submitted three brackets online. Two of which I blogged about [via Facebook + Yahoo! Sports], and then my ESPN bracket which I did not share on the blog.

Here's my drama:

ESPN never even submitted. So I go to check it the first day and I'm at 0.0%. I somehow neglected to completely send it through. Oh well, cut my losses and move on, right? Wrong.
I go to check Yahoo! and looking at my bracket, and I somehow forgot to pick the winning team in the championship game!! So we can throw that bracket out, too (quite willingly--I may have had Duke in the Final Four in that one).
So now I'm down to my final bracket--my Facebook bracket!
It's nothing to be proud of, your run of the mill mediocre bracket, but I must point out my one glimmer of hope. I took Davidson to the Elite Eight. Who stands in the Wildcats' way? My arch-nemesis, WISCONSIN!

If the Badgers beat Davidson on Friday, I promise I will write the most sincere apology for ripping those posers all season. But if the Wildcats are victorious, I will be dancing naked in the streets, chanting "WISCONSIN SUCKS!" as loud as my little vocal cords will allow me to!

...and Barrows will be taking pictures.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Getcha cinderella slippers ready!

Since you all watched the Marist/DePaul game, I don't need to recap it for you, but I'll run down some highlights:

Rachele Fitz - 23 points
Julianne Viani - 18 points (16 in the second half, and numerous clutch three-pointers)
Meg Dahlman - 11 rebounds

Marist - 20 assists, seven turnovers
- Trailed 55-44 in the second half before exploding on a 32-2 run to finish the game
- 42% from long range. They didn't start hot, but they ended hot, and they hit the big shots when it counted.

The bad news - The Red Foxes shot 57% from the line. They can't do that against LSU, assuming LSU wins tonight.

Giorgis will have a late night checking out LSU's game and coming up with a game plan. I have faith.

Duke's out. It's baseball season.

In the post-game press conference, Coach Krzyzewski was quoted saying:
"A lot of people said we didn't deserve a two-seed. Even more say we shouldn't have even been in the NCAA Tournament based on our performance down the stretch and against Belmont. I like where their heads are at. We probably would win the NIT if we were in it. I think that's what we'll shoot for next year."

Hopefully Greg Paulus and Brian Zoubek declare for the draft like McRoberts did last year.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Madness....Takes Its Toll

Before I give you my money in the bank picks for this tournament, I thought I would pass along some interesting final four picks that I've come across this week.

East: North Carolina
Midwest: Portland State
South: UT-Arlington
West: Mississippi Valley State

East: North Carolina
Midwest: Kansas
South: Memphis
West: UCLA

West: DUKE!
Midwest: CLEMSON!

East: St. Joe's
Midwest: Villanova
South: Temple
West: Any other school in the great state of Pennsylvania. Whoever it is, I'm rooting for you!

East: I was
Midwest: On the
South: Big Red
West: Machine

East: Louie Louisville....get it? Louie Louie? Aren't I hilarious?
Midwest: Carry on My Wayward Son....KANSAS!
South: I'm Walking in MEMPHIS!
West: I Don't See Los Angeles, but clearly UCLA!!!

East: Boise State
Midwest: USC
South: Texas
West: Georgia

East: George Mason
Midwest: Davidson
South: St. Mary's
West: Drake


Okay folks, on to my picks

UNC over IU
Too much of that obnoxious Tyler guy.

ND over WSU
Notre Dame coming into the tournament hot...they're probably clad they don't have to see Winthrop if Wazzou does its job.

Rick Pitino usually does not lose Tournament games that he should win. 

I see the Volunteers getting cold from beyond the arc and sadly we will see the last of my boy Bruce Pearl.

As much as it pains me to say this, Rock Chalk is looking hot right at the right time.

MAAC pride gives Siena the upset over the Jekyll and Hyde Vandy team. But Clemson should beat them.

Great matchup in round one with Beasley v Mayo, but I don't think either will have enough to beat a solid (hear that Travis?) Badger team.

Oh how I wish I could pull the trigger on Davidson. But I am a pussy.

After seeing Memphis live earlier this year, I texted my friend and told him that I was watching the National Champs. I'm sticking to that.

Bobby Knight's National Champion will dispose of a gritty Temple team fairly easily

This might just be my Big East homerism coming out, but I don't care!

UT over ST. MARY'S
Unfortunately, this could be the last time to take out UT before the Final Four. I see UT passing the test though.

Mitt Romney is pissed somewhere.

See! I'm not that that much of a homer.

I'd love to see ex Manhattan Jasper CJ Anderson actually trying for the Muskateers. Thanks for two years of douchbaggery, CJ.

Yeah, I guess I am a homer after all.


Wishful thinking because I hate the ACC? Perhaps. But Louisville is going to be a tough out this year.

They burn people every year, those Jayhawks. Why is this year different? Who knows?

If I'm Coach Cal, I'm livid that this game is in Houston. Really, UT and Duke should have switched brackets. But the Tigers are battle tested and played a strong non-conference just for moments like this.

Kevin Love sounds like the name of a porn star in my opinion. But he's got a luscious inside game.

This UCLA team is coming off back to back Final Fours. This time, they break through.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Do you believe in magic?

'Every great magic trick consists of three parts or acts. The first part is called "The Pledge." The magician shows you something ordinary: a deck of cards, a bird or a man. He shows you this object. Perhaps he asks you to inspect it to see if it is indeed real, unaltered, normal. But of course... it probably isn't. The second act is called "The Turn.". The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled. But you wouldn't clap yet. Because making something disappear isn't enough; you have to bring it back. That's why every magic trick has a third act, the hardest part, the part we call "The Prestige."' -The Prestige, 2006

Marist got the 7-seed.
In my previous post, I noted that LSU is one of the teams that Marist can take out in the second round. One problem I didn't think of was location. The games are being played in New Orleans. "LSU" stands for Louisiana State University. Virtual home game.

The Red Foxes first have to take care of DePaul, a team out of the Big East with a misleading 11 losses. Losses to Rutgers, Connecticut, Texas, Tennessee, and Connecticut again are expected. Playing in their conference, you aren't going to be perfect unless you're UConn. This won't be a walk in the park, but with good guard play, it can certainly be done.

LSU's only losses this season are to the top teams in the country (Rutgers by two points, Tennessee by six points, Maryland by 13, and UConn by five), except for one glimmer of hope--a team Marist met last year in the second round--Middle Tennessee State. The coincidence is there. Will Marist be the team that disappears, or the prestige?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Technical difficulties

The wireless network isn't available where I'm staying, and I can't post my bracket because it's not saved as an image file, it's a .html file. Oh well.

Games to watch:
Gonzaga vs. Davidson - I hate this matchup because both are capable of knocking off higher seeds. One of them will make it to the Sweet 16 (I took Davidson to the Elite Eight in one bracket).
Kansas St. vs. USC - Again, two sleeper teams pinned up against each other. Both have a great chance of beating Wisconsin in the second round (I took K-State in one and USC in another, but for all my hatred of Wisconsin, I took the Badgers over them in each game).
Oral Roberts vs. Pittsburgh - Oral Roberts can win this game

Other upsets I chose were Winthrop over Washington St., Texas A&M over BYU, Baylor over Purdue, St. Mary's over Miami (which will happen), and Kentucky over Marquette.

Final Four in one bracket:

In my other bracket:
Duke (sorry, I have to)

Of course i have plenty of time to think about what I've done and change my brackets. I probably will.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

You know what really grinds my gears?

1) The Duke Blue Devils
- It's performances like today's that make it really agonizing for me to pencil them into the "NCAA Champion" box every March. The only people who want to see Clemson v. North Carolina III are Clemson fans (because they love suffering heartbreaking losses) and North Carolina fans (because it's much less stressful than Duke/UNC III). Duke is now looking at a low-two, maybe a high-three seed in the NCAA Tournament. Which leads me to my next point...

2) The Wisconsin Badgers
-Down double-digits, they fought and clawed back---okay, I'm going to stop right there. Michigan State went cold and gave away the game. Now Wisconsin gets either Illinois (5-13 Big Ten) or Minnesota (8-10 Big Ten) in the championship game. So the Badgers will win the Big Ten tourney and get a high-two seed, waltzing all the way into the Elite Eight before they finally get their rude wakeup call.

3) Tyler Hansbrough
-He's the player of the year, and I like him and respect him a hell of a lot more than Michael Beasley, but he pissed me off today. That 15-footer from the baseline with 0.8 seconds left broke the heart of the Virginia Tech Hokies. VT needed that game to state their case to move off the bubble and lock a spot in the field of 65. Now they're on the outside looking in. Their chances of getting an at-large bid are slim-to-none. Not many teams can go toe-to-toe with UNC though. The committee should think about that before giving Ohio State, Oregon, or Arizona State the nod.

Apparently Miami is going to get into the Big Dance, which I hate, but love at the same time. If they get a #5 or #6 seed, that has UPSET CITY written all over it, baby!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Expectations for next week:

I'll be on the road all day Sunday, on my way down to Blacksburg for the week. I'll miss the men's selection show, but I'll try to fill out a bracket that night and post a screenshot up here with some quick analysis and a few upset watches.

Monday evening I'll have a little breakdown of the women's bracket and how far I expect the Red Foxes to go.

Tuesday I'll hopefully be able to post some pictures from the Yankees/Virginia Tech game being played in Blacksburg. After the Yankees donated $1 million to the Virginia Tech Relief Fund, they agreed to play an exhibition game against the Hokies in Spring Training. Lucky enough for me, it's the week I'll be there! The VT Bookstores are also selling Yankees hats in VT colors. I think that's pretty cool, so even though I hate the Yankees, I might pick one up.

Wednesday is MARIST vs. VIRGINIA TECH in Softball! It's my reason for existing. I hear this Angela Tincher girl (please visit her profile, her stats will blow your mind) is pretty decent. They're giving away her trading card to the first 500 fans, so I'm hoping to get one. But I'm rooting for Marist, obviously. I even made signs!

**This schedule is subject to change--mostly based on whether or not I can access the wireless network at VT. I may have to download software or something, or sign in using my Hokie Passport (which expired about four years ago after I left there).
**Also weather permitting. It's supposed to rain Tuesday through Thursday! Boy, would that piss me off!

Wish me luck!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

My response to Michael J. is too lengthy to put in a comment.

I am not upset about Marist's projected ranking. What I am upset about is that the Foxes dropped from 20th in the nation to 21st in the Coaches poll. Vanderbilt lost to Tennessee, but still managed to jump ahead of Marist. That's a load of crap. Anyway:

Marist's strength of schedule is suspect, but I assure you, the Red Foxes can beat anybody outside of the top 10, and some within. Last year they played Maryland and Duke (both #1 seeds at the time of the games), and held their own. Their only big game this year was a rematch against Ohio State (in their house, I might add). The Buckeyes were nationally ranked the entire season up until this week, and Marist only lost by six points.
Due to matchup problems, teams that can handle Marist inside and out are:
North Carolina

You will note that I did not include Rutgers, Duke, LSU, or Baylor on that list. That's quite simply because Marist can beat those teams.

The most unfortunate thing about Marist's projected (and probable) ranking is that they can't avoid playing a #1 or #2 seed in the second round unless they manage to be seeded sixth, where they can most easily repeat a trip to the Sweet 16.

By no means should they look past their first round matchup, whatever it may be, but I'm allowed to. The best possible scenario other than getting a 6-seed is earning a 7-seed or being disrespected with a 10-seed. This way they can draw a Rutgers, Baylor, or LSU in the second-round. Dangerous third-seeded teams will be Duke and Oklahoma.

The starters have been taking care of business (see: 21-23 from the free throw line in their MAAC Championship win, as well as 18 assists and only 8 turnovers), and the bench has been producing more than can ever be expected (see: Sarah Smrdel = MAAC Tournament MVP). For most teams, all they can do is pray Marist is cold from long range. If you aren't one of the top teams in the country, the only way to beat them is if they beat themselves.

No Respect in Pough-Town?

Despite being the 20th best team in the country according to polls, the Lady Foxes from Marist are due for an 8 seed according to the latest version of Bracketology for Women (that exists??) Somewhere, Travis Miller is livid. I'm shocked he hasn't already blogged about this.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


The University of North Carolina is having a very difficult week, as the Student Body President, Eve Carson was shot and killed Wednesday, less than a mile from campus.

Under the terrible circumstances, it becomes more and more evident how insignificant this game really is, but it will be played, and the Duke community will honor UNC and the life of Eve Carson before the game.

Given everything that is going on, I think there is more than enough motivation for Carolina to come out swinging and win this game. Even though they're on the road, the atmosphere at Cameron Indoor Stadium will be somber and unlike it usually is for a game like this. Ty Lawson is back to full strength, and Tyler Hansbrough is still unstoppable.

UNC 80
Duke 75

I apologize for an earlier post saying that Marist's Julianne Viani was out for the season with mononucleosis. She was cleared by a doctor only 11 days after being sidelined indefinitely, and she returned to action last night in the Red Foxes' 54-44 win over Canisius. Today she looked like she was back to her old self, scoring 12 points, though only 1-3 from long range. Marist beat St. Peter's for the third time in two weeks, winning 78-67.
The Red Foxes set a school record, winning their 30th game of the season. Standing at 30-2, Marist can lock up their NCAA Tournament bid with a win over Iona tomorrow in the MAAC Tournament Finals.
In their first meeting this season, Marist beat Iona 81-55 at the James J. McCann Center, and then 86-78 at the Gaels' house.

Neutral court, packing heat in the form of Rachele Fitz, Viani, Meg Dahlman, Nikki Flores, and company? I got the Foxes. Word.

Unrelated Congratulations

I almost forgot...congratulations are in order to my colleague and collaborator at BMC Sports, Chris Barrows for his recent engagement!

MLB Standings Prediction

Fantasy Preview to come after Monday's draft (I don't want Travis to steal any of my ideas)

Boston Red Sox (95-67)
New York Yankees (94-68)
Toronto Blue Jays (88-74)
Tampa Bay Rays (76-86)
Baltimore Orioles (60-102)

Detroit Tigers (97-65)
Cleveland Indians (91-71)
Chicago White Sox (81-81)
Minnesota Twins (79-83)
Kansas City Royals (62-100)

Seattle Mariners (91-71)
Los Angeles Angels (90-72)
Texas Rangers (76-86)
Oakland Athletics (72-90)

New York Mets (101-61)
Philadelphia Phillies (90-72)
Atlanta Braves (84-78)
Florida Marlins (68-94)
Washington Nationals (61-101)

Chicago Cubs (88-74)
Milwaukee Brewers (87-76)
St. Louis Cardinals (80-82)
Houston Astros (77-85)
Cincinnati Reds (72-90)
Pittsburgh Pirates (63-99)

Arizona Diamondbacks (94-68)
San Diego Padres (91-71)
Colorado Rockies (88-74)
Los Angeles Dodgers (82-80)
San Francisco Giants (62-100)

AL MVP: Miguel Cabrera, DET
AL CY YOUNG: Erik Bedard, SEA
NL MVP: David Wright, NYM
NL CY YOUNG: Johan Santana
NL ROY: Justin Upton, ARI

The two toughest divisions in baseball are by far the AL East and the NL West. Should make for a great season.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

I need you now tonight. I need you more than ever.

Albert Pujols has a high-grade tear in a ligament in his elbow. For now, he has elected not to have surgery, but at some point will need reconstructive surgery. Chances are it will blow out early in the season and he's gonna end up getting Tommy John surgery and will be out for a long while. Chris Duncan will probably move to first base, leaving an open outfield spot for....JUAN GONZALEZ!!

He needs to stay healthy, too, though. So much for my pick of the Cardinals to win the Central. It's fine, I'm over it.

Great news for Mets fans (sarcasm)! Moises Alou is hurt already! Out 4-6 weeks. Since we traded Milledge and Gomez (note: I am NOT complaining. I love Johan <3), I guess our outfield will look a little something like this:

Endy Chavez
Carlos Beltran
Ryan Church


Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Is there an echo in here?

I hate Wisconsin.
They didn't even play today!
I just hate the Big Ten.
Ohio State, loser of four straight games, somehow comes back from a reasonable deficit in the second half to force overtime and then beat Purdue, knocking the Boilermakers out of their first place tie with the Badgers in the Big Ten.

I'll admit that I was wrong that Wisconsin was not a pretender, and even after that I said they wouldn't finish in the top three in the Big Ten, so I'm wrong again. I'm used to that, but this is crap! You know how the ACC is going to be decided? By the top two teams playing each other on the final day of the season. Duke will not lose to Virginia in their tune-up for UNC tomorrow night, and the Heels will not lose to Florida State tonight (already in progress, Carolina has a comfortable double-digit lead).

I understand that it's just a really great coincidence that the ACC will be decided this way, and I'm probably just really bitter that Wisconsin is going to win the conference title in the most anti-climactic of ways, but seriously, the Big Ten sucks! If they get more than four teams into the Big Dance, I'm going to vigorously type another angry blog.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I could do the same old song and dance...

Blogging about how Michael Beasley is a dumbass, dropped an impressive as hell double-double, but his team couldn't win the game, but I'm kind of sick of blogging about that for now.

So let's blog about something different. JUST KIDDING!
They finished off the regular season with a 71-58 win over St. Peter's at the James J. McCann Center last night.
Though they won by 13, it was by no means a blowout. The game was tied most of the way, until about 50-50 when Marist went on a huge run to put the game away. Their offense struggled at times without Julianne Viani, but Sarah Smrdel, Meg Dahlman, and Lynzee Johnson put forth tons of extra effort on offense to support Nikki Flores and Rachele Fitz.
Freshmen Elise Caron and Erica Allenspach fill Viani's shoes while she's out with mono, but they haven't been integrated into head coach Brian Giorgis' offensive gameplan yet, so they're on the court for defense and ball-handling purposes, which they did great last night.
St. Peter's used full court pressure the entire night, constantly trying to trap the Red Foxes, but great ball movement (see: last year's 2nd round win vs. Middle Tennessee), usuing the entire court and all five players, thwarted most of the pressure.
Flores and Dahlman both dropped a team-high 17 points and both of them knocked down timely threes (each 2-2 from long range).

It being Senior Night, the starting lineup was a little shaken up, giving Alexis Waters and Sarah Smrdel well-deserved starts and a good amount of minutes. Marist completed a perfect 18-0 Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference season, the third MAAC team to go undefeated throughout the season, but the first do win 18 conference games in doing so.
Dahlman, Flores, Smrdel, Waters, and Courtney Kolesar, who missed this season due to injury, were all honored before and after the game. They are the winningest class in Marist history, with 102 wins over their four years under Giorgis.

The MAAC tournament starts Friday, and if Marist wins it, look for the Red Foxes to enter the NCAA tournament ranked in the 15-18 range in the ESPN/USA Today poll, and probably around #20 in the Associated Press poll, perhaps garnering as high as a #7 or #8 seed in the Big Dance.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

I'm officially torn...

The Mets lost to the Cardinals today in early spring action, 5-4.
It's spring training. Why do I care?
Johan Santana got lit up for three runs on four hits.
It's spring training. Why do I care?
My boy, JuanGon, went deep off of my boy, Santana.
What if that happens in the regular season?
Then what?