Due to technical difficulties the column will be changing several times...your patience is appreciated
Hot Times?in Daytona!
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals were watching tapes of previous slam dunk contests instead of whatever that was supposed to be posing as a dunk contest this past Saturday.
I don't know what to think about the NBA All-Star game. The two teams clown more or less for about three quarters and then realize that they get an extra $25K for winning and decide to play hard. Ive said it before, make the game winner take all and you can better best believe that those cats will play all out.
As usual a game can be a game without the whining of one Kobe Bean Bryant. Yes he has a phenomenal game. And its hard to believe he has been in the game for 16 seasons, but there are times that he acts like a bratty diva than a grizzled veteran. Yes, the foul by Dwyane Wade was a little harder than expected with the unexpected results of Kobe?s nose getting broken, but it seemed to me like he was just way too ?insulted? by what was clearly an accident. Ive always thought of Kobe as a basketball snob, a pretty boy who's elitist mentality never gained much traction with the street ballers, the whole Kobe System commercials are humorous but I think that plays right into his ?I?m better than you mentality. Anyhoo, the all star game was its usual no defense everyone try to get theirs game. The East fell way way behind then charged back to get close and then with the East down by two with under 30 seconds to play. Guess who had the ball? LeBron. and guess who was guarding him? Kobe. And Kobe was daring him to shoot. Do you think he would have done that to DWade? Or Kevin Durant? Or hell even Jeremy Lin? You could read Kobe?s lips saying ?Shoot the fuckin? ball!? Kobe for all his elitist tendencies, is a stone cold assassin at heart. He is and Bron isn?t. So Bron takes more shit for passing up a chance to cap a great comeback. Add to boot, he turned the ball over with a bad pass that Blake Griffin intercepted. His two free throws iced the game. DWade's three at the buzzer was off and the West held on for a 152-149 win. I could just hear Skip Bayless nutting on himself knowing that he would have a chance to rag on LeBron?s unwillingness to shoot the big shot in the end. I agree with Michael Smith of ESPN who said that Bron Bron was in a no win situation. Shoot the shot and make it, it?s a meaningless shot in an exhibition. Shoot the shot and miss, its just another exhibit in why Bron Bron isn't clutch. Pass the ball like he did and its because hes scared to shoot. Pity poor Bron Bron?poor Bron Bron.
Could the Colts go with RG3?
Naaahh, you know and I know that the Colts are taking the franchise Andrew Luck with the first pick in the draft this spring. You know it like you knew that they were going to take Peyton Manning first in the 1998 draft (Shit has it been that long ago???) But unlike the 98 draft where the consolation prize was dicey in Ryan Leaf, a player I never thought that much of, this year the ?consolation prize? is only the 2011 Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III who as been wowing them in Indy with breathtaking skill reps, flawless interviews and speed that running backs and wideouts are jealous of. Now the question isn?t if the Colts will take Luck, but who will maneuver to snag Griffin. The Rams with the #2 pick have no interest in the Griffin hunt as they have their own young franchise quarterback in Sam Bradford but seem to be interested in offers for that coveted number 2 pick in the draft. RGIII looks like he could as good (or better than?) Luck. That of course remains to be seen over the next 12 or so years. By then we will, some kid who is presently a? 4th grader out of Cedar Falls Iowa and Heyward, California will be competing for the #1 picks. Peyton Manning will be in the Hall of Fame, Griffin and Luck will be finishing up Hall of Fame careers and I will be writing this column, reminiscing.
My apologies for missing the sheet on Friday. Some technical difficulties have prevented my timely posting, which we cant have with the games getting so crucial.
Solid:?Duke, North Carolina, Florida State?, Virginia?
Work to do:?North Carolina State, Miami
Skinny on the ACC: Let keep it real here, NC State is blowing their chance to make it. Fading badly at the worst time, the Wolfpack had three chances to garner a signature win and went 0-3. They need to win out and at least get to Saturday in Atlanta to get a real shot at a bid. Miami is hanging tough and with a win over Florida State strengthened their bid chances though
Key Game:?Duke at Wake Forest 7p Tuesday ?The Dukies are road warriors but had better take care that they don?t look past Wake at their showdown with Carolina.
?Projected Bids: 6?
Conference Class-Mid Major?
Solid:?Temple, Saint Louis
Work to do:? UMass, St. Joes
The A-10 Spec is:?Temple is still safe but plenty annoyed after losing to neighborhood rival St. Joes up on Hawk Hill over the weekend. Im still wary of the Billikens but I think that they garner the bid. St. Joes has their signature win and now just was to keep winning and they will get more notice.
Key Games:?Xavier at Saint Louis Tuesday 8p The Billikens want to get on the list and keep the Muskies off.
Solid:?Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette,?Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati
Work to do: ? South Florida, West Virginia, Seton Hall?
Big East Skinny: Syracuse locked down the #1 seed for the Big East tourney (ho-hum) I still think Cincy is safe despite a terrible game in Tampa following a solid win over a despied regional rival. Seton Hall got a needed win over Georgetown then followed it up with a real stunk job loss against Rutgers. This are the kind of needless losses that fringe teams like the Pirates need to avoid. These aren?t similar losses: The Bearcats lost on the road to a tough team trying to solidfy its position, the The Pirates lost to Rutgers at home on Senior Day, ?
Key Game:?South Florida at Louisville Wednesday 7p?If the Bulls want to stay in contention for one of the coveted four double byes in the Big East tourney winning at the Yum! Center will be crucial.
Projected bids: 8?
Solid:?Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana,
Looking Good: Purdue
Work to do:?Northwestern, Iowa
The word on the Big Ten is: Has Purdue done enough? The win at Crisler may have put them over the top. I wish I could say the same about Northwestern? who may need to get at least to Sunday if not win the whole shooting match to garner a serious look. Iowa may be too far out to may noise
Key Games: Ohio State at Northwestern Wednesday 8:30p ?If the Wildcats are serious about their first ever NCAA bid, beating the Bucks is an absolute must.
Solid:?Kansas, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State
Work to do:? Texas
Skinny from the heartland: Kansas won another Big 12 regular season crown with a thrilling comeback win against the soon departing Mizzou Tigers. Yes Iowa State fans your Cyclones have done enough to get to the Dance. Just a minute Texas fans, you haven't done nearly enough and as long as your team hovers at .500 in conference with no real quality wins (That?s what separate Kansas State?so shaddap!) you will stay right where you are. Waiting and hoping for a break
Key Game: Oklahoma at Texas Wednesday 9p The Longhorns need this win to stay at the .500 mark because they aren?t winning in Allen on Saturday.
Solid: Southern Miss
Work to do: Tulsa, Memphis, Central Florida
Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: Memphis is trying to hold off Southern Miss, UCF and Tulsa to get the #1 seed in the C-USA tourney. I think the Tigers are the only bona fide tourney team. The other bid is a hot scramble between the fading Eagles and the surging Knights & Hurricane
Key Game: UCF at Memphis Saturday 9p Central Florida can make the CUSA scramble that more chaotic with a win in at the Fed Ex Forum.
Projected Bids: 2
Conference Class-Mid Major
Work to do: Cleveland State, Butler, Detroit
Spec on The Horizon: The Crusaders are the top dog here but there are at least three other teams that could take the title. The problem for them is that unless Valpo gets beat the road to the NCAA tourney bid goes through Valpo’s Gym
Horizon League Championship Tourament: Campus Sites 1st Round 2nd Round and Semifinals Valapariso, Championship at Highest Remaing seed Feb 28-Mar6th
Projected Bids: 1
Work To Do: Penn
Spec on the Ivy Vine: Just when the Crimson are getting this close to locking the Ivy down, they take a stunning loss to the Penn Quakers and only lead by a half game. Keep in mind that the Ivy has no conference tourney. The Crimson can win out and still be sweating for should the Quakers win out there will be a one game playoff for the title.
Key Games: Harvard at Columbia; Brown at Penn Friday at 7p With an extra game to play the Quakers control their own destiny, win out and get at very worse a chance to play for the Ivy’s NCAA bid. The Crimson need to win and get help to avoid this scenario unthinkable three weeks ago
Projected Bids: 1
Conference Class-Mid Major
Solid: Wichita State
Work to do: Creighton
Missouri Valley Skinny: The Shockers are the top seed and all sign point to a Sunday showdown for the title. But everyone knows why they call it Arch Madness, this conference tourney long has a rep for wild games and shocking upsets. Don’t sleep on the Valley 5 teams finished 9-9 and will make the tourney filled with great play.
Missouri Valley Conference Championship: March 1-4 Scottrade Center St. Louis
Projected Bids: 2
Solid: New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV
Work to do: Colorado State
Spec from the Mountains: There is three way logjam at the top of this conference. But all these teams are safe. Colorado State’s bid to force their way into the conversation may have died with the loss to San Diego State. The jockeying for the best seeding in the conference tourney starts in earnest now.
Key Game: UNLV at Colorado State Wednesday 10p The Rebels are in a pitched fight for the best seed in the MWC conference tourney and have no time to entertain the Rams fledgling hopes.
Projected Bids: 3
Solid: Cal, Washington, Arizona Oregon
Work to do: Stanford, Colorado, UCLA
Spec from the left coast: Just when you thought Cal was home free they stumble badly to Colorado. Now Washington looks to be in line for the top seed in LA. Arizona and Oregon are right there but Im hesitant to keep Colorado or Stanford in the solid side and not include UCLA
Key Game: Washington at USC Wednesday 10:30p (FOX Sports Net) If it looks like a trap game, it very well could. The Huskies need to avoid looking ahead to playing UCLA or the Pac-12 tourney and blast the weak Trojans
Projected Bids: 5
Solid: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Mississippi State
Work to do: Alabama, LSU
Spec is Down South: The Wildcats are the only real bankable team in this conference, everyone else? Meh… Vandy, Florida and Mississippi State all are lurching to the SEC tourney in UK’s massive wake. Could the SEC only send 4 this year???
Key Game: Florida at Vanderbilt Tuesday 7p Coming off a horrid loss to Georgia, the Gators now have the Commodores hard on their heels trying to gain that #2 seed and stay on the opposite side of the SEC bracket away from UK
Projected Bids: 5
Conference Class- Major
Work to do: New Mexico State,
Spec on the WAC: Still a one-bid league as of now with Nevada being the league bully, but the Aggies are making things quite interesting.
Key Game: New Mexico State at Nevada 9p Thursday If the Aggies pull the upset in Reno they will garner some serious consideration. Lose and the title run goes through the Wolf Pack
Projected Bids: 1
Conference Class- Mid Major
Solid: Gonzaga, St. Marys
Work to do: BYU, Loyola Marymount
West Coast Spec: The WCC has the goofiest tourney bracket in college basketball. Gonzaga and St. Mary’s have byes all the way to the WCC semis. If Portland or Santa Clara want to win the WCC they have to win 5 times in five days…yikes
West Coast Conference Championship: Feb 29-Mar 6 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas
Projected Bids: 2
Phat Dap/Head Slap
To the City of Sacramento who will be keeping the Kings after striking? a deal with the Maloof Brothers. It was no big secret that the Kings were looking elsewhere to move and possibly going to Anaheim. But the city led by former NBA all-star? and current mayor Kevin Johnson negotiated hard and held off blatant attempts by Anaheim and Seattle to pounce on the possibility of the team moving. The Kings have moved twice before, starting in Rochester NY, then moving to Cincinnati from 1957-72 then on to Kansas City with some games in Omaha then on Sacremento in 1985. Long known for its faithful and long suffering fans Cali?s state capital has supported the Kings and will get to keep them for a good while longer.
To the Delaware State fans. When Tahj Tate dunked in a missed shot with 0.4 seconds to play to give the Hornets a 72-71 lead over Morgan State. The Delaware State fans mistakenly thought that the game was over and stormed the court in the belief that the Hornets had clinched the MEAC regular season title. Not only was the game not over, the officials gave Delaware State a technical. Morgan State got two technical free throws and won the game. To make matters worse. Savannah State beat North Carolina A&T and clinched the MEAC title outright. Head Slap to fans that jump the gun.
Until Next Post Fellow Sports Fans!