You Should Be Dancin'! Creighton celebrates it Missouri Valley Conference Championship and automatic berth to the NCAA
Greetings from the Hoodwood, where the locals are already going mad over basketball.
I will get to the spec here in a bit. But it seems like that there are already a bunch of things to consider.
Bountygate: Hits for a price
Having had played defense back in the day, I get the fact that big hits are a big part of the game. A defensive coach will work himself into a lather when talking about big hits. Other players will work themselves into a raging froth when trying to get each other motivated to make big hits. But now it seems that so-called bounties were being put out at the behest of former Saints defensive coordinator and current Rams defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. The Saints have had a solid history of being big hitters and a feared defensive squad for it. But now you wonder how much of that was motivated by bonuses and bounties and driven by a need to hurt and injure opponents.
Look I get the fact that you are supposed to hit when you are on defense. I still hear my coach’s voice in my ears hollering at me to stick my man. I was a horrible tackler to be sure, but I threw myself into it just so Coach V wouldn’t yell at me. I envied the big hitters that the offensive players were rightly wary of. The big hitters were the ones that got the notice, and I think there is a fine line between big hits and dirty hits. Ive been watching with interest the defensive players debating the merits of big hits and what bounties would do the integrity of the pro game.
You know that Sheriff Goodell is looking at this with his legacy on the line. He has long been an advocate of "clean play" and the Saints are going to get punished seriously for this.
Kobe: Does he really need motivation?
I love how the press tried to hype up the fact the Kobe was playing with a mask on after getting his nose broken, yes it looks like something out of a low rent Phantom of the Opera. Couldn’t they make that mask with air vents? The media is trying to say that he was angry and wanted revenge on DWade for what happened. Yes the Lake Show won over the Heat on Sunday but if you really think that Kobe needed a broken nose to get motivated, you need to rethink your mentality.
Spec Sheet 3-6
This is basically a reprint of the Monday sheet with the two winners of the Colonial and West Coast Conferences added in, the real work will come in the next three and four days when the upsets and bid stealers come out big time.
Atlantic Coast (Conference Class-Power) Playing For Seed :Duke, North Carolina, Florida State, Virginia Needs Help to get in: North Carolina State, Miami,
Skinny on the ACC: North Carolina housed Duke in Cameron and has the top seed. But its North Carolina State that will need to get to at least Saturday to firm up their chance. Miami should be okay as long as they dont fall in the first round to Georgia Tech
Key Game North Carolina State vs Boston College Thursday TBA The Wolfpack had best thump the weak Eagles or they will not be going to the tourney.
Atlantic Coast Conference Championship Tournament : Mar 8-11 Philips Arena, Atlanta Projected Bids: 6
Atlantic Ten Conference Class-Mid Major Playing For Seed:Temple, Saint Louis Work to do: UMass, St. Joes The A-10 Spec is: I have three teams coming out here, Temple is way safe and as long as the Billikens and either the Minutemen or Hawks get to the semis they will be safe.
Atlantic 10 Conference Tournament: March 6-11 (First round Campus Sites) Quarterfinals-Finals Boardwalk Arena, Atlantic City, NJ Projected Bids:3
Big East Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Syracuse, Georgetown, Marquette, Louisville, Notre Dame, Cincinnati Work to do: South Florida, West Virginia, Seton Hall, UConn
Big East Skinny: Cincy is now totally safe, those Im still trying to figure out the tricky math that got them the double bye. They are now playing for seed. The water gets real murky for West Virginia, South Florida, UConn and Seton Hall these teams need to get deep into the Big East tourney or they could be sweating next Sunday. West Virginia and UConn may cross one another in the Big East second round with a possible bid on the line.
Key Game: Providence vs Seton Hall Tuesday 7p (ESPN) The skidding Pirates are in trouble and their tourney chances drop to virtually nil if they lose here. Big EastChampionship Tournament: Mar 6-10 Madison Square Garden, New York City Projected bids: 9
Big Ten Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Michigan State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Ohio State, Indiana, Purdue Work to do: Northwestern
The word on the Big Ten is: In spite of losing a heartbreaker to the Bucks, Michigan State will be the #1 seed in the Big Ten tourney. Spartans and Bucks share the title with them. The Badgers, Hoosiers and Boilers are safe but the real team sweating is Northwestern. They got a badly needed win against Iowa but still need multiple wins to get to their first ever NCAA tourney.
Key Game: Minnesota vs Northwestern Thursday TBA (BTN) If the Wildcats want to fulfill tourney dreams they had better not lose to the middling Gophers Big Ten Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 8-11 Bankers Life-Conseco Fieldhouse, Indianapolis Projected Bids:6
Big 12 Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Kansas, Baylor, Missouri, Kansas State, Iowa State Work to do: Texas Skinny from the heartland: Texas is the only team really sweating, they faded badly against Kansas at Allen Fieldhouse and will need to get to the Big 12 Semis to garner a serious look. That and hope that there are no bid stealers lurking in the mid-majors.
Key Game: Iowa State vs Texas Thursday 9:30 The Horns need to get a couple wins to get off the proverbial bubble. If they lose they're likely done. Big 12 Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 7-10 Sprint Center Kansas City Projected Bids:5
Colonial Conference Size-Mid Major In: VCU Hoping For The Best: Drexel
Colonial Spec: No one will be dissing the Rams this time around, The Rams were lambasted by the so-called experts for making the tourney then made them all look like fools with their stunning run to the Final Four. This year they will leave no doubt as they won the Colonial title with a thrilling win over a good Drexel squad. I think the Dragons should get in, with 27 wins they would hard to ignore but they have a dredful strength of schedule
Colonial Athletic Association Tournament Champions: VCU
Projected Bids: 2
Conference USA Conference Class-Major Playing For Seed: Southern Miss, Memphis Work to do: Tulsa, Central Florida Oh Say Can You C-USA Spec: As long as Memphis and USM get to the final, they are both safe. Tulsa and Central Florida might need to knock off the Playing For Seed teams to get a serious look
Conference USA Championship Tournament : March 7-10 FedEx Forum, Memphis Projected Bids: 2
Horizon Conference Class-Mid Major Playing For Seed: Valpo, Needs Help: Detroit
Spec on The Horizon: The Crusaders ended the run of Butler to while the Titans knocked off the Vikings and likely destroyed their tourney chances. Winner here goes to the tourney.
Horizon League Championship: Detroit Mercy vs Valparaiso Tuesday 9p Projected Bids: 1
IVY Conference Class-Small Inside Favorite: Harvard Work To Do: Penn Spec on the Ivy Vine: Harvard has done what it could now the Crimson must wait. The last regular season game of the year will determine if there is a one game playoff for the title on Saturday.
Key Game:Penn at Princeton Tuesday 7:30p Penn needs to win to force the one game playoff for the Ivy title Projected Bids: 1
Missouri Valley Conference Class-Mid Major In: Creighton Going: Wichita State Missouri Valley Skinny: Bravo to the Bluejays! They won a thrilling final against potential an Illinois State team that had bid stealing aspirations. The Shockers, who were upended by the Redbirds in the Valley Semis have plenty of cred to get an invite.
Missouri Valley Conference Champions: Creighton Projected Bids: 2
Mountain West Conference Class-Major Playing For Seed: New Mexico, San Diego State, UNLV Work to do: Colorado State Spec from the Mountains: Could the Mountain West send as many or more teams than the Pac-12? Believe it! The Lobos, Aztecs and Rebels are all tourney locks and the Rams are coming on strong at the most opportune of times. As long as the Rams don’t fall on their face against TCU and not get blown out by the Aztecs they will be good. If they beat the Aztecs in the MWC semis they’ll be a spot on lock
Key Games:TCU vs Colorado State Thursday TBA The Rams had better not stumble against a good Horned Frogs team or their tourney dreams will die like so many gamblers aspirations on the Vegas strip Mountain West Conference Championship:March 8-10 Thomas & Mack Center, Las Vegas Projected Bids: 4
Pacific 12 Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Cal, Washington,
Work to do: Arizona Oregon Stanford, Colorado, UCLA Spec from the left coast: The Huskies are the #1 seed and are pretty secure as is Cal below that, Im starting to have doubts a plenty. I hear talk that this league only really deserves two teams, I have 4 right now. But with bid stealers and upsets this could change, stay tuned.
Key Game: USC vs UCLA Wednesday TBA If UCLA loses to its lowly crosstown rival it can forget the tourney. Pac-12 Conference Championship TournamentMarch 7-10 Staples Center, Los Angeles Projected Bids: 4
Southeastern Conference Class-Power Playing For Seed: Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Florida, Work to do: Alabama, Mississippi State, Tennessee
Spec is Down South: UK is going the tourney with a #1 seed…old news. The drop off is steep after that, roller coaster designers are looking at it for amusement parks. Florida and Vandy are not real worried about their chances, but again the drop off after that is steep, Bama & Mississippi State are not the most thrilling of prospects. Im getting flak from SEC fans for only projecting 4 teams in from here, but make a case beyond Bama, even with Mississippi State close to 20 wins…I’ll await your comments, texts and e-mails…
Southeastern Conference Championship Tournament: Mar 7-11 New Orleans Arena, New Orleans Projected Bids: 4
Western Athletic Conference Class- Major Playing For Seed: Nevada Work to do: New Mexico State, Spec on the WAC: As much as I would love to give the Aggies dap and include them here, I can’t. The Wolf Pack are the ones coming out of this league unless they fall in the WAC tourney.
Western Athletic Conference Championship Tournament: March 8-10 Orleans Arena, Las Vegas Projected Bids: 1
West Coast Conference Class- Mid Major In: St. Marys
Going: Gonzaga Hoping for the best: BYU West Coast Spec: The Gaels won a classic final over their archrivals and go back to the tournament for the first time since 2010, weep not for the Bulldogs who will very likely make their 14th straight tourney appearance.
West Coast Conference Champions: St. Marys Projected Bids: 2
There are others in the mix to be sure. (projected winners in parentheses, projections can and will change with conference winners in Bold) Teams from the always dangerous Big South (UNC-Ashville) always are in the mix and can send multiple teams. Of course the champions from the following conferences get an automatic bid: Amer. East (Vermont) , Atlantic Sun (Belmont) , Big Sky (Montana) , Big West (Long Beach State), MAC (Ohio), MAAC (Loyola-MD), MEAC (Savannah State), Northeast (Long Island-Brooklyn) , Ohio Valley (Murray State) , Patriot (Bucknell) , Southern (Davidson) , Southland (Tx-Arlington), Sun Belt (Middle Tennessee) , Summit (South Dakota State), and SWAC (Mississippi Valley State).
Remember folks, this sheet is fluid, nothing here is concrete and we haven't even brought up the possibility of upsets. But those never happen, right?
Spec continues tomorrow on the NCAA Page!
My colleague showed me this sick alley oop from the Ohio High School playoffs between Thurgood Marshall and Kettering Alter. The clip is lengthy but about a minute-1:20 spot is this sick oop.
To Lenny Dykstra who was sentenced to three years for auto theft. Dykstra pled no contest to grand theft auto after a complicated scheme to defraud high end auto dealerships came to light. Dykstra had given fraudulent info to car dealers about either non-existant or unknowing cosigners. Dykstra was sentenced to three years in prison. It’s a sad downfall for a player that was once the epitome of a tough player who gave his all.
Thursday night the Chardon Hilltoppers took to the Basketball Court for their Division 1 Sectional game...It was the first school event since 3 Chardon students were killed and two others wounded, and a community shaken by the actions of one student Monday morning...
I'm not going to talk about the shooter, and why the hell he would do what he did...There's no good reason...I've heard all about his tough life and his personality, and I don't give a shit...There's no reason for what he did...
The Chardon community is a close one, and this tragic event has brought them closer...And it has brought out the best in the people of North East Ohio...Pictured above are Chardon players in red...In the Black Chardon shirts are the players from Madison...They took the floor in black warm-up pants and those shirts...And the players stood together for the pre-game ceremonies...Once the game started, the Madison players in there blue uniforms, decided to wear red socks...
The gym in Euclid was packed...And everyone was wearing Chardon Red and Black in some way, shape, or form...Chardon students took 4 buses to get there, in a massive show of unity...Madison Cheerleaders had red and black ribbons in their hair...And instead of the two schools cheer squads standing at opposite sides, they stood together...
It didn't matter that Chardon won 78-59...For the first time this week, there were smiles...There was cheering...And there was a distraction from the madness and sadness that started Monday morning...
Friday the students returned to school, but they showed us Thursday that they would do so as one heart...
So it's Monday again...It always seems to get here too soon...Well, this week I'll start with a couple of sports highlights...
First, Sunday I got to sit around and be lazy, and watch the Rangers vs. Flyers game, with my little molls...She really digs the constant color movement of hockey games...
The Rangers beat the hell out of the Flyers, 7-0...Including a hat-trick from Ryan Callahan...Before the game Callahan had made a point of saying how he, and the team really needed to step up if they want to hold onto a playoff spot...Dude has tons of grit and gets it done in all aspects of the game...
And of course with Rangers, Flyers, you always get a bit of fighting...
Hopefully this is the spark that gets Rangers into a strong playoff spot...
Then I heard on the Radio that the Miami Heat have been struggling in big games...You know, against teams that are good, as opposed to rolling the Cavaliers...I don't follow basketball, by I do like any bad news about LeBron James...Word is he has been choking at crunch time, late in games...Yeah, we've seen that before! I guess Sunday was no different, and reports started flying around about a few Heat players crying after the game...No, really! Fucking crying!
Hey fellas, you don't see Charlie Sheen crying...You know why? Because he's WINNING!
Then, I came across this story...Girls High School Basketball coach, Amber Branson gave birth Friday night, after having contractions while coaching her team's state regional Tournament game...Less than 16 hours later, she was back on the sidelines coaching her team to a come from behind victory, that puts them in the State Tournament...
She has gotten great praise from her players, and from many others for her dedication to her team...Umm, I'm not going to praise her for that...Yeah, maybe it's impressive to deliver a baby and coach a basketball game 15 hours later, but know what would be more impressive...Being in that hospital with your newborn child...Those girls on the basketball team most likely would have understood the dedication it takes to be a parent, especially to a child that has only been alive for 15 hours...But after this example will they understand what type of dedication it takes to be a parent?
Coach Amber Branson, in my opinion, you've done more harm, than good by coaching that game...And if your dedication to basketball outshines your dedication to your children, well then your kids are fucked, because their mother is a morally, and emotionally bankrupt twat!
Okay, after that I need a laugh, and I can't get enough Charlie Sheen, and WINNING!