Archive for the 'Basketball' Category

Villanova VS UNC In Championship Game, UCONN Women In Final, Pippen’s Bulls Could Beat Warriors

NCAA

March Madness is almost officially over. Villanova and University of North Carolina will face off Monday night in the Championship game.  UNC had a relatively easy 17 point win over Syracuse to secure it’s seat in the Finals, but Villanova was the talk of the weekend. Villanova simply destroyed Oklahoma in the weekend’s final four matchup.  Statistically, the win was the best recorded in the history of the tournament. Villanova won by an astounding 44 points and will play for the championship on Monday night. It’s their first appearance back in the finals in 31 years. Monday night Championship Game 9:19 pm EST (TBS).

Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 8.23.48 AMThis is a particularly exciting finals for me as it’s the first time I picked  the final two teams. Here’s my ESPN bracket to prove it.

In the Women’s matchup, no surprise to anyone who follows the game, number 1 seed UCONN is in the finals again.  If they beat Syracuse on Tuesday night, they will secure their 4th straight National Title. Tuesday 8:30 pm EST.

NBA

The Golden State Warriors bounced back from a rare home loss on Friday night with a big win Sunday over the Portland Trail blazers. The Warriors need to win 4 of their last 5 games to overtake the 72 game win record set by the 1995/6 Chicago Bulls. To add even more drama to this exciting chase, former Bull and Hall of Famer, Scottie Pippen,  claimed his team would sweep the Warriors in a 7 game series.

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Final Four Teams (Syracuse, Villanova, N. Carolina, OK), Griffin Cleared To Play, Heyward Swarmed By Bees

NCAA

And your Final 4 are…

It’s been a surprising month for college basketball, with many teams considered favorites falling out of the race, one by one, and many “second-tier” teams making it farther than anyone anticipated. Over the weekend, Syracuse took on Virginia and upset the number one seed team in a 68-62 victory. Syracuse was a 10-seed team. It’s the lowest seeded team to reach the semifinals in the last five years. Villanova surprised many by holding off number one seed Kansas, fighting their way into the Final Four with a 64-59 win. Oklahoma and North Carolina round out the four teams who will be competing next week in Houston.

NBA

It took long enough, but Los Angeles Clipper forward Blake Griffin is medically cleared to play after 41 games on the bench recovering from a quad injury and a broken hand. Griffin has now started serving his 4-game suspension, brought on by the altercation in late January, when he punched a member of the Clippers’ staff, breaking his hand. Griffin will be back on the court April 3rd when the Clippers take on the Washington Wizards.

MLB

BeesThe Chicago Cubs look poised to have one of their best seasons in a century, but not everyone is buying into the buzz. Sunday’s preseason game against the Seattle Mariners got off to a rocky start after a swarm of bees surrounded center fielder Jason Heyward early in the third inning. Heyward climbed the center field fence trying to escape the bees, who eventually moved into the crowd and also swarmed the Cubs’ bullpen. Heyward was stung at least ten times, but thankfully did not suffer an allergic reaction. The Mariners won 12-9.

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RGIII Traded To Dawg Pound, Thursday’s Sweet 16 Winners

NFL

Robert Griffin IIIIn some big trade news, former Heisman trophy winner Robert Griffin III (RGIII) signed with the Cleveland Browns. RGIII was a rising star coming out of Baylor and in his first season with the Washington Redskins. Towards the end of his rookie season with the team, he hurt his knee and his reign at the top started to unravel. Last season with the Redskins continued to be a disappointment but now that he has a fresh start with the Browns, we’ll see if he can turn things around. He said in a written statement,  “I’m excited about the opportunity to join the Dawg Pound and help build something here in Cleveland,”

 

NCAA

The NCAA March Madness tournament continues with the Sweet 16. Thursday and Friday winners will advance to the Elite 8. Here are the winners from Thursday’s game:

  • Kansas beat (5) Maryland, 79-63
  • Oregon beat (4) Duke, 82-68
  • Villanova beats(3) Miami, 92-69
  • Oklahoma beat (3) Texas A&M, 77-63
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Yale Defeats Baylor, Prince’s Interview, LaRoche Retires Because Son In Clubhouse Too Much

NCAA

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 8.48.29 AMThe NCAA Championship tournament has finally begun with some exciting upsets. Yale, in the tournament for the first time since 1962) defeated the 5th seeded Baylor. When a reporter asked Baylor’s Taurean Prince why Yale got so many more rebounds in the game, Prince’s response went viral. He said, “You go up and grab the ball off the rim when it comes off, and then you grab it with two hands, and you come down with it, and that’s considered a rebound. So they got more of those than we did.”

BASEBALL

Earlier this week,  Chicago White Sox’s Adam LaRoche retired from the game because he wanted to spend more time with his family. As it turns out, the real reason is because the White Sox President, Ken Williams, asked LaRoche to limit the time his 14 year old son spent in the clubhouse. Many teammates refer to LaRoche’s son as their 26th man. According to Williams he only asked that LaRoche’s son Drake cut back his time with the Team. He said, “We all think his kid is a great young man. I just felt it should not be every day, that’s all. You tell me, where in this country can you bring your child to work every day?”

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Pats Grab Bennett From Bears, Obama Chooses Kansas To Win March Madness

NFL

The New England Patriots traded a fourth round draft pick for Chicago Bears tight end Martellus Bennett. The Patriots currently have the number one tight end in the league with Rob Gronkowski, but they like running multiple tight end formations. Bennett has been a troublesome member of the Bears for some time. After the Bears failed to extend his contract before the 2015 season, Bennett boycotted most of the offseason program. Throughout the season, Bennett spoke openly to media about his discontent with his role in the offense.

LaGarett BlountDespite Patriots’ coach Bill Belichick’s no-nonsense approach, the team seems to have no problem hiring players with a chip on their shoulder. For example, in 2014, the Pittsburgh Steelers cut LaGarette Blount after he walked out of the stadium mid-game, frustrated by his lack of playing time behind superstar Le’Veon Bell. The Patriots, Blount’s former team, snatched him up right away. Despite the decidedly unprofessional move, Blount storming out turned out to be his best career move. That year he started as the number one running back for the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. The Pats hope Bennett will find similar luck with his new team.

NCAA

President Barrack Obama has filled out his March Madness bracket. An avid college football fan, the President publicly predicted his picks for winner every year since taking office. “I have a tendency to pick the coach as much as anything,” Obama said. This year, he chose Kansas to win the NCAA championship. Obama hasn’t picked a correct winner since his first year in office, when he correctly guessed that North Carolina would win the bracket.

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Knicks Beat Lakers In Last Second 3, Clippers Suffering W/O Blake, NCAA Brackets Revealed Early On Twitter

NBA

The New York Knicks pulled ahead in the final second of a close game against the Los Angeles Lakers. Knicks point guard Jose Calderon made his only three-pointer of the game when it mattered most—with two-eighths of a second left on the clock. The loss sets the Lakers back to a 14-53 win-loss record. Knicks 90, Lakers 87.

Blake GriffinThe Los Angeles Clippers are suffering, and star Blake Griffin’s absence is becoming more pronounced every game. Griffin has been out since December after a serious ankle injury in December. His quad is still bothering him, as is the hand he broke in January after getting into an altercation with a member of the clippers staff. The Clippers endured a painful loss against the Cleveland Cavaliers over the weekend. LeBron James scored 27 points in a game the Cavs won by 24 points. Cavaliers, 114, Clippers 90

NCAA

March Madness is about to get underway. The NCAA revealed the 2016 tournament bracket on Sunday. One big surprise was a #1 seed going to the Oregon Ducks over Michigan State. The other #1 seeds went to North Carolina, Virginia and, in the top overall spot, the Kansas Jayhawks.

The bracket is revealed during a telecast every year, similar to an awards ceremony. But this year, the full bracket was leaked on Twitter a fourth of the way through the broadcast. Imagine the Best Picture being leaked in the middle of the Oscars. The NCAA was understandably upset. “We take this matter seriously and are looking into it,” the organization said in a statement. The tournament officially begins this Tuesday.

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Heads Rolling For Kings, Manny Pacquiao Fired By Nike

NBA

The Sacramento Kings may have spared coach George Karl, but not everyone got away unscathed. The Kings fired assistant coach Vance Walberg on Wednesday, and Karl isn’t quite sure why. Karl detailed his thoughts in an op-ed for The Sacramento Bee, saying the firing left him “disappointed and confused,” arguing that any criticism of the team should be directed at him. But the Kings are looking to “shake things up,” according to GM Vlade Divac. The team currently has a dismal 22-31 record, and Karl was expected to be fired last week. Instead the team, which is contractually obligated to pay Karl another $10 million either way, decided to keep him on. But heads will roll, as they say. Walberg was next in line and the price was right.

BOXING

Manny PacquiaoProfessional Boxer Manny Pacquiao has been dropped by sponsor Nike after making derogatory remarks about same-sex couples. Pacquiao has been endorsing the company for just over eight years. The fighter made a recent appearance on Filipino television where he claimed animals don’t have same-sex relationships. Humans do, making people “worse than animals.“ Within hours, he took to twitter to apologize. But faster than you can tweet, “I’m sorry for hurting people by comparing homosexuals to animals,” Nike dropped the boxer, condemning his comments as “abhorrent.” An eight-time champion, Paquiao is the Philippines’ most famous living celebrity and most popular athlete. He’s also a member of the Philippines’ House of Representatives and is expected to pursue a seat in the Senate and and possibly even the Presidency after what is likely to be his final match in April.

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Magic Trades Harris, Howard Leaves, Griffin Stays, Rousey Considered Suicide, Cousins Franchise Tag

NBA

As Thursday’s NBA trade deadline fast approaches, teams are changing up their rosters, both in an attempt to bolster their lineups going forward, and to improve their playoff chances this year.

The Orlando Magic traded power forward Tobias Harris to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for point guard Brandon Jennings and power forward Ersan Ilyasova. Harris just signed a four-year $64 million contract with the Magic last year, which the Pistons will honor. The Pistons are on the cusp of a possible playoff and hope that the young, promising Harris will help their chances before it’s too late.

The Charlotte Hornets are one of the teams kicking the tires on Houston Rockets center Dwight Howard. The eight-time All-Star is making $22.3 million this season, and isn’t expected to return next year.

Despite a media hungry for big-name trades, Los Angeles Clippers president and coach Doc Rivers insists they’re not trading Blake Griffin. Griffin, you might recall, broke his hand after punching his friend and assistant equipment manager in the face in December. He should hit the court again soon, and when he does, he’ll be wearing a Clippers jersey.

UFC

Screen Shot 2016-02-17 at 8.21.46 AMRonda Rousey considered committing suicide after her loss to Holly Holm in November. Rousey appeared on the Ellen Degeneres show and admitted after her knockout she was in a very bad place. She said, “Honestly, my thought in the medical room, I was sitting in the corner and was like, ‘What am I anymore if I’m not this?'” Rousey said. “Literally sitting there thinking about killing myself. In that exact second, I’m like, ‘I’m nothing. What do I do anymore? No one gives a s— about me anymore without this.”

She eventually reflected on the loss and her feelings and said, “I felt like maybe my role is, everyone has their moment of picking themselves off the floor. I’ve gone through several of mine, but no one had ever seen me go through it. Maybe I just needed to be that example of picking myself off the floor for everyone. Maybe that’s what I’m meant for. I really do believe I’m still undefeated because being undefeated is a choice. Everybody has losses in their life, but I choose to always be undefeated.”

NFL

Maybe the Washington Redskins will use their franchise tag on Kirk Cousins after all. The franchise tag would give Cousins a one-year salary of around $20 million, and would give Washington until July to negotiate a longer-term deal. With RGIII pretty much out of the picture in Washington, the team needs a long-term quarterback. Even if they end up drafting the QB of their dreams, Cousins might, at the very least, be a good short-term option.

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Coughlin Steps Down, Pagano Stays, LA Needs NFL Team, Kansas/Oklahoma Game Of Season

FOOTBALL

Tom Coughlin After 12 years as the NY Giants head coach Tom Coughlin stepped down. Coughlin led the team to two Super Bowl victories and five playoff appearances. His last three seasons, however, have been disappointing, and the Giants brass seemed ready to move on.  Plus, Coughlin is 69 years old, and being a head coach in football requires an extreme amount of time and energy that Coughlin may no longer have.

In some surprise coaching news, many people thought the Indianapolis Colts would move on from head coach Chuck Pagano.   The Colts failed to make the playoffs this season, primarily because they lost their star quarterback Andrew Luck at the beginning of the year (even though back-up Matt Hasselbeck played well in Luck’s absence).  Pagano was on the hot seat, but the Colts agreed to his 4-year extension.  Pagano had a fantastic track record with the Colts the past few seasons, leading them to consistent winning records and the AFC Championship last year.

The St. Louis Rams, San Diego Chargers, and Oakland Raiders have all officially applied for relocation to Los Angeles.  LA is a big market, and it’s a bit shocking that America’s biggest, most popular sport doesn’t have a team in the city.  Now, it looks like they may get as many as two teams.  Nothing is a done deal, but there is talk.

BASKETBALL

In college basketball,  #1 Kansas vs. #2 Oklahoma was the game of the season.  The matchup was in Kansas in front of their raucous crowd, and this battle completely lived up to the hype.  It was a fast-paced, back and forth contest that required, 3 OVERTIMES!  In the end, the Jayhawks held on for the big win.  An incredible game to watch!  Kansas 109, Oklahoma 106.

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Bridgewater Fumbles For Cardinals Victory, Crowd-Storming In Iowa Puts Reporter In Hospital

FOOTBALL

All QB Teddy Bridgewater needed to do to help the Minnesota Vikings send the Thursday night game into overtime was throw the ball to the sidelines so a receiver could get out of bounds or throw the ball away but just don’t get sacked and don’t throw over the middle. Unfortunately Bridgewater didn’t fully internalize this message as he fumbled the ball, the game clock expired and the Arizona Cardinals won the game. This third down play was an unfortunate mistake that overshadowed a very solid game for the 2nd year QB Bridgewater. With the win, the Cardinals clinch a playoff berth. Cardinals 23, Vikings 20.

BASKETBALL

Iowa State 2A Des Moines sports reporter, Randy Peterson, got trampled after Iowa State beat Iowa on Thursday night when the crowd stormed the court after the game. The incident is bringing back the discussion on whether crowd-storming should be allowed. The Southeastern conference, for example, has been fining schools for storming the court or rushing the field for over 10 years now.

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