College Basketball BEGINS!

October 17, 2009

The 2009-1010 College Basketball season has kicked off across the country with some of the top programs participating in the spectacle of Midnight Madness.  Saturday, October 17th is the first day College teams can have official practices, so to build hype and sell some merchandise, most schools begin their practice at Midnight in front of packed houses.  Fans are treated to dunk contests, scrimmages, and lazer light shows.

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Most coaches enter the building in lavish style.  Tom Izzo came in an Indy RaceCar to remind the Spartan faithful that he hopes to be in Indianapolis for the Final Four in April.  Roy Williams and his Tar Heel Boys had a comedy night.  Duke played a Blue vs. White scrimmage where the coaches were former Blue Devil greats Bobby Hurley and Christian Laettner.

Much, much hype.  So away from all that is the impending start of the College Basketball season.  The best sports season of them all!  Personally I am excited to see if Kentucky can climb back into contention.  Or how good Michigan St. will be.  Can North Carolina compete?  Will Duke finally get into the Final 4 again.  So much intrigue.

My Top 5;

1. Kansas

2. Michigan St.

3. Connecticut

4. North Carolina

5. Purdue

What is your Top 5?


Dez Bryant

October 14, 2009

Baylor Oklahoma St

The NCAA has suspended Oklahoma St. star wide receiver Dez Bryant for the rest of the season after it was discovered that he lied to the NCAA concerning his visit to Deion Sanders’ house.  Fearing that he broke the NCAA rules, Bryant lied to the NCAA officials that he didn’t work out with Sanders or have a meal at Sanders’ home.

First off, bad move by Dez Bryant.  Lying is never good, never acceptable.  But my questions is, why was he being questioned about this in the first place?  The NCAA now monitors and questions positive male role models in their athletes lives?  Student-athletes cannot eat home-cooked meals?

I have a question, did the NCAA check on Tim Tebow and Colt McCoy’s Christian Mission?  Did they find out if someone paid for one of their meals?  Who payed for a plane ride to Phillipines that costs $1100?  I am not accusing or implying that there is foul play involved in Tebow or McCoy’s trip, but seems like a trip to the Far East would raise more red flags then a jog around a track and chicken alfredo around the dining room table.

I think the appropriate punishment should be 1 game.  You can’t lie.  The whole season?  The Head Coach, the leader of the New Mexico Football Team physically attacked one of his assistants, a felony in New Mexico.  His consequence?  He is suspended for 1 game.

The unbalance continues


Thriller!

April 10, 2009

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Last night’s Frozen Four Match-up between the Boston University Terriers and my school, The University of Vermont, was an absolute thriller.  An EPIC game.  The Hockey East Rivals met for the 4th time this season, and produced a wild 5-4 game in which we witnessed 4 lead changes, 2 late BU goals for the victory, and an absolute inspired effort by Vermont.

I was so excited to watch the Catamounts on the big stage.  Vermont Hockey is the state’s team.  Without a professional team, or a dominant College Basketball Team, Vermont Hockey represents us on the National scene.  And what a year it was in 2008 – 2009.  Consistently ranked in the Top 10 all year, Vermont beat a solid Yale team and then outlasted Air Force to arrive at its’ 1st Frozen Four since the St. Louis/Perrin/Thomas era of ’96.

By all means, Boston University was the better team, but in a 1-game playoff anything can happen.  I was expecting a low-scoring, neutral zone war by Vermont that would try to keep BU’s high scoring offense in check.  But I was dead wrong, in signs showing us that Vermont is becoming an elite power, they went toe-to-toe with the Terriers for the entire game.  And could of easily moved on to Saturday’s National Championship Game.

In the end, the Terriers powered past Vermont with a couple late goals, the winning goal by Colin Wilson who NHL scouts are drooling over.  Both teams left everything on the ice, made their coaches, fans, and alumni proud across the country, and left me wishing for another match-up.

Vermont is a step away, but being in the bright lights will only help Vermont attain that next step.  Looking forward to 2009-2010!


NCAA Tournament Early Predictions

March 16, 2009

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The time has come.  65 teams are in, lots are out.  Maybe only Penn St. having a legitimate gripe about being left out of the field.  I definately feel that Arizona stole their bid.  But regardless, that situation is bound to happen.  

So first and second rounds are set from Thursday – Sunday.  Wall to wall hoops, I can’t wait.  If anyone needs a TV, the entire world is welcome at my house because you know that I will be watching.  

This is when the awesome upsets happen.  So what are mine?  So far I have #12 Arizona over #5 Utah, #12 Northern Iowa over #5 Purdue, #11 VCU over #6 UCLA, and #12 Wisconsin over #5 Florida St.  Personally I don’t consider the 8 vs. 9 or 7 vs. 10 games upsets, those are more toss ups.  

So those are my 1st weekend upsets and picks!  What are yours?

Current Champion Pick by CB – North Carolina!


Da Madness!

March 8, 2009

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I am still hurting from Vermont’s overtime loss to Albany in the opening round of the America East Tournament.  It was a major upset, I thought that the Catamounts had what it took to make it to the NCAA Tournament.  I guess not; Marques Blakely dribbled a breakaway dunk attempt with under 5 seconds left off his knee and out of bounds, Mike Trimboli missed 2 free throws in the final minute, and UVM had to overcome being on the home floor of Albany.  Too much to overcome, maybe an NIT berth for Vermont, we’ll see?

This morning on ESPN’s gameday, those guys were debating if the NCAA Tournament be altered or should it stay the same.  It really got me thinking, should Vermont have to win 3 more games after the regular season in which they were named Co-Champs?  I read a great book by John Feinsten called, “The Last Amateurs”.  Feinstein outlines how the conference tournaments create a tremendous amount of revenue and were really cooked up by ESPN.  In his argument, the 16 or so game regular season absolutely defines who the best team is in that particular conference.  A lesser team can get hot, win 3 games and go to the Big Dance.  Are these small conferences sending the best team as their representative?  I don’t know.

But who doesn’t love the madness?  The pageantry of the Conference Tournament is not lost on me.  The pre-game banquet with all of the awards presented.  4 games in a row on a spring Saturday afternoon.  Buzzer Beaters, David vs. Goliath, legendary performances.  These things take back even the casual fan to pick up games at the park or youth leagues, where the possibilities and dreams seemed endless.  A great feeling.

So torn I am, usually I can process arguments like these and come out with a defined answer or create my own.  Not here, I need your help.