Team (times I have seen them play)
Duke (10+): I am not sure if this is the way college basketball is these days with the watered down talent, but this is one of the weakest #1 seeds I have ever seen. They have no depth, no consistent scoring, and their best player (Redick) cannot get his shot off when someone is locking him down. Sheldon Williams is nice in the post, but he gets into foul trouble, and there is almost nothing behind him. They are very beatable. And I consider myself a Duke admirer. But this is all Coach K. They are not that great this year.
Kentucky (0): Have not seen them play at all this year. Ashley Judd is cute. And the way Florida rolled them last week has anyone in their right mind concerned.
Oklahoma (10+): Wildly inconsistent. Like Gray and Bookout in the paint, but the guard play is spotty, and even Gray is hit or miss. They are on a decent roll, but again, they seem very beatable.
Syracuse (0): Carmelo Anthony would be a Junior this year. If he was, I would watch them a lot more. From what I understand that white guy from their National Championship team, McNamara, is now maybe their best player. How good could they be?
UNC (10+): I hate Carolina. Always have (except for Jordan and Mia Hamm). Anyway, they are awesome. The most talent in the country. Felton is great, McCants is a talent, and May is flat-out awesome in the paint. If I had to bet, I would say they are the team to beat in this whole tournament.
UConn (2): Haven’t seen much since last year’s Championship team. They lost Emeka and Ben Gordon, but still are decent. Calhoun is greatness.
Kansas (5-7): They are very talented, but any team that shoots that poorly from the line will not win 6 games in a row. Their best players are awful from the line.
Florida (0): Vernon Maxwell and Dwayne Schintzius were playing the last time I watched these guys regularly. Its been a while. Trust no game I predict involving Florida.
Washington (0): I cannot name any player who has EVER played at Washington except Detlef Schrempf.
Wake Forest (3): They are very solid. Very balanced. But, I do tend to overrate the ACC.
Gonzaga (0): This regional has to be very weak if this is the #3 seed. I detest small schools getting high seeds.
Louisville (0): Rick Pitino is a snappy dresser. And Pervis Ellison was a fine Frosh.
Illinois (10+): I really like their backcourt. Head, Williams, and Brown are fine talents, although I think Dee Brown is pretty over-rated. They are a popular pick, but I just cannot get past the fact that they are so dependent on the 3-pointer and have almost no inside game. They are really good, but there will no doubt be a night when the perimeter is not hitting. Then what?
Oklahoma St (8): Like this team a lot. They have Lucas at the point, along with the Graham twins. I really like the way they play defense. They will be tough to bounce.
Arizona (0): I cannot decide whether I watch less Pac-10 basketball or less SEC basketball in the regular season. Never have, except when LSU had Shaq.
Boston College (1): Never thought they were that good. They won’t see week #2 of this tournament.
My Final Four: Duke, UNC, Illinois, and Wake Forest (of course, I readily admit that Duke isn’t good enough to get there, but they were selected by default in that Austin regional.)
Thursday Winners from Bob (I also like calling it “Picking games between teams I really haven’t seen much”): Illinois, Texas, Alabama, Penn, UAB, Arizona, Washington, Pitt, Texas Tech, Gonzaga, Creighton, Wake Forest, Oklahoma, Utah, Iowa, Kentucky
Dallas Observer article on John Hart and Kenny Rogers …including a few paragraphs on why Rogers is grumpy these days:
The dispute stems from whether Rogers--who is in the final season of a two-year $6 million deal--threatened to walk out and retire if more money and/or more years weren't added to his contract. (None of that came to pass--the Rangers denied his request and Rogers reported to camp on time.) Rogers, through his interview with Grant, denied it went down like that. He said he never issued an ultimatum with an "I'll quit and screw you as a result" kicker. The Rangers, through a piece written by T.R. Sullivan in the Star-T (the first story to detail the private conversation thanks to a leak from within the organization), say otherwise--which is what pissed Rogers off and is why he isn't talking to the vast majority of the media here. In fact, Rogers was so livid that, when a reporter working for a different outfit called him on his cell phone shortly after the Star-T piece ran, Rogers allegedly threatened to kick his ass and called him a "motherf-----." (Again, Rogers declined comment.)
This isn't the first time that Rogers and the Rangers have had a falling-out. Despite the fact that Rogers is one of the longest-tenured Rangers in club history, he lashed out at them last season following the A-Rod trade, criticizing Hart for dealing one of the game's best and saying that it wasn't "what I signed on for."
As with anything else, there are two sides to this story. Somewhere in the middle is the truth. Or maybe the truth is forever lost, deleted and replaced with the selective memories of the parties in question. It's become a lot like that game we played as children--whisper down the lane. You line a bunch of people up in a row. The first person whispers a word into the ear of the guy sitting next to him--apple, let's say. By the time it reaches the person sitting at the end of the line, it's been twisted and reworked--maybe by accident, perhaps by design--so that it doesn't come out apple at all, but something radically different.
Mavs in holding pattern until Dampier returns …
Drese fantastic in start …
Amazing Race, Episode 3 recap …And as much as I want to hate Boston Rob, I just can’t.
Larry King = $7 million a year …
CNN has inked a contract extension with Larry King, keeping the iconic interviewer at the news net through 2009.
Deal is worth close to $7 million a year, Daily Variety has learned, and assures the immediate future of "Larry King Live" while quelling speculation that King's sometimes stand-in Nancy Grace is being groomed as his replacement.
Replay to be expanded in NFL? …
Good essay on Soriano …
NFL’s Worst Free Agent Signings – Ever …
Al Strachan frowns on blue ice …
In Nascar, if you ain’t cheatin, you ain’t trying …
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