Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Joey Votto (pictured above) is having a year for the ages. Is it the greatest Cincinnati has ever seen?
By Victor Kamesar
Victor Kamesar is a die-hard Cincinnatian who currently finds himself across the country. Despite being out in Cowboy Country (Norman, Oklahoma), Victor still finds time to follow his hometown Reds, Bengals, and Bearcats.
It didn’t hit me until a few weeks ago when I read a Jayson Stark headline proclaiming “Joey Votto hitting like the Bambino.” Cincinnati’s very own gold glove first baseman is having the best season in baseball since the Babe in some categories. Votto is on pace for 197 hits and a ridiculous 127 walks. As Stark pointed out, the only player ever to put up those types of walk numbers in a season in which they amassed 200 hits was “Babe Ruth, The Greaaat Bambino.” As a lifelong Cincinnati sports fanatic, I began to wonder, is Votto having the best season any athlete wearing Cincinnati threads has had since I’ve been alive (FYI I was born in 1990)? Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Babe Ruth, Barry Larkin, Carson Palmer, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati Bengals, Cincinnati Reds, Conference USA, Dante Bichette, Joey Votto, Kenyon Martin, MVP, Peyton Manning, Shaun Alexander, Super Bowl, Victor Kamesar
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Rudy Gay (pictured above) is the main guy in Memphis these days. After suffering a heartbreaking loss on Sunday, the Grizzlies will rely heavily on Gay to help get Memphis back into the series.
By Josh Kramer
Today is a special day for “TheSportsKraze.” Back when I started this blog in September of 2009, I never could have imagined all that I would learn from this experience. Writing daily on this forum has truly been a blessing and helped me grow as both a writer and as a person. When my roommate convinced me to start “TheSportsKraze,” I figured it would be a nice little hobby that may get some looks from ten to twenty of my closest family and friends a day. These days, “TheSportsKraze” has become a major part of my daily routine and is read by hundreds of people from across the globe every day. Well today, we have hit the 900th post. Please take it in and enjoy.
Sleeping in Memphis?
All NBA fans had the Clippers/Grizzlies series circled as the one that would provide some fireworks in the opening round. Well the series opener did not disappoint by any means. I turned the game off after the third quarter. It was already kind of late, and the Grizzlies were absolutely making a mockery out of “Lob City.” Shame on me for not watching the full 48 minutes. The beauty of sports is no game is ever over until the final horn sounds or the final out is made. I learned this as a young child when Reggie Miller ripped the hearts out of the New York Knicks by scoring eight points in nine seconds on May 7, 1995.
I have been high on the Grizzlies all season. There is a reason why I picked them way back in December to play deep into the postseason. The Grizzlies shocked the Spurs last year. And this off-season, they only appeared to get better. Through three quarters on Sunday, they looked the part as a major contender in the West. Then the fourth quarter from hell struck. Continue reading
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged Bryce Harper, Charlotte Hornets, Chicago Bulls, Cincinnati Bearcats, Cleveland Indians, Derrick Rose, Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Kenyon Martin, Lebron James, Los Angeles Clippers, Memphis Grizzlies, NBA Playoffs, New York Knicks, Paul Silas, Reggie Miller, San Antonio Spurs, Tampa Bay Rays
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kemba Walker (pictured above) was the face of the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Who will be the face of the 2012 version of March Madness?
By Josh Kramer
Two and a half months later and “Throwback Saturdays” are still going strong. Welcome to edition ten of our weekly throwback day. What was happening on March 24, 2011? How about on March 24, 2010? I have a gut feeling that March Madness was discussed in some facet. Let’s take a look back and see what the major happenings were and how accurate I was with my analysis.
One year ago..
Sweet 16: Day 1 Predictions
Here is a snippet..
Connecticut vs San Diego State: Can you say Kemba? UConn has won 7 straight and are a perfect 10 and 0 in tournament play on the year heading into tomorrow’s showdown with a very talented and higher seeded San Diego Aztecs team. Now I realize that most of the national media has been grilling the Big East. I mean who wouldn’t. The conference began the tourney with 11 teams and only 2 still remain as we begin the Sweet 16. Let me state though, both of the teams still standing went 9 and 9 in conference play. Name me another team that is still standing in this bracket that went 500 in conference play. I will do one even better. Name me a team that did not finish in the top 4 of their conference that is still alive. But back to the topic at hand. San Diego State is also on a hot streak of their own having won 7 consecutive games. 43, 25, and 30 sums it up for me though when looking at this matchup (Jimmer’s point totals vs SDSU this year). Though the Aztecs play very solid defense and also have a very well-rounded scoring attack, they have failed to slow down teams with elite scorers all year. Good luck slowing down Kemba. At least one Big East team will find their way into the Elite Eight. And it will be the UConn Huskies as they gut out 3 point victory behind the Kemba Show.
BYU vs Florida: On paper, this game appears to favor the Cougars. They put up over 80 points a game. They have the edge on the boards. And I could go on. But not so fast. BYU has not been the same since the dismissal of starting center Brandon Davies for breaking University rules. Well this will be the first NCAA Tournament game where this vacancy in the paint really hurts. It will also be the first game in the tournament where BYU plays a team seeded higher than 11th. The Gators are very deep and talented, and will be the loan SEC team to nab a spot in the Elite Eight. The Jimmer Show has to end at some point. Plus Bobby Knight laid out how you stop Jimmer on SportsCenter. You better believe that Florida Coach Billy Donovan took notes on what the legend said. I am going to stick with my original pick in this one as well. Gators by 2 in a thriller (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Arizona Wildcats, Big East, Billy Donovan, Bob Huggins, Bobby Knight, Brad Stevens, Brandon Davies, Butler Bulldogs, BYU Cougars, Cincinnati Bearcats, Connecticut Huskies, Darryl Bryant, Derrick Williams, Duke Blue Devils, Florida Gators, Jimmer Fredette, Joe Mazzulla, John Calipari, John Wall, Kemba Walker, Kentucky Wildcats, Kenyon Martin, NCAA Basketball, San Diego State Aztecs, Washington Huskies, West Virginia Mountaineers, Wisconin Badgers
Photo courtesy of bleacherreport.com. The Road to the Final Four begins tonight in Dayton. Here is a guide to help with your bracket.
By Josh Kramer
For the first time in a very long time, there will be no “Food for Thought” today (Tuesday). A higher being has taken charge. And that would be none other than March Madness. Sure there are other things going on in sports, but what else do you really want to talk about? Sorry Peyton. You will be taking a back seat today.
The brackets are finally set. And as usual, Joe Lunardi did a wonderful job with Bracketology, correctly guessing 67 of the 68 teams in the field. The guy is unbelievable. But enough speculation. Let’s talk about the actual tournament bracket.
South Region: The Region of Prestige
-Many are proclaiming this the best region in the field. I do not agree (I think the East is). But without question, it is not short on “prestigious” programs such as Kentucky, Connecticut, Indiana, and Duke. In addition, three of last year’s Final Four participants reside in the South (Kentucky, Connecticut, and VCU). But let’s be entirely realistic. This region starts and ends with the Big Blue Nation. If Kentucky comes to play, they won’t lose.
-Xavier over Notre Dame
-The Connecticut Huskies are praying that history does not repeat itself. Each time UConn has won the title under Jim Calhoun (1999, 2004) the following year has resulted in a second round exit from the tourney (would be third round this year).
-A number one overall seed has been revealed each of the past eight years. The top seed has only reached the Final Four three times. The only number one overall seed during this year eight year stretch to win the title was Florida in 2007. Kentucky is praying that they can accomplish what their SEC rival did five years ago. Continue reading
Posted in NCAA Basketball
Tagged ACC, Big East, Chris Mack, Cincinnati Bearcats, Connecticut Huskies, Creighton Bluejays, Doug McDermott, Duke Blue Devils, Florida State Seminoles, Gonzaga Bulldogs, Harrison Barnes, Henry Sims, Indiana Hoosiers, Jim Calhoun, Joe Lunardi, Kendall Marshall, Kentucky Wildcats, Kenyon Martin, Kerron Johnson, Long Beach State 49ers, Louisville Cardinals, March Madness, Marquette Golden Eagles, Memphis Tigers, Michigan State Spartans, Michigan Wolverines, Missouri Tigers, NCAA Basketball, New Mexico Lobos, North Carolina State Wolfpack, North Carolina Tar Heels, Notre Dame Fighting Irish, Peyton Manning, Robbie Hummel, San Diego State Aztecs, Syracuse Orangemen, Thomas Robinson, Tim Hardaway Jr., Trey Burke, Tyler Zeller, Tyshawn Taylor, VCU Rams, Verdell Jones, West Virginia Mountaineers, Xavier Musketeers
Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Kevin Jones (pictured above) is your typical "Huggins Guy" and will very likely be a lottery pick at the NBA Draft in June.
By Josh Kramer
Bob Huggins is known for three things by the American public. Winning, toughness, and of course drinking. Huggins established himself as one of the elite coaches in America during his sixteen year tenure in Cincinnati. During that time, Huggins won an astounding 399 games (average of 25 a year), went to three Elite Eights, and of course earned UC their first trip to the Final Four in nearly 30 years. In addition, Huggins lived and breathed toughness. This was reflected in how his players approached every game.
Many in Cincinnati grew to love the man often referred to as “Huggy Bear.” They loved his very casual dress, his temper-tantrums, and of course the fact that he won. And not only did the fans worship Huggins, but so did his players. Bob Huggins may not be the best X’s and O’s guy. He also may not be the best recruiter in the country. But I can safely say that Bob Huggins is the best coach in America at getting the optimum effort level out of his players on a nightly basis. There will never be questions about effort and backbone when talking about a player on a Bob Huggins team. Huggins developed players to fit his system. A good few of these guys are commonly referred to as “Huggins Guys.” I am talking about players like Kenyon Martin, Jason Maxiel, Eric Hicks, and I could go on in terms of Cincinnati. From a West Virginia standpoint, I am referring to guys like Joe Alexander, Da’Sean Butler, and this list will continue to grow in time.
The following are the characteristics of a “Huggins Guy.” Continue reading
Posted in NCAA Basketball
Tagged Big East, Bob Huggins, Cincinnati Bearcats, Da'Sean Butler, Eric Hicks, Jason Maxiel, Joe Alexander, John Calipari, Kenyon Martin, Kevin Jones, NBA, Thad Matta, West Virginia Mountaineers
Photo courtesy of sportsillustrated.cnn.com. Ohio State came up just short today without their star Jared Sullinger (pictured above).
By Josh Kramer
Now I am fully aware that the vast majority of you are flabbergasted by the headline of this post. How could the number two ranked team in all of the land have a moral victory? Especially when they did not play against the number one ranked team in the country, or even a top ten ranked team for that matter. Well let me elaborate for you.
Today, Ohio State headed to a very hostile environment to take on the number 13 ranked Kansas Jayhawks at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. The Buckeyes first road game of the year. A true road test right off the bat. In addition, Kansas is no slouch of a team in the own right. Outside of a very humbling experience at Madison Square Garden against Kentucky, this team has looked very good. I realize that the same Duke team who Ohio State beat by 22, came in and handled the Jayhawks a couple of weeks ago, but the Jayhawks are still a very solid opponent.
Ohio State had played just one game that had stayed within single digits all year until today (W over Florida). The Buckeyes have been a team that relies on a stifling offensive attack that is one of the most efficient in all of the land. In other words, Ohio State is a team that hits over 50% of their shots a game. This amazing stat is due in large part to their best player, Jared Sullinger. Continue reading
The reigning National League MVP and Red's star 1st Baseman Joey Votto (pictured above) appears determined to lead Cincinnati back to the playoffs. And this time he appears to be playing for keeps.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s “Weekly Nickel,” this is an absolutely wild week in sports. Here are a few things that have been on my mind over the past 24 hours though.
Reds Look Determined to go Wire to Wire Continue reading
Posted in Miscellaneous
Tagged Charles Barkley, Cincinnati Reds, Denver Nuggets, Joey Votto, Kenyon Martin, Los Angeles Lakers, Milwaukee Brewers, MVP, National Championship, NBA, NCAA Basketball, NL Central, Playoffs