Tag Archives: March Madness

A Special Day: #1,000

By Josh Kramer

Let’s get this party started with a little video tribute..

Before we get into the sappy and reflective stuff again, what would a post be without a little sports chatter?

Sports Theories:

Baseball:

-Baseball shot itself in the foot back in 1973 when the American League added the DH.

-The art of bunting has gone in the toilet (watch the Reds if you want confirmation).

-The MLB should nix interleague play, divisions, and the playoffs, just having a World Series between the teams with the best record in the AL and NL.

-Hitting a 100 mph (especially when you aren’t sure it is coming) fastball is the hardest thing to do in sports.

-Due to playing on the wrong coast, Jered Weaver never receives the media attention he so rightfully deserves.

-If I had the opportunity to be a professional athlete for a day, I would choose to be Derek Jeter. Continue reading

A step in the right direction

Photo courtesy of smokingsection.uproxx.com. College football fans across the country have begged for a playoff system since before I can remember. The wish has been granted.

By Josh Kramer

Since 1998, the BCS has placed handcuffs over the world of college football.  Death to the BCS has been a common outcry (and a top-selling book).  Well the handcuffs have finally be loosened.  Tuesday was truly a milestone day for collegiate football.  College football will finally join the rest of the sporting world.  A champion will be determined via a playoff.  What a happy day.  Or is it? Continue reading

Conference realignment has potential to ruin mid-major hoops

Photo courtesy of thevictoryformation.com. Our very own Nick Craddock gives his thoughts on NCAA Conference Realignment.

By Nick Craddock

There are college football dudes and college basketball guys. I’m more of a college basketball guy. I suppose it’s part of my genetic makeup, like it was in my Canadian forefather, Dr. James Naismith. But now, conference realignment is becoming downright cumbersome as it seems to be forcing me to cater to college football at the cost of quality collegiate hoops from top to bottom of Division I.

I’m not naïve enough to think that the NCAA is not (at least in part) driven by making money and although I was unhappy with the first wave of conference realignment in the fall (i.e. the one where Boise State became a member of the Big East among other moves where the major conference poached teams from one another), the desire for BCS schools to ensure their BCS Conference auto-bid status, lock up lucrative bowl tie-ins, and find the best television markets and contracts was rational.

Rivalries were shattered, athletic departments’ future travel budgets soared, and conference monikers became incredibly stupid (of course, everyone knows 12 teams play in the Big Ten, but 10 teams play in the Big 12, that’s just good logic). But money was to be made so fans were supposed to embrace the change and start booking off work now for those cross-country drives to see the heated Rutgers-Boise State series in person. Continue reading

Food for Thought 5-8-2012

Photo coutesy of zimbio.com. Albert Pujols (pictured above) and the Los Angeles Angels have not had much to celebrate during the early going of the 2012 season. Will the Angels turn things around and begin to live up to expectations?

By Josh Kramer

Is it me or has the MLB been turned upside down?  Derek Jeter is batting over 400 at age 37.  Albert Pujols has one home run (he finally hit one on Sunday).  And Ryan Dempster leads the National League in ERA (all of these stats were heading into play yesterday).  How about the current standings though?

Cellar Dwellers:

-Philadelphia “We are the cream of the crop in the NL East” Phillies

-Chicago “We have fun at Wrigleyville” Cubs

-San Diego “This is not a shocker” Padres

-Boston “We are always a contender” Red Sox

-Minnesota “Ron Gardenhire is a savior” Twins

-Los Angeles “World Series Favorite” Angels

Divisional Leaders:

-Washington “Never gone over 500” Nationals

-St. Louis “Albert Pujols-less” Cardinals

-Los Angeles “Divorced” Dodgers

-Baltimore “We play in the same division as New York and Boston” Orioles

-Cleveland “We are more famous for a movie” Indians

-Texas “Going for a three-peat” Rangers Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 4-2-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. If the New York Rangers want to bring the Stanley Cup back to New York City for the first time since 1994, much will be expected of their star goaltender, aka Mr. GQ, Henrik Lundqvist.

By Josh Kramer

Men’s College Basketball has gone from 345 to 2.  Novak Djokovic once again flexed his muscles in Miami.  And Major League Baseball is ready to roll.  Last week was fun, but this week will not be too shabby in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  We have entered the final week of the NHL season.  I for one am extremely excited for playoff hockey.  Two teams are duking it out in the Eastern Conference for the 8th and final playoff spot, while the Wild West still has five teams in contention for the 7th and 8th positions.  I am more concerned with the real contenders though.  Teams that I think have a legitimate chance of hoisting Lord Stanley in June.  I am focused on a showdown in the City of Brotherly Love tomorrow evening.

New York Rangers at Philadelphia Flyers:  There is a reason why HBO had a hit series this winter entitled, “24/7 Flyers-Rangers.”  Not only are these two of the best teams in all of hockey, but they are also two of the fiercest rivals.  These teams have been bitter divisional foes since 1974-1975 season, and have met ten times in the playoffs.  Well don’t be surprised to see an 11th edition of the “Battle of the Broads” in this year’s postseason.  The Flyers have been led by a high-octane offensive attack that centers around their star, Claude Giroux.  The Rangers on the other hand can score in flurries, but their leader is none other than their Mr. “GQ” himself, Henrik Lundqvist. Continue reading

NFL March Madness

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. In a wild day for the NFL, New Orleans Saints Head Coach Sean Payton (pictured above) has been suspended for the entire 2012 season.

By Josh Kramer

I always was under the impression that March Madness only applied to college hoops.  I was wrong.  The past couple of days have been simply ludicrous in regards to America’s favorite sports league, the NFL.  Let’s recap.

Peyton Manning signs with the Denver Broncos

-I fully understand this mega-signing.  There are many appealing factors to the Mile High City and the Broncos organization.  Namely, they are a team who plays in a weak division and they have John Elway.  Elway can act as a mentor to Peyton and help him become the unquestioned GOAT (Greatest-Of-All-Time) in terms of NFL quarterbacks.  If I were Peyton, I would have signed with the 49ers.  San Francisco is a Super Bowl contender in 2012 with or without Peyton Manning.  They also play in a very weak division. Not to mention they have arguably the best coach in the NFL today, Jim Harbaugh.  5 years and 96 million though may be enough to get me to settle on Denver over San Francisco though.

Goodell shakes up New Orleans Continue reading

Tournament Reset #1

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. The first weekend of March Madness lived up to all of the hype and more. Outside of the wild upsets, the Kendall Marshall (pictured above) wrist-injury was one of the main storylines.

By Matt Murray

If ever there was a year to regroup after the first weekend, this is it. So that’s exactly what we’re going to do. We’re going to forget the first fifty games that have already happened, and re-examine the field as it stands, with the 16 teams left standing.

Before we discuss, here is what the remaining field looks like.

South

#1 Kentucky vs #4 Indiana

#3 Baylor vs #10 Xavier

East 

#1 Michigan St. vs #4 Louisville

#3 Marquette vs #7 Florida

West

#1 Syracuse vs #4 Wisconsin

#6 Cincinnati vs #2 Ohio St

Midwest

#1 North Carolina vs #13 Ohio

#11 NC State vs #2 Kansas

Amidst all the madness of the first four days, it was easy to feel a little bit like the tournament had imploded upon itself; that blue bloods had given way to Cinderellas and that while shocks are good for the tournament, some of this madness had somehow done us a disservice. But now, with four days to breath, it becomes a little bit more apparent that order will likely be restored. The only No. 1 seed playing anything less than a 4-seed is North Carolina, who will strike midnight on this year’s Cinderella, Ohio University, with relative ease (with or without Kendall Marshall). Continue reading

Weekly Nickel 3-19-2012

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. Marian Gaborik (pictured above) has led the Rangers to the top record in the Eastern Conference.

By Josh Kramer

Contrary to popular belief, College Basketball is not the only thing going on in the world these days.  Though it may seem that way at times, plenty of other things are going on in the sporting world as well.  The “Peyton Manning Sweepstakes” continue to heat up.  NBA basketball treks on with the “Trade Deadline” in the rearview and Dwight Howard’s version of “Gossip Girl” on hold for at least another year.  Last week was totally awesome baby with a capital A, but this week is sure to be great in its own right.  Here are the events to keep an eye on.

5.  Sid “the kid” Crosby is back in the flesh.  New York, Boston, and Pittsburgh are running the show in the Eastern Conference, while the West has turned into St. Louis and Vancouver’s playground.  We are nearing the end of the regular season, with right around 10 games to play.  It is hard to believe, but I know all of you remember how exciting the NHL playoffs were last year when Game 7’s became almost a given.  This week my attention is focused on a matchup at Madison Square Garden tonight.

New Jersey Devils at New York Rangers:  Who can remember the last time these two bitter rivals were relevant?  We may have to reach back to the prime of Patrick Ewing’s career.  We are living in the now though.  And though New Jersey is not a top-tier team, they still are capable of making noise in the postseason.  The Rangers on the other hand are looking to bring back some Mark Messier type of memories.  Perhaps Marian Gaborik can help make this a reality?  Both of these rivals are coming off of a loss.  Something that has been a rarity for the Rangers this year.  Don’t get used to it though.  Not only are the Rangers one of the NHL’s best teams, they also are one of the best at home.  Tonight, they will defend their home ice. Continue reading

Throwback Saturday Part IX

Photo courtesy of kimoracochran.com. President Obama (pictured above) has proven that he really knows his hoops finishing in the 87.4 percentile of ESPN's Bracket Challenge last year.

By Josh Kramer

We have entered the third month of “Throwback Saturdays” For those of you who are unfamiliar with the routine.  This is a day where I look back at my posts on this date one year ago and two years ago.  Then we can decipher how spot on I was with my thoughts or how miserably wrong I was.  Typically, it is the latter scenario.  So what was happening on March 17, 2011?  How about March 17, 2010?  Let’s find out.

Nearly one year ago (March 18, 2011)..

Madness Highlights Thus Far

Here is a snippet..

No predictions today.  I will let my bracket play out a little.  But I wanted to check in and let you know my initial thoughts of this year’s edition of March Madness.

-Number one, I only went 11 of 16 in Round 2 (Round of 64).  That is not too good.  Shows how much I know.  President Obama went 14 of 16 and at the end of Thursday was in the 99.7th percentile in the ESPN Bracket Challenge (over 5.9 million participants).  Our President definitely knows his hoops.

-The Louisville game was by far the biggest shocker of the day.  I realize there were other upsets, but the Cardinals going down to an in-state Morehead State team?  I guess Louisville could technically be considered the 3rd best team in the state of Kentucky now?

-What a start to the first few games of the tournament. 4 of the first 5 contests came down to final second shots.  The tournament lived up to all of the hype and more in the first few hours of play.  And it is a good thing it did.  Because outside of the Michigan St./UCLA game, the nightcap was very weak, featuring multiple blowouts (To finish reading this post, click this link). Continue reading

Wittry’s March Madness Predictions

Photo courtesy of zimbio.com. According to our guest blogger Andrew Wittry, John Calipari (pictured above) will be a happy man on the night of April 2nd as he finally gets the monkey off his back and brings home a national championship.

By Andrew Wittry

Andrew Wittry is a senior at St. Xavier High School who literally eats and sleeps sports.  He is looking forward to college and avidly pursuing a career in sports journalism.  Andrew has an already well- established blog called Sports.Eat.Sleep.Repeat., where he posts new content regarding both professional and collegiate sports a few times each week.

Which month would you give up to have more March? While Buffalo Wild Wings jokingly uses this phrase in their recent March Madness advertising campaign, in all seriousness, I would willingly give up a few days of each month to be able to have more of the NCAA Tournament.

After coming home on from practice the other night and looking at the bracket, I could not have been more pleased with the field. When the biggest complaint about a team being left out is Drexel, a team out of the Colonial Athletic Association, who did win nineteen of its final twenty games, but did not have a single quality win out of conference, the committee did an excellent job.  Though Drexel’s amazing late season surge in which they reeled off 19 wins in their last 20 games was highly impressive. I was very excited about how well the local teams fared as Xavier’s run in the A-10 Tournament earned the team a 10 seed and Cincinnati claimed a six spot.  UC’s six was due in large part to giving #2 Syracuse its second loss of the season.

Here are my initial reactions from Selection Sunday:

Is Kentucky’s road to the Final Four too tough? Continue reading