Monday, March 22, 2010

Blog Outsourcing - 3/22/10

Welcome to the post-weekend aftermath of one of the better weekends of the year. It is interesting how days of upsets (Thursday and Saturday) are followed by days of chalk (Friday and Sunday). I dunno who is winning the money pool bracket, but I know what is the status of the Tournament Challenge. I am currently mired in 19th with a pt standing of 350. Tied with me is Spencer, with Boston Nozzel running the rear. At the top of the heap are Johnny & Miz. Interesting that the guy whose "streak" just ended is just 20pts back. 10 pts behind him is KWSN, with a bunch of guys at 410.

Where did I go wrong?

Midwest: 1st rd: Picked UNLV over Northern Iowa, Georgetown over Ohio, Oklahoma State over Georgia Tech.
Midwest: 2nd rd: Kansas getting ousted. Picking Maryland over Sparty.

East: 1st rd: Picking Texas over Wake Forest, Temple over Cornell, Marquette over Washington.
East: 2nd rd: New Mexico getting ousted.

South: 1st rd: Picked Louisville over Cal, Siena over Purdue, Richmond over St. Mary's.
South: 2nd rd: Texas A&M getting ousted, Villanova eliminated.

West: 1st rd: Picking Florida State over Gonzaga, UTEP over Butler.
West: 2nd rd: Picking Pitt over Xavier.

I hope your brackets are in better shape.

Before the links, this is probably the state of some guy after seeing Korie.

Here are the links you truly adore.

Tiger finally makes himself available for an interview (ESPN and Golf Channel)

Joe Mauer is a rich rich man. However, the earliest you can see this guy will be next season.

Vin Scully is fine. Good to hear. He is a dying breed.

Another record broken for the King. Meanwhile, he has sort of resolved his impending FA status.

Champs lose a key cog for their quest to repeat.

Hawks are now officially a playoff team. If things go right, they could be in the Finals.

Duck. Duck. Goal # 600.

A first will happen at the Maison Blue. Whether Rich Rodriguez will be there will be a wholly different matter.

In MLB terms what the Phoenix Coyotes would be doing is like when the Montreal Expos making the playoffs by winning the NL East during their MLB-administration years.

The reward for Tom Penders leading Houston to the NCAA Tournament: "Early Retirement".

Dear David Cole, please stop acting like a hypocrite, because if Tiger decided to join your tournament, you'd welcome him with open arms and $$$$ in your dreamy head. At least Jim Furyk was diplomatic.

Hard to believe he never ever won in Bristol. Not anymore.

There is also March Madness on the ice. The brackets have been released.

Futbol updates: Just another Messi hat-trick. The New Glazer boys keeping the seat very very hot for Rafa Benitez in Liverpool.

Still cannot believe this is the weirdest pairing since that lucky bastard named Marko Jaric. Anyway, the Klitschkos still reign supreme in the big boy division. Meanwhile, the PacMan is now back in the Motherland, to focus on his political aspirations (which officially commences on March 26).

Meanwhile, the second-oldest Pro league is back again. This time armed with imports.

Just a simple parting video, because it is the midst of summer.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The NCAA 2010 Bracket: West Edition

 The West Division is pretty much headlined by the Orangemen and Wildcats. These are 16 teams on the Salt Lake City bracket.

1. Syracuse
2. Kansas State
3. Pittsburgh
5. Butler
6. Xavier
7. BYU
8. Gonzaga
9. Florida State
10. Florida
11. Minnesota
12. UTEP
13. Murray State
14. Oakland
15. North Texas
16. Vermont

1-16 and 8-9 matchups are in Buffalo (c/o MAAC, Canisius and Niagara), 5-12 and 4-13 matchups are in San Jose (c/o San Jose State), 6-11 and 3-14 matchups are in Milwaukee (c/o Marquette), and 7-10 and 2-15 matchups are in Oklahoma City (c/o Big 12). Winners of each pod will proceed to Salt Lake City (c/o Utah)

My thoughts.

1.All eyes on Arinze Onuaku. The ankle he sprained during the Big East Tournament is going to be the key if Syracuse would pull off a title run.

2. Double-digit seed that could make a difference? UTEP. Tony Barbee is the new hot coaching name. Comparisons being made to the 1992 team that went to the Sweet 16. Murray State is a close second with the sort-of Toni Rochette factor.

3. Palatable 1st rd matchup? Butler vs UTEP would make an interesting battle of two mid-major teams. Another one would be Fredette against the Gators.

4. Assembling a quality roster.

Guards:  Andy Rautins (Syracuse), Jacob Pullen (Kansas State), Dennis Clemente (Kansas State), Jimmy Fredette (BYU), Matt Bouldin (Gonzaga), Jordan Crawford (Xavier)
Forwards: Wesley Johnson (Syracuse), Derrick Caracter (UTEP), Gordon Hayward (Butler), Jason Love (Xavier), Steven Gray (Gonzaga), Jamar Samuels (Kansas States), Kris Joseph (Syracuse)

Centers: Solomon Alabi (Florida State), AJ Ogilvy (Vanderbilt)

5. Nightmare-inducing scenario: I am pretty sure Syracuse fans remember T.J. Sorrentine and Taylor Coppenrath very well. It also got Tom Brennan into working for ESPN.

My Sweet 16 teams: Syracuse, UTEP, Pittsburgh and Kansas State,

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The NCAA 2010 Bracket: Midwest Edition

The Midwest Division is relatively loaded with power house teams. These are 16 teams on the St. Louis bracket.

1. Kansas
2. Ohio State
3. Georgetown
4. Maryland
5. Michigan State
6. Tennessee
7. Oklahoma State
9. Northern Iowa
10. Georgia Tech
11. San Diego State
12. New Mexico State
13. Houston
14. Ohio
15. UC - Santa Barbara
16. Lehigh

1-16 and 8-9 matchups are in Oklahoma City (c/o Big 12), 5-12 and 4-13 matchups are in Spokane (c/o Washington State), 6-11 and 3-14 matchups are in Providence (c/o Big East and Providence), and 7-10 and 2-15 matchups are in Milwaukee (c/o Marquette). Winners of each pod will proceed to Saint Louis (c/o Missouri Valley)

My thoughts.

1. Ridiculous top seeds. The best team in the nation in Kansas. Evan Turner. a solid Georgetown squad, Greivis Vasquez and Gary Williams, and Tom Izzo.

2. Double-digit seed that could make a difference? San Diego State. Personally a reach, but they have the best chance of being the Cinderella of the region. The architect of the Fab Five, head coach Steve Fisher, is at the helm of the Aztecs.

3. Palatable 1st rd matchup? Oklahoma State vs Georgia Tech. Two maddeningly inconsistent teams getting it on. the UNLV-UNI game also pits two really good teams. I wish they just switched opponents.

4. Assembling a quality roster.

Guards: Sherron Collins (Kansas), Kalin Lucas (Michigan State), Evan Turner (Ohio State), Chris Wright (Georgetown), Greivis Vasquez (Maryland), James Anderson (Oklahoma State), Kwadzo Ahlegbe (Northern Iowa), Aubrey Coleman (Houston), Austin Freeman (Georgetown)
Forwards: Wayne Chism (Tennessee), Gani Lawal (Georgia Tech), Derrick Favors (Georgia Tech), Xavier Henry (Kansas)
Centers: Cole Aldrich (Kansas), Greg Monroe (Georgetown)

5. Nightmare-inducing scenario: Oklahoma City is the place where a Patriot League team (Bucknell) beat Kansas. Guess who the Jayhawks are facing in Oklahoma City.

My Sweet 16 teams: Kansas, Michigan State, Georgetown, Ohio State

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Commencing the NIT

Later, the NIT will be kicking off at the different campus sites, with its Final Four in a sort of perpetuity at Madison Square Garden. Unlike the NCAAs, only 32 teams are invited, all of them sort of snubbed by the 65 teams (34 at-larges, 30 conference tournament champions and the Ivy League regular season champ). In addition, all regular season conference champs are automatically in the 32-man group, if they missed out on the Big Dance.

So what is the NIT field like this year?

Illini Region: 1-Illinois vs 8-Stony Brook (Interesting twist as Bruce Weber's crew will be @ Stony Brook due to a scheduling snafu.) Winner of that game faces the 4-5 matchup of Kent State and Tulsa. Other half of that region gets 2-Cincinnati against 7-Weber State and Dayton versus Illinois State for the 3-6.

Sun Devil Region: 1-Arizona State will be facing 8-Jacksonville, with the winner facing the winner of Seton Hall and Texas Tech. On the other hand, Memphis versus St. John's and Ole Miss versus Troy complete this region.

Hokie Region: Top-seeded Virginia Tech gets to tango with Quinnipiac. The winner goes on to face the winner of Connecticut and Northeastern (Fun Fact: UConn coach Jim Calhoun was at Northeastern before being hired to coach the Huskies). 2-Rhode Island tangles with Northwestern, with the winner getting the winner of Wichita State-Nevada.

Bulldog Region: Mississippi State will be venting out its 0.1 sec away frustrations on Jackson State, while awaiting the winner of the North Carolina-William & Mary scrap. South Florida gets to face North Carolina State while UAB faces Coastal Carolina.

Personal prediction. Teams in MSG will be Cincy vs Memphis and Virginia Tech vs Mississippi State. Final will be Cincy vs Va Tech, with Lance Stephenson being on the winning end after their last visit to MSG ended abruptly via De'Sean Butler.

Breaking down the 2010 CBI / CIT Brackets.

There are two minor postseason tournaments that are out and about this weekend. The first one is the CBI. The other one is the CIT.

CBI (College Basketball Invitational). Being broadcast on HDNet (a.k.a Mark Cuban's station of choice), the CBI is the third tier tournament after the NCAA and the NIT. The main difference is that they have a best of three finals matchup.

Featuring 16 teams, including a 14-17 Oregon State squad that won the tourney last year, The CBI starts today until April 2.

The 8 matchups are the winner of Saint Louis vs Indiana State will be facing the winner of Akron vs Green Bay (Group 1), the winner of George Washington vs VCU against the winner of Eastern Kentucky vs Charleston (Group 2), the winner of Oregon State vs Boston University will face off with the winner of Morehead State and Colorado State (Group 3), and finally, the Hofstra-IUPUI winner goes up against Princeton-Duquesne winner. Each small matchup will be on March 16 or 17, with Group winners to be determined on March 22.

Group 1 winner faces Group 2 and Group 3 vs Group 4 matchups will commence on March 24. Finals (as stated earlier) will be on March 29, 31 and April 2 (if necessary). All games will be at campus sites.

Apparently, teams are still not serious with this tourney as schools like Alabama, Arizona, Charlotte, Georgia and Michigan declined invitations to participate. Tournament (CIT). This particular tournament does not have a set bracket, just like the old NIT format.

From March 16-18, 16 teams get to determine who goes on to the next round.

The 3/16 matchups are Fairfield vs George Mason, Western Carolina vs Marshall and South Dakota vs Creighton. The 3/17 games are Harvard vs Appalachian State, Middle Tennessee State vs Missouri State, Portland vs Northern Colorado and Pacific vs Loyola Marymount, while the lone game on 3/18 is Southern Mississippi against Louisiana Tech.

If you notice, only Oregon State is from the BCS conferences, the others coming from the mid-majors / one-bid NCAA conferences.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Blog Outsourcing: 3/15

Welcome to the Selection Sunday aftermath edition of the TMA.

Yes, I am amidst the backdrop that is the success of the National Fist over the "Hitter." The sentiment here is that we will take the win, but it left much to be desired. People wanted more action, but it is what it is, so we just had to deal with it.

Of course, when it is Selection Sunday, all sports take a back seat to the madness that is the NCAA Tournament. Come to think of it, even work takes a back seat to the Madness. I am sure you know about the Sparty and Friends Group on ESPN's Tournament Challenge. You can also opt to check that group, if you must. Oh, I presume we will have a preview of the brackets c/o the TWTWCBB peeps. I am still waiting for our NIT bracket madness.

Very well, it is time to knock yourselves out with the links.

Something was amiss with Patphish's TMA yesterday. I presume this is the one.We all know what is next for him.

Speaking of the NIT, their bracket has been released.

A trade involving Peyton and Brady went down. Meanwhile LdT moves east to be Shonn Greene's caddy.

The Celtics got really old. And you better Fear the Deer.

This is what you can see in Trey's Magic Kingdom.

Jazz got thunderstruck.

Packers fans are truly one of a kind. They will give their own blood for them.

It may be unlikely, but that would be one absolute nightmare for Mets fans.

0.1 second makes the difference between the Big Dance and the Little Dance.

Futbol news: the end of Becks?

Some things never change, like Agassi vs Sampras.

The guide people need to know regarding the schedule of the Big Dance, especially where Gus Johnson is. (Interesting that they placed him on ALL CAPS)

Video link: the March Madness edition

The NCAA Bracket before Selection Sunday

First things first, congratulations are in order for the following teams for officially punching in their tickets to the dance by winning their respective conference tournaments (except for the Ivy, who only allows their regular season champ in):

ACC: Duke or Georgia Tech
America East: Vermont
Atlantic 10: Temple or Richmond
Atlantic Sun: ETSU
Big 12: Kansas
Big East: West Virginia
Big Sky: Montana
Big South: Winthrop
Big Ten: Ohio State or Minnesota
Big West: UC - Sta. Barbara
Colonial: Old Dominion
C-USA: Houston
Horizon: Butler
Ivy: Cornell
MAAC: Siena
MAC: Ohio
MEAC: Morgan State
Missouri Valley: Northern Iowa
Mountain West: San Diego State
NEC: Robert Morris
Ohio Valley: Murray State
Pac-10: Washington
Patriot: Lehigh
SEC: Kentucky or Mississippi State
Southern: Wofford
Southland: Sam Houston State
Summit: Oakland
Sun Belt: North Texas
SWAC: Arkansas-Pine Bluff
West Coast: St. Mary's
WAC: New Mexico State

Congrats as well to the 34 other at-large selections:
Atlantic 10: Richmond, Xavier (2)
ACC: Clemson, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Maryland, Wake Forest (5)
Big 12: Baylor, Kansas State, Missouri, Oklahoma State, Texas, Texas A&M (6)
Big East: Georgetown, Louisville, Marquette, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, Syracuse, Villanova (7)
Big Ten: Michigan State, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin (4)
Mountain West: BYU, UNLV, New Mexico (3)
Pac-10: Cal (1)
SEC: Florida, Tennessee, Vanderbilt (3)
WAC: Utah State (1)
West Coast: Gonzaga (1)

Let the March Madness begin.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The New Clipper Era (?)

I am a Clipper fan, a proud one (amidst all the ridicule that comes with being one). With this news out in the way, it is a sign that that the much maligned owner Donald Sterling has had enough of the frustrations the Clipper fans have had. Yes, we made the playoffs once, was close to another and remained perpetually atrocious all other times.

Neil Olshey is the temporary GM, but we will presume he is just there to handle things until the new GM comes in. Yahoo!'s Adrian Wojnarowski has already suggested current Nuggets GM Mark Warkentien (who is part of the FA Class of 2010) as a possible replacement. As a No. 2, he is just fine, especially with the deals he pulled off.

For me, what is exactly needed would be someone to first buy the Clippers away from Donald Sterling, then get a good quality young GM, then a good quality young coach. The Clippers have cap space and good decent players (Kaman, Griffin, Gordon).

It is frustrating though, seeing being blown out game after game. Maddening, indeed.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 3/5

Welcome to a special edition of TMA, since I switched days with Sparty for this week only.

You are probably wondering why I switched. It is because I will be unavailable to post stuff as I will be vacationing in Singapore. After the work I have had the past few days (one of my officemates is ill and I am forced to handle some of his responsibilities), I deserve a break.

Anyhow, this will be brief since all I can think of is that frigging merlion. Time to share the link love.

The uncapped year has arrived. Means that the lockout looms closer than ever. Here is what the ESPN's resident football nerd's FYI on the uncapped year.

Revis Island has a new partner. Expect a lot of balls thrown there.

End of an era in Carolina. That would be a good thing as it ends a running punchline lasting the whole season.

One door closes, another opens for this solid veteran. Another reason why they should be drafting this guy instead of this guy.

Darren Sproles is a $7-million/yr running back. Really.

Meanwhile Da Bears taking a Redskin-like approach to FA.

Speaking of the Redskins, Sam Bradford is 1/16 Cherokee. Just saying...

The Lions make the first big move of the 2010 FA season, getting another Decepticon for Megatron.

He will make his spring training debut this Monday. Is he the missing pitching piece the Reds need?

Sparty is very happy he does not have to see Doc anytime soon. In addition, CC looked good.

Finley in Celtic green? My simple say, if he was of any help, the Spurs would have still kept him around.

Simple capsule as to what happened in the Association. But this quote will annoy GITC to no end.

(although Brad Miller did a good job on Mark Gasol)

Dallas, Atlanta, Denver: you can stop trying to coax him out of Cleveland.

Another trade deadline just passed by. Who benefited the most?

Resorting to hiding newspapers is a funny way of conducting censorship. Thank goodness for the interwebs.

20 years ago, he inspired a midmajor run. Memories run deep, After Len, Hank is a major what could have been...

Get well soon, Austin. If Adam Morrison can get it done, so can you.

This is where Manny > Floyd. Floyd got no singing chops.

She dunks. She punches. She's suspended.

Futbol update: Owen out for Glazer's New Boys. Ditto for Bosingwa.

These Giants were able to get it done. How they did it? Here is how.

To end, this is a funny take on where I will be on Monday.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Blog Outsourcing 3/1

Welcome to the 1st day of March. In the islands, that means, the first day of summer, although the El Nino phenomenon / Al Gore says it came a little bit earlier than the usual. Meanwhile, across the huge pond, the Winter Olympics just ended.

But when March comes, basketball is king.

Speaking of which, there was an interesting news item buried amidst all the otherworldly stuff going on. I found it interesting because not only does it involve a "sister school" (Xavier is a Jesuit University, like my alma mater), but also the fact that encouraging true fandom and not bandwagoneering. Back home, during the dark ages, tickets can be had and demand is close to nil. Nowadays, it is a hot ticket and people use it to be seen. Even more with a successful title defense. I can relate to Coach Mack when he wants to hear the crowd cheer instead of just sitting around and watching the game. I hope you guys are all out when you cheer, during the good times and the bad.

Btw, Xavier did win against Richmond.

Special note: I will be unavailable to post this Monday's TMA (March 8th) as I will be bonding with my family alongside this iconic figure.

Time to link love:

If there is one sport Canada would love to have a single gold, this would be it. If you want to relive that monent, go here.

Sid the Kid
. From Icon to Legend. Johnny approves.

, he gets credit for his play. After all, he backed up Brodeur.

The First Sportsman to pay up, eh?

Consolation prize for Ryan Miller.

Another reason why NBC (and its subsidiaries) = FAIL.

The NHL may be anxious to answer for Sochi, the coaches made their position clear.

This guy is the top-scoring player in Olympic hockey history.

What is life after Stephen Curry, Davidson?

How much Canada loves their hockey = How much my countrymen love our basketball.

Right now, the second-oldest pro league is in the finals. One team right now has a 3-0 lead on the best-of-seven finals, and this local sports blogging genius explains why.

These Patriots sealed the deal and pulled it off.

Watched this team take the #1 spot on the polls on the telly. They really earned it, even with Sparty beating KWSN.

I wonder who will Jerry and his blank check go after.

Al Jefferson suspended. Anything that ensures good things for the Minny 1st rounder that will be going to the Clippers is a good thing on my watch.

Temple is King of Philly.

2 straight for the current Sprint Cup champ. Of course, this news is merely to say Miz is a redneck.

Futbol update: Glazer's New Boys win the Carling Cup.

Guess who's coming back to Kimmel?

Video special (Today is the Shock Value II edition):
This one I wonder is what the state of Olympic hockey.

This one has the connection to the theme.

Canadian Gold!

Yes! Oh Canada! And it was the Golden Child who sealed the deal. (Photo c/o Vancouver Sun)