Saturday, March 19, 2011


A lot of the "big boys" played yesterday, the #1 and #2 seeds, and there were no surprises there. Two more Big East teams went down, though. The theory was, that after the battles in the conference, these teams would be hardened to the stresses of the NCAA Tourny. It's not really happening. Oh, the higher ranked teams are okay, but the mid-level teams are dropping fast. Is that the Big East is over-rated or that these teams are worn out from the Conference wars? It's probably a little bit of both.

Syracuse came away with a win last night (or should I say this morning?) against a game, but over-matched, Indiana State team. No matter how much the announcers hyped their play, it never really felt like the Orange were in trouble. They also talked up ISU guard Jake Odums, until you thought he was 1st team All-American - until you checked the box score and saw his fairly mediocre stats: 7 points, 6 assists. Okay, but not what you expected when you listened to what seemed like his personal publicity agents.
One of the keys to the game was how ISU seemed absolutely terrified to shoot when they got the ball close to the basket, which they did quite often. In their defense, they were all a bit smaller that the SU big men. A bigger test upcoming for SU Sunday night against Marquette.

I'm sorry to have to admit that Annie-O is beating the pants off me in our little "Bracket Championship." I guess the prettiest team colors theory is more reliable than the sexiest cheerleaders outfits, as far as picking winners. There is a side benefit to my method: the research needed.

I mentioned yesterday that Buster Olney would be unhappy over the loss suffered by his beloved Vanderbilt. Here's Buster's comment in his blog yesterday.
"Allegedly there was some organized basketball event and the university that I attended decades ago was involved. Beyond that, I can't speak of any of it... ever."

There is still a lot of discussion over the defensive abilities of Jesus Montero. There are scouts who say that, based on what they have seen this spring, he'll never be an effective catcher. The few times I've seen him, he looked okay, but then I'm used to Jorge Posada behind the plate and, let's face it, he never set the bar too high. In fact, last year, he might have left the bar in the dugout.

From Jim Caple of ESPN, on the Phillies and their all-star rotation:
"The Phillies put single-game tickets for the regular season on sale Wednesday," he wrote. "World Series tickets go on sale Thursday."

Dwight Perry, Seattle Times:
"Stetson University, which abolished its football team after the 1956 season, will bring back the sport in 2013, the school announced. Instead of scripting the first 25 plays, Stetson's will be drawn out of a hat."

Brad Dickson, Omaha World-Herald:
"President Obama appeared on ESPN to make his NCAA tournament picks. Let's just hope this wasn't some weird exchange program and Dick Vitale is in the oval office deciding what to do about Gadhafy."
(Let's do it , baby!)


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