40 - 0 ???
The biggest story in the NCAA semi-finals this weekend is whether or not Kentucky will go undefeated. Critics point to a couple of tough games the Wildcats experienced in the last couple of weeks, especially the rough time Notre Dame gave them. "It proves they're vulnerable," the nay-sayers think. Proponents of the 40-0 say the same game proves they have what it takes. Which gets us nowhere.
Kentucky has what it takes to go all the way: rebounders, defenders, shooters and depth - especially depth. But they also have one other thing that's needed and that's LUCK. You can't keep saying they find a way to win. Sometime the opponent finds a way to lose, whether it's panicking at the end, suffering a critical turnover or a bad coaching decision. So Kentucky could lose and the best chance of that is against Wisconsin, which matches up better with Kentucky than Duke or Michigan St.
TO DUNK OR NOT TO DUNK ???
I only caught the end of this story, but a player had a Technical Foul called on him for hanging on the rim after a dunk. Players do this all the time and it is illegal, except...to keep from injuring another player or to facilitate a clean landing for the person dunking. Dunking in traffic could be dangerous but a lot of times, hanging on the rim isn't really necessary. It's done only to showboat. This player was all alone around the basket and wasn't on the run yet he still swung from the rim. The foul call was correct in spite of the announcers and experts saying it was a bad call. Dunks are enjoyable, in my opinion, but ESPN treats them as if they are the whole reason they play the game. Sometimes dunks show up as 60% or their Top-Ten plays. Okay, so the players are tall and can jump. Why is that such a great thing? It's just genetics. You might as well show pictures of their parents instead. They were the ones who were really responsible.
GREAT PITCHING...OR NOT SO GREAT ???
There are a lot of question marks regarding the Yankee pitching staff this year. Potentially, they are the best in the AL, but we could also be watching a lot of rookies filling in. Evaluators say the staff came through spring training intact and ready to go. I'm not so sure. Tanaka hasn't blown out his elbow but he hasn't blown away the hitters either. Oh, he gets outs, but his fastball is in the 89 - 91 MPH range and without a lot of movement. Bettances is the same way: Last year's 98 - 100 MPH fastball is hovering at 93 - 95. Sabathia claims he has no pain in his knee but the hitters aren't in any pain either. They'll all win but they won't scare anybody.
PETE WANTS IN, DO WE WANT THAT ???
Not me. Rose bet on games, including games the team he was managing was playing in. I'm not an advocate of players using steroids either, but I think the gambling is a bigger, more dangerous violation.
ISN'T IT NOISY ENOUGH ???
The Atlanta Falcons have been penalized for pumping artificial sound into their games. Just another indication of how far teams will go to get an edge. They were fined a whopping $350,000, which I assume a secretary simply paid out of petty cash. They also lost a fifth-round draft pick, which is okay because they didn't really need another 6th string punt returner. Ironically, the Falcon's president, Rich McKay, was suspended from the league's competition committee for three months. A hollow gesture for sure, since most of the committee's work was already done.
IF IT AIN'T BROKE, WHY FIX IT ???
ESPN has "upgraded" their site so it's more...what? I don't know since I will have to learn how to negotiate through it all over again. I'm retired so I have the time, which is good since I'm also old and don't learn so fast anymore.
***THEY SAID IT ***
"Kentucky recruit says he’s excited to be the first in his family to go to one year of college.” -- SportsPickle.com
"Harvard players’ trash-talking is not up to NCAA tournament standards. 'Your matriarch’s inability to calculate Pi is mortifying’ will not cut it." -- Alex Kaseberg
"The average salary this year in Major League Baseball will top $4.25 million. You know what that means. Beer prices are going up." -- Janice Hough