Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

March Madness – Day 1

March 15, 2012

I KNOW IT’S NOT REALLY DAY ONE. Shut up, you’re annoying. But can you really count the play-in games when one of the top teams from a major conference had 13 points at halftime? The Pac-12 sucks balls.

So TODAY is day one as far as I’m concerned. And this is where the guy who openly admits he didn’t follow enough college basketball this season is going to tell you who’s going to win and why. My failure to follow in 2011-2012 comes from a couple of factors: Washington State sucked this year, and I’m not AT Washington State anymore.

You kinda lose interest when the only games you get to see are maybe when your team is playing locally. Maybe. And then your center accounts for 75 percent of a lackluster offensive effort in a blowout loss. Eh, no thanks, I heard the Pro Bowl is playing on NFL Network so I’ll just cut to that (oooh, BURNED college basketball!).

But I do have some credibility – I followed the college basketball season closely enough to know that Kentucky and Kansas are good, Long Beach State almost got as much unnecessary press as Jeremy Lin, Indiana is overrated, Syracuse is screwed, and Iona couldn’t protect a lead if it were double-bubble-wrapped and gifted to them in an armored truck.

And I’ve had surprisingly solid success as a bracketeer over the last five years or so of obsessively scribbling down my tournament picks. I go for consistency. Much like Jim Kelly, I will get myself in position to win the big one, only to blow it at the end. But the fact that I get so close every time has to count for something, right? Mr. Kelly, why are you crying?

Anyways, enough dilly-dallying. Let’s get to the picks. We’ve got 16 big games coming up on the real day one from all across the regions. This is how it will shake out, in no particular order:

(4) Wisconsin def. (13) Montana – C’mon, you can’t expect me to go against my boy KP! Don’t listen to the pathetic rumblings of the closet March Madness romantics; Montana will NOT win this game. It may be one of those awkwardly close games at halftime, but Wisconsin’s going to pull away with ease in the second half.

(16) UNC Asheville def. (1) SyracuseUpset of the century! Tricked ya, didn’t I? Don’t be ridiculous. Syracuse is going to beat UNC Asheville like my morning eggs. It’s going to be a bloodbath. Sure, losing Fab Melo might hurt later on in the tourney, but Jim Boeheim could start at point guard in this game and the Orange would still win. And no, I won’t go back and change that bolded part. I’ve gone way too far already.

(5) Vanderbilt def. (12) Harvard – Every year, there seems to be a 12 upsetting a 5 in the first round. And there might be in this tournament too. But it ain’t gonna be these lovable nerds that everyone seems to be so hyped about. Vandy is going to take Harvard back to school and win big. At least the Harvard players can go home with their heads held high, knowing most other players in this tournament will be working for them in the next five years.

(2) Ohio State def. (15) Loyola (MD) – Who are the Buckeyes even playing? I can’t take any team seriously that has to put it’s state in parentheses at risk of nobody knowing where they are otherwise. Now that I’ve said that, Ohio State is probably going down. But I’ll take the risk. OSU cruises by 20-plus.

(1) Kentucky DESTROYS (16) Western Kentucky – See what I did there? Look, I’m a believer in the inevitable, eventual 16/1 upset. It’s not going to be this year and it’s definitely not going to be Kentucky that goes down. Western is a cute little story and their play-in win was pretty exciting, but this in-state rivalry is a bit lopsided in favor of Big Blue. Look for a win by 30 or more for John Calipari’s Cats.

(12) VCU def. (5) Wichita State -This one is for real. Okay, I’m a little bit upset happy (awesome sports-related oxymoron locked in). You’ll see. I have 3 12-seeds and a 13 moving on…and this is the first. My goodness the “experts” are absolutely slobbering over Wichita State this year. Is it because if they win, the Shockers can throw up that dirty hand gesture that none of our parents will ever understand? Probably not. But I’m all for taking the ugly twin version of “WSU” to lose. There is one true WSU. They aren’t good enough to be in the tournament. Whatever.

(3) Baylor def. (14) South Dakota State – If, and that’s a very soft IF, South Dakota State pulls off the absolutely ridiculous upset, people still won’t be able to locate them on a map. I’m a huge Baylor fan. That RGIII guy is badASS! What? Wrong sport? Shit. I told you I haven’t watched enough college basketball this year…joking aside, Baylor is a legit Final Four threat and South Dakota State is a very short hurdle on their way.

(13) New Mexico State def. (4) Indiana -Yeah, I’m just not impressed. I was for a while, about two months ago. But since then, the Hoosiers have done nothing that allows me to not pick this upset. Honestly, I don’t know anything about New Mexico State. I usually forget New Mexico is even a state. But I once met a girl who went to New Mexico State. She was kinda hot. And if a + b = c, then New Mexico State wins this game. So there.

(6) UNLV def. (11) Colorado – Colorado is in the Pac-12. Don’t be stupid.

(6) Murray State def. (11) Colorado State -Unless the Rams are going to get Tim Tebow to play guard, they aren’t pulling any miracles. What a bummer day for the state of Colorado.

(4) Louisville def. (13) Davidson – Last time I checked, Davidson hasn’t had Steph Curry for a couple of years. Therefore, they no longer exist. Some crazies out there are picking Louisville to go to the Final Four. Saying that’s a stretch is like saying the Pope enjoys a good game of Quidditch. It makes no sense. Rick Pitino’s boys could pull a shocker, but I don’t believe it will happen. One thing they will definitely do, though, is win their first round game. Must be easy when your opponent isn’t real.

(3) Marquette def. (14) BYU – After overcoming a million point deficit to even get to this point, I’m afraid BYU’s luck has run out. They don’t have Jimmer Fredette anymore. And they also don’t have that guy that had sex once, or whatever. That dirty bastard. Marquette should win this one handily. I actually like the Golden Eagles in this tournament. I think getting to the Sweet 16 will be a walk in the park for them. Unfortunately, at that point, they run into Missouri. Well, it will be fun for a couple of games at least.

(12) Long Beach State def. (5) New Mexico – I know I gave Long Beach a bunch of crap to start this post. I still maintain they were blown out of proportion after one big non-conference upset. But they certainly earned their way into this tournament, and I think they got a very favorable first-round match up. There’s just no way in hell that two teams from New Mexico can move on. I went to a state school, so that upset will stand. Isn’t my logic awesome? Apologies to my good friend Amr Saad, who still goes to UNM. Jesus dude, are you seriously still in college…Egyptian Van Wilder up in here.

(9) Southern Miss def. (8) Kansas State Frank Martin is pretty scary, but ohhhhhhhh ohhhh oh oh I get a good feelin’ about Southern Miss. This should be a pretty good game. It’s already started and KSU is up big early, but that just makes my pick even more dramatic. I hate purple, because the Washington Huskies wear that color. Therefore, Kansas State is out.

(9) UConn def. (8) Iowa State – I was torn on this one. Two of my fellow Three Up, Three Down podcasters are going head to head. Mapes is a UConn fan and Abby is pulling for Iowa State. This isn’t a statement on my friendships with these people, I promise. It’s simply that I know more about UConn and that whole “defending champs” thing kind of factored in. Wow, this analysis had hardly anything to do with basketball.

(7) Gonzaga def. (10) West Virginia – I hate hate hate Gonzaga. They were the only school within hitchiking distance of mine, and of course there was a wild rivalry in basketball between them and WSU. Unfortunately, the Zags have always been a super power in their own right so they got to beat up on my Cougs here and there. But I cherished every victory. So this is a tough pick to make, rooting for my rivals. But I can’t lie – they are damn good. Whatever, my school still has them in football!

Those are my picks for day one. As you can see, plenty of excitement, plenty of upsets and plenty of good storylines. Good thing nobody reads this blog, or I’d be preparing myself for an influx of hate mail from the 385 combined residents of New Mexico and South Dakota. Let me know what you think of my picks. If you beat my bracket, you get the privilege of following me on Twitter @Jamblinman. Sweet prize, no? BUT if you don’t beat my bracket, you get this instead.

Ouch. Until tomorrow, please don’t go all Pele on your young children. Thanks.

So THAT’S Why Dwight Wants Out!

January 27, 2012

Holy guacamole we have a lot to talk about today. The last 24 hours in sports has gotten me buzzin’ on the good stuff. Winter X-Games is in full gear, the Magic have 99 problems but a swish ain’t one (actually it is), and hockey really is the best at something! Here we go (Oh, come ON. Totally fake, that house would not be livable)!

I’ll be honest. The reason I’m bringing up the Winter X-Games is because the guy who won gold in Snowmobile Freestyle laid down the first acceptable Tebow (short for Tebowing in this case) I’ve seen in months. First of all, I don’t know what a hippie-haired kid from Texas is doing winning a Winter X medal, but he killed it and then nailed the pose in front of Tebow’s Colorado faithful. Check it out.

On to the NBA, where Magic tricks are pulled on a daily basis. Or so it seems. I actually feel bad for Orlando (but I definitely don’t feel bad for this British broad…eat an apple, woman!). Not only does Dwight Howard want out, but they are giving him no reason to stay, and doing so in a losing-to-Boston fashion. And nobody likes Boston teams. Not even Boston likes Boston teams. Oh god, I can hear the mob of chowdah-slinging ruffians coming at me from here!

But really, the Magic got absolutely blown out by the Celts a couple of days ago. Then, yesterday, they built up a HUGE halftime lead. As in insurmountable. As in the only team who could blow that type of lead would be the 2004 Yankees (ZING! And Boston loves me again). Yet the Magic vanished, and they did blow that lead and any hope they had of retaining their big man. I no longer blame Dwight for wanting to bounce. That was simply embarrassing.

They were up 21 at halftime, had a big lead of 27 in the second half…and lost by eight. Twenty five points in the second half for Orlando, including being outscored 27-8 in the fourth quarter. Yikes. Sayonara, D12. I’m not even mad. That’s amazing! It must have been more difficult to screw up so royally than to actually win the game.

In other NBA news, I learned I’m very much in the minority. Not only because I hardly care about or follow professional basketball, but because I thought the ABA uniforms in the Grizzlies vs. Clippers game yesterday were freakin’ SWEET! Seriously, the NFL is going to let Nike’s blind fashionistas design next year’s uni’s when they could go with awesome throwbacks like that? I hope they wear those every night!

Before I move away from basketball altogether, I’ve got a little surprise for you! Remember the big posterization I mentioned from the college game a couple of days ago? Happy learned how to Google! Sit back, relax and enjoy this face mashing. That’s the most offensive thing I’ve seen since war and famine. Okay, I’ll stop stealing movie lines.

Moving on. Let’s talk a little football. First, the boring stuff. The Bucs hired former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano to take over the head coaching gig. Hey, if you think his college record that’s one game over .500 is that impressive, good on ya. Turning around the Rutgers football program is no small task, but an underachieving team full of rich, thuggish prima donnas is a helluva lot bigger problem. If Schiano can get QB Josh Freeman to regain confidence, leadership and the decision-making ability he showed in 2010, there’s a chance. Otherwise it’s going to be early curtains for the coach.

According to ESPN’s Cold Hard Facts segment, they think Rex Ryan is on the hot seat for next season. I’m a bigger fan of Rebecca Black than Rex Ryan, so after seeing that on the tube, this was me in my living room: Wahoo! I’ll bet you 50 pesos that you can’t watch that commercial without cracking a smile. And I’m so, so sorry if you clicked on the Rebecca Black link. I really am. But at least we know what day it is now…ugh.

Before I move on to some tear-jerking football news, can we just settle something? I respect Yahoo! Sports, I really do. I get a lot of breaking news through them and generally enjoy the blogs and articles I find on there. But my God, if they aren’t the worst at mis-titling their stuff. At least once a day I find something like this that was originally titled “Harbaugh Disses Californians.” Um. What?

And most recently the media has been getting its collective rocks off to a Peyton Manning vs. Colts’ owner Jim Irsay spat that isn’t a spat at all. In fact, the media made it news in the first place. It’s extremely frustrating to see a sports media outlet putting misleading titles on stories that aren’t controversial, just so they will get more reads. It’s cheating. It’s like drinking Four Lokos at a party – obviously you’re going to get drunk first and at the cheapest price. Be a man and drink a beer! “Firing back,” my ass.

Now, I don’t have much to say about these next two. Except they make my tummy feel funny in a good way. Not like the first time I saw Hayden Panettiere all grown up. More like that choking-back-tears feeling I get at the end of The Green Mile (spoiler alert). Check out Kyle Williams’ biggest little fan, and why Jason Pierre-Paul’s biggest supporter has never seen him play.

Lastly, for football, JoePa’s service took place yesterday. ESPN covered a bit of it, but a couple of things really struck me. First of all, 12,000 people showed up to support Paterno. Twelve. Thousand. That’s incredible. If I have a quarter of that many people who care about me when I’m gone, I’ll consider my life a fantastic success.

That being said, and I’m sure I’ll take flak for this one, Nike chairman Phil Knight had absolutely no reason to bring up the scandal when he was speaking. It was nice of him to whip the crowd into a frenzy for pro-Joe sentiment, but blaming what happened during the Jerry Sandusky investigation solely on the investigators is pure ignorance. I understand it’s not the time or place to acknowledge that Paterno played a role in everything, but that’s when you just keep your mouth shut.

Alright, we have one more bit of business today. I promised you that hockey actually does something better than every other sport. And now I’m here to deliver. The NHL All-Star Game is perfection. The MLB game is insanely flawed, the NBA version is over-the-top, and the Pro Bowl in the NFL is irrelevant. But in hockey, two captains get to choose teams in a draft format out of the pool of All-Stars. It’s fun for the players and the fans, and actually keeps the viewer interested.

And how awesome is this? Every year, the last guy picked in the “draft,” wins a new car. It’s like Mr. Irrelevant in the NFL draft, except they actually get to play…and then drive away in a sick new ride. Well done, hockey. Well done.

Whew. That was a lot. Hope you enjoyed it. And since it’s Friday, everyone’s getting ready to party this weekend, and I definitely need to redeem myself for linking to Rebecca Black earlier in the blog, here is the Friday Song of the Week. Because who doesn’t like a little fun? See what I did there? Seriously though, this band rocks.

Peace!


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