Posts Tagged ‘Washington Huskies’

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.

Lookin’ Like a Bunch of Bums Out Here!

January 23, 2012

This isn’t how I expected to start Jam Shots off. I regret to inform you that the only news I have today is sad news. First of all, let me explain something. This is not ESPN or Sports Illustrated. I will not claim to be an objective journalist with no ties to any teams, while really just trying and terribly failing at masking my love for all New York teams and Tom Brady’s junk.

I am a 49er fan. I love the Dodgers and A’s. And my alma mater, the Washington State Cougars. Therefore, I hate the San Francisco Giants. And the Washington Huskies. It comes with the territory of being a die hard fan. That being said, I guarantee you my blog will be less idiotic and infuriating than anything Skip Bayless has ever said. And since we’re on the subject, I hate that guy too.

Now that the disclaimer is out of the way, we can get back to the bummer of the century. The NFC Championship game last night. The 49ers lost a sloppy game to the New York FOOTBALL (you know, in case you forgot that the New York BASEBALL Giants moved out over 50 years ago…) Giants in overtime. It was such an ugly game that it was kind of like watching your grandparents knocking boots on the kitchen table, but those blue and white bastards got the best of my Niners. An average person might think it’s just raining in the Bay Area today. False. It is the collective cascading of thousands and thousands of people’s tears. The city is flooding.

Normally, I’d go out on a tangent, blindly blaming players and coaches and Indian gods, but today I’m going to take the high road. Well, after I make you sympathize with me.

Let me tell you, I’ve now experienced a broken heart. Sorry ’bout it ex-girlfriends, deceased former pets (R.I.P. Josh, Maggie and P.J.), and the latest Indiana Jones movie. Nothing will compare to how badly that loss hurt last night. This might seem weird, but instead of putting in Win A Date With Tad Hamilton! and downing a tub of ice cream like usual, I microwaved 16 turkey meatballs and stuffed my face with them. I…I don’t know. I was hungry. Uhh, anyways…

I learned all about “DABDA” in high school psychology. And yesterday I flew through Denial (I mean, the scoreboard rarely lies), was too sad for Anger, too tired to Bargain and spent the rest of the night in Depression. Or a meaty, steamy, ball-induced coma. Either way, it was a low point. I didn’t even have the energy to send a death threat to Kyle Williams like half of the Twitter world was doing (Shameless self-promotion time! Yay! Follow me on Twitter @jamblinman).

And that ends the feel-bad-for-the-author segment of our program. Because after a good night’s sleep and a couple dead-fish anger jumps on to the couch this morning, I’ve finally reached the last “A” – Acceptance. The 49ers lost. And I’m okay with it. Forget that this Super Bowl game will undoubtedly out-lame the National Championship rematch. The truth is, none of us fans expected to be here. Going from 6-10 one season to 14-4 the next and being one kick, slip or tackle away from the Super Bowl is nothing short of a miracle.

So props to Jim Harbaugh and his staff. Props to Alex Smith and his resurgence. And props to the most incredible defense the NFL has seen in a decade. And cheers to the fact that they will be back next year. With a full offseason. Completely healthy. And most likely with a couple new wide receivers. Tom Coughlin, I hope you’re reading this; you might need to change your diaper now.

And one last thing – Kyle Williams basically cost us ten points. You’re right. Get off his back. Where were the 3rd-down conversions? Where were the defensive takeaways? Where was the ballsy play calling? Where was the coverage on the 3rd-and-15-turned-into-17-yard-touchdown? Williams is a good receiver, a ridiculous athlete, and he’ll be back catching passes in the slot for us next season. He’s the goat today, but he deserves his fans’ support, not their threats.

Whew. Okay. On to the next bit of news! Oh. Great. It’s still sad. JoePa, a college football icon, passed away early Sunday after his health started failing the day before. All I have to say about him is this: It’s unfortunate that his unbelievable legacy will be tarnished by the recent Jerry Sandusky scandal. It’s understandable, but unfortunate. Hopefully he will be remembered for helping to pioneer the sport of football rather than being a silent accomplice to the biggest creep in the history of the world. They are Penn State. R.I.P. Joe Paterno.

Lastly, today, I have a little bit of basketball news for you. I want to ask – how tall were you in high school? Even after a growth spurt, most people here didn’t break six feet. I, for one, still have my original driver’s license from when I turned 16. It lists me as 5’10” and 170 pounds. Here I sit, seven years later, at 5’10”, 170 pounds. I know. Embarrassing. Besides, I look like I was just booked into a mental institute. Three hours in line at the DMV will do that to a kid.

Anyways, back to the news. Imagine being not six feet tall in high school. Not seven feet tall. But seven and a half feet tall, dominating fools on the basketball court. That’s the life of Senegalese teenager Mamadou Ndiaye (good luck), who plays high school hoops in Southern California. Watch the tape. The dude literally takes four strides from one basket to the other, and towers over the opposing center (who looks to be no taller than Danny DeVito to begin with). If he went to the NBA today, he’d be the tallest player on any roster. That’s just ridiculous. All I’m going to say is if this kid doesn’t average 40 and 40 every game, something’s wrong.

Thanks for reading the first installment of Jam Shots. Hopefully tomorrow will be a brighter day and you don’t have to deal with my whiny, butt cramps about my team losing. Until then, enjoy the Monday Nic Cage Clip of the Week (because just like his acting, Mondays suck ass). Peace.


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