Posts Tagged ‘Washington State’

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.

Warriors Trade Monta Ellis to Bucks – Let’s Talk Hoops

March 14, 2012

I’m not going to pretend I’m a basketball expert. It’s my fourth favorite sport, followed closely by beer pong and curling, so you can imagine my knowledge level of the actual intricacies of the sport. But, I still watch it, follow it and enjoy it.

For example, I was one of the guys camping in the snow for hours days before Washington State basketball games in college. NCAA hoops are a little different, because you feel a certain loyalty to your team. But I don’t think being infused with school spirit is all that different from being full of Golden State Warrior pride.

Again, I’m a fair-weather fan. I like watching the Dubs play, but I mostly root for them because I live nearby. When they drafted Klay Thompson out of Washington State this year, things changed. My interest spiked and the losses started to hurt a little more, especially when Klay played poorly.

For the most part this season, Thompson has been studly. You could almost argue that he was the driving force behind a couple Warrior wins so far. Forget that he’s just a year younger than me; it’s like watching your first-born child having success – Klay was the pride and joy of Washington State basketball while I was there.

With that said, the only reason I love the trade Golden State made with Milwaukee last night is because Thompson should be getting more playing time. But for the life of me, I can’t figure out how the trade benefits the Warriors, other than dumping Kwame Brown on another poor, unlucky, gullible team.

Can someone please explain why Warriors fans should be excited about getting a talented center who spends more time limping than breathing? Or why taking Stephen Jackson off the Bucks’ hands as a favor for the small price of $10 million makes any financial sense?

Is there anybody out there with a better knowledge of basketball who can comfort me on the fact that we won’t be seeing superstar Monta Ellis or up-and-comer Ekpe Udoh in a Dubs uni again? What exactly are the Warriors left with for this season’s frantic playoff push or to look forward to next season?

If Golden State doesn’t get one of the first seven picks in next year’s draft, they don’t HAVE a first-round pick. And at three games out of the eighth spot in the Western Conference, dealing with a significant roster downgrade, what is there to smile about? Somebody please answer these questions for me. I’m lost and confused.

Well, at least Klay will get some more play. He might hit a trey. Win the day. For Crimson and Gray. Oh, that was college. Nevermind. Fancy rhyme though, huh? See! I told you I was confused.

But now our best player is David Lee. And Steph Curry’s got game for days but can he even walk? We know Bogut is out for the rest of this season. And I’d imagine all Stephen Jackson will bring is a little toughness and a lot of divatude to a team that doesn’t tolerate such things.

So much for Mark Jackson’s playoff guarantee. It seems like this season is now headed for the shitter. Let’s just hope the shitter has one of those lucky seven picks involved in it.

I’ll stick with March Madness until the next NBA season. Oh. What? Washington State isn’t in? Damn it.

Oh, and I have a question for you NBA fans. Is THIS normal? How in the world are the Magic, or any team for that matter, willing to give a star player complete managerial control of an entire franchise, essentially? Sports are OUT OF CONTROL if that is the case.

And speaking of Dwight Howard, wasn’t the whole point of trading Monta to get D12? Desperation, folks. That’s how you end up sleeping with the chick with the missing teeth (Bogut) instead of the super hot bartender (Howard).

This is why I stick to baseball and football. Give me some roided up outfielders and head-hunting DBs any day. Because I have to, Go Warriors. Go Klay. Screw the NBA.

Please comment below – tell me why I should never talk basketball again. And if so inclined, teach me something. I’m ready to learn. I need clarity. Someone enlighten me!

Follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman and feel free to smack-tweet about sports all day. I have nothing better to do. Clearly. Until tomorrow, enjoy a panda attacking a pumpkin.

 

Wednesday Top Ten!

March 7, 2012

Like how I throw that title up there as if this is a regular thing? I’m not going to lie…it’s because I’m wholly unmotivated to be creative today. Instead, I’ll just blow you away with insight and analysis. So ladies and gentlemen, put on your best snuggies and let’s get rollin’.

Today’s top ten will be all about baseball. Because it’s the best sport. Feel free to argue with me on that point, just don’t complain when this happens. You’ve been warned.

I want to discuss the ten best pitchers in baseball. There’s a helluva lot of them. The San Francisco Giants and Philadelphia Phillies could probably make a top ten list by themselves. But we’re going to do it anyway. I’m feelin’ crazy. By the way, I’m a Dodgers fan. So you can guess who number one will be. Muahaha!

10. Dan Haren, Los Angeles Angels – Oh boy that rotation in Anaheim is going to be scary in 2012, ain’t it? Haren is the best of the bunch, and the first pitcher on the list who doesn’t have a Cy Young to his name. He should, he could and he might before his time is done, but time will tell. Six seasons of 14 + wins ain’t too shabby though.

9. Chris Carpenter, St. Louis Cardinals – Okay, really? If Carp is ninth on this list, you know it’s gonna rock your socks off. This big righty has dominated for the Cards and has two rings and a shiny Cy Young (2005) to show for it. He’s got one of the best curveballs in the game and is possibly the most dominant postseason pitcher on this entire list.

8. Felix Hernandez, Seattle Mariners – It’s tough to NOT feel bad for King Felix. Stuck on the Mariners his whole career, he hasn’t racked up huge numbers. Just imagine what the 2010 Cy Young winner’s numbers would look like on a team that could actually score runs.

7. Tim Lincecum, San Francisco Giants – How can a two-time Cy Young winner (2008-2009) only be eighth on this list? Easy – he’s on the Giants and he went to University of Washington and I’m a spiteful, Dodger and Washington State-lovin’ bastard. So that says something that I felt compelled to still include The Freak on this list at all.

6. Cole Hamels, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels is the first of a trio of Phillies to appear on my list (how is that even fair?) and the second who doesn’t have a Cy to his name. Yet. He’s still got plenty of time. What Hamels does have is a mean fastball, some filthy control and a World Series MVP. Not too shabby.

5. Cliff Lee, Philadelphia Phillies – Hamels’ southpawtner in crime DOES have that Cy Young award (2008) but less postseason success. Lee dominated last year, going a cool 17-8 with a 2.40 ERA for Philly. And his awesome birth name (Clifton Phifer Lee) boosted him at least three spots alone.

4. C.C. Sabathia, New York Yankees – The lefties just keep on comin’. I have a special appreciation for Sabathia, because he hails from the Bay Area like me. That’s not the end of our similarities though. I’m ALSO a 6’7″, 290-pound black man with a Cy Young (2007) and World Series ring…By the way, C.C. has 176 wins at age 31. Don’t tell me 300 isn’t viable for him.

3. Roy Halladay, Philadelphia Phillies – Finally, the Philadelphia onslaught comes to a merciful end. But there is no doubt in my mind that Doc Halladay is the best of the bunch. The 8-time all-star and 2-time Cy Young winner (2003 and 2010) has been so dominant for so long that it’s just a foregone conclusion he’ll put up 15+ wins every season. Oh, did I mention that no-hitter in the playoffs? That’s impressive I guess.

2. Justin Verlander, Detroit Tigers – Last year’s Cy Young and MVP winner in the American League has finally reached the height of his potential. And I don’t think he’s planning on regressing anytime soon. Verlander’s 24-5, 2.40, 250 strikeout 2011 was far and away one of the best individual pitching seasons I’ve ever seen. And the scary thing is he’s only 28.

1. Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles Dodgers – You want to talk about incredible seasons at a young age? How about the next coming of Sandy Koufax (I think I just heard you gasp from here…)? Kershaw cruised to the pitching Triple Crown in the National League last year, and won the Cy Young as a result. Here’s the thing though. Kershaw is 23 years old. Like, my age. What the HELL!

That’s my list. Thanks for helping me kill time. Comment below and tell me why I’m absolutely right-on with all my picks. Or if you must, disagree and make suggestions. I’ll probably ignore you, but hey, it’s worth a shot!

And I ammmmmmm outta here!


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