Will the Clock Strike Midnight??

Cinderella has one more dance to go…

Will the slipper fit and will the Butler Bulldogs be able to cap off their improbable run tonight? Or will the Duke Blue Devils be just too much for Cinderella to handle?

As much as it pains me to say, I am going to have to go with the latter.. Duke had the easiest road to the finals of any #1 seed and they seem to have plenty left in the tank to finish off Butler and once again be on top of the college basketball world.

I would like nothing more than to see the Bulldogs pull off their biggest upset of the season, but it does not seem logical. The way that Duke shot the ball in their last game (dismantling West Virginia), they look like they are on a mission.

However, this is where the Bulldogs thrive. Their backs are up against the wall and once again they are asked to prove themselves.  They could do it, but it will take flawless basketball. They have to rebound the heck out of the basketball, have little to know turnovers and utilize the 3-point shot. If they do all of these and the stars align, then the Butler Bulldogs will make history once again and be crowned college basketball National Champions.

My Prediction: The game is within 5 points at halftime, but Duke wins by 11.

Now excuse me, I have to go watch another riveting Tiger Woods press conference. When will this crap end?

And that’s my two cents…. 

Ovechkin VS Crosby III

With the Men’s NCAA Tournament on hold until tomorrow, what are you going to watch on TV tonight? American Idol? Family Guy repeats? The NBA? The NHL? Bingo!! Make sure that you tune into the instant classic waiting to happen between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals.

For the third time this season Sidney Crosby brings his defending Stanley Cup Champion Penguins into the Verizon Center to take on 2 time league MVP Alex Ovechkin and the Eastern Conference leading Washington Capitals.  If tonight is anything like their last match up, then we are all in for a treat.

The Capitals won the last match up on February 7th, 5-4 in Overtime to take a 2-0 series lead. Alex Ovechkin had a hatrick and Crosby added two goals of his own.  What will they due tonight for an encore?

The Capitals are not only comfortably in 1st place in the Eastern Conference with 106 points (16 points in front of the second place Penguins who have 90 points), but are also on their way to being the NHL’s highest scoring team since the 1995-1996 Penguins.  The Penguins are positioning themselves for another run towards lord Stanley’s Cup and will not go quietly.

With the games two best players and perhaps currently, the greatest player rivalry in all of sports, tonight’s match up will not disappoint. Ovechkin and Crosby may respect each other, but there is no love loss between them. You have the fierce, all out style play of Ovechkin versus the finesse, “please don’t hit me,” style of play of Crosby. Who will prevail?

My Prediction: Capitals win 5-3.

And that’s my two cents…

Don’t blame Gary!!!

I recently pleaded to my University of Maryland Terrapin Basketball fan friends to stop blaming Gary Williams for their buzzer beating loss to Michigan State on Sunday. Apparently, I must not have been watching the game because I missed Gary missing shots, making poor decisions and being out rebounded all game long. I must have also missed him getting beat on a pump fake at the end.

I posted that he made the right call by not pressing with about 6.3 seconds left on the clock. Granted, I am only 27 years old, but I have been coaching and officiating basketball for 10 of those years. Most every coach that I have discussed this with says the same thing, “Gary made the right call.” You do not press with 6.3 seconds and up by 1. You get back and set up your defense and make them use some time off the clock and beat you with a shot, not a drive to the basket (not to mention, that if you were watching the game, you would have saw that Michigan State players were getting good looks at 3 pointers and easy lay-ups off the press). The Terps did exactly that and just about forced a poor shot choice from a freshman forward and then an errant pass.  Unfortunately, the pass was caught by Spartan guard Korie Lucious, who shot faked and then sunk a very difficult 3 pointer at the buzzer.

After getting out rebounded and allowing wide open 3 point shots all game long, the Terps finally played defense correctly on the last play of the game. Unfortunately, Lucious made a great shot and the rest is history.  The only thing that I am hearing is how coach Williams made the wrong choice and lost his team the game. I don’t hear anyone talking about he motivated his guys and helped them come all the way back from as many as 16 points down to take the lead with 6.3 seconds left. But I guess that doesn’t matter. Apparently players win and coaches lose.

And that’s my two cents….

More Upsets to Come?

 In just under a day in a half, Cinderella has made her mark. Numerous David’s have stepped up and slayed Goliath. Non-more impressive then #14 Ohio University taking down Georgetown somewhat easily.  In a close second, we saw #13 Murray State stun Vanderbilt with a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer. In another game that came down to the end, #11 Old Dominion defeated Notre Dame. Earlier today we saw #12 Cornell upset Temple with ease.

Are there more to come in the 1st round? In my opinion, yes. The most popular upset pick has to be #13 Sienna over Purdue. And I have to be honest; I picked Siena to go to the Sweet 16. Currently they are trailing by double digits, but there is still plenty of time left. I also think that #12Utah State will take down Texas A&M in a very close game. The only other upset (although I don’t really consider a #10 over #7 much of an upset) would be Georgia Tech and its size, beating Oklahoma State.

I have no idea how any college basketball fans can be productive employees at their respective jobs during March Madness. I spent the 1st half of the days this week filling out the brackets and the other half-second guessing myself. Yesterday and today I spent trying to keep from my boss the fact that I was watching the early games on my computer.

Enjoy a great rest of the day and weekend of watching exciting basketball. And good luck with those brackets.

And that’s my two cents…

Total Bull

I am back!!!! After a long hiatus and an outstanding all-inclusive trip to Mexico, I have returned to the blogging World. By the way, all-inclusive is the way to go.  Although, the constant eating and drinking has put me in the SUMO weight class.

Enough of the small talk…Over the weekend I was watching NHL’s game of the week, with the Caps and the Black Hawks. Obviously, the biggest story of the game was the “Great 8″ Alex Ovechkin being ejected (and eventually suspended) for hitting Blackhawk defenseman Brian Campbell from behind. When I first saw the hit, I thought, “Alright he’ll get 2 minutes or possibly a 5 minute major.” I was a little shocked when they through him out of the game. It was obvious to me that if Campbell were not injured on the hit (fractured collar bone and broken rib), that Ovechkin would have only received a penalty. So, imagine my surprise and disgust when the league decided to suspend him for 2 games. But that’s only the tip of the iceberg. Not only has the NHL become extremely soft, but also terribly inconsistent.

I was watching the Penguins and the Devils play last night and as the game went on, one play caught my eye and I became infuriated. Devils player Rod Pelley checked Penguins defenseman Alex Goligoshi hard into the boards face first and Goligashi buckled over backwards in a heap. I thought to myself, “here we go, the NHL has a chance to finally be consistent and make a point” so once again imagine my anger when all Pelley got was a 5 minute major and no ejection. If you want to justify it, then you can by saying, ”Well Goligashi did eventually return to the game.”

It is absolute bull that Pelley was not punished just as hard as Ovechkin. Ovechkin’s hit was actually more like a push as Campbell was already losing his balance towards the ice, but Pelley’s was a full out board.

Maybe I am a little biased, being a Capitals fan, but something does not seem right.  The NHL has to be careful that their inconsistency across the board does not get out of hand. An ejection and a suspension should not have happened, but if that’s the case, then Pelley should have been punished as well. It’s the NHL..not figure skating; let them play!!

And that’s my two cents…