Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sunday Six Pack


Well, that didn't take long to be proven wrong. Yesterday I predicted that Pitt would be the #3 team in the country next week provided they knocked  off #16 Louisville on the road today. Whoops. Pitt overcame a 9 point halftime deficit to send the game into overtime, but managed just 3 points in the extra stanza and fell to the Cardinals 62-59 all but assuring they will not be improving upon their #6 ranking come next week. Pitt had 8 possessions during the overtime period and managed just 1 free throw to go along with 3 turnovers. 2 of their 3 points came with 0.5 seconds left when Louisville was called for a Technical Foul when one of their male cheerleaders ran onto the court after a made basket thinking the game was over and chucked the ball into the air. DOH! That actually gave Pitt a chance to tie the game in the final second, but they weren't able to get a final shot off. So with that, here's prediction 2.0 for next week's top 5. I'm still liking Ohio State for the top spot, and in their 82-61 win over Indiana today they did nothing to make me otherwise. #2 is obviously still Kansas. I've got BYU moving all the way up to #3 with the losses by Duke, Pitt, Texas and San Diego State and considering that BYU beat San Diego State. Duke will drop in at #4 with #8 Purdue moving up to round out the top 5. Let's see if I do any better with this one.

Louisville Cheerleader Video


Think about all the great basketball players to have ever played in the Big East Conference. Allen Iverson (Georgetown), Patrick Ewing (Georgetown), Chris Mullin (St. John's), Derrick Coleman (Syracuse), Carmelo Anthony (Syracuse), Ray Allen (Connecticut), Alonzo Mourning (Georgetown), Rip Hamilton (Connecticut), Ben Gordon (Connecticut)... And believe me, this list could be a lot longer. Still, will all these great players, on Wednesday we saw Providence's Marshon Brooks do something none of them had ever done. Brooks became the first player in Big East history to score over 50 points in a game when he scored 52 against #9 Notre Dame. Brooks hit 20 of 28 shots, and shattered Eric Murdock's 20 year old Big East record of 48 points, but it still wasn't enough as Providence well to the Fighting Irish 94-93. Brooks, a 6'5" senior is in the midst of what has by far been his best season. After averaging just 14.2 points as a junior, his scoring has jumped to 25.4 points as a senior. He's also seen his rebound average increase from 4.2 a game to 7.3, and he's moved to #39 on ESPN's Chris Ford's top 100 prospect list. Unfortunately, barring a run in the Big East tournament, it's unlikely Morris will get a chance to shine on the national stage as the Friars are just 3-13 in the Big East right now, 14-15 overall.

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Ok, to say I "remember" Duke Snider is a bit of a stretch. Although when I was like 7 or 8 I got a pack of Major League Baseball Legends baseball cards and he was one of the guys I got. I'm sure between my little brother and I we still have it somewhere. In any case, the Hall of Fame Dodger passed away at the age of 84 today so I thought it only fair to write a little something for those people out there who don't really know much about him. The "Silver Fox" was an 8 time all star, a part of two World Series Champions and finished his career with 407 homeruns and a lifetime .295 average. Snider hit 40 or more homeruns in 5 consecutive seasons ('53-'57) and is still the Dodgers all time leader in homeruns (389), runs batted in (1271) and extra base hits (814). When the Dodgers won the World Series in 1955, Snider hit .320 with 4 homeruns and a team best 7 runs batted in as Brooklyn beat the Yankees in 7 games. He is the only player in Major League history to hit at least 4 homeruns in two different World Series, also doing it in 1952.

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For the second time this year, Novak Djokovic has defeated Roger Federer. The 3rd rank Serbian, who already had knocked Federer out of the Australian Open last month, beat him again yesterday 6-3 6-3 to win the Dubai Championships Title. Djokovic has now won 12 matches in a row in 2011 and with his recent wins over Federer has closed the all-time series gap between them to 13-8.

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The New York Knicks are going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Eastern Conference. Just one game after showing the chinks in their armor in a loss to lowly Cleveland, New York showed up in Miami and overcame an early 15 point deficit to beat the Heat on the home floor 91-86. And what was really impressive was that they didn't just win with their offense, they did it with their defense. Leading by 1 point in the waning seconds of the 4th quarter Amare Stoudemire flew across the lane to blow a LeBron James layup and secure victory for the boys from the Bronx. New York used a 16-0 run over the final 4:24 of the second quarter hitting 4 3-pointers during that span and were able to go into the break up 1. The second half Miami kept looking to pull away, but New York kept working their way back. In the end it was the Chauncey Billups show. Down 84-80 with under 2 minutes to go, Billups first hit a runner in the lane to cut the lead to two points. Then after a miss by Dwyane Wade, he drained a DEEP three in Wade's face to put the Knicks up 1. Miami's next possession, Chris Bosh threw a bad pass right to Billups who drove down the floor and set up Shawne Williams who was fouled and hit both free throws to put the Knicks up 3 setting up the eventual defensive heroics. Carmelo Anthony led all scorers with 29 and Stoudemire and Billups each added 16 to lead New York who also got big productive minutes from Bill Walker and Anthony Carter off the bench. LeBron James led the Heat with 27 points, but Miami missed 16 3-pointers and had 18 turnovers as they lost yet another close game to an Eastern Conference Rival.

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37 points. 23 rebounds. 46 double-doubles in a row. His fourth 30 point-20 rebound game of the year. The guy's a beast. And this time, Kevin Love's efforts led to a win as Minnesota held off Golden State 126-123 for Minnesota's 14th win of the season. Golden State had 4 players score at least 20 points - Stephen Curry (33), Dorell Wright (26), Monta Ellis (20), David Lee (20) - but it wasn't enough as Minnesota outrebounded the Warriors 61-40. Minnesota takes on the Lakers on Tuesday, the last time they met Love was held scoreless with 7 rebounds in 34 minutes which was ironically the last time he didn't have a double double. But he also has a 23 point 24 rebound game against them this year. Will he be able to get a 47th double-double in a row against them? Stay tuned!

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