Monday, March 19, 2012

Quick Hits

MUAMBA RECOVERING
Photo Credit: thenational.ae
Bolton midfielder Fabrice Muamba is showing significant signs of recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest during Saturday's FA Cup match against Tottenham Hotspur. The 23 year old spent two days in intensive care following his collapse on the field at White Hart Lane, but is now reportedly breathing independently and responding to family members. Still Muamba isn't out of the woods yet, as his condition remains serious and he'll continue to be monitored in the hospital. Bolton's match against Aston Villa scheduled for tomorrow has been postponed as a result of the tragedy. Fellow players have shown a tremendous outpouring of support over the past few days highlighted by former teammate Gary Cahill unveiling a Pray 4 Muamba shirt from under his jersey after scoring against Leicester City on Sunday.
Photo Credit: skysports.com


VONN COMES UP JUST SHY IN QUEST FOR 2000 POINTS
Photo Credit: chicagotribune.com
American Lindsey Vonn needed just a 13th place finish on Sunday to become the first female skier to earn 2000 points in a single World Cup season. Unfortunately, the 2012 overall champion didn't have luck on her side as she lost a pole at the start of her final run and ended up finishing in 24th earning no points. The disappointing finish to the season should in no way diminish what Vonn did this year though. Vonn won 12 of a possible 37 races, and won the Downhill title, Super G title and the Combined title en route to her record 1980 points. Vonn has captured the women's overall title in four of the past five years.


NCAA HOCKEY TOURNAMENT SEEDINGS OUT
Photo Credit: tampabay.com
Boston College (Northeast), North Dakota (West), Union (East) and Michigan (Midwest) are your four number one seeds in the 16-team 2012 NCAA Hockey Tournament. Last year's champion Minnesota-Duluth is the number 2 seed in the Northeast region. No school will be making its first-ever NCAA tournament appearance, but UMass-Lowell is in the national tournament for the first time since 1996 and Ferris State qualified for just the second time in school history and the first since 2003. If you're like me and have no idea where Ferris State is, it's in Big Rapids, Michigan which isn't to be confused with Grand Rapids, Michigan. Click here for a look at the rest of the bracket and the schedule. The first round starts Friday with the championship game in Tampa, Florida on April 7th.


ISNER A GIANT GIANT KILLER
Photo Credit: sport-enews.com
Big John Isner is finally starting to get recognized for more than just being really tall (he's 6'9") and for having played in the longest match in the history of Wimbledon. Over the past month and a half, Isner has defeated both Roger Federer (at the Davis Cup) and world number one Novak Djokovic (at the ATP BNP Paribas Open), a feat that no other player in the world can claim in 2012.  The 26 year old former Georgia Bulldog has seen his ranking rise all the way to a career best #10 in the world.


DID YOU EVEN KNOW THE U.S. HAD A CRICKET TEAM?
Photo Credit: espncricinfo.com
The U.S. fell to 1-5 at the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifiers after getting thumped by Kenya this morning. The U.S. has one match remaining in Group Play where they'll take on Scotland (4-2) before they likely head to the 11th to 14th Place Play-Offs. If the current standings remain in place, that'll pair them up with Uganda, Hong Kong and Bermuda. The U.S.'s only victory in Group B came over Oman, the only team in the tournament yet to win a match. Afghanistan (6-0 Group A) and Namibia (6-0 Group B) lead their respective groups. The top two teams in the tournament qualify for the T20 World Cup held in Sri Lanka this September and October. The ten Full Member Nations of the ICC (Australia, Bangladesh, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Zimbabwe) have already automatically qualified.


TORRES BREAKS OUT OF SLUMP WITH BRACE
Photo Credit: football-talk.co.uk
Spanish striker Fernando Torres broke out of a 26-game goal-less stretch with 2 goals and 2 assists on Sunday as Chelsea defeated Leicester City in the FA Cup quarterfinals 5-2. Torres had not scored a goal in any competition since scoring a pair of goals against Belgium's Racing Genk on October 19th in the Champions League. Since that last goal, Torres had been on the field for 25 hours, 41 minutes without scoring. Chelsea has now won four straight since Roberto Di Matteo took over as interim manager after Andre Villas-Boas was fired.


HARPER DEBUT PUT ON HOLD
Photo Credit: washingtonpost.com
Those of you waiting to see Bryce Harper take the field for the Washington Nationals are going to have to wait a little bit longer. The 19 year old ├╝ber-prospect was optioned to AAA Syracuse on Sunday where he will start the year. Harper certainly didn't play poorly this spring hitting .286 with a pair of doubles in 28 at bats, but he did strike out 11 times including 4 times against the Tigers on Sunday. Harper has just 109 minor league games under his belt in which he's hit .297 with 17 home runs and 26 stolen bases, and his lack of experience may have played a roll in his getting sent down. Still, despite the demotion, the Nats are still very high on Harper and he still figures to be their everyday centerfielder, possibility as soon as later this season.

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