Saturday, March 31, 2012

Saturday Six Pack

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Tragedy struck the Oklahoma State campus this past November when women's head basketball coach Kurt Budke and assistant coach Miranda Serna were both killed in a plane crash just a game into the season. But today, in a story worthy of a Disney movie, the Oklahoma State Cowgirls capped off an emotional season by winning the school's first WNIT Championship with a 75-68 win over James Madison. "I have never been more proud of a group of young ladies than I have this group," said Jim Littell, Budke's former top assistant who took over as head coach after the crash. "They set the goal in November to pay honor, and I promise you they paid honor today and in this tournament." Junior Toni Young led the Cowgirls with 25 points in the final while sophomore point guard Tiffany Bias contributed 17 points, 11 assists and 5 steals.

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The crafty lefty just keeps on trucking. Jamie Moyer, who will be FIFTY years old in November and missed all of 2011 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, is going to be a member of the Colorado Rockies on Opening Day 2012. Moyer beat out 22-year-old Tyler Chatwood and 28-year-old Guillermo Moscoso for a spot in the Colorado starting rotation and will get the ball on April 7th against the Houston Astros. Moyer made his major league debut way back in 1986 and has just kept on keeping on, and now he prepares for what will be his 25th major league season. Moyer enters the year with 267 career wins and is in position to become the oldest pitcher to get a win in Major League history.


There's an expression in basketball when you're missing a lot of shots that goes: you're throwing up so many bricks you could probably build a home. Well today, Kobe Bryant could have built a small village. Bryant opened today's game against the Hornets with 15 straight misses, but rallied to hit a game winning 3-pointer with 20 seconds left in L.A.'s 88-85 win. Bryant finished with just 11 points on 3 of 21 shooting, but he did help the Lakers snap a two-game home losing streak. Not surprisingly, the 15 straight misses are the most ever for Kobe to start a game.

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Once upon a time, Stephon Marbury was considered one of the NBA's elite point guards. Drafted fourth overall in the 1996 NBA draft, Marbury made a couple all-star teams, and was one of the league's more prolific scorers for the better part of a decade. Then he got a little weird and tattooed the side of his head and sort of fell off the map after a brief stint in 2009 with the Celtics. Well, now it seems that Marbury has put himself back on the map, just not in this hemisphere. The 35 year old guard just led the Beijing Ducks to their first-ever Chinese Basketball Association title, beating the defending champion Guangdong Tigers 124-121 to win their best of seven series four games to one. Marbury scored a game-high 41 points in the decisive Game 5. Former Houston Rockets point guard Aaron Brooks had 33 points for the Tigers in a losing effort.

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The 2011-12 season has been a trying one for American defender Eric Lichaj. After scoring in his first appearance of the year against Hereford in the Carling Cup, the 23 year old Aston Villa back sustained a hip injury that required surgery and kept him out of action until last week. After coming on as a late sub in last weekend's loss to Arsenal, Lichaj made his first start since August 23rd and made it a memorable one scoring his first ever Premier League goal and earning an assist in Villa's 4-2 loss to Chelsea. Now healthy, Lichaj could get a look from U.S. National Team coach Jurgen Klinsmann to help shore things up in the back. Lichaj started the last 4 games in last summer's Gold Cup for the United States. Lichaj wasn't the only American to enjoy success in England today as Clint Dempsey scored his 13th goal of the Premier League season and 19th across all competitions for Fulham in their 2-1 win over Norwich City. Dempsey breaks his own American Premier League scoring record set last year when he scored 12 times for the Cottagers. American keeper Tim Howard also had a good day as he made a pair of saves in Everton's 2-0 shutout win over West Bromwich Albion. It was Howard's 3rd clean sheet in the last 8 days.

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Somehow, despite all my failed picks in this year's NCAA Tournament:

Louisville losing in the first round to Davidson
Duke reaching the Sweet 16
Vanderbilt making the Final Four
Florida State reaching the Elite Eight
Murray State reaching the Elite Eight

I still managed to pick the two teams in the final correctly. Thank you Kansas and Kentucky for salvaging my bracket. Now all I need is for the Wildcats and Player of the Year Anthony Davis to win on Monday and it'll have been a successful madness for me.

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