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Friday, April 29, 2011

Sportaholic NFL Draft Spectacular




In anticipation to the draft this year, I scanned every so called draft expert’s picks, including Peter King’s on Sports Illustrated, Mike Mayock from NFL.com, Rich Gosselin of the Dallas morning news and of course Mel Kiper and Todd McShay of ESPN. After witnessing the first round of the draft I can say with confidence these guys are guessing just like the rest of us. Four QBs went in the first round (To Kiper’s credit, he did predict four would go) with your classic over-reaching in the Titans picking Jake Locker at 8 and Minnesota picking Christian Ponder at 12. Jacksonville’s GM Gene Smith made a bold move in trading up for Blaine Gabbert, which officially puts David Garrard on the hot seat. This was an example of the effect of the lockout. The Titans, Vikings, and Jags were directly affected because they couldn’t count on signing a veteran QB like they could in normal years. Now these teams turn to rookie passers to lead or eventually take over their franchises. We all knew the Cam Newton experience would be going to Carolina. The Panthers and GM Marty Hurney are mortgaging their future on the former Auburn star. Now can he lead them to the promise land is another thing.




Another trend this year was the run on pass rushers. 7 of the 32 picks in the first round were used on sack specialists. Another 4 picks were used on defensive tackles, making it 11 picks for defensive linemen in the first round. Teams know that if they can grab an elite pass rusher it can pay big dividends. When you look at teams such as Dallas with Demarcus Ware, Pittsburgh with Lamar Woodley, and Green Bay with Clay Matthews you understand the importance of having a game changing edge rusher who can get to the Qb at any given time. Speaking of pass rushing, how about the Detroit Lions? They had Nick Fairley fall right into their lap. That defensive line now features Fairley, Ndamakong Suh and Kyle Vaden Bosch. That noise you heard last night after the Fairley pick last night was Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler’s jaw dropping. Those guys have to be shaking their heads thinking of what life going to be like when the Lions come to town. The boldest move of the entire draft so far though has to be Atlanta giving up the 27th pick along with its 2nd and 4th round picks of this year’s draft and their 1st and 4th round picks of next year to obtain Alabama’s Julio Jones. A lot of people are questioning this move. The Falcons gave up a lot for the services of Jones but it brings drool to my mouth thinking about an offense that features Roddy White, Jones, Tony Gonzalez, Michael ‘Burner” Turner and Matt Ryan. You are looking at a bona fide explosive offense with those weapons at Ryan’s disposal.



Now for the biggest surprises of the NFL draft and the local perspective of the Titans pick:



Biggest Surprises:



1. Julio Jones to Atlanta: Hands down it has to the Atlanta Falcons. As I stated above, the Falcons paid a steep price for wideout Julio Jones but when you look at the possibilities, how can you not like it? This offense now has top 5 written all over it. Every since Matt Ryan and Roddy White developed into one of the best QB-WR tandems in the league, most people were saying they still needed one more threat on the outside to bring it all together. When I watched Falcons games last year I would always notice the double press coverage used on White. It forced Matt Ryan to find Tony Gonzalez probably more than he liked to over the middle. Jones will free up the opposite side of the field for Atlanta and will open up holes for Turner with his physical blocking. The more I look at this for the Falcons the more I like it.

2. Nick Fairley to Detroit: This pick had to make Aaron Rodgers and Jay Cutler quiver. Jim Schwartz has always been known for his defensive line schemes since his days here in Tennessee. He now has a potentially devastating assortment of talent with Suh, Fairley and Vaden Bosch. They guys are going to hurt someone this year, mark it down. The physicality and nastiness that Fairley and Suh will bring every game will set the tone for the Lions defense. Both guys are known for their rough borderline dirty playing styles and it should be fun to see how they play off each other.

3. Blaine Gabbert to Jacksonville: Jaguars GM Gene Smith is a man who sticks by what he believes in. He proved that last year by picking Cal’s Tyson Alaulau who turned out to be one of the better rookie defensive ends last year. After countless experts weighed in and called the pick an over reach, Smith never wavered and at no time even worried about what others thought. So I have to trust a man of such conviction as he must have had a hunch about Gabbert, who he moved up to take 10th. It cost the Jags a 2nd round pick but they now have their future franchise QB. Gabbert was predicted all over the board from 3rd to the Bills all the way down to 10th by the Redskins. There is no way he could have thought he would be a Jaguar at the end of the day. I trust Smith knows what he is doing. David Garrard your days are numbered in Jacksonville.



Best 1st round: New Orleans Saints. The Saints grabbed defensive end Cameron Jordan of Cal, who some say was a potential top 15 pick and the Saints got him with the 24th pick (Value, Value, and Value) They followed that up by trading with New England for the 26th pick and landing former Heisman trophy winner Mark Ingram. They now have a dominant in-between the tackles runner that Reggie Bush will never become. But the most intriguing thing about the Bush-Ingram tandem is the endless possibilities. Sean Payton is one the brightest offensive minds in the game. He will incorporate both to the best of their abilities. I envision Ingram softening up the defense with his down-hill running style, only to have Bush take a toss sweep and turn the corner on a stunned defense. Ingram should help bring better balance on offense for the Saints and anytime you give Drew Brees another toy to play with it’s a good thing. Jordan will solidify the defensive line for the Saints who at times last year had problems getting to the QB. It’s just been a great draft so far for Sean Payton and company.



Worst 1st round: Minnesota Vikings. The draft is all about value. Each slot in the draft has a certain expectation of market price at its position. This is what makes the Vikes decision to go with Christian Ponder of Florida State so perplexing. Ponder was thought to be a late 2nd rounder at best in most projections and the Vikes over reached because they reacted the Qb bonanza that was taking place in the early 1st round. There is a lot to like about Ponder who is probably the most pro ready out of all the QBs drafted in the first round. He played in a pro-style offense at Florida State and is one of the most cerebral players in the entire draft. But the value was just not there to justify taking him that high. The number of quality QBs still left in this draft is another thing. Ryan Mallet, Ricky Stanzi , Andy Dalton, and Colin Kapernick all are still on the board. Minnesota has the 43rd pick in the second round which they could have used on one four named Qbs left. For all we know Ponder could have still been there, which makes this pick such a stinker.



Local Perspective: Titans select Jake Locker with the 8th pick. I could have easily placed Tennessee in the worst 1st round slot that is currently filled by Minnesota. For the very same reasons I didn’t like the Vikings pick is the same reasons I don’t like the Titans pick as well. Locker seemed like a reach at 8. The first thing I did when the pick was announced was to go straight to my phone as I received numerous texts, twits and facebook statues asking one simple question. Why Locker? It was projected that he would go in the first round but just not in the top ten. The Titans need defensive help just as much as they need QB and they were staring at a potentially dominant force in Nick Fairley in the face. Now I know a lot of people will say that the Titans need a QB more than anything and that may be true but over reaching for a guy with a career 56% competition rate in college? They could have selected Fairley in the 1st round and had plethora of choices at QB in the 2nd round with the 39th pick.



However, contrary to my beliefs, this is a guy who would have been the number one pick in last year’s draft. He has tremendous upside if the Titans staff can correct his accuracy problems that plagued his draft status this year. He has all the intangibles you look for in a QB. As Jon Gruden said he is as tough as a two-dollar steak and this guy means business when he tucks the ball and takes off running. Todd McShay put it best when speaking of Locker. He stated that his potential ceiling could be as high as Aaron Rodgers and his bottom could be that of Heath Shuler. This is the rub I have with the pick. Why roll the dice on such a high risk high reward player? In the first round you want to absolutely without a doubt make sure you get the best player you can at your position. Most are saying that the Titans have been in love with Locker since the combine but I just question entire front office if that is the case. Even if they were so enamored with Locker, I’m pretty sure they could have traded down and got some more draft picks in return. It’s just so many different ways the Titans could have went with the 8th pick but they seem to know something we don’t about in Locker.



Hopefully Locker is more Aaron Rodgers than he is Heath Shuler because he is now the face of the franchise for the Tennessee Titans for the foreseeable future.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Michael Jordan would not have won 6 championships in today's era.

Michael Jeffrey Jordan, his airness, flight 23, simply put the greatest player to grace the court ever. In my opinion that is not up for debate, however I do question in this time and era would he be able to dominate opponents as he did that are just as athletic and some just as talented as he. Please don't get me wrong on this, its not an indictment on MJ. His on the court ferocity and tenacity is what most set him apart from his foes. No one stepped on the throats on his opponents like Jordan. He was going for the jugular in the second quarter of most games. I just believe that the competition in today's league would be much more fierce. Rather if you agree with me or not, I think we can all agree that the NBA's talent pool has been raised over the last decade, from the AAU circuit and the impact of international players. With likes of Kobe Bryant, Dwayne Wade, Lebron James, Paul Pierce, Joe Johnson, and Brandon Roy to name a few the league is as deep and talented as its ever been at the wing position. It also has its share of long and strong defenders like Ron Artest, Trevor Ariza, Thabo Sefolosha, and Shane Battier. Now I know Jordan would have his way with a few of these guys, but that's not all what I am debating. It would be harder facing this competition day in and day out.




For the sake of argument, lets take a look at the competition Jordan faced during his title reign. The names don't jump out at you: Alex English, Clyde Drexler, Joe Dumars, Kevin Johnson, Dominique Wilkins, and Reggie Miller. I will say that those are Hall of Fame players, but would also argue that aren't capable of checking Jordan. In the six tittles that Jordan won these are the teams he faced in those finals: 1991 defeated LA Lakers with Byron Scott as main defender, 1992 defeated Portland Trail Blazers with an Danny Ainge and Cliff Robinson trying to defend, in 93 defeated the Phoenix Suns with Dan Majerle, Xavier McDaniel and Jeff Hornacek in platoon defense. That was MJ's first three year run. After that little baseball thing he came back for a second round of terror defeating Seattle in 96 being defended by Nate McMillan and Xavier McDaniel (again). His last two titles came against Utah and we all know they had no one to contain "His Airness".




Furthermore and to reiterate I am huge Micheal Jordan fan. I had his jersey, cards, shoes and anything else you can think of. Jordan changed the game in so many ways, from the style he implemented (baggy shorts anyone?) to his pitch man status for endorsements and to his charismatic personality and his determination and drive. If you put all of those things together you get a brand of its own, as Jordan proved. No one has been able to market themselves as well as Jordan then and arguably now. Only Lebron James comes close, and he didn't add many fans with the whole "Taking my talents to Miami" thing.







There is no doubt in my mind that MJ was the best player to ever play, there also no doubt in my mind that he came into the game in a perfect timing of sorts. His talent was above and beyond those who he played with in his generation. To his credit, none of that is his fault. He played that cards that were dealt to him to the fullest. But again, in this new generation of players that are just as athletic and skilled (although none are of the level of sheer will to win) as he was. He was the first of the new breed of wing player in the NBA.





What do you guys think? I know many will disagree with me on this one but I will debate with anyone on this subject. As a matter of fact I always say what if you put Kobe on the Bulls teams that MJ won his titles with? Do you think Kobe with those same teams would win as many rings as MJ? Always good to hear different views on that. Please feel free to drop comments as I know this is a touchy subject that is sure to have many varying opinions.

Monday, April 25, 2011

The Weekend Run-down: Nashville Edition

This was an exciting weekend to be a sports fan in Nashville. The Predators made team history by finally winning a playoff series. Former AL Cy Young winner Zack Greinke made an appearance for the Nashville Sounds, and Nashville superspeed way held the annual Nashville 300 nationwide and truck series events. Nashville native and Vandy alum Brandt Snedeker snuck up the leader board and stole a victory at the Heritage classic in Hilton Head, SC. The Vanderbilt Commodores baseball team even got in on the action as they completed a sweep of LSU over the weekend.




This has to be considered one of the best weekends’s the Nashville’s sports scene so far this year with so many different events in the local area. Now it time for the rundown the weekend in sports, Nashville edition.



The Predators Make History As They Cap Series With Game 6 Victory Over Anaheim: It had to happen one day. After countless heartbreak chasing Lord Stanley’s cup, the Nashville Predators are finally headed to the 2nd round of the NHL playoffs. They didn’t make it easy on themselves in the closer as they fell behind early as Saiku Koivu fond Teemu Selanne for his sixth goal of the series and Koivu’s sixth assist. The Preds would counter back with a Nick Spaling goal to tie things up in the first period. The two teams battled hard as the numerous penalties and rough play indicated. Steve “Sully” Sullivan would add another goal for Nashville in the second. Its always a good site to see Sully healthy and playing well. Vezina trophy finalist Pekka Rinne warmed up in the second and showed off his skills on countless saves in the period but allowed a Jason Blake goal to slip by in the period. Nashville would ultimately put the Ducks away with two goals in the third period. Nick Spaling would add his second and David Legwand would provide an insurance goal at the end.



It was such a great moment for “Hockeytonk”. The Preds have been to the playoffs six out of the last seven years and ousted in the first round each time. This game had an eerie feeling of the last game 5 the Preds were involved in with the Chicago Blackhawks of last year. The Predators had built a one goal lead well into the third period only to see Marian Hossa of the Blackhawks tie the game and the Preds would lose in overtime. The lost of game 5 hung over the Preds and they eventually lost the series in game 6. The Preds had to sit with that stinging lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champions all year. They would not be denied this time however. “I’m happy because I think of the resiliency of the group that worked so hard all year, and I’m relieved because there is a little bit of a cloud that we wanted to get to the next level,” said Barry Trotz. The Preds go on to face its arch nemesis the Detroit Red Wings in the Western Conference Semi-Finals. Let’s keep it going Preds and keep the support up Smahville, your team needs you.



Carl Edwards Wins The Nashville 300 For The Fifth Time: The ceremonial back-flip Carl Edwards does after each victory is becoming a pre-requisite at the Nashville Superspeedway. Edwards dominated the field as he led 148 of 225 of the total laps. Edwards was only challenged by Kyle Busch, who won the Bully Hill Vineyards 200 Camping World Truck Series race Friday night. This is Edwards 31st victory in Nationwide series events. Edwards plans to auction the trophy guitar on eBay with the proceeds going to the family of Roush-Fenway Racing employee Jonathan Bunting, who died earlier this week in North Carolina. The way Edwards continues to dominate the Nashville Superspeedway and collect  guitar trophies; he is going to have look into starting a band. We’ll need a drummer,” Edwards said.



Zack Grienke Roughed Up In Rehab Start For Nashville Sounds: In a bizarre moment of pitching match-ups, the former AL Cy Young winner Greinke faced former Brewer and fellow major league starter Jeff Suppan now of the Omaha Storm Chasers. Greinke had a strong first inning performance but struggled from there. It was Suppan who stole the show as he retired 16 of the last 18 batters he faced. In the first inning, Greinke was able to induce four straight groundouts to begin the game and had has fastball hitting 94 mph on the radar gun. Ball acceleration was not the problem for Greinke, it was his control. He allowed three hits,walked one batter, and gave up two runs before reaching his mandated 54 pitches on his pitch count. Tim Dillard would relieve Greinke and the Sounds would go on to lose 7-3. "Maybe the velocity was still there, but the control wasn't that sharp," said Greinke. He also recoginzed that he needs another start before heading back to the majors, and will get another chance for the Sounds this Friday when they take on Albuquerque. Another Major leaguer graced the Sounds roster as Bowling Green, Kentucky native Corey Hart got the start in the outfield. He continues his own rehabilitation assignment as well. It was a great day to see Major league talent at Greer Stadium.

Vandy Brings Out Its broom And Sweeps LSU: The Vanderbilt Commodores had a season high 20 hits as they claimed the top spot in the SEC conference at Hawkins field this Saturday. The Dores’ charged the Tigers for six runs in the bottom of the third. The Dores matched a season-best with six hits during the rally with Conrad Gregor's two-run homer leading the way. LSU would score four runs in the seventh inning to get within two runs but Vandy’s vaunted bullpen would secure the victory from there. Vanderbilt (35-5 and 14-4 in SEC) now sits atop the SEC rankings with Florida’s sweep of Alabama and South Carolina's 2-1 series victory over Mississippi State puts the three teams in a three-way tie in the SEC standings at 14-4.

Brandt Snedeker Wins The Heritage Golf Tournament: Nashville native and former Vandy great Brandt Snedeker posted an out of this world 7-under 64 to earn his second tour victory. It was Snedeker’s first victory since winning the 2007 Wyndham Championship in Greensboro, N.C., in his first year on the tour. Snedeker birdied seven of his first twelve holes to take the lead just as the final pair of Luke Donald and defending champion Jim Furyk were up to tee off. Snedeker would then close the final round with a 12-foot birdie putt on the at No. 18th hole. Snedeker’s victory prevented Luke Donald from claiming the number one ranking in the world and also put a cool $1,026,000 in his pocket. "To win this time, after all the hard work I put in the last three or four years, trying to improve, trying to get better," said Snedeker, "I feel like my game is finally there. Congrats on your victory Brandt, from all of your fans in Nashville.



It was a great weekend to say the least for Nashville sports. I hope everyone got a chance to take in the nice weather and witness one of the many events held in the local area because it will be awhile before this weekend will be topped.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Highlights and Interviews from 4th Annual Music City Classic


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Game Summary:

Both teams came out with high energy which is to be expected at these types of events. Micah Williams of ETSU set the tone early for the away team with a couple of acrobatic dunks. The Morehead State contingency of Kenneth Faried and Demonte Harper would also get into the action as both players took turns dominating the game. Faried, a potential first round NBA draft pick, punished the basket and brought the crowd to its feet with a number of ferocious dunks. Harper, who you may remember from his buzzer beater against Louisville, made a couple of early jumpers and got a big slam of his own during the first half.



Things really heated up in the second half as Atlantic Sun player Mike Smith dialed up a few 3-point bombs. As the game settled down, both teams picked up their defensive play. Cedric Austin of Freed-Hardeman was inserted in the game and immediately picked up the tempo. He would match-up against Harper of Morehead State and slowed down the Eagles star. When coach Ricky Collins of the home team gave Kenneth Faried would a breather, the game would turn in favor of the away team. Micah Williams would hit a 3-pointer and follow it up with an alley-oop jam on the next play. The teams played to a 108-105 score with the away team up by three. The stage was set for another late-game buzzer beater from Morehead’s Demonte Harper. Harper would receive the ball at the top of the key and take one dribble to sink a game-tying 3-point shot, almost exactly as he did against the Louisville Cardinals in the NCAA tournament.



However, that would be the last celebration for the home team as Justin Tubbs of ETSU and Caleb Brown of Austin Peay secured the lead for the away team and sealed the victory of a couple of key baskets. It’s was a great game and even better effort given by both teams.





Interviews:



I had the pleasure of interviewing event coordinator Cecelia Shell after the game. Shell is a Fisk alum who along with former Belmont point guard Brian “Penny” Collins developed this great occasion. She spoke about making the event more open to the public and how the event has grown over the last four years. Shell spoke on how she thinks this is the premier showcase of college basketball talent in the mid-state. She also said she would like connect with the local high school all-star game that was also held at Fisk, and make it an entire weekend event, showcasing both high school and college stars. Shell was a bundle of energy and a joy to speak to.



Brian “Penny” Collins was unable to attend due to a schedule conflict, but he has built this game from the ground up. I had a chance to catch up with the former Belmont Bruin over the phone. He stated that he wanted to make this a showcase game for all of the college basketball seniors in the state. His vision is to get further sponsorship and eventually land the game on one of the ESPN networks as a featured showcase game. Collins said he will continue to recruit the top talent in the state and the rest should take care of itself. I will agree with him on that statement. When you have the type of talented players he is brining in, then the sponsors will follow.



I also spoke with future NBA players Kenneth Faried and Demonte Harper. Those two guys were easily the funniest guys I spoke with the entire evening. They have a certain chemistry between the two that reverberates on and off the court. Faried explained how he thinks he will be successful in the NBA. He said his tenacity and determination hopefully will take him a long way. I asked Harper what with him and his flair for the dramatics and let’s just say he believes in his abilities. For more on this interview be sure to watch the attached video of this article. Those two guys are hilarious together.



Ricky Collins is the former coach of the Pearl-Cohn Firebirds. He gave his opinion on who he thinks has the best pro potential out of all players from the game. He also stated that he enjoyed the energy and effort that both teams displayed and hopes to be back coaching again in next year’s game.



I cannot state enough how much I enjoyed myself covering this event. Everyone from the players, coaches and fans all were in high spirits and made this a successful and highly enjoyable function. Everyone in Nashville and Tennessee as whole should come out next year and support this great event. If you enjoy basketball in fun family atmosphere, then your doing yourself a disservice by not attending. Special thanks to Robert Snelling for his splendid camera work and Fisk University for hosting such a great event

The Weekend Run-down April 18, 2011

NBA Playoffs Opening Acts – After one of the most exciting and entreating NBA seasons in history, the NBA showcased what might be the best ever playoffs as well. The post season opened with three stunning first game upsets (Grizzlies over Spurs, Hornets over Lakers and Hawks over Magic) to get things started. The stars showed up as Chris Paul went off for a ridiculous 33 points, 7 rebounds, 14 assists and 3 steals in the Hornets big victory of the Lakers. Chicago’s Derrick Rose continued his MVP campaign as he would not let the Bulls lose scoring 39 points and controlling the last part of the game with his unstoppable moves against Indiana. Not be outdone, Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant poured in 41 points in the Thunder’s victory of the Denver Nuggets. The most disturbing big time performance has to go to Orlando’s Dwight Howard. The big man was in beast mode as he scored 46 points and collected 19 boards. There is no way that your best player puts up those kinds of numbers and his team still loses by double digits. Someone needs to put out an APB for the rest of Orlando’s starters not named Dwight Howard or Jameer Nelson. Boston was down most of the game against the New York Knicks but was saved by Ray Allen as he hit the game winning 3-pointer in the waning moments of game 1 of this renewed rivalry. I can’t remember a better opening act to the NBA playoffs than this one. There wasn’t a bad game out of the bunch and it is just the beginning.




Predators take a 2-1 series lead over Ducks: Smashville came out in full support of its Nashville Predators as a raucous sell-out crowd of 17,113 flooded Bridgestone Arena to see the Preds defeat the Anaheim Mighty Ducks 4-3. The Preds capitalized on the suspension of Anaheim’s Bobby Ryan out shooting the Ducks 37-16. Mike Fisher gave the Preds the lead for good as he scored at the 10:21 mark in the third period. Nashville’s prime-time players showed up as Captain Shea Webber scored a goal (His seventh goal tying the Nashville’s Predators all-time mark), Martin Erat had a power-play goal and an assist. David Legwand and Jordin Tootoo also scored. Ryan Suter had two assists. The Predators could not let this opportunity pass as Anaheim’s second leader scorer Ryann was suspended for stomping defensemen Jonathon Blum’s foot in Friday’s game. The Predators look to take a commanding 3-1 lead this Wednesday at Bridgestone Arena. The Preds have all the momentum and hopefully are on their way to winning their first ever playoff series.



Jimmie Johnson wins closest race ever at Talladega: It was a two man race the whole way and almost at the finish line. The five-time defending Sprint cup champ held on to the victory over Clint Bowyer by two-thousandths of a second with a little help from Dale Earnhardt Jr. Little E played good teammate and help catapult Johnson to victory. Saying Junior sacrificed is an understatement, as he carries a 101 race winless streak and also the burden of being the most popular Sprint cup driver. If I couldn't win the race,'' Junior said, "I wanted Jimmie to win the race, because I had worked with him all day and he is my teammate.'' This was the closet victory ever in a Sprint cup race as it tied Ricky Craven’s win at Darlington in 2003. Earnhardt Jr. would still end up in fourth place as the top eight drives were separated by a mere 0.145 seconds. Talladega will always be good for paint swapping as there were twenty-six leaders and the lead car changed a whopping 88 times, tying the record from last year’s race. Johnson made sure to give Earnhardt his due by giving him the checkered flag but initially Earnhardt was reluctant to accept. "He said it belonged to me, but I don't agree with that," Earnhardt said after his fourth-place finish. "I appreciate it. I'll get him to sign it and it'll be one checkered flag that ain't mine."

Friday, April 15, 2011

Lil Wayne shows up at his latest concert in Skylar Diggins Jersey




Lil Wayne’s infatuation for one Skylar Diggins looks to have no limits. Not only has Weezy tweeted the Notre Dame Point guard, he now is fully rocking her jersey at his latest concert.



For those who don’t know who Diggins is, she is the All-American guard with model looks who led the Fighting Irish to the national championship game. She is also a 20 year old female who is under an all out barrage at the hands of one of the most famous rappers in the world. At her age it’s hard to decipher what Lil wayne is throwing at her.





Now I am no Lil Wayne hater, he happens to be one of my favorite rappers, but I would hate for her to end up like other Wayne baby-mothers (Lauren London and Nivea to name a couple).







It seems that within 20 minutes of having a pretty young lady in his presence, Wayne impregnates them. Hopefully this is just playful banter between the two as he tweeted her “"Kongrats to @skydigg4, my wife. Now bring it home baby." And she tweeted back "@LilTunechi is hilarious for that one!," "idc wht ANYbody says, thts love...I'm a fan, so I can be happy!"



As far as the men wearing women jerseys thing, I wouldn’t advise it guys.







What do you guys think? Is Wayne wrong for chasing Diggins? Is he being wrongly accused in the media for this?

Photo Credits: Blacksportsonline.com and http://www.news-leader.com/article/20110405/SPORTS04/104050348/Fresh-faces-highlight-NCAA-Women-s-final?odyssey=mod|newswell|text|FRONTPAGE|s

2010-2011 NBA Playoff Preview and Predictions

After a rambunctious and topsy-turvy season, it’s finally time for some NBA playoff basketball. This has to go down as one of the most exciting and unpredictable season’s in history. We knew coming into this year that things would be different as evident by Lebron taking his talents to south beach with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh joining them for the party. Even after that shocking development things got even wilder in the league. Let’s take a quick rundown of everything that has transpired in the last six months:




1. The New York Knicks changed the face of its franchise adding Carmelo Anthony. The “Melo-drama” was the worst kept secret in NBA history and also the longest most overly dramatic trade that I can remember. Melo, the Knicks and the Nuggets held the league hostage for most of the first half of the season.

2. Somehow GM Danny Ainge of the Boston Celtics came up with the idea of trading Kendrick Perkins (effectively ripping out the heart and dominating physical presence from Boston) for Jeff Green and scraps. Now the Celtics are in a rut offensively and everyone points at the Perkins trade as the beginning of their downfall. As one of my friends (Codename_Rufus) and Boston fan put it, KG was depressed and would love to fight ol’ Danny boy if he could.

3. The Lakers have flipped the switch, turned it off again for a minute and look to turn it back on in time for the playoffs. Kobe is getting older and grumpier. He seems to go after teammates more than ever just like old men go after their children more as they age. And have you ever seen a team ever go 17-1 and then promptly lose five in a row? The Lakers have been bored by the regular season but now with the playoffs, they should be at full attention which is scary for most teams.

4. The trading deadline frenzy that saw two superstars (Carmelo Anthony and Deron Williams) change teams and a number key role players as well. I would have paid cash money to see Deron Williams face when he realized he was going to New Jersey. The big Russian Prokhorov got his man but at what cost? The Nets gave up lottery pick Derek Favors and more draft picks, and Williams doesn’t even guarantee he will re-sign with the Nets. As I stated above, The Perkins trade was huge for two contending teams as it put OKC over the top and brought Boston back down to the Eastern conference pack. It allowed OKC to beef up their front-line and they also added Nazr Mohammed who is contributing as well. Denver should write a report on how to trade a superstar. After gutting the Knicks roster, they are getting the most out of the players they received in the Carmelo trade and have played even better since he left town. Who saw that coming? The one player who got the short end of the stick had to be Baron ‘B-diddy” Davis. He went from throwing alley-oops to superstar in the making Blake Griffin on the shores of sunny California to throwing tantrums in partly cloudy always a chance of snow Cleveland.

5. The Chicago Bulls are looking like those dynasty Bulls teams of the late 90’s. Derrick Rose has taken his game to the next level and carried Chicago in the process. Coach Tom Thibodeau also deserves a lot of credit for having his team believe in his defensive mentality. They are the feel good story of the year. I can’t remember anyone in the pre-season saying the Bulls would win anything much less the number one seed in the East, but yet I’m never able to forget they are as the bandwagon fans have inundated me with e-mail, texts, and trash-talk. The Bulls have a chance to go all the way because they have two key elements to championship teams: Great defense and a transcendent star player. Don’t be surprised if they are playing in June.



We have really witnessed it all this year and the playoffs will be a culmination of it all it. From deteriorating dynasties in L.A and Boston to ascending powers in Miami and Oklahoma City, the league is as competitive as it has ever been. Starting Saturday, the leagues top teams will be each others throats. Can L.A. flip that switch and stay healthy (namely Andrew ‘Bad Knees” Bynum) one more time? And when will we see the infamous jaw of Kobe jutting out?
Can Lebron, D-wade and Miami live up to the hype and that cute little pep rally , in their first year together? How about OKC now with the front-line to battle L.A, can they overcome their youth and reach the finals? Boston has looked terrible since trading Perkins but it’s their offense that has really fallen apart. Can Rondo find his game and get their motion offense in gear for the grind of the playoffs? What about the guys from Windy City? Are they a regular season behemoth destined to flame out in the playoffs against veteran tested teams? New York has two of the elite scores in all of basketball but hasn’t had enough time to bring it all together. Can Melo and Stoudemire deliver a playoff series victory for the basketball starved Big Apple? The beauty of this whole debate is that it all will be answered in the most anticipated playoffs in NBA history. Every team is stacked with talent and will bring there A-game to the court. As much as I have enjoyed the regular season, I have to admit that I am just salivating at the thought of some of the potential match-ups and what’s going to happen in the post-season.



Here are my humble predictions, starting with the Eastern side of the bracket first:





Eastern Conference first round:



(1) Chicago over (8) Indiana 4-1



(2) Miami over (7) Philadelphia 4-0





(6) New York over (3)Boston 4-2






(4) Orlando over (5) Atlanta 4-1





Western Conference first round:



(1) San Antonio over (8) Memphis 4-2





(2) L.A Lakers over (7) New Orleans 4-0





(6) Portland over (3) Dallas 4-3






(4) Oklahoma City over (5) Denver 4-3



Eastern Conference Semi-Finals:



(1) Chicago over (4) Orlando 4-2






(2) Miami over (6) New York 4-2



Western Conference Semi-Finals:



(4) Oklahoma City over (1) San Antonio 4-3






(3) L.A. Lakers over (6) Portland 4-2



Eastern Conference Finals:



(2) Miami over (1) Chicago 4-3



Western Conference Finals:



(2) L.A. Lakers over (4) Oklahoma City 4-3



NBA Finals:



L.A. Lakers over Miami Heat 4-2

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

The Tennessee Sports Fan Conundrum: Why can't Tennessee's Professional Sports Teams Acheive Post-Season Success?


What a great state Tennessee is to live in. If anyone knows this state its me, as I was born in Memphis and raised in Nashville. I have been to numerous sporting events in Knoxville and Chattanooga. You just can't go wrong here as you have two of the most influential music cities in the world in Nashville and Memphis. You also have one of the best college towns in the nation in Knoxville and a crossroad to Atlanta in Chattanooga. Only in Tennessee can you see Graceland, the Grand Ole Opry and a sea of bright orange clad fans at Neyland stadium. This is a state that loves its sports and has to be one of the most passionate bases in all of America. Tennessee is home of the Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators and the Memphis Grizzlies. All three teams have enjoyed varying degrees of success. The Titans have had the most as they have been to the NFL playoffs six times (1999, 2000, 2002, 2003, 2007, and 2008) and to the Super Bowl once since arriving from Houston in 1998. The Grizzlies have been to the playoffs three times and will make their fourth appearance this weekend. This is the first time in the post-Pau Gasol era Memphis has made it in. I will try to refrain myself from speaking on the Gasol era and trade, I could talk about that all day about Jerry West’s generous offering to his former team in L.A but again I will refrain. The Nashville Predators have yet again scratched and clawed there way to another playoff berth. The scrappy Preds have made the playoffs six out of the last seven seasons.




However, even with all of the regular season success by these teams, there is a certain negative undertone with them as well. If you talk to any casual Tennessee sports fan from, the Bar-b-que pit master on Beale Street in Memphis to the country singer on the corner in Nashville, they will all say “Yeah we made the playoffs and that’s it.” That it is about right when you look at the history of professional teams in the Volunteer state. The Titans haven’t made it past the second round of the playoffs since the late great Steve McNair (RIP) and Eddie George were leading the team in 2003. The Predators and Grizzlies have NEVER made it past the first round in there respective leagues. The long suffering sports fan in Tennessee has come expect failure from the big three sports teams here. We root hard for our teams only to have them fall flat on their faces a la Charlie Sheen style. We have tempered out expectations in the proverbial “Hope for the best but expect the worse” notion of thinking. How could we not? Tennessee is a small-market in a big market nation. The salary cap and revenue sharing keeps the Titans competitive in the NFL but the Grizzlies and Predators perennially rank in the bottom of payrolls in the NBA and NHL. Whenever you hear about those two teams it’s usually in the form of them being the scrappy underdogs that have as much chance of winning as of Mike Catherwood had on Dancing with the Stars.



Our precious state is a small fish in a big pond. When you look at the Nashville Predators payroll, it tops out at $58,922,000. Now compare that to the New York Rangers payroll of $77,471,000 (information provided by sportcity.com). That is roughly a $20 million dollar difference in players salaries! If you take a look at the Memphis Grizzlies it’s the same thing just a different league. Memphis checks in at $68,189,375 for its payroll. That is pocket change to the league’s highest payroll in L.A which comes in at $91,570,472. Any way you shake it, the big cities with big payrolls will always have the advantage when it comes down to it. They can sign bigger and better players because they have the funds in which to do so. At any rate, big payrolls don’t always result in winning teams. The San Antonio Spurs of the NBA have proven that small market teams can win championships when constructed correctly. The Green Bay Packers had the fifth lowest payroll in the NFL at $ 94,018,300 and still won the Super Bowl. The Titans actually had the seventh highest payroll at $ 126,017,443 and as we all know didn’t even make the playoffs. The Packers and Spurs success prove that it’s about how the team meshes and fits it parts as much as it is about pay.



Although Tennessee may be at a disadvantage payroll wise, some things cannot be blamed on the money nor can they be explained. The Predators have for the most part never been favored to win in a playoff series other than in 2006, when they had home ice advantage and still loss. The Grizzlies seem to always squeak in the playoffs only to get swept by the one or two seed. They are the eighth seed once again out west this year and will face San Antonio. Do you think they have a chance for the upset? Yeah me neither. The Titans collapsed right before our eyes after starting the season 5-2. Vince Young ran himself out of town and carried the stressed out Jeff Fisher with him. The future is uncertain with all the turmoil. This is a team with a plethora of new coaches and staff members and no quarterback. The road to the playoffs for this team is more blurred than a guy who had one too many shots of old No.7 (to those not from Tennessee that’s Jack Daniels).



In conclusion, to be sports fan in Tennessee is to suffer a bit. We usually have teams that are good enough to make the post-season but not to win them. We have been letdown so many times by our sports hero’s that it doesn’t even sting anymore. For every good moment in our sports history, there is a bad one. The Music city miracle was one of best plays in football history. Who can forget Mike Keith’s famous call and the look of sheer joy on Steve McNair’s face as Kevin Dyson streaked up the sidelines? That prodigious memory is only one upped by Kevin Dyson’s outstretched hand on the one-yard line on the final play of Super bowl XXXIV. The Nashville Predators finished the 2005-06 season ranked fourth in the Western Conference with a franchise record 110 points (51-23-8-110 pts) and still managed to lose to San Jose in the quarter finals. Its just an all to familiar situation here in Tennessee. The more things change the more they stay the same. One day one of our local teams will pull through and win a championship. Until that day the saying will always remain true, “Yeah we made the playoffs and that’s it.”

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The 4th Annual Music City All-Star Classic

Are you suffereing from post March Madness syndrome in the middle Tennessee area? If so you are in luck, the Sportaholic and Noomizo.com has your back.

The 4th Annual Music City All-Star Classic will be held April 16, 2011 8:00 pm at Fisk University. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for students with IDs.This is Tennessee's premier college basketball All-Star game and this year’s event expects to be the best yet as it features some of the top names in the state for college basketball. The classic will kick-off with a 3-point contest and slam dunk contest as well. The lists of names include March Madness hero Demonte Harper of Morehead State and high-flying Micah Williams of ETSU.  (Full list of players at bottom of this page)




Brian “Penny” Collins, former point guard of Belmont University and current assistant coach of Cumberland University will be hosting this event. Please come out and support your local Tennessee college all-stars. Noomizo.com and Sportaholic.com will be there in full support of this event and hopes to take it to the next level with coverage of all the events and post stories featuring the players and sponsors. This event is a great celebration for the Nashville community and provides an opportunity for the Music City to host senior athlete talent from various Universities in Tennessee.


HOME TEAM

JAMES WASHINGTON MTSU

DEMONTE HARPER MOREHEAD ST.

CHRIS GOODWIN MARTIN METHODIST

JON HOUSE BELMONT

JEREMY SAFFORE CHATTANOOGA

LINDAL YARBROUGH CUMBERLAND

CHRIS LEGGETT MARTIN METHODIST

JORDAN CAMPBELL BELMONT



AWAY TEAM

CALEB BROWN AUSTIN PEAY

JUSTIN TUBBS ETSU

MIKE SMITH ETSU

ALFRED JONES TN TECH

JOHN FIELDS TENNESSEE

CEDRIC AUSTIN FREED HARDEMAN

JESSE MOULTON FREED HARDEMAN

MICAH WILLIAMS ETSU



Monday, April 11, 2011

The Weekend Run-down

The Mesmerizing Masters: What a captivating weekend finish we witnessed on golf’s grandest stage. Rory McIlroy played brilliantly thru the first three days and looked as if he would don his first green jacket as he had a four stroke lead heading into Sunday. But the young Irishman could not handle the pressure and the wheels on his game fell completely off. McIlroy shot a 43 on the back nine that opened the door for everyone else. The stage was set for an epic battle as Tiger Woods showed he still has considerable game and growled his way back from 7 strokes down to take the lead at -10. Everyone surely takes notice when Tiger is in position to pounce on Sunday’s at a major. Tiger would miss some key putts along the way that could have made for an even better score but it was good to see him rounding into form. After Tiger’s round, things heated up for a trio of younger but fearless challengers. Adam Scott, Jason Day and Charl Schwartzel all shared or lead on the 16th and 17th holes. Scott took command as he made an array of dazzling shots. Not to be one upped, Day and Schwartzel were hot on Scott’s tail. In the end it would be Schwartzel finishing with four straight birdies to take the championship. Great stuff from Augusta this year; it surely was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed.




NBA: Top Teams Battle for Playoff Positioning.

Chicago 102 Orlando 99 - Chicago held on for a 3 point victory over Orlando and the win all but locked up the number one seed in the east for the Bulls. Derrick Rose also put the final touches on his MVP caliber season as he pasted the Magic for 39 points and five assists. The Magic were without their MVP candidate Dwight Howard who was suspended for this game due to receiving his 18th technical foul of the year.



Miami 100 Boston 77 - The Miami Heat finally beat the Boston Celtics and did it emphatically. Boston had previously owned the Heat this season as they pounded and punked them in their three previous meetings. This time Miami was having none of it. Lebron lead all scorers with 27 and he set the tone for Miami early. The Heat outrebounded the Celtics 42-26 and that was a season low for Boston. Miami was superb defensively as Dwayne Wade rejected Ray Allen on numerous occasions and closed out on his three point attempts. In what was likely a preview of the Eastern conference semifinals, this game was physical as the teams scuffled after a hard foul by Jermaine O’neal on Lebron James that led to some pushing and shoving under the basket. The playoff intensity showed but it was Miami taking control of the number two seed in the East.



OKC 120 L.A. Lakers 106 – This is the fifth straight loss for the two-time defending champions and it officially is a sign of panic in tinsletown. After beginning the post all-star break at 18-1, the Lakers lackadaisical play of late has them reeling. Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook controlled the game and combined for 57 points as the Thunder won their fourth in a row and their first against the Lakers on the road since March 12, 2006. The Lakers looked sluggish out the gates but came on in the fourth quarter and took the lead but the Thunder would close the game out on a 16-2 run. Kobe Bryant finished with 31 points and Pau Gasol added another 26 but it would not be enough. The danger the Lakers now face is in the standings. The Lakers latest loss has them tied with Dallas in the standings and the surging Thunder are now only one game back for the number two seed in the West.



NHL: Nashville Predators nab the 5th seed in the West - The Preds have scratched and clawed their way to yet another playoff berth. For the sixth time in seven years, Nashville will be chasing Lord Stanley, this time as the 5th seed in the West. The Predators finished the season 14-4-3, moving from 11th going into a game on March 10 to their current position and clinched their playoff ticket with a win over Columbus this past Friday. Nashville will face the Anaheim Mighty Ducks in the four vs. five match-up. It bodes well for the Preds as they have beaten the Ducks 3 out of 4 times this year. Nashville has been in this position before and knows it’s time to bring a playoff victory to music city. “For us, it’s the next step,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said Sunday. “Sooner or later we’re going to break through that, and that’s been our goal since losing out last year is to take the next step. Hopefully, we’ll take it this year. From our standpoint, that’s our goal.” Hopefully this is the year that Smashville tastes some playoff success. Coach Trotz and the Predator faithful deserve it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lebron James Mother Arrested for Assualt




So Lebron James mother Gloria James was arrested this morning after an apparent incident at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami. She was charged with assault but police haven’t giving out any other details about her arrest. This isn’t her first brush with the law either as she was arrested on DWI charges in Cleveland back in 2006.



The timing of Ms. James arrest comes a day after Lebron landed an historic partnership with the Boston Red Sox and Fenway Sports Group that gives James a minority stake in the soccer club Liverpool. This is the first time a athlete in the prime of his career has taking a ownership stake in a major professional team.


As for James’s mother, she was released early Thursday morning and further details should be coming soon. What does King James say to his mother in situation like this? I’m pretty sure his publicist will find a way to shield Lebron on this one anyway. One thing I do wonder is if Delonte West will be posting bail? He has a thing for Ms. James you know.

What do you guys think?

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Addressing Tennesse Titans Draft Needs: Defensive Tackle

With the upcoming draft on April 26, 2011, I will be addressing the Tennessee Titans most likely draft prospects and also address the team’s main needs. I will research the latest credible sources and web sites for the best possible information.




This week features:



Defensive Tackle Nick Fairley



Junior



6’5



291 pounds





Strengths: Size, Strength, Mean Streak, raw athleticism and explosivness.



Weaknesses: Maturity, Technique, and Temper.



Assessment:



Fairley was projected to possibly be the number 1 pick after his performance in the BCS national championship game against Oregon. Recently he has slid down the expert boards due to some sub-par workouts. Fairley also didn’t weigh in at the weight the scouts thought he would as he came in at just under 292 instead of his listed weight of 305. Fairley went from being the projected number one to second at his position, as Marcell Dareus supplanted him in his workouts. With that being said let’s not forget that Fairley was the dominant defensive force on Auburn’s national championship team. He was the enforcer and hit opponents with such reckless abandon it caused some opponents to cry foul for his late hits. Fairley has been called somewhat of a one-year wonder as he splashed onto the scene this year after spending a couple of years in junior college. It’s a fair judgment but at the same time you can not deny this guys talent on the field. He dominated in the SEC which is the best and toughest conference in the country. He had 13 sacks and 21 tackles for lost which put him amongst the leaders in all of college football. In some cases, Fairley was doubled teamed and STILL was able to get a piece of the QB. When Fairley showed up with his A-game this guy was all but unblockable.


Fairley’s immaturity (some call it mean streak) showed from time to time. In Auburn’s game against Georgia, Fairley flattened QB Aaron Murray well after the play was dead and it caused his team a 15-yard roughing the passer penalty. Those are the type of things that drives coaches crazy. He also was known around SEC circles for excessively late hits and numerous coaches spoke with officials before games to make sure they took notice. I for one don’t mind the mean attitude. If you play a position in which you have to move 300 pound men, nothing wrong with having a chip on your shoulder while doing it right?

Todd McShay of ESPN recently had this to say about Fairley: The more you watch Fairley on tape, the more worried you get he’ll be a bust,” said McShay, who also questioned Fairley’s work ethic and consistency. “He has a chance to be a bust.”

I don’t know if I would go that far but McShay is the one getting paid the big bucks to make assessments so we have to at least listen to him.



Team Fit: The Titans love to draft defensive linemen and they may go that route again this year. Over the past three years the Titans have taken a D linemen three times in the first or second round (2010: Derrick Morgan 1st rd 2009: Sen"Derrick Marks 2nd round 2008: Jason Jones 2ndround). Tennessee’s system with Jim Washburn relied on keeping linemen rotated and fresh in games. That may change now that Washburn is in Philadelphia and the Titans now have Jerry Gray heading the defense instead of Chuck Cecil. If they do decide to go that route, then Fairley should be available at the eighth spot in the draft. Tennessee was 8th in the NFL with 40 sacks last year so it’s questionable to go after yet another defensive lineman. The Titans seemed to be still searching for that dominant force in the middle that was left void by Albert Haynesworth and Fairley would be expected to fill that role if drafted.



Outlook and draft possibility: So we know the Titans love to breed defensive linemen and they have a chance to nab a projected pretty good in Fairley. Is it a match? It depends on who you talk to. The Titans still need to address the QB position and a few other holes on their roster. The defensive linemen position seems to be a strength on the team so why would they waste a pick on a strength? Fairley, if put in the right place and if he has the right mind frame, could dominant just like he did in college. He could give the Titans the nasty force in the middle that this city hasn’t seen since Haynesworth. He could change the identity of the defense with his play. I think the Titans will look long and hard if he is available at 8 and if no better talent is on their big board, they will choose Fairley.



Draft Possibility Percentage: 70-80 %

Uconn wins its 3rd National Championship in unspectacular fashion....

I can’t even lie about last night’s championship game. It was boring, there I said it. I can remember numerous times of Twitter and Facebook my friends and family cracking jokes about it. One person objectively asked if they were playing to 21. Another one of my friends said first person to 50 wins. I heard it all and then some in Uconn’s 53-41 victory over Butler. The lid seemed shut for both teams as the game began. Shelvin Mack’s first two lay-up attempt misses were an ominous sign of things to come. The 41 combined points were the fewest scored in a half in the NCAA title game since Oklahoma State and North Carolina totaled 40 in 1946. This was an ugly game of mammoth proportions. The Bulldogs made only one of 13 shots from two-point range, but five three-pointers. Uconn shot 34.5 percent from the field and still won by 12 points. To be able to shoot that bad and still win, isn’t suppose to happen in a national championship game. Kemba Walker was deservedly all the talk leading into the game but even he struggled going 5-of-19 shooting and he had zero assists. I’ve seen Uconn play multiple times this year and they could make most of those shots in their sleep. It was just something about this game, I don’t know if it was playing in Houston’s Reliant stadium with the vast overview or was it just the jitters of playing in front of millions at home and in their seats that made for such a chagrin affair last night. UConn shot 29 percent from the field in the first half, while Butler shot 22.2 percent.




However, what was lost in the grotesque shooting percentages and ill-advised Matt Howard 3-point attempts was the great defense played both teams. There was a certain beauty to the spectacle of two teams fighting for every last inch of the court. The scrappy Bulldogs would not go away until Uconn finally went on a 25-5 run in the second half. Until that point you had the feeling this was just the street fight that Brad Stevens and Butler wanted. Butler has been involved in more close call than anyone I can remember this year besides one team…….. the Uconn Huskies.



Both teams know how to play deformed basketball to a tee and it just happened to rear it ugly head last night. Clark Kellogg, analyst for the game said that Butler is the best team he has ever seen at playing good while playing bad. His meaning was that even though the Bulldogs were playing awful they still are able to hold their head above water until they start to play to their potential, only they never did. Butler turned in the worst shooting performance in NCAA title game history, shooting an eye-popping 18.8 percent and it cost them more than shots as they noticeably lost their cool. The Huskies size with Alex Orhaki in the post and Jeremy Lamb with Roscoe Smith on the wings frustrated Butler all night long. I thought it was just a matter of time before Chase Stigall and Shawn Vanzant would knock down those open 3-pointers’s but to no avail. Butler missed 31 of 37 second-half shots. In a word: Ouch



At any rate, much credit is to be given to Uconn. They were a team swirled in controversy after a recruiting flap that nearly engulfed there hall of fame coach Jim Calhoun. Now Calhoun joins the exclusive club of the who’s who of college basketball coaches as he became just the fifth coach in NCAA history to win at least three NCAA basketball titles. The others in the club are John Wooden (11 championships), Adolph Rupp (four), Mike Krzyzewski (four) and Bob Knight (three). They were a team that the experts only had Kemba Walker and Walker himself was a head case who took too many ill-advised shots and wasn’t able to carry a team by himself. Walker responded to those critics by capping a historic postseason run, averaging 24.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and five assists and commanding the Huskies to 11 consecutive postseason wins. And even Walker’s supporting cast stepped up as Alex Oriakhi and Jeremy Lamb combined for 23 points and 18 rebounds. They were a team picked by the coaches of the Big East to finish 10th in their own league. They actually did finish 9th but in spectacular fashion won the Big East Tourney with a five games in five nights. All bets should have been off on this team from there.



This was the year of the unknown in college basketball. We didn’t have a super power team that was undefeatable. We didn’t even have our picks right for the brackets as the 5.1 million people who entered in ESPN’s bracket challenge proved (Only 2 out of the number got the Final Four correct.). Heck, I don’t even know why Uconn’s Roscoe Smith eye has been black since November, but it is. This much is for certain now is that the Uconn Huskies are the National Champions and they did it the hard way. Congrats goes out to them for all of their accomplishments this year.