Well we are finally here. We are at the conclusion of March Madness. This tournament has never disappointed from start to finish. I am sad to see it go, but we still get to celebrate the greatest tournament in all of sports for one more night. Who would have thought at the beginning of this tournament we would see a #7 seed playing a #8 seed for the national championship. I know that I sure didn’t. However, that is what makes this tournament so great. Just when you think you know it all, the unexpected happens.
#7 Connecticut VS #8 Kentucky
I think that this is going to be a fantastic game to watch tonight. I think that it’s so fitting that we will finish this tournament with a game that few people thought that this could happen. We have a game between two evenly matched teams. Both teams have gotten hot at the right time. If the game comes down to three point shooting and free throws, Connecticut has the advantage because they shoot 39% from behind the arch and 77% from the free throw line. However, I can never count Kentucky out because of all the comebacks that they have made in the tournament this year. After their win saturday, they are now 4-0 in games that they have trailed at halftime in the tournament this year. I think that physically, Kentucky has an advantage because of all their size and strength. Another area that Kentucky has an advantage is talent wise. However, this cannot be the only thing you rely one because talent will only get you so far.
I think that this is going to be a fantastic game tonight. These are two teams that are evenly matched. This is going to be a difficult game to call, but I am going to try and do it. I think that Kentucky will win this game off of yet another game-winning three pointer from Aaron Harrison by the score of 82-79. Regardless of what the outcome is tonight, this tournament has turned out to be better than anyone could have imagined and this game will be just the tip of the iceberg.
Last night we were treated to some phenomenal basketball. Both games went pretty much how I expected them to go. Albany got their first ever tournament win last night. Since they won, we live to see what everyone else is calling ugly uniforms for another couple of days. North Carolina St. continues to prove to the world that they do indeed belong in the tournament. Tonight we will see much of the same type of action. The second night starts with a battle of #16 seeds with the Cal Poly Mustangs playing the Texas Southern Tigers. Our second game matches a pair of #11 seeds with the Iowa Hawkeyes vs. the Tennessee Volunteers. I expect both games to be just as much if not more competitive than the action we saw last night.
#16 Cal Poly Mustangs vs. #16 Texas Southern Tigers 5:40 p.m. cst
I think that this will be just as highly competitive of a game as what we saw in the early game last night. No one thought that either team would be here coming into their respective conference tournaments last week. Texas Southern finished 3rd in the SWAC and Cal Poly finished 6th in the Big West. Both teams are ecstatic to be here in the Big Dance. Both believe that they each have the potential to beat Wichita St. and make history. Statistically, one would give the edge to Texas Southern as they dominate the Mustangs in every category possible. However, I believe that one cannot make a prediction based on stats alone. You also need to take into consideration a team’s heart. Cal Poly showed a lot of heart last week in the Big West tournament. A lot of teams would have just folded on their season with having a losing record, but Cal Poly didn’t. They continued to fight and grind their way towards an automatic bid by winning their conference tournament. If they continue to show the same amount of heart and toughness that I have seen over the last week, then I think that they can come out on top tonight.
Prediction: I think that this will be a close game just like we saw last night. I think that Cal Poly will eventually start to pull away and advance to take on undefeated Wichita St. on Friday I think that Cal Poly will win this game by the score of 65-57.
#11 Iowa Hawkeyes vs. #11 Tennessee Volunteers
This is another game that has a very intriguing matchup. The Vols finished 4th in the SEC and the Hawkeyes finished 6th in the Big Ten. Statistically speaking Iowa seems to have edge in every category. The average over 80 ppg compared to just a little over 70 ppg for the Vols. Both teams have about the same field goal percentage as they both shoot well over 40% from the field. Most people will probably be favoring the Vols in this one because before they lost to Florida in the semi-finals of the SEC Tournament, they had previously won five games in a row.
Prediction: I believe that the Hawkeyes will win simply because they will possess an intangible that it takes to win. This intangible is that their head coach’s son had surgery earlier today. The team will rally around their coach’s son and win the game tonight. I think that the game will be competitive. However, I think that Iowa will eventually pull away and win this game by the score of 82-71
While the NCAA Tournament may not officially start till Thursday, the First Four actually begins tonight. Tonight we have two fairly evenly matched games tonight. The first game is #16 Albany vs. #16 Mount St. Mary’s at 6:40 p.m. est on TruTV. The other game pits #12 Xavier vs #12 North Carolina St. at about 9:10 p.m. est on TruTV.
1. #16 Albany vs. #16 Mount St. Mary’s
This game features a pair of teams that were not supposed to be representing their conferences in March Madness. Albany is representing the American East and and Mount St. Mary’s represents the Northeast Conference. Both teams had to climb an uphill battle in order to get to where they are today. They both finished in fourth place in their respective conferences. The Mountaineers prefer to just shoot three-pointers the entire game. Whereas Albany prefers to play by attacking the inside and driving towards the rim. This game could play into Albany’s hands because by being a team that likes to attack the inside, they might be able to force Mount St. Mary’s to get into foul trouble capitalize that way. Both teams are feeling great about themselves after coming out of nowhere to win their conference tournaments. The question that will get answered tonight is which team will best be able to capitalize on that momentum.
Prediction: I think that Albany will win this game tonight. This game will come down to who will be able to best control the tempo and stay out of foul trouble. This will be a close game and then Albany prevails in the last two minutes of the game due to the foul trouble of Mount St. Mary’s by the score of 62-55. The winner will strive to become the first ever #16 seed to take down the #1 overall seed in the Florida Gators.
2. #12 Xavier vs #12 North Carolina St.
This is going to be the game of the night. The game represents two average teams from some of the best conferences in basketball in the Big East in the ACC. We will once again get to see a the rivalry of the Big East vs. the ACC. I think that North Carolnia St. will win this game because since Dayton and Xavier were rivals in the A-10, I would expect for North Carolina St. to have a homecourt advantage tonight. N.C. State has more momentum than Xavier after advancing to the semi-finals of the ACC tournament and I expect to see this momentum carry over into tonight’s affair.
Prediction: I think that N.C. State has way too much going for it after advancing to the semi-finals of the ACC tournament. I believe that this game will be highly competitive, but the ACC will prevail in this affair. N.C. State will win by the score of 72 to 64. Like the earlier game, I am predicting that this game will remain fairly close until the waning minutes. However, North Carolina St. will win simply because of the home-court advantage discussed earlier.
I think that we will be in for a treat over the next two days. These game are of higher quality than those in previous years. The First Four is finally starting to become the premier event that the NCAA had hoped for when the expanded the tournament a few years ago. Be sure to tune in over the next couple of days as the madness gets going tonight.
Today is the day that we all have been waiting for. It’s Super Bowl Sunday. We have been waiting all football season for this day and it’s finally here. I know that all of y’all are sick of all the analyzing and dissecting of this game from every conceivable angle that has been going on for the last two weeks. However, please humor me and allow me to give my last-minute analysis.
Keys To The Game
1. Denver Broncos’ Offense vs Seattle Seahawks’ Defense
This was pegged as the featured story line going into the game. Both are ranked number one in the NFL in their respective categories. However, the question has been for the last two weeks as to which one would give. One has to give, because the Super Bowl can’t end in a tie. If Peyton Manning wins this game, I believe that this will cement his legacy is the greatest quarterback in NFL history.
2. The Weather
This has been billed as the main story since it was announced that New York and New Jersey would host the Super Bowl. However, it looks like that the weather will end up being a non-factor in this game. The NFL has lucked out in this one, because the area is forecasted to get about seven inches of snow tonight. I personally had wanted to see some snow during the game, because football is meant to be played in the snow. However, it looks like it’s going to be beautiful weather for both the fans and the players.
3. Special Teams
I personally believe that this game will come down to special teams. I believe that a kick will be made or missed to win the game. I think that it would be poetic if the game were to end this way since Rodger Godel has talked about eliminating the extra point. If the game comes down to special teams, then I believe that will validate the need to keep extra points around. This game could not only come down to a field goal. I believe that this game could also come down to a kickoff or a punt being returned for a touchdown.
I believe that this game will not only live up to the hype, but it will exceed expectations. This will be a great game. Its Old School vs. New School. I believe that Peyton Manning will come out on top. I believe that if he wins tonight, then his legacy will be permanently cemented as the greatest Quarterback in NFL history. I believe that this game will come down to special teams. I think that the Broncos will win this game on a 40+ yard Field Goal as time expires to win the game 27-24.
The Saints and the Seahawks meet today at Seattle in an NFC Divisional Playoff Game. This a a huge game as the winner will go to the NFC Championship. The Saints are trying to shock the world and continue a magical playoff run. Last week Seattle was off since they are the No. 1 seed in the NFC and the Saints won in Philadelphia on a Shayne Graham Field Goal as time expired for the first road playoff win in franchise history. The Saints are trying to overcome the moniker that they are an indoor team and cannot win outdoor games. Seattle is trying to win and host the NFC Championship next Sunday.
Top Three Keys To The Game
1. The Weather
The Saints were able to overcome the weather in The City of Brotherly Love, but can they do it again in Seattle. The Weather Forecast calls for a high of 48 and a low of 42. It is supposed to rain early and often during the game. It is also supposed to be windy. This will be the ultimate way for the Saints to proclaim that they are not just an Indoor Team
2. The Crowd:
The crowd in Seattle is known as the 12th Man. They recently broke the World Record. I think that the Saints have an advantage here because they played at Seattle earlier this year and know what to expect as far as the noise and weather go. The Saints also need to score against Seattle early and often in order to take the crowd out of the game early.
3. Third Down Efficiency:
This will be key for both teams to be able to sustain drives and keep their respective defenses off the field. The last time these two teams played, the Saints were 6/15 for 40%. They will have to be much better that that if they want to have a chance against Seattle’s offense.
I think that despite what all the National Media is saying, the Saints have a legitimate chance. The Saints always have a chance as long as Drew Brees and Sean Payton are working together. I think that this will be a close game and will come down to special teams. The Saints will win 38-35.
We have had a very interesting summer sports wise. We have the NFL lockout looming, which I do not think will end any time soon. There are simply too many issues for this to get resolved by tomorrow. The revenue sharing and the rookie wage scale look to be the issues that will prolong a deal from getting done. In other news we now officially have a lockout in the NBA. I do not see us having a season in the NBA nextyear, as there are just too many teams loosing money for there to beable to agree on anything by october. I firmly enjoyed watching the Home Run Derby and the allstar game last weekend. I was happy to see Adrian Gonzalez win the Homerun Derby and The N.L. win the allstar game. Prince Fielder played an amazing game and completely deserved the MVP award As a side note, I would like to congradulate the Dallas Mavericks, Boston Bruins, and the University of South Carolina Baseball Program for winning titles in there respective leagues. Stay tuned for more updates on the NFL and NBA lockouts. I will also post any big name deals getting done on the MLB tradedeadline. Thank You for reading and would deeply appreicate any coments/suggestions for future blog entries, J.B.
Last night’s Game 4 with the Heat vs. Mavs was the greatest NBA Finals game I have seen in a long time. The Mavs were on a mission from the getgo. It was obvious with how they hustled to the ball and got on the boards. I hope to see the intensity in the rest of the series. It was an exciteing game that came down to the final shot, much like in game 3.
This is the type of game that makes the Finals the Finals. I normally do not even watch the Finals, but this caught my interest with it not having a traditional matchup. In order to win Game 5, the Mavs need Dirk to be healthy and 100%. He has been the key to their success all year. I do not think the Mavs would have won, had it not been for the rest of the team stepping up their game.
Keys to game 5 for the Mavs:
1. Dirk being healthy
2.Jason Terry continueing to be on fire
3. Tyson Chandler continuing to crash the boards and be aggressive.
Keys to game 5 for the Heat:
1. Lebron actually being involved in the game.
2.Getting to the line more offten.
3. Getting better play from the bench.
Look for the next entry after Game 5. Thanks for reading, J.B. McCracken
What’s up guys. I am predicting that the Mavericks will win the Finals in 7 games. I would like to see Jason Kidd finally beable to have a ring after no getting any with the New Jersey Nets. Dirk was unstoppable in game 3 and I expect him to have a similar performence in game 4. He deserves to recieve a championship ring. Dirk is a great player. I have nothing against the Heat, but they need to let the Cavs get one before they do. Looking forward to an exciteing game, J.B. McCracken
I cannot wait for the Super Bowl to begin a week from today. I personally hope the Packers win, because they have not won a championship in a while. I think it will end up being a defensive battle in the trenches. I personally hope the game goes into overtime so we can get a good look at the new overtime rules. I think the packers win in the the final minutes with a touchdown pass from Aron Rodgers to Donald Driver. I think the final score will be 28-21 Packers.
Brazil played a phenomonal game in the World Cup today. I would not be surprised if they played in the Finals against Germany. In other news, Stephen Strasburg pitched a great game against the Atlanta Braves today. It is sad that he had no run support. He could have won today if he had had run support. Also, South Carolina played a great game in the College World Series. UCLA needs to play and start hitting better if they want to have a chance in this series.