The Big Dance
Louisville – I can’t remember a time that I was happier that I was distracted by something meaningless on my iPad than I was Sunday afternoon. I had the Duke/Louisville game on and for some reason was distracted by a Word Game with Friends and completely missed seeing the Kevin Ware injury. By all accounts of what I saw and read afterward, I am quite glad I did. I do want to wish him a very speedy and full recovery.
Beyond that, the way the kids from Louisville reacted was very impressive. The rest of the first half was kind of a haze, but after they regrouped at halftime the team was galvanized and would not stand for any chance that Ware’s injury was in vain. They so thoroughly destroyed Duke that even Jerry Tarkanian would have thrown in the towel instead of chewing on it. Not that Duke was in an enviable position. Winning that game would have made them an even more hated team than they already are. It was definitely a Lose/Lose situation and they lost.
Shocker – A large number of people had a school from Kansas in the Final Four. Over half the country had it as KU. A decent number of others had it as K-State. And then, what I can only imagine is a list primarily of students, alumni, and children that like their mascot, just a few thousand had Wichita State in. And those folks were the correct folks. As the lowest ranked team left in the tournament, the WSU assumes the mantle of Cinderella and will try to do the unthinkable and unseat Tournament Overall #1 Louisville. But don’t sleep on the folks out I-70. They didn’t take the easy way out in dispatching both the #1 & #2 seeds in the West. If there is any letdown in Louisville, the boys in Black could have another “Shocker” left in their bag of tricks.
Wolverines! – Thankfully for the faithful from Ann Arbor, the performance of these Wolverines was substantially better than in the recent remake of Red Dawn. (but I digress…). When the guards from Michigan play this well they are absolutely a force to be reckoned with, and they are the type of team that can thwart Syracuse’s zone in a big way. Their duel with Kansas was the most exciting game of the weekend and the range that Trey Burke exhibited at times is positively un-guardable. They are definitely the more explosive of the #4 seeds facing off in the Final Four and should advance provided their lack of size and depth in their interior doesn’t prove to be their Achilles heel.
Blood Oranges – That Elite 8 game nearly made my eyes bleed. I don’t think anyone wants to see another 55-39 final score this late in the tournament. But it’s not worth holding that against Syracuse. They do keep scores lower, but they do what they do very well and that is why they are back in the Final Four yet again. Will their Big East swan song be a National Championship?! The way this season has gone, who knows!! What I do know is that I felt old this weekend when they were discussing the previous matchup between Syracuse and Marquette in the Final Four when Carmelo and D-Wade were involved. How is it possible that was a decade ago?!
The First Pitch (and other weekend thoughts)
Best in the League – Sure it will likely be for 1 day, but as of today, the Houston Astros have the best record in all of baseball. This is a team where 23% of their $24 million dollar payroll is being paid to players that are no longer on the team. There were very few players that most people would even know the name of on the Astros last night, but they took out their new division in-state Rivals from Arlington in grand fashion and gave the fans in Houston something to cheer for on a national stage. I tip my hat to them and hope, for their sake that there are at least 60 others to come their way this year.
Taking it to the Hole – Ok, back to basketball… Really Elijah Johnson?! I think his basketball IQ is probably around equal to his uniform number. Aside from terrible turnovers and terrible shot selections down the stretch, he has to know the game situation well enough to know that when you are only down two and the Red Sea parts to give you a clear lane to the basketball goal, you take it there to force double-overtime instead of holding to the called play and kicking it back out to the wrong guy to have to force a 3. Terrible. I think the collective slap of the forehead of KU fans caused some serious frontal lobe bruising across the Sunflower State. If this had been professional wrestling, I would have fully expected EJ to wait until after the final buzzer and then rip off his jersey revealing a Missouri jersey underneath. Just sayin’…
Survive and Advance – If you love college basketball and haven’t seen the most recent 30 for 30 documentary ‘Survive and Advance’, you should definitely set your DVR. The story of the ’83 NC State team is told in a masterful way and is truly entertaining.
Charge it! – Seriously… how did the Women’s defending national champions lose because of a terrible charging call?! Brutal. Brittney Griner had a transcendent college basketball career that probably should not have ended yesterday.
Retaliation – I admit it freely… I grew up in the 80’s when G.I. Joe was at its peak and I am more than happy to keep watching G.I. Joe movies. With regards to the new effort… I consider it an upgrade over the first. While it still has a handful of cheesy moments and they still aren’t winning any prizes for acting, they abandoned some of the comic relief in favor of a more straight-up action movie, and that was a good decision. You can tell that the director (making his first foray into action movies) is a fan of G.I. Joe’s and he brought that passion to the screen as well as paying more of an homage to the comics/cartoons of the 80’s. Good times.
Sing it – We finally caught up on The Voice’s first week this weekend and it’s not even funny how much better that show is than American Idol. And they actually figured out how to change coaches without doing any damage to the brand at all. Big hats off and there are some unbelievable talents this year as well. (Side Note: Best name of a duo… Midas Whale. Coming from someone who caused the coining of the phrase, “You know darn good and large air breathing sea mammal”, I find the play on words fantastic)