Tuesday, April 30, 2013

My Writing for 4/30/2013

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/05/01/hopes-of-gary-andersen-as-wisconsin-badgers-head-coach/

My hopes for Gary Andersen's time as Wisconsin Badgers head coach. My hopes as a supporter of the team to be more specific. I like the guy as a coach, and overall I really hope he doesn't do anything too out of left field in terms of whatever changes he ends up implementing.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/05/01/lambeau-field-to-possibly-host-wisconsin-lsu-game/

Wisconsin/LSU is a game that will possibly take place at Lambeau Field in 2015. I think it's about time that Titletown got a taste of college football.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/05/01/the-fall-of-penn-state-began-with-jerry-sandusky/

The beginning to a series of articles I will be writing about the fall of Penn St. when the Jerry Sandusky scandal hit, as well as all of the fallout.

Monday, April 29, 2013

My Writing for 4/29/2013

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/04/30/sergio-martinez-bermane-stiverne-emerge-as-winners-in-hbo-doubleheader-this-past-weekend/?doing_wp_cron

My recap of HBO boxing from Saturday. The bouts were Sergio Martinez/Martin Murray from Argentina (Martinez's home country) and Chris Arreola/Bermane Stiverne from California (Arreola's home state).

Friday, April 19, 2013

My Writing for 4/19/2013

http://www.thepigskinreport.com/2013/04/the-u-nevin-shapiro/

The first in my upcoming series of articles on the scandal involving the University of Miami (FL) football team and Nevin Shapiro. This is kind of like laying the groundwork for what is to come

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Writing for 4/15/2013

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/04/15/andrew-maxwell-has-one-more-season-to-make-his-name-at-michigan-state/

Andrew Maxwell, current quarterback for the Michigan St. Spartans, really needs to up his game this coming season if he wants to be the starting quarterback for his whole senior season.

Explosions at the Boston Marathon

http://espn.go.com/boston/story/_/id/9174718/explosions-boston-marathon-result-injuries

UPDATE 4:54 PM CT: The fire at the JFK library is apparently unrelated to the explosions. Also, President Obama will be addressing the nation in around 20 minutes.

UPDATE 4:32 PM CT: The Feds appear to be treating this whole thing as a terrorist attack. It's likely in my opinion that it will turn out to be some kind of terrorist attack. If it turns out to be a terrorist attack, I'm dying to hear the motivation behind it. It could be "death to America," it could be about abortion, it could be about guns, it could be about anything and that's why I (and a lot of other people I'll bet) want to know why. There was also a controlled blast on Boylston St. that was separate from the three incidents, according to Boston Police Commissioner Ed Davis.

One of the last places that sports fans would expect something resembling a terrorist activity to take place. But that's exactly what happened at the Boston Marathon today of all places. I only say this resembled a terrorist activity because it took place in a major American city and during an event that had plenty of eyes and attention focused on it. I don't know any more than the rest of you at this moment about this whole thing, but hopefully we will have some updated info sooner rather than later.

As for the details: around three hours after the winners crossed the finish line, there were two explosions near the finish line. There was a first explosion almost immediately followed by another, and then it was chaos. No longer was it about sport, but about helping those injured in the blasts. And unfortunately, it appears that there were plenty of injuries and two dead as of now. Instead of images of people crossing the finish line after a 26+ mile run, images of blood and broken glass will now be the images, along with those of the explosions, that people will take away from this day for years to come.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

My Writing for 4/14/2013

http://www.worldboxing101.com/2013/04/14/guillermo-rigondeaux-blows-past-nonito-donaire-to-win-wbo-super-bantamweight-title/

My recap of last night's HBO boxing bout between Nonito Donaire and Guillermo Rigondeaux. It was the two best 122-pound boxers in the world going at it at a venue, Radio City Music Hall, that is definitely not a traditional boxing venue. Many people expected this bout to go one way, but it ended up going exactly opposite of that expectation. Overall it was a bit of weird bout, but I'm a fan of both, so it wasn't too weird.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

NCAA Tournament: The Final Four (Louisville Wins The Title)

And to the most deserving team goes the spoils. The overall number-one seed winning it all does seem right even if it came at the expense of my favorite college team (even if that's more because of football and hockey).

The title game Monday night was very similar to both semifinals on Saturday: they were games with more than their share of poor shooting, especially from the Wolverines at the foul-line, and featured the Cardinals coming back from a double-digit deficit as well as the Wolverines blowing a double-digit lead. That is kind of amazing if you think about it.

The Cardinals had to come back from 12 down against Wichita St. and Michigan. The big difference was that Wichita St.'s lead was in the second half. That's where Luke Hancock saved the Cardinals with his three-point shooting. On Monday night Hancock did it before halftime and gave his team the momentum they needed to overpower the Wolverines.

Michigan started out hot in both of their games, running up a double-digit lead in the first half against both of their Big East opponents. They did it with some very good three-point shooting early in the final, but that faded very quickly other than an occasion really long three from Trey Burke.

The big difference in the early success that Michigan achieved in their two games was that they took that double-digit lead into the locker room against Syracuse, but only took a one-point lead into halftime against Louisville. This became critically important when they needed to make free-throws and didn't, and were missing shots while being unable to get a defensive stop. The same thing happened to them against Syracuse, but they held on then. Sadly, they didn't have the same luck against Louisville.

In the end the right team did win the NCAA title in both men's and women's basketball. The Louisville Cardinals were the best men's team top-to-bottom in the country and deserved to finish as national champions. The timing of Rick Pitino's induction into the Naismith basketball hall of fame was all the more deserved when he became the first college basketball coach to win national titles at two different schools. And yet Pitino did it with teams in the same state.

As for the Lady Cardinals: it was a great run. But after you knocked out Baylor, it was the Lady Huskies' tournament to lose and they didn't lose it. They left nothing to chance, wanting no part of another Louisville upset bid against one of the power teams in women's college basketball. They saw that it lead to an early tournament exit and it ended up looking like typical Connecticut women's basketball.

Monday, April 1, 2013

NCAA Tournament: The Elite 8

We now have our four teams for this year's final four as Louisville, Michigan, Wichita St., and Syracuse have all advanced to Atlanta. One of them will hoist the championship trophy a week from now.

Louisville punched their ticket with a dominating second half, totally outclassing and outmuscling Duke. All of that, however, was overshadowed by the gruesome injury to Louisville player Kevin Ware.

Attempting to block a three-point attempt from Duke, Ware landed wrong and ended up breaking his ankle in multiple places. It was ugly to watch, and the reactions of coach Rick Patino & Ware's teammates told the story almost as good as the image of the injury itself.

GO BLUE!!!! The Michigan Wolverines will now get a chance to exorcise the haunting basketball memories of their last trip to the final four as they rolled past Florida to make their first trip since 1993. That year the whole Chris Webber thing happened, and as a Maize & Blue supporter, I don't feel like going into detail about that.

What I already went into detail about (with a story on Rant Sports and linked on a previous blog post) was Nik Stauskas' three-point shooting helping to build a Wolverine lead that reached 24 points and gave them enough breathing room that they didn't have to play consistently good basketball for the final 24 or so minutes of the game. And they still ended up with a 20-point win.

Saturday night saw the Wichita St. Shockers advance to their first final four since 1965, but not without some suspense.

The Ohio St. Buckeyes climbed back from 20 down in the second half to nearly take the lead late and leave the game very much in doubt until the final moments. The Shockers dominated the first half with good defense and the Buckeyes' inability to make pretty much any shot they took. It really did look like this was going to be a blowout, so much so that my brother, a friend of ours, and myself left for a food run when the lead got to 20 thinking that the game was over. We returned to find the Buckeyes within eight and very much in the game. From there, it was a mini-roller coaster ride until the Shockers finally pulled away for good.


The Syracuse Orangemen showed that the 2-3 zone may be too effective as it lead to their 55-39 domination of Marquette in what might have been the worst important college basketball game I've ever viewed in my life. I've seen blowouts that had more excitement than this one.

I'm not going to get too specific because there's not much to get specific about and I don't want the sour taste in my mouth to return from having to watch this game. What I will say is that the zone creates a situation where the team that's going against it has to shoot three's if they can't get inside. Marquette couldn't get inside for the majority of the game and were the worst three-point shooting team of all the teams in the tournament.

It turned out to be a perfect pairing for the 'Cuse and a terrible one for fans of thrilling basketball.

My Writing for 3/30 & 3/31/2013

Had some Internet issues this weekend, so here's my writing for the weekend.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/03/30/big-ten-football-in-2012-weak-conference-with-a-strong-team-ineligible-for-postseason/

A look back at Big Ten football in 2012, but just the regular season. I didn't want to be too brutal.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/03/30/urban-meyer-stranger-in-a-strange-land/

Urban Meyer came under fire almost the moment he entered the Big Ten for his recruiting practices. The only problem is that Meyer seems to understand the nature of college recruiting better than any Big Ten coach. Again, problem.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-football/2013/03/31/can-the-big-ten-climb-out-of-football-purgatory/

The end to my series of articles on the Big Ten in football purgatory.

http://www.rantsports.com/ncaa-basketball/2013/04/01/2013-ncaa-tournament-nik-stauskas-key-to-michigans-domination-of-florida/

Nik Stauskas' shooting helped Michigan build a huge lead that they used to dominate Florida and advance to their first final four since 1993. Any Michigan fan knows what happened that year.