This and That

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So everyone who had UConn beating Kentucky for the NCAA basketball title raise your hands!

ncaa

I always laugh when people make statements like that. It’s as if, somehow, they believe no basketball fan in the world could have filled out a bracket and picked the University of Connecticut to win this year’s tournament. I’ll admit it probably didn’t happen that much, but what about UConn fans? Weren’t a lot of them likely to have picked their favorite team to win it all? I’m guessing yes. I think most people fill out their bracket with their heart as much as they do with their head.

 

Well, the NCAA tournament is over which means one of the great spectacles in sports has finished. Luckily for sports’ fans everywhere another great tournament is set to start next week. I am talking about the NHL playoffs and I, for one, am very excited. The NHL playoffs, with all of its tradition, are unlike any other professional sports playoffs. The best of seven series, the handshakes only when the series has been decided – it’s all great spectacle and I’m anxious for it to get started.

 

While college basketball is finished and the NHL is winding down, Major League Baseball is back in the swing of spring. I should have done my annual column on which I thought would win it all in MLB weeks ago but the NCAA tourney kind of got in my way. Thus, I will give you a very brief prediction right now. In the American League I like Tampa to win the east, Detroit in the central and Texas in the west. Give the wild cards to Boston and Oakland. In the National League, I’ve got the Dodgers in the west, St. Louis in the central and Washington in the east with the wild cards going to Atlanta and San Francisco. My World Series pick is Texas against the Dodgers with Los Angeles winning the whole thing.

 

Kentucky lost and before the game even ended, John Calipari was linked with the Lakers. It makes sense to me. Calipari seems a lot more like an NBA coach than a college one. He is the king of one-and-done players (promising to get them in better position to enter the NBA draft) so why not just skip the headache of recruiting every year and move on to the NBA where the players are paid, legally, to play.

 

After catching the highlights of Jadeveon Clowney and Johnny Manziel’s workouts for professional teams I have got to say I think the whole NFL draft process has jumped the shark. I mean honestly, Manziel got a standing ovation for throwing a long pass to Mike Evans? It’s not like Evans was covered. Or Manziel was under pressure. Were they cheering the fact he could throw the ball that far? Otherwise, it was a pretty routine throw pretty much any other college quarterback could make. Same thing for Clowney who got a huge reaction – and time on ESPN – for jumping over seven bags. I have to admit it was a freakishly athletic jump, but did the highlights really belong on ESPN? Heck, did the workout belong on ESPN (which it was). I suppose credit has to be given to the people who market the NFL because they have figured out a way to keep people interested in their game for all 12 months of the year. Personally I find it all to be a little much but it seems I just might be in the minority on that.