Saturday, March 29, 2008

DAVIDSON AND GOLIATH

Mr. Mason (as in George) meet Davidson. The Wildcats are one wildly improbable upset of top-seeded Kansas away from being the new George Mason.

The Wildcats Stephen Curry outscored Wisconsin 22-20 in the second half, and the amazing fairy tale that is Davidson now has a collision with the top-seeded Jayhawks on Sunday for a berth in Final Four.

Quick, call Cinderella, the stage coach is here.

Curry scored more than 30 points for a third straight game, and the 10th-seeded Wildcats dismantled third-seeded Wisconsin 73-56.

Evidently, little Davidson has gotten so big, even NBA Goliath LeBron James is on the bandwagon, snagging a seat a few rows behind the Wildcats’ bench.

Curry, the son of former NBA sharpshooter Hokie Dell Curry, outscored the Badgers all by himself in the second half, 22-20. He finished with 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting, including six 3-pointers.

Davidson (29-6) extended the nation's longest winning streak to 25. The Wildcats will try to make it 26 on Sunday when they play top-seeded Kansas for a trip to the Final Four. The Jayhawks beat Villanova 72-57.

This marked the second time in three tournaments that a double-digit seed got this far. In 2006, 11th-seeded George Mason reached the Final Four. It's the furthest Davidson has gotten since 1969, when Lefty Driesell's squad got to the East Regional before losing to North Carolina.

Stephen Curry #30 of the Davidson Wildcats is congratulated by his teammates after he came out of the game late in the second half against the Wisconsin Badgers during the Midwest Regional Semifinal. (Photos by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

(Props to Greg “Washington State” Bengston for the Davidson and Goliath phrase.)

THE OTHER HALF OF THE ELITE EIGHT IN TWENTY-FIVE WORDS OR LESS

(1) MEMPHIS 92, (5) MICHIGAN STATE 74 – Like a lot of geniuses we didn’t think Memphis was this good. We were wrong. The Tigers were plus 11 in rebounds, had 7 blocked shots and 9 steals…and they made 26 of 35 free throws (74%).

(1) KANSAS 72, (12) VILLANOVA 57 – Twelve seeds don’t beat one seeds. Especially if the 12 seed doesn’t have somebody like Stephen Curry. The Jayhawks (34-3) are awfully good.

(2) TEXAS 82, (3) STANFORD 62 – The Longhorns got their usual good work from D.J. Augustin, and center Dexter Pittman did the heavy lifting against the Cardinal’s twin towers. A 20-3 run set up the Sunday game with top-seeded Memphis.

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

IT AIN’T THE BIG DANCE WITHOUT SOME SNAPPLE

We miss the wisdom of Julius “Snapple” Hodge who once played for N.C. State and now resides in the NBA. Hodge was a sound bite machine, and thankfully one member of Wolfpack Nation has memorialized his many choice words.

Of course, our favorite remains this gem:

On the differences between Harlem and Raleigh, January 21, 2002

“New York is the place to be. I could wake up there at three in the morning and decide to go to the store for some chips and Snapple and there would be cars racing down the street and people walking around everywhere. If I do that here, I'd probably get attacked by a deer.”

Here’s the full library of Hodgisms:

http://www4.ncsu.edu/~jphollow/julius.html

SOFTBALL HOKIES BEAT GOLIATH

The mighty U.S. Olympic softball team struck out.

Virginia Tech's Angela Tincher pitched a no-hitter in a 1-0 win over the three-time defending gold medalists Wednesday night, ending the U.S. team's 185-game winning streak in pre-Olympic exhibitions.

It was the American team's first loss in a pre-Olympic exhibition since May 3, 1996. During that span, the U.S. team outscored opponents 1,475-24.

Tincher, a senior from Eagle Rock, VA struck out 10 and allowed one base runner on a one-out walk to Kelly Kretschman in the second inning.


Earlier, the U.S. defeated DePaul 23-0, running its record on the "Bound 4 Beijing" tour to 17-0.


The Hokies scored their only run in the second inning off Jennie Finch, one of 12 players on the U.S. squad that won gold at the 2004 Athens Games. Kelsey Hoffman led off with a double and was replaced by pinch-runner Anna Zitt, who moved to third on a Finch's illegal pitch. Caroline Stolle's two-out bloop single scored Zitt.

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY

IT'S ALL FUNNY NOW...We didn't mean to slight Marcus Ginhard when we didn't mention him yesterday in Carolina Green. Ginyard is, of course, the new and improved Jackie Manuel. The difference being Ginyard has more assists, is a better shooter and is better looking.


(Phooto by Zeke Smith/CB)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

NO, THE PICTURE ISN'T UPSIDE DOWN, THE CRAZY PEOPLE ARE UPSIDE DOWN...Two member of the Crusty Demons perform a syncronised backflip during the Crusty Demons night of world records held at Calder Park March 29, 2008 in Melbourne, Australia.

(Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

CRAZY PEOPLE, ACC STYLE...? Looking for yet another way to beat down Duke, UNC is developing a Grand Prix Motorcyle team. Of course, the Carolina blue bike is in the lead.

(Bradley Smith and Danny Webb ride their Aprilias during the 125cc free practice number 2 at the Grand Prix of Spain in Jerez de la Frontera, on March 29, 2008.)

(Photo by Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

MAMA SAID...you're gonna crash. Eugene Laverty from Ireland crashes during the 250cc second free practice of the Grand Prix of Spain in Jerez de la Frontera, on March 29, 2008.

...and Mama, as usual, was right.


(Photo by Miguel Riopa/AFP/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

TAKE TWO, THEY'RE SMALL...Two streakers run across the field during a break in play on the second day of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament Saturday, March 29, 2008. Officials claim the two men had been drinking.

Really now?


(AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

Friday, March 28, 2008

CAROLINA GREEN

They call him the best sixth-man in the ACC, but Danny Green has overcome some now well-publicized family adversity to be the best sixth-man in the country. Eighteen points against arch-rival Duke in a win at Cameron followed by 15 points in 23 minutes against Washington State last night sealed the deal for TAH.

It’s official. Let the Danny Green love rain.

Before he was wowing the home crowd and annoying opponents with his requisite pregame dance to "Jump Around," now a YouTube staple, Green’s mother walked away from him and his two younger brothers some nine years ago. Then two years ago, his father was arrested and accused of trafficking $40 million worth of cocaine.

Those charges were dropped, but Danny Green, Sr. was eventually jailed on a conspiracy charge. Out of the slammer now, Danny’s dad still can’t come to games as he can’t leave his home state of New York.

The whole situation perplexed the younger Green who knows his father as a loving dad who worked three jobs to keep his family together through hard times. His coach and teammates helped the younger Green through the rough patches.

You know what they say: If it doesn’t kill you, it just makes you stronger, and Danny Green, Jr. is looking plenty strong these days.

The first man off UNC’s bench, Green has been inconsistent at times. You could count on him for a spectacular play as soon as he entered the game. Could be a turnover. Could be a three or a spectacular block. Either way, something happens when Danny Green hits the hardwood.

Lately, most of that ‘something’ has been consistently good. Following a complete disappearing act along with teammate Wayne Ellington in the Heels home loss to Duke in February, Green led the Tar Heels to victory with 18 points in the rematch in Durham.

He cruised through the ACC tournament scoring 4 points against FSU, 8 points in 19 minutes in the Virginia Tech thriller, and 12 solid points against Clemson in the championship game. A familiar number, as Green averages 11.3 points per game for the season.

Green is the team’s fourth leading scorer which comes as no surprise. He is also their second leading rebounder behind Tyler Hansbrough, and second leading shot blocker behind Deon Thompson.

There wasn’t much need for Green’s scoring in the NCAA opening hoopfest last weekend. He had but two against Mount St. Mary’s, and a solid 8 points in 20 minutes against the Razorbacks in those two easy wins.

Then came last night where his Carolina teammates were off to a slow start. With 12:45 left in the first half, coming off his routine bench, Green missed his first shot with UNC trailing by an ugly 10 to 8 score. Then he made a layup, then he made a three pointer, and then he made a two point jumper. The Tar Heels never trailed again.

Game over. Wazou, you've been Greened.

It’s interesting to note the parallels between this North Carolina team and Roy William’s 2005 championship squad. Ty Lawson/Raymond Felton, Wayne Ellington/Rashad McCants and Tyler Hansbrough/Sean May all seem to play similar roles. The guys above took turns on the 2005 team leading the way to NCAA wins until the Final Four when May simply took over.

But this Carolina team has one extra weapon – Danny Green, Jr.

Call him a turbo-charged Reyshawn Terry. Terry was also a solid performer off the bench for the Heels last championship team.

Terry was good, but Green is better.

Considering all Green has been through, we wager he’s stronger too.

(Photos by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images )

MY DEFENSE IS BETTER THAN YOUR DEFENSE

Word from the pundits was that this game was about defense – Washington State’s defense. Turns out they were right about one thing, but wrong about the other.

Washington State’s defense slowed the Tar Heels torrid pace, but it was Carolina’s defense that stifled the Cougars and led to another easy UNC win. When the stats were tallied, the Heels held Washington State to 32% shooting in a 68-47 wins.

Danny Green had 15 points and 5 rebounds in 23 minutes to help Carolina (35-2) set a school record for victories in a season while continuing their dominant tournament run. Tyler Hansbrough scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half. Carolina out-rebounded the Cougars 46 to 32.

North Carolina improved to 24-1 in NCAA games played in its home state, including 7-0 in Charlotte Bobcats Arena. The 47 points were the fewest allowed by the Tar Heels in an NCAA game since 1946, especially impressive after a season in which Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams constantly implored his team to step up its defensive intensity.

Green’s performance of the bench is particularly compelling. In Carolina’s 2005 championship season they had three players they could count on to score – Sean May, Raymond Felton and Rashad McCants. This year they also have three primary scorers in Tyler Hansbrough, Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington, but the wild card for this year’s UNC squad is the scoring ability of Green.

Kyle Weaver #25 of the Washington State Cougars goes up for a shot against Danny Green #14 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

Derrick Low #2 of the Washington State Cougars is covered by Marcus Ginyard #1 of the North Carolina Tar Heels during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

ELITE EIGHT IN TWENTY-FIVE WORDS OR LESS

XAVIER 79, WEST VIRGINIA 75 OT – The Mountaineers blew several chances to win the game. The worst being an inbounds play late in overtime when they left a three-point shooter (B.J. Raymond) wide open. He canned it. Game over.

NORTH CAROLINA 68, WASHINGTON STATE 47 – Carolina simply had too many offensive weapons for Wazou to stop. The fact that the Heels played great defense simply made it another easy win.

UCLA 88, WESTERN KENTUCKY 78
– Somebody dropped the glass slipper, and Western Kentucky looked like a #12 seed against a top flight UCLA team in the first half. UCLA was up 21 before the Hilltoppers came roaring back. In the end, the Bruins and Kevin Love (29 points) were just too good.

LOUISVILLE 79, TENNESSEE 60 – This game looked like Memphis v. Tennessee in different uniforms. It’s hard to tell if the defense and athleticism are the cause of the sloppy play, or is it just sloppy? There were 37 turnovers.

Earl Clark #5 of the Louisville Cardinals and Chris Lofton #5 of the Tennessee Volunteers battle for the ball during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal at Bobcats Arena on March 27, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

PSCYHO-TEE SHIRT

We heard about these from Tony Tar Heel Hokie Trojan Maroons (don’t worry he’s got twins headed for college as well, so the list is gonna get longer) when he was at the ACC tournament.

Evidently, UNC wasn’t amused, so this must be the black market version.

https://www.kungfunation.com/index.php?main_page=product_music_info&cPath=999&products_id=781

WHO KNEW?

Rick Pitino was a freshman on the UMass basketball squad that included none other than NBA legend and Hall of Famer Julius “Dr. J” Erving.

Also on the team, Boston College head coach Al Skinner.

TUITION, ROOM, BOARD, GAME TICKET AND BUS RIDE TO DETROIT

ESPN - It's a free-for-all at Davidson College.

Thanks to the deep pockets of the school's Board of Trustees, nearly 300 students will travel to Detroit to watch their beloved men's basketball team continue its surprising run in the NCAA tournament Friday night.

Students are getting bus transportation, two nights lodging and a ticket to see Davidson play Wisconsin in the Midwest Regional -- all for free.

Trustees pledged Wednesday to pay for any student. The school's Board of Trustees dug into their own pockets for about $100,000 to provide at least five buses, 250 tickets and 125 hotel rooms for the student body.

Within a day, 275 students -- nearly 20 percent of the student body -- had signed up. That sent officials at the small liberal-arts college, located about 20 miles north of Charlotte and about 650 miles south of Detroit, scrambling.

"The response was tremendous and frankly, surprisingly large," school spokeswoman Stacey Schmeidel said Thursday. "We actually have a lot more students who want to go, but we're trying to find more buses."

Huh? Free trip to Sweet Sixteen? Free ticket? Free hotel room? We’re worried about the kids that DIDN’T sign up…

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)




FREEZE FRAME

Believe it or not ESPN has more resources than TAH. None the less, we don’t know how we missed this GREAT photo taken when the game winning three-pointer was made in the overtime WKU win over Drake.

Every Wednesday night on SportsCenter the most memorable images of the week will be presented as part of Bud Light's Freeze Frame. In addition to presenting the week's top images, SportsCenter also seeks help from SportsNation to pick the one that is the most memorable.

That photo, along with the best comment of the week, are revealed during the show.

This week's choices include two dramatic performances in the NCAA men's tournament, a big upset in tennis and a big extra inning hit in the baseball opener in Japan.

The overall winner was the WKU photo here.

(Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY

PLENTY TO SMILE ABOUT…The North Carolina Tar Heels cheerleaders and mascot pose during a break in the game against the Washington State Cougars during the 2008 NCAA Men's East Regional Semifinal at Bobcats Arena on March 27, 2008 in Charlotte, North Carolina.

It was just over one year ago (March 26) that UNC mascot Jason Ray died after being struck by a car prior to an Elite 8 game in New Jersey.

(Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

THAT'S GOT TO BE SCARY...ATP tennis player David Nalbandian (white helmet) sits in the Indycar two seater, with driver Davey Hamilton at the Homestead-Miami Speedway March 27, 2008 in Homestead, Florida.

Castroneves will compete in the IndyCar Series GAINSCO Auto Insurance Indy 300 on March 29 and Nalbandian will compete in the Sony Ericsson Open starting March 28.




(Photo by Robert Laberge/Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

HE LEAPS, HE SCORES...Emosi Vucago of Fiji scores a try during their match against South Korea during the first day of the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens tournament in Hong Kong Friday, March 28, 2008. Fiji won 42-7.

(AP Photo/Vincent Yu)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

BOWLING FOR CHARITY...Two Los Angeles Laker Girls show their bowling skills during the Hola Bowla event at the Pinz Bowling Center on March 27, 2008 in Studio City, California. Hola Bowla is a fundraising bowling tournament for Heart of Los Angeles’ (HOLA) Athletics Program. HOLA serves over 1,300 boys and girls with daily fine arts, athletics and educational programming in various L.A. neighborhoods.

Not to be outdone, the 76ers also recently held a bowling party for their season ticket holders.

(Photo by Wendi Kaminski/NBAE via Getty Images)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

GOOD MORNING...A horse and his excercise rider are seen on the track at Nad al-Sheba club during preparations of the Dubai Equestrian World Cup 2008. The Dubai World Cup, held on March 29, is the richest horse race in the world, with prize money totaling $21.25 million.

(Photo by Karim Sahib/AFP/Getty Images)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

WDUK -- ALL DUKE, ALL THE TIME

...well, at least for today.

Welcome to the Duke Edition of TAH. The NCAA basektball world has been buzzing since WVU knocked the Dookies out of the tournament. We decided to roll all the major stories into one edition -- student unrest, second guessing, poor shooting, wrong recruits, pushing and shoving.

It's all here.

FIRST QUESTION: Is there really a Mickey Dee's logo on the Cameron scoreboard, or did somebody photoshop that in?

BUT, BEFORE WE GO ALL BLUE DEVIL: DOWN GO HOKIES

Damn.

MISSISSIPPI 81, VIRGINIA TECH 72

It may sound like a gross over-simplification, but we believe it to be true: You can’t win a basketball game if you’re -23 in rebounding. OK, maybe you can if you shoot 80% for the game, which the Hokies (21-14) didn’t.
They shot 39% and were outrebounded 46 to 23.

Game over.

Hokie senior Deron Washington scored 23 points in his final game.

(Photo by Matt Gentry/The Roanoke Times)

…AND DOWN GO THE WAHOOS

BRADLEY 96, VIRGINIA 85

Jeremy Crouch scored 27 points, including a 3-pointer that sparked a run that blew open a close game, as Bradley(20-15) beat Virginia 96-85 in the semifinals of the College Basketball Invitation Wednesday.


Virginia (17-16) led by as many as 14 in the first half before a 15-0 run sparked by back-to-back 3-pointers by Daniel Ruffin put Bradley up 31-30 with 5:44 remaining in the half.

Jeff Jones had a career-high 26 points for Virginia, Sean Singletary had 17, Adrian Joseph 15 and Diane added 10. It was the final game for Singletary, Joseph and Ryan Pettinella, and when Singletary came out of the game with 48 seconds left he received a long standing ovation.

Sean Singletary #44 of the Virginia Cavaliers goes up for a layup in front of Jeremis Smith #32 of the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets during Day 1 of the 2008 Men's ACC Basketball Tournament. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

THE TRUTH ABOUT DUKE?

One of the great things about being a college kid is you get four (or five, in some cases) years to prove to the world just how smart you really are. After all, most kids think they know everything about everything when they get to campus, so those four years are spent polishing things up for the ultimate display that will wow corporate America, law school, dental school, Wall Street or wherever the young genius decides to leave his or her mark.

After all, paying $46,000 a year for college at Duke and spending some portion of each winter sleeping in a tent has to make you smart(er), yes?

Enter Andrew Yaffe of Duke University. Andrew is probably a nice kid, but he takes on Coach Krzcvbwqpl3ski in a piece in the Duke Chronicle. He makes some very good points, but he blows his own credibility all to crap with his own self-introduction, not to mention a lame headline.

THIS YEAR WAS NOT-SO 'GREAT'

By: Andrew Yaffe

You know, 28-6 is a great season.

That's what Mike Krzyzewski said after Duke's loss to West Virginia Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament.

Respectfully, I beg to differ…

…As a member of the second class since 1985 to leave Duke without enjoying a Final Four trip, I'm not happy with how this team, just like last year's, struggled down the stretch.

Oh the humanity, how many poor, bedraggled, downtrodden and unfortunate college students didn’t get to “enjoy” a “Final Four” trip? Let’s think now…A couple hundred thousand EVERY DAMN YEAR! Jeez, some 500,000 UVA graduates have never sniffed the place…(Sorry, Hoos, but somebody had to take the fall.)

Here’s the whole story:
http://www.dukechronicle.com/home/index.cfm?event=displayArticle&ustory_id=73f89697-8f59-4b3f-a246-538e8e9ea355

So what is wrong with the Blue Devils? Too many McDonald’s All Americans? Coach distracted by Team USA? Sense of entitlement getting the best of all things Cameron?

No, no and no. Don’t over-think it.

The problem for Duke the past two years is they don’t’ have an NBA caliber big man playing in the paint. At present, they don’t even have an above average big man to do the heavy lifting that necessary to play deep into March. They had Josh McRoberts who ran from Durham and floundered in the NBA D-League. Either Krzychgre4ski doesn’t want to recruit an NBA quality big man – most likely a one-and-done or two-and-done at best – or he simply can’t land one. (Some claim it's because all of Duke's assistant coaches were guards.)

This year Duke didn’t have an All-American, and they only had one All-ACC first team player – DeMarcus Nelson. Nelson is 6’4”.

Duke either can’t successfully recruit (for reasons unknown to us) or won’t recruit the NBA caliber players that make a difference. Gone are workhorse big men and future NBA stalwarts like Shane Battier, Carolos Boozer, Shelden Williams and Elton Brand to compliment shooters like J.J. Redick, etc.

Kyle Singler is a quality player and evidently so is the little used Taylor King, but neither will lead Duke back to the Final Four unless they can shoot the ball 60% for 36 games. We don’t see either one averaging a dozen rebounds a game…ever.

That’s a tall order, and Duke simply isn’t tall enough.

Now you know.

G-HEN PUSHES THE WRONG GUY

Now we know, according to K1, that the real victim of last year's nose incident was Gerald Henderson. G-Hen went up to block Hansbrough's shot and somehow Psycho-T's nose got in the way of G-Hen's elbow. Thank you, Mr. Henderson for that signature moment.

Here is a little film clip, of G-Hen, once again quite innocently, making contact with an opposing player. Henderson pushes West Virginia's Cam Thoroughman from behind (allegedly). Thoroughman (6-foot-7, 215) wasn't amused, and subsequently flattened Henderson to return the favor.

There are plenty of Duke Haters claiming it's a flop, but we don't think so...



ALL IS NOT LOST!

The Duke Blue Devils returned to the top spot in the annual Harris Poll inquiring fans favorite collegiate men’s and women’s basketball teams. (Riot in Krzydakshvxbnw4skiville!)

The men’s team finished first, a spot they’ve garnered five of the last six years and in six of the 11 times the poll has been conducted since 1993, while the Duke women’s team finished tied for fourth in the poll, as well.

The poll was conducted by Harris Interactive between March 11-18, 2008, among a nationwide sampling of 2,513 adults from the United States, 611 of which followed college basketball. (Um…if they run that poll right after Duke loses to the burning couch boys from West “By God” Virginia, how do the numbers look? Oh well, like they say – timing is everything.)

North Carolina was second in the poll after finishing first last season for the first time (Sorry Florida, use the NCAA Division 1 Men’s Basketball National Championship trophy for consolation). Indiana moved from No. 8 to No. 3 between 2007 and ’08 while UCLA and Iowa round out the top five. Georgetown, Kansas and Tennessee all tied for sixth while Kentucky and Wisconsin finished tied for ninth.

AND WHILE WE’RE AT IT…

That would be piling on…

There was plenty of carryin’ on over that internets thing this weekend after Duke cheated Belmont out of a first round upset. Luckily, the Mountaineers dispatched the Blue Devils and quelled the "internets rebellion."

Check it out:

WELL, THEY WON SOMETHING...

SNEAKER ART COMPETITION: DUKE WINS

When D.C. Sports Blog’s Dan Steinberg covers a game, he covers the game…right down to the shoes.

The best sneaker art I saw at the D.C. subregional came in the Xavier locker room, where someone had written "Sweet 16" on his kicks. The best I've seen nationwide came on Stephen Curry's shoes, which read "I Can do all things." But these are mere insignificant trifles compared to the sneakers in the Duke women's locker room, which are easily the best Division I kicks I've ever seen.

The artwork is done by freshman Karima Christmas; "that's called the Karima font; it's trademarked," one of the other Devils told me.

"You just say, 'Hey Karima, freak sum'," said Wanisha Smith, describing the commission process.
The shoes pictured here are the left and right sneaks of Christmas, but there are others that bear the Karima font. Smith's reads "When I get the rock ur at my mercy," and her left reads "I get buckets," and some other stuff.

Christmas has the "Xmas" and "LAX/HOU" borders, paying tribute to her last name, city of her birth and current residence. Her right shoe reads "The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams," quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, while her left shoe reads "Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure," quoting Nelson Mandela.

Amazing, in my opinion. Go Devils.
(And full disclosure, without name tags or rosters, when I saw Christmas's shoes I was like, "what's with all the Christmas stuff?" No, that wasn't embarrassing at all.)

The Duke women have advanced to the Sweet 16.

Frankly, we are a little surprised that the uptight decal lovin' NCAA doesn't have rules prohibiting "shoe art."

AND THEN DEPRESSION SET IN...

ONLY ONE CHEZ MAC ALL-AMERICAN HEADED TO DUKE

What? Only one hamburger superstar is headed to Durham to join the other 8 Big Macs?

True story.

And here’s another surprise: This year’s McDonalds’ all-star isn’t a white guy.

Elliot Williams, a 6-4, 165 lbs guard from Memphis, TN is off to The Krzhcgvbwj8ski Court. Williams scored 10 points in last night’s 107 to 102 victory by the East.

Good news for the ACC is that, unlike last year, a bunch of other ACC schools landed McDonaldsAAsUNC picked up three more including one named Tyler. Tyler Psycho-Z Zeller is a mere 7 feet tall, but a wispy 200 lbs. Like Sean May, he comes by way of Indiana.



Also coming to Chapel Hill is Ed Davis, a 6-9, 215, forward out of Richmond. Davis scored 11 points in last night’s Festival de McNuggets. Also going to Carolina is Larry Drew II, a 6-0, 160, guard from Encino, CA.

Other McDonalds’ wonder kids headed to the ACC include: Al-Farouq Aminu, 6-9, 205, forward, Norcross, GA – Wake Forest; Sylven Landesberg, 6-6, 205, Flushing, NY – Virginia; Charis Singleton, 6-9, 225, forward, Dunwoody, GA – Florida State and Iman Shumpert, 6-4, 200, guard, Oak Park, IL – Georgia Tech.

Nice work, fellas.

ABOVE: ElliotWilliams chose the Blue Devils over Tennessee and Memphis, will add much needed athleticism in Durham. (Photo: Ben Smidt/Icon SMI)

BELOW: LarryDrew, Jr. is an efficient floor general who will fit in nicely with the Tar Heels. He won the MAA three-point shooting contest title Monday night. (Photo: Ben Smidt/Icon SMI)

PICTURE(S) OF THE DAY


SPEAKING OF HOKIES…The NCAA tournament is all abuzz about Stephen Curry who is the son of Dell Curry a former Hokie and NBAer.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 2

IT WASN’T MEANT TO BE…but what a great sign. George Mason fans hoped for a repeat of 2006, when the Patriots reached the Final Four.

(Photo by John W. McDonough/Sports Illustrated)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 3

SUNDEVILS THEIR DUE...Arizona State fans let the NCAA Selection Committee know what they think of their performance this year.

(Photo by Bruce Yeung/Yeung Photography)

PICTURE OF THE DAY 4

TAKE OUT ME TO THE GAME BALL...Here’s a little gem from JoeSportsFan.com:

Not everything translates seamlessly across cultures. Proper names usually do, though. I suppose it's a nice looking sign - way more effort than 95% of the cardboard/Sharpie masterpieces seen here. We acknowledge the polite, yet completely unnecessary, "Please" foreword. And we certainly appreciate the effort and reference to the popular American "Take Me Out to the Ballgame".

But, "Park Fenway"?

They were so close.

PICTURE OF THE DAY 5

CAFFEINE PROBLEM...? Caitlin Sinclair of NSW practices maintaining her balance with a cup while doing backstroke warm ups before day six of the 2008 Australian Swimming Championships at the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre on March 27, 2008 in Sydney, Australia.

(Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

HANSBROUGH GOING TO SAN ANTONIO ONE WAY OR ANOTHER

The Commonwealth Athletic Club of Kentucky has announced the winners of the 2008 Adolph Rupp Awards. Drum roll, please…North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough was selected as the Player of the Year to receive the Adolph Rupp Award, and Tennessee's Bruce Pearl was selected Coach of the Year to receive the Adolph Rupp Cup.
Club spokesman Gerry Calvert, a former player for Rupp at Kentucky, had this to say about the selections, "Anybody who knew Coach Rupp well would tell you that Tyler is the kind of player he would have loved to coach, and Pearl is the kind of coach he would have loved to compete against. They both typify the passion, drive and excellence for which Coach Rupp will always be remembered."

The selections were made by a national selection committee consisting of over 40 present and retired sports writers, coaches, TV-radio broadcasters, and sports administrators. The awards will be presented at the Final Four in San Antonio on April 3rd, at the San Antonio Marriott Riverwalk.

From its inception in 1972, the Adolph Rupp Award has been considered one of the nation's most prestigious college basketball awards, with previous winners including Bill Walton, Larry Bird, Michael Jordan, Patrick Ewing, David Robinson, Shaquille O'Neal, Tim Duncan, and (most recently) Kevin Durant.

(Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)

THE SECRET TO UNDER-9 GIRLS HOOPS

For all of you aspiring coaches out there, TAH wants to shed a little light on a good way to jump start that no-doubt-bound-for-the-Final-Four coaching career you’ve been contemplating (or worse yet, actually living out).

You start off slowly, maybe a nice little girls team. Now, coaching at this level is really pretty easy. Your goal is to:

1) Teach the girls the offensive fundamentals of the game…the pass, the bounce pass, the pass to your teammate not the opponent, the jump stop, the layup and the basic principles of the fast break.
2) Teach the girls the defensive fundamentals of the game…girl-to-girl defense, the 2-1-2 zone, and how to steal the ball while committing a minimum of fouls. Shot blocking is optional and size dependent.
3) Teach the girls the fundamentals of good sportsmanship. Don’t yell f*** no matter what (not them, you.) It’s a good rule. Enforce it.

Then on Saturday, you go out and try to kick the livin’ crap out of the other guy’s under-9 girls team. You press…yes, full court, what are you a wimp? And your girls run the court like UNLV and Arkansas’ old coaches Jerry Tarkanian and Noland Richardson are chasing them.

Every time the other girls touch the ball you SCREAM “STEAL IT.” And every time your girls touch the ball you SCREAM “GO, GO, GO.” Those sweet children will be playing tough D and runnin’ the floor like Ty Lawson and Ol’ Roy’s Tar Heels in no time. (Eight- and nine-year-olds never raise a fist and asked to be subbed. They NEVER get tired.)

If all else fails, just make sure that when you go to the preseason draft to set up your team, you make sure to draft one kid that has both height (uncoachable) and some mad skills (coachable).

Presto-changeo, your Wolfs can be champs too!

*Any resemblance to any real person (Wolfs or no Wolfs) in the accompanying photo is purely a ridiculous coincidence.

A LITTLE PBR WITH YOUR MADNESS?

Thank the good Lord that Josh at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell got up in time to pen this important bit of pop culture literature before heading off to class…or 7-11, or wherever…

After trying many classy brews, it’s about time I reviewed an old standby of mine, Pabst Blue Ribbon. A pharmacy favorite, PBR can be found nearly everywhere beer is sold - and some places it’s not.

PBR pours a light straw color with…oh forget it. Who am I kidding, here - it’s Pabst. If you’re looking for a complex taste, you’ve come to the wrong place.

Now, if you’re looking for the perfect way to get wasted without resorting to drinking out of a trough, well…there you have it. That trashy, piss-drunk at the quarry vibe is here in spades.
(Now, that’s some quality prose – “piss drunk at the quarry” – it brings back such sweet memories…for somebody.)

We all have friends who are either staunch defenders or serious haters of the beer related to hipster dives and bozo jocks alike - and that’s the magic of it all. Without taking notice, both parties have developed an affinity for PBR’s cheap musk and watery taste.

It’s like world peace in an aluminum can…or something like that.

Pabst Blue Ribbon stats:

Smells like: house party at the McCarthy’s, 1996.
(that’s pronounced Macker-Theees)
Tastes like: minor malts in a tin can alley.
Alcohol content: 4.74%, but you can drink a billion.

LADIES DANCE

(NCAA Tournament - Second Round)

DUKE 67, ARIZONA STATE 59

OLD DOMINION 88, VIRGINIA 85 OT

MARYLAND 76, NEBRASKA 64

NORTH CAROLINA 80, GEORGIA 66

Maryland's Marissa Coleman, left, tries to catch a pass while Nebraska's Tay Hester defends during the first half of an NCAA women's basketball tournament second-round game, Tuesday, March 25, 2008, in College Park, Md. (AP Photo/Rob Carr)

OXFORD v. CAMBRIDGE: DENTAL WORK NOT INCLUDED

The idea for a rowing race between the Universities of Oxford (rowing’s Duke) and Cambridge (rowing’s UNC) came from two friends - Charles Merivale, a student at Cambridge, and his Harrow schoolfriend Charles Wordsworth (nephew of the poet William Wordsworth), who was at Oxford. (They died hating each other…just kidding.)

On 12 March 1829, Cambridge sent a challenge to Oxford and thus the tradition was born which has continued to the present day, where the loser of the previous year’s race challenges the opposition to a re-match.

The Modern Boat Race still runs along the same lines, but has now become a major international sporting occasion drawing millions of viewers from around the world. To show you how modern the Brits are, it’s even sponsored by Xchanging.

According to boatrace.org “Xchanging is a fast-growing, international, pure play business process outsourcing company, with blue-chip customers. Xchanging provides complex processing to the banking and insurance industries and procurement, finance and accounting and human resources services to customers across industries.” Now that is major event quality PR talk if you ask us.

On Race Day up to 250,000 spectators crowd the banks of the Thames from Putney to Mortlake to witness the action.

Cambridge leads the series since 1829 by 79-73. (Just like Carolina leads Duke.) Cambridge won the most recent encounter (2007) but Oxford won the previous two encounters (2005 and 2006). The 154th Boat Race takes place Saturday, March 29th 2008 at 5.15pm local time.
Oxford goes into this weekend’s Boat Race as the heavier of the two crews, although Cambridge remain favorites with the bookmakers to make it two wins in a row. At the official Weigh-In yesterday at The Hurlingham Club in Fulham, the Oxford Blue boat crew weighed in at 786.6 kilograms, excluding the cox – some 43.2 kilograms heavier than their Light Blue rivals at 743.4 kilograms. (Huh?)

The heaviest individual on either boat is 23-year-old Australian Toby Medaris at 102.6 kg (16 stone 2lbs). He occupies the No.2 seat in the Oxford boat and is studying for an MSc in Management Research at Kellogg College (where they invented Corn Flakes).

He is just fraction heavier than his fellow crew member, American Aaron Marcovy (102kg) who is studying Fine Art at St Edmund Hall. Aaron, from Cleveland, Ohio, is one of four American oarsmen in the Oxford boat. The others are former Olympian and world champion Michael Wherley (Sun Prairie, Wisconsin), Charles Cole (Connecticut) and stroke William England (Marblehead, MA). The sole American in the Cambridge boat is stroke Shane O’Mara from Tampa, Florida.

The heaviest Light Blue is Peter Marsland, from Chiswick who weighed in at 101.8 kg. Peter, 23, is at No.5 in the Cambridge boat and studying Environmental Policy at Clare Hall.
As you can see from the photos the sport has some diversity issues, and all the dudes look like extras from A Christmas Carol.

TOP: 2007 - Photo courtesy of TheBoatRace.org

MIDDLE RIGHT: Oxford University rowing team (from L to R) Jan Herzog, Toby Medaris, Ben Smith, Aaron Marcovy, Nicholas Brodie, Michael Wherley, Oliver Moore, Charles Cole and William England pose for a team photograph.

MIDDLE LEFT: Oxford University and Cambridge University boat race crews pose for a group photograph following the official weigh-in ahead of the Oxford versus Cambridge boat race on the River Thames, in London

BOTTOM RIGHT: Cambridge University rowing team (from L to R) Colin Scott, Tim Perkins, Henry Pelly, Tobias Garnett, Rebecca Dowbiggin, Peter Marsland, Tom Edwards, Tom Ransley and Shane O'Mara pose for a team photograph.

(Photos by Leon Neal/AFP/Getty Images)

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