Saturday, June 25, 2011

South Carolina Knocks Out Virginia In Extra Innings

TYLER WILSON & COLIN HARRINGTON
South Carolina 3, VIRGINIA 2, 13 innings – Virginia’s dream of a baseball national championship came to a bitter and painful end at the hands of last year’s champions.  It took extra innings for the Gamecocks to send the Hoos back to Charlottesville after an error plagued finale.

Adam Matthews scored in the bottom of the 13th inning Friday night after Virginia reliever Cody Winiarski botched two throws while fielding bunts. 

The wild finish came after South Carolina closer Matt Price worked out of bases-loaded situations in the 10th, 12th and 13th innings.

The Gamecocks (53-14) will play Florida (53-17) in an all-Southeastern Conference best-of-three final beginning Monday. Virginia (56-12) was the No. 1 national seed.

DANNY HULTZEN
South Carolina, which has won a record 14 straight NCAA tournament games, recorded its sixth walkoff victory of the season and second of this year’s College World Series. The Gamecocks won last year’s championship game against UCLA in walkoff fashion.

“That was a baseball game of just a lot of emotions, a lot of gut decisions, both teams taking chances at times,” Virginia coach Brian O’Connor said. “It’s unfortunate that we had to come out on the wrong end of it.”

 To read more, click here.

Things That Make You Go…

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
By Elizabeth Flock/Washington Post

People change the names they were given at birth because they’ve gotten married or gotten divorced, because they’ve changed religions, or because their name is difficult to pronounce.

And some people change it just because.

Ron Artest announced this week that he’s changing his name to “Metta,” which means peace or happiness in Pali, a language of the Indian subcontinent.

Artest has filed a petition in L.A. County Superior Court to change his name and wants the new name on the back of his L.A. Lakers’ jersey.

Pictures Of The Day

Australia's Meg Lanning (L) plays a shot watched by England's Sarah Taylor during a Twenty20 Women's Quadrangular Series cricket match between England and Australia at The County Ground in Bristol, south-west England, on June 25, 2011. (Photo by Ian Kington/AFP/Getty Images) 
Nate Adams of the U.S. performs during the Red bull X-Fighters 2011 World Tour freestyle motorcross event in Rome.  (Photo by Max Rossi/Reuters)
Dirk Nowitzki of the 2011 NBA Champion Dallas Mavericks throws out the ceremonial first pitch before a game between the New York Mets and the Texas Rangers at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on June 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images North America)
Dustin Urbin of the U.S. does a flip during the quarter finals at the ICF Freestyle Kayak World Championships in Platting, Germany.  (Photo by Imago/ZUMAPRESS.com)
Maria Sharapova plays against Czech player Klara Zakopalova in a Women's Singles match at the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club, in south-west London, on June 25, 2011. (Photo by Leon Neal/restricted To Editorial Use/AFP/Getty Images)
Crazy people with cool names on little motorcycles:  Spaniard Maverick Vinales rides ahead of compatriots Luis Salom (C) and Sergio Gadea (L) on June 25, 2011 to win the Dutch motorcycling Grand Prix 125cc race in Assen.  (Photo by Vincent Jannink/AFP/Getty Images)  

Friday, June 24, 2011

Wahoos Top Cal In CWS

TYLER WILSON (AP Photo) 
VIRGINIA 8, Cal 1 – Unbeaten Tyler Wilson carried a shutout into the eighth inning, Virginia used a four-run sixth to break open a close game and the No. 1-seeded Cavaliers eliminated California from the College World Series with a 8-1 victory on Thursday night.

Virginia (56-11) will face defending national champion South Carolina in the Bracket 2 final. The Cavs would need to beat the Gamecocks on Friday and again Saturday to reach next week's best-of-three finals.

Kenny Swab singled and came around to score on a three-base error to start Virginia's big sixth inning.

Wilson (10-0) allowed five hits over his career-high 7 2-3 innings. Cal starter Dixon Anderson (4-4) took the loss, failing to get past the third inning for the third time in five starts.

Virginia, which batted .246 with just three extra-base hits in its first two CWS games, got 11 hits off five pitchers.

To read more, click here.

Quote Of The Day

KYRIE IRVING (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
“I didn’t have any doubts about going to No. 1. I was looking to the organization to pick who they felt was the right choice. But now to this moment, from being a fan of the NBA draft and now being drafted, it’s a special feeling in my heart and knowing that my friends and family were together, it’s a memory I’m going to remember for the rest of my life.”

– Kyrie Irving after being the top pick in the NBA draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers.  Now all Irving has to do is make the Cavs’ fans forget that guy named Lebron who left town.

ACC In The NBA Draft

CHRIS SINGLETON (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
After Irving from Duke was drafted number one overall the following ACC players were selected:

IMAN SHUMPERT, Georgia Tech, 1st Round; 17th Selection by the New York Knicks.

CHRIS SINGLETON, Florida State, 1st Round, 18th Selection by the Washington Wizards.

NOLAN SMITH, Duke, 1st Round, 19th Selection by the Portland Trailblazers.

REGGIE JACKSON, Boston College, 1st Round, 24th Selection by the Oklahoma City Thunder.

KYLE SINGLER, Duke, 2nd Round, 33rd Selection by the Detroit Pistons.

JORDAN WILLIAMS, Maryland, 2nd Round, 36th Selection by the New Jersey Nets.

Pictures Of The Day

Francesca Schiavone of Italy returns a shot through her legs to Barbora Zahlavova of the Czech Republic during their second round match of the “Say These Names Three Times Really Fast Open” – no, it was really at Wimbledon.  Schiavone wone.  (Photo by Felipe Trueba/EPA/LANDOV)

Crazy guy Roland Himmelbauer parts company with his motorcycle that he had been foolishly trying to race up an incredibly steep and rock hill during the Erzberg Rodeo near the village of Eisenerz in the Austrian province of Styria.  (Photo by Imago/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Not The NBA, But Not Bad...

Travis Stephenson can count among his life’s major thrills winning the 1993 NCAA basketball championship as part of Dean Smith’s Tar Heels.  Now he can add winning the 53rd annual Big Rock Blue Marlin Tournament in Morehead City, NC to that list.  And while, Stephenson rode the pine during his Tar Heels' Big Dance, he was the star this time around.

Not bad for a guy who had never caught a blue marlin prior to entering the event.

On June 13, on the first day of six days of fishing, the Angier, NC resident reeled in a 652.8-pound marlin that ended up reigning over the leaderboard for the rest of the week. The catch claimed first place and $524,375 for the crew of the Double B and its captain, Kenny Sexton of Manteo.

"It was an explosion of emotions," Sexton said. "We were arguing and cheering [throughout the catch]."
At first, the crew didn't realize exactly how big the hooked marlin was.

"It had some big shoulders; we could tell it was a pretty nice fish," said Stephenson, who played  with George Lynch, Henrik Rodl, Eric Montross, Kevin Salvadori, Donald Williams and Dante Calabria.  "Then it rolled, and everyone gasped collectively. It was insane... We were fortunate to put that on the boat."

This year's tournament drew 135 boats aiming to win a portion of the $1.5 million purse.

The event featured releases of 27 blue marlin, 69 white marlin and five sailfish.

Stephenson said he could only hope that his blue marlin catch would hold up. The vice president of retail sales for a Smithfield air filter company, he had to spend the rest of the week away from Morehead City for work. He received text updates from the crew during the week, then met up with them on Saturday to watch the final day.

"We had lots of confidence it would hold up, but we knew someone could always bring in something bigger."

Nobody did, and Stephenson and his crew took home the big money. 

North Carolina Out Of CWS

UNC's Levi Michael and Vandy's Aaron Westlake
Vanderbilt 5, NORTH CAROLINA 1 – Taylor Hill and Corey Williams combined on four-hitter, Connor Harrell and Curt Casali homered as Vanderbilt eliminated North Carolina from the College World Series Wednesday night.

Vanderbilt (54-11) beat the Tar Heels for the second time in the CWS and plays Southeastern Conference rival Florida on Friday. The Commodores are in Omaha for the first time and would need to beat the Gators twice to reach next week's best-of-three finals.

The Commodores have to face a Florida team that has beaten them in four of five meetings this season, including 3-1 at the CWS.

North Carolina (51-16) left 34 runners on base in its three CWS games and was just 7 for 39 with runners in scoring position.

Hill (6-1) outdueled Greg Holt (7-2) in a matchup of Washington Nationals draft picks.

The Tar Heels couldn't advance a runner past first base after they scored in the fifth. 

Pictures Of The Day

Richard Hughes riding Pink Sapphire (L) wins The British Stallion Studs EBF Ashbrittle Stud Maiden Fillies' Stakes at Salisbury racecourse on June 22, 2011 in Salisbury, England. (Photo by Alan Crowhurst/Getty Images Europe)
U.S. defender Carlos Bocanegra (#3) jumps in the air to score the United State’s game winning, and only, goal against Panama in Houston, TX.  The win advances the USA team to the Gold Cup Final for the fourth straight time.  (Photo by Juan DeLeon/Southcreek Global/ZUMAPRESS.com)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

South Carolina Upsets Virginia In CWS

Steven Proscia (AP Phtoto)
South Carolina 7, VIRGINIA 1 – Colby Holmes, John Taylor and Matt Price combined on a five-hitter to carry South Carolina past Virginia on Tuesday night.

The Gamecocks (52-14) are off until Friday and would have to be beaten twice by Virginia or California to not return to the best-of-three finals next week. No. 1 national seed Virginia (55-11) plays California in a Thursday elimination game.

South Carolina scored three unearned runs in the first inning against Will Roberts (11-2), and five of its 13 hits went for extra bases.

Taylor (11-2) got the win with one-hit relief over a season-high 4 1-3 innings. Price came on to record the final out.

Holmes held the Cavaliers hitless into the fourth inning, when John Hicks crushed a 1-0 pitch into the left-center seats for his eighth homer of the year.

Taylor relieved and induced an inning-ending double play, and the Cavaliers didn't advance anyone past first base the rest of the game.

Roberts, who threw a perfect game against George Washington in March, had given up just one earned run in 16 1-3 innings in his previous two starts in the national tournament.

Things That Make You Go…

Horse.
Hmmm…

Look we know the folks down under are a lot like us Yanks…but, not exactly the same.  For example, down in New Zealand they have a wild food contest recently discovered by the T.A.H. Worldwide Media Research Department under the watchful eye (and we are hoping eye only) of T.A.H. Pop Culture Editor Young A.T.

Evidently…a chef in Wellington (no doubt suffering from an earthquake addled brain) has concocted a cocktail (pun intended) that includes – drum roll, please – horse semen.
Oh no, we are not making this up.

In fact, here’s the story straight from the Dominion Post by way of Gawker in that truth is stranger than fiction sort of way:

Apple-infused horse semen shots might not be an obvious chaser to spring rolls, but they are causing a stir at the Green Man Pub where they are being served.

The shots are part of the central Wellington pub's entry in the nationwide 14th annual Monteith's Beer & Wild Food Challenge.

While the rest of the meal of seared Asian duck and pork and paua spring rolls sounds delicious - it is the Hoihoi tatea, or horse semen drink which is on everyone's minds.

Jason Varley.
Green Man Pub chef, Jason Varley, said the drink was proving most popular with women.

"Ladies thought it was great  a couple were going to go home and get their husbands to eat grass," he said.
But Mr Varley added that some woman had their concerns.

"A couple of them were worried they might bear children with long faces," he joked.

Men have not been so keen on the concoction.

To read more, click here.

Suits In Indianapolis (Formerly Kansas) Officially Rehash UNC Football Charges

According to the Associated Press (and they should know!), the University of North Carolina  has received a notice of allegations from the NCAA outlining numerous “potential major violations” in the football program, including unethical conduct by a former assistant coach as well as failure to adequately monitor the conduct of a former and current players.

Now, there’s a shock.  Didn’t we cover all of this last year.  Wait, now it’s “official?”

The notice, released Tuesday evening, accuses former associate head coach John Blake of providing “false and misleading information” to both NCAA investigators and the school regarding his relationship with late NFL agent Gary Wichard. That included a failure to report $31,500 in outside income from Wichard’s firm, Pro Tect Management LLC, from May 2007 to October 2009.

Shocking.  Really, who knew?

The notice also states seven players received more than $27,000 in improper benefits in 2009 and 2010. In addition, the NCAA alleged unethical conduct by former tutor Jennifer Wiley for refusing to cooperate with the investigation and providing about $3,500 worth of extra benefits in travel, parking expenses and free tutoring to players.

Any new news?  Any at all?

The school was also cited for failing to monitor “social media activity” of the team in 2010 as well as the conduct of former player Chris Hawkins. Hawkins was previously connected to trips to Atlanta and Las Vegas made by cornerback Kendric Burney, and also paid $1,000 for the jersey of Georgia’s A.J. Green—a transaction that resulted in Green’s four-game suspension because the NCAA said Hawkins qualified as an agent. Hawkins had hung around the program and players in recent years, but has since been told to stay away.

The school has 90 days to respond to the notice and is scheduled to appear before the NCAA infractions committee in Indianapolis on Oct. 28.


“I deeply regret that Carolina is in this position,” chancellor Holden Thorp said in a statement. “We made mistakes, and we have to face that. … We will emerge with a stronger athletics program, and we will restore confidence in Carolina football.”

Fourteen players missed at least one game last season due to the investigation. Seven were ruled out for the entire year, while an eighth was cleared at midseason but decided to redshirt.

While players’ names were redacted in the notice, the NCAA said one of the players received more than $13,507.47 in benefits—with more than $5,000 tied to Wichard—another received $5,642.92 and a third received $5,040.20.

Those amounts are consistent with the figures provided by the school in October when it dismissed Austin and announced that the NCAA declared defensive end Robert Quinn and receiver Greg Little “permanently ineligible.”

All three were chosen in the first two rounds of the recent NFL draft.

Pictures Of The Day

Uni update: Future wave.  Check out the Washington Mystics' jersey. You will note they don’t say Washington or Mystics, but they feature the logo of their sponsor Inova Health System.  This trend has been used on international soccer uniforms for some time now.  Look for more of it as teams figure out how to meet ever rising costs by selling naming rights to everything they can.  We predict NBA players getting tattoos that say “PNC Bank” before it’s all over with.  (Photo by Ned Dishman/NBAE/Getty Images)
Where’s Rudolph?  Nick Malceski wears a red nose for Sids and Kids Red Nose Day during a Sydney Swans AFL training session at Sydney Cricket Ground on June 21, 2011 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Nolan/Getty Images AsiaPac)
More visual proof that the gap between men’s and women’s basketball is narrowing.  Here Tulsa Shock center Elizabeth Cambage drives the basket in a game against the Seattle Storm.  (Photo by Greg Nelson/Sports Illustrated)
Focus point.  Benoit Paire of France serves agasint David Ferrer of Spain on Court 3 during their men’s singles first round Wimbeldon match.  (Photo by Simon Bruty/SI Snapshot)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Heels Knock Off Horns To Stay Alive In CWS

Kent Emanuel and Jacob Stallings
NORTH CAROLINA 3, Texas 0 – North Carolina freshman left-hander Kent Emanuel pitched the first complete-game shutout at the College World Series in five years in a 3-0 victory that eliminated Texas on Monday.

Emanuel limited the Longhorns to four singles in his third win of the NCAA tournament and first career shutout.

Jacob Stallings hit a two-run single in the third inning and Ben Bunting finished a four-hit day with an RBI double in the ninth for the Tar Heels (51-15), who play Vanderbilt or Florida on Wednesday. (scheduled for 7pm ET)

Texas (49-19) went two games and out for only the second time in 25 CWS appearances since 1966 and for the fourth time in its record 34 trips to Omaha. The last time was in 2000.

Emanuel (9-1) walked one and struck out five. North Carolina's Robert Woodard pitched the last shutout here, blanking Clemson in 2006. The last freshman to do it was LSU's Brett Laxton in 1993 against Wichita State.

(Editor's note: Emanuel was born on June 4, 1992 meaning the last time this happened was 8 days after his first birthday.)

North Carolina fans began chanting "Heels, Heels, Heels" after Bunting's double in the top of the ninth, and they applauded as Emanuel emerged from his dugout to start the bottom half.

He needed only nine pitches to finish off the Longhorns, getting Tant Shepherd to pop out to first, Mark Payton to ground out and Brandon Loy to fly out to right.

North Carolina, which left 16 runners on base in its first-round loss to Vanderbilt, got just enough offensive production to advance. The Tar Heels had nine hits against five pitchers.

Jacob Stallings, right, and pitcher Kent Emanuel 

Coach K and Joe Pa Tape TV Show

Mike Krzyptv8ski and Joe Paterno are taking their combine 1,301 victories and six national titles and making a TV show – “Difference Makers: Live Lessons with Paterno and Krzyzewski."

The two filmed the show yesterday, the first time the college coaching greats had spent any significant time together.

Monday’s made-for-TV meeting between Duke’s basketball coach and Penn State’s Hall of Fame football coach was dominated by exchanges about coaching philosophies, leadership and lighthearted banter—not quarterback controversies or Xs and Os.

The show will air on ESPN on June 30.

Rumor has it that Coach K made it through the entire episode without yelling any profanities at the director, producer, cameraman, best boy or key grip.  An internal memo leaked from ESPN noted that no one would be allowed on set in a shirt with vertical stripes. 

To read more, click here

UNC Football And Cars Prove To Be A Bad Combination

Greg "Handicap Space" Little
The ongoing scandal at Ohio State now includes cars given to players or otherwise procured in a manner that puts the Buckeyes further afoul of NCAA rules.

In Chapel Hill, where the NCAA has been plenty busy of late nosing around Butch Davis’ Tar Heel football team, the problem isn’t who owns the cars or how the players got them, but where they park.

A recent court order that required the University to public records involving the school’s football program, it has been revealed that a handful of UNC football players racked up an impressive 395 parking tickets over a 3.5 year span.

According to the Raleigh News & Observer, fewer than 12 football players tallied 395 parking violations from March 2007 through August 2010.  The tickets led to fines totaling $13,125 and all but about 30 have been paid.

A few of the players incapable of finding a legal spot include:

Greg Little, a former wide receiver who was one of two players ruled permanently ineligible last season for violations of NCAA agent benefits, preferential treatment and ethical conduct rules, appears to have been responsible for 93 tickets and still owes $125.

Nice, Greg, NICE!

Ryan Houston, a tailback who redshirted last season, has 74 tickets. He apparently owes $740.
Marvin Austin, a defensive tackle who was dismissed from the team last season, has 68 tickets.
Linebacker Bruce Carter had 10 tickets and owes $700.

Nice, Ryan, NICE!

Records also show that Little and Marvin Austin were cited a combined four times for parking in handicapped spaces.

Nice, Marvin, NICE!

Pictures Of The Day

Ouch. JJ Elshere of Quinn, South Dakota gets dropped on his head from a bronc called Flood Damage at the Reno Rodeo.  (Photo by Matt Cohen/Southcreek Global/ZUMAPRESS.com)
David Gavinia runs over Tomas Puerta on the first lap of the Motorcycle Superstore.com SuperSport R1 race at the Barber SuperBike Classic in Birmingham, AL. Evidently, it was an accident. That said, Gavinia was issued 394 UNC parking tickets for the mishap. (Photo by Bernard Troncale/Birmingham News/Landov)
Please sign my giant ball…Really? Maria Sharapova signs autographs for fans after beating Russian player Anna Chakvetadze during a Women's Singles match at the 2011 Wimbledon Tennis Championships at the All England Tennis Club, in south-west London, on June 21, 2011. (Photo by Glyn Kirk /AFP/Getty Images)
We aren’t even sure where to start? The crazy wings on this outfit or the ball in her pocket that makes her seem damn glad to see us!  Venus Williams returns a shot during her first round match on Day One of Wimbeldon at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club in London.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Glenn Donnellan, a violinist for the National Symphony Orchestra, practice the national anthem on his electric slugger, a violin made from a baseball bat, in the green room prior to the Washington Nationals Vs. Baltimore Orioles game at Nationals Park on June 19, 2011 in Washington, DC. The O’s won, 7-4. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America)

Monday, June 20, 2011

CWS: Virginia Wins Opener

Danny Hultzen 
VIRGINIA 4, California 1 - John Hicks' RBI single in the seventh inning broke a scoreless tie and Virginia went on to defeat California 4-1 at the College World Series on Sunday.

Virginia ace Danny Hultzen and Tyler Wilson were within an out of combining for the first CWS shutout in five years before Chad Bunting hit a run-scoring single over shortstop with two outs in the ninth inning.
Hicks' one-out base hit into center ended the longest scoreless CWS game in 24 years, and Steve Proscia followed with a sacrifice fly.

The No. 1 seed Cavaliers (55-10) move to a Bracket 2 winners' game on Tuesday night. They'll play the winner of Sunday night's Texas A&M-South Carolina game.

Cal (37-22) meets the loser Tuesday.

Hultzen, the No. 2 overall draft pick by the Seattle Mariners, allowed three hits over 6 1-3 innings. He walked three and struck out six. Wilson (9-0) got the win and Branden Kline recorded the last out for his 18th save.

Logan Scott (1-2) took the loss in relief of Erik Johnson, who struggled for a third straight start.
Virginia was 1 for 11 with runners in scoring position through six scoreless innings.

The Cavaliers finally broke through after No. 9 hitter Keith Werman singled leading off the seventh and Chris Taylor walked, chasing Scott and bringing on closer Matt Flemer.

Keith Werman
After John Barr moved the runners over with a sacrifice, Hicks sent a liner into center to score Werman before Proscia's sacrifice fly.

Virginia added to the lead in the eighth on Jared King's RBI triple and Werman's run-scoring single.

Cal finished sixth in the Pac-10 and was a surprise CWS qualifier after the school administration threatened to drop the program next year. A $9 million fundraising effort saved the program.

Virginia is trying to win the ACC's first national title in baseball since Wake Forest 56 years ago.

Monday, June 20
Texas vs. NORTH CAROLINA, Omaha, Neb. College World Series, 2:00 PM

Tuesday, June 21
VIRGINIA vs. South Carolina, Omaha, Neb., 7:00 PM 

Pictures Of The Day

Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy for photographers after his eight-stroke victory on the 18th green during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland poses with the trophy for photographers after his eight-stroke victory on the 18th green during the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 19, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Christian Riguccini of Australia competes during the Shark Island Challenge at Shark Island near Cronulla in Sydney, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)

R.I.P. Clarence Clemons

Clarence Clemons performs during the halftime show of the NFL's Super Bowl XLIII football game between the Arizona Cardinals and the Pittsburgh Steelers in Tampa, Florida, in this February 1, 2009 file photograph. Clemons, the saxophone player in Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band, died on June 18, 2011, according to media reports, almost a week after he had a stroke at his Florida home. He was 69.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

College World Series: ACC

Saturday, June 18
Vanderbilt 7, NORTH CAROLINA 3 – recap here.

Sunday, June 19
VIRGINIA vs. Cal, Omaha, Neb. (College World Series), 2:00 PM, TV: ESPN (SiriusXM 91)

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