This and That
Each week I'll give my thoughts on the world of sports:
• We have seen the field of 65 cut down to the Sweet 16. There have been exciting moments like Gonzaga's last-second win over Western Kentucky. There have been a handful of upsets, with Arizona going through two rounds as a 12-seed. There have been some close calls for the higher seeds like Pittsburgh struggling at times, or Memphis being pushed by Cal State-Northridge. Now we have the crème de la crème doing battle and the action should be awesome, baby with a capital A! The next couple of weeks, culminating with the Final Four in Detroit should be incredible.
• Just look at the coaches still in the running for the national championship. Several have already won the title: Coach K, Jim Boeheim, Jim Calhoun, Rick Pitino, Roy Williams, Bill Self and Tom Izzo. Then you have up-and-comers like Jeff Capel and Sean Miller. Guys like Jamie Dixon, Jay Wright and Mark Few have already established themselves as winners and would love to move into the next level by cutting down the nets in the Motor City. It is going to be excitement galore.
• I was really impressed with Connecticut in the first two rounds. Jim Calhoun's team has a couple of blowouts and Hasheem Thabeet didn't do that much on offense. A.J. Price, who is trying to match his dad Tony's feat of making a Final Four, has been outstanding, scoring and distributing the rock to teammates.
• The women's tournament saw shock city as 12th-seeded Ball State, known as the school attended by one David Letterman, stunned two-time defending champion Tennessee. Rocky Top had to be totally shocked as the Cardinals were making their first NCAA tournament appearance. This Vols team is very young, including seven freshmen. That still didn't lessen the disappointment on Pat Summitt's face when the game ended. It marked the first time Tennessee lost in the first round of the women's tournament.
• There was a near-stunner when second-seed Baylor was taken to overtime by 15-seed Texas-San Antonio. Leon Barmore's Baylor team escaped with the W. There must be more parity in the women's game then people realize.
• Fans of the U.S. baseball team had to be disappointed with the loss to Japan in the semifinals of the World Baseball Classic. Then again, I am not sure that many fans cared that much about the event. It was competitive and the Americans showed they cared when they rallied to beat Puerto Rico in an earlier elimination game. This tournament seems to mean more for fans of other countries like Japan and Korea, the two finalists.
• It has been a crazy off-season for NFL veterans ending up on the waiver wire. Torry Holt of the Rams was let loose last week. There are plenty of big names out there, and we will have to see if teams will spend the money to sign them.
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