Tuesday, April 5, 2005
Page 2 Quickie: April 4, 2005
The Lead Item
Two Words For You:
1 vs. 2: Can't ask for a better NCAA
title-game pairing than that.
(Hey, why bother having a Tournament at all, when we
just could have used the BCS system?)
Analysts are focusing on the sick individual
matchups, but here's my favorite:
Roy Williams vs. History:
Either UNC wins and earns Roy Williams that "STFU"
first title (shorthand for "satisfying") ... or, they
lose and the entire season is flushed.
No, I won't Roy-bash. (I did enough of that last
Rare excitement in an otherwise boring Final Four
Saturday was the way Roy coached UNC to a dismantling
of an excellent Michigan State team.
And I won't hold it against Roy
if/when UNC loses tonight.
(If he was crazy/smart, he would start
super-sub Marvin Williams, the only player Illinois
has no answer for. Yes, including May.)
But I got Roy-ligion this weekend:
There's no shame in not winning a college hoops title
after making it to the last game.
Unsatisfying, but no shame.
NYY 9, BOS 2
"But we still won in 2004": Here's the
first chance for Red Sox Nation to test out their
brand-new "winners' mentality."
After a season-opening pummeling in New York that
snapped Boston's 8-game winning streak (4 over NY),
other lessons learned:
Either David Wells stinks, or he simply
couldn't handle beating the Yankees (but isn't that
why Boston brought him in?)
Big Unit is going to absolutely dominate on
this first go-round through the AL. Save the "Cy" talk
for September, though.
Hideki Matsui is still NY's designated Red Sox
killer. And an MVP season may have started with 3
hits, 3 runs and a homer.
Jason Giambi's "renaissance" simply means he'll
be the most expensive weak-hitting, walk-inducing,
.400-OBP player in baseball.
'Roid Susp. (cont'd)
Public humiliation: It is the
best deterrent. But it's not like this was a "name"
player testing positive.
Who the ... is Alex Sanchez?
The irony is that this is the first thing
Sanchez will ever be known for, not simply the
Not exactly the poster guy MLB's 'roid critics were
(See Olney's column for his "no biggie" take.)
Women's Final Four
If you're just tuning in, feel free to
jump right on the Baylor bandwagon. The Lady Bears
played the Game of the Tournament, coming back from 15
down to stun overall top seed LSU.
Meanwhile, When I picked "Michigan State" to
win its Final Four semi, everyone knows I was talking
about women's hoops, right?
I love this Twins bandwagon. Stark,
Gammons and Olney all have 'em winning not just the
AL, but the World Series! What a nice change of pace
from the monotonous success of the Yankees and Red
Minnesota opens with Seattle, but the must-see game of
the day is the "New Mets" at Cincy (2:10, ESPN). We
can see what all that Pedro and Beltran hubbub was
See Odds and Ends for more.
NBA P'off 8-Spot
East: Philly up a game on ORL and 1.5
on NJ with less than 10 to play.
(In fact, the Sixers are closing in on the
Atlantic-leading Celtics, who may be without catalyst
Antoine Walker for a week.)
West: Sizzling Denver and Laker-thumping
Memphis are tied for 7th, battling over a
pick-your-poison 1st-round draw (Suns or
A surge into 6th (or even 5th) isn't crazy: Houston is
only 2 GA; Sacto only 2.5. KG's Minnesota is on the
outside looking in, 3 GB MEM and DEN.
Terrell to Pats
2005's Corey Dillon: A misunderstood
talent who merely needs the right winning culture
around him to fulfill his potential?
Or the Pats' first overreach of the Dynasty
Era? After all, David Terrell washed out as a WR on
With Pioli and Belichick, I'll always
bet on the former. Dud-to-dynamo is their specialty.
(And he's a Brady buddy too.)
One day to go!
If Illinois wins:
"I Wanna Talk to Sampson" beats out more than 6,000
others to win the unofficially biggest single pool in
If UNC wins:
"Hurricane AquaTeens" looks to have a lock on the
Check back tomorrow!
If you're curious about this year's
experiment, the "National Bracket" aggregation of all
ESPN.com user picks is now in the 90th
percentile, vs. all individual judgments.
Illinois d. UNC, 80-77: We'll see how close
users' collective wisdom comes. 90th percentile? I
wouldn't pick against them.