Posts Tagged ‘uconn’

The UConn Huskies won the Big East Championship Saturday night March 12th.

That in and of itself is a major feat and worthy of respect and recognition. Add in the fact that the championship game against the Louisville Cardinals was the 5th game UConn had played in 5 days. Can you say ironmen?

UConn has the best player in the NCAA in Kemba Walker (Jimmer fans, calm down. Jimmer is the best scorer). Walker, in the Pitt game, buried a 19 footer at the buzzer to win the game and upset the #1 seeded Pittsburgh Panthers.

I tend to favor the chances of the teams that don’t just blow their opponents out (Duke), but win close games where they come from behind or swap leads in the last 2 minutes. Teams that win those games, are the teams that win the NCAA Tournament 4 times out of 5.

The Big East Championship Game came down to the final shot. UConn was up 65-64 and Louisville was inbounding the basketball. UConn tipped the pass and Kemba Walker recovered it and drew a foul with just 16.4 seconds left. Walker hit both free throws to put the Huskies up by 3.

Louisville got the ball to Mike Marra, who drew a foul on Kemba Walker while shooting from behind the arch with 3.3 seconds left.

You talk about nerve-racking. Marra needed all 3 just to tie. He drained the first one and missed the second. Trying to miss the third free throw and get an offensive rebound, Marra accidentally made the 3rd free throw. UConn inbounded to freshman Shabazz Napier and the Cardinals sent him right to the line. He drilled both of them to put the Huskies back up by 3.

The final shot attempt for Louisville was clean but hit iron and UConn secured the Big East Tournament Champion title.

If UConn can continue this level of play into the “Big Dance”, they have a great shot at not only going deep into the rounds, but winning the tournament altogether.

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What a year 2010 turned out to be in sports. From the Alabama Crimson Tide winning the national championship to the Giants winning the World Series.

2010 saw Tiger Woods’ first full calendar year without notching a single victory, neither in majors nor non-major events.

2010 was host to both the Winter Olympics in Vancouver and the World Cup in South Africa. Surprisingly, South Africa seemed to handle the role better with seemingly less to work with. Really, the only negative throughout the World Cup were those Vuvuzelas (they haunt my dreams).

2010 was the year of the media. Endless talk of where LeBron James would play the ’10-’11 season and beyond hijacked every sports radio station, column, channel, etc. until finally, it built up to “the Decision”, a poorly thought out plan by the LeBron James group to publicly announce his contract plans live on ESPN.

“The Decision” badly backfired when James chose against returning to Cleveland, where he was drafted 6 years ago, and left to play in Miami with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh. The backlash was instant in Cleveland and soon even the media, which profited greatly from “the Decision” threw James under the bus, calling his actions classless, selfish, and pretty much all the things the audience was wanting to hear.

Nearing the end of the year, and with the season under way, many of the media are forgiving of James and are more focussed on his play on the court.

2010 was a shaky shaky year for college football. It started with expansion rumors out of the Big East and the Big 10. The Big 10 fired first, inviting Big 12 member Nebraska into their ranks. Nebraska accepted the invite. The PAC-10, not to be outdone, fired next. They invited Colorado, Texas, Texas Tech, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, and Texas A&M. Colorado was the only school to accept. They later invited the University of Utah, who gladly accepted.

BYU, being passed over and no longer sharing a conference tie with rival Utah, left for far greener pastures as an Independent in Division 1A football, and far browner pastures in everything else, joining the West Coast Conference in all other sports.

TCU left for the Big East, and the top half of the WAC in football shifted over to the Mountain West Conference, to fill the holes left by the power trio that had, for nearly a decade, ruled the top of the conference.

Cam Newton burst onto the scene, dominating all in his way to winning the Heisman trophy and leading the Auburn Tigers into the national championship game. Looming over his accomplishments, however, were allegations that he was involved in a pay for play scheme with his father and an agent. Cam was ruled eligible for lack of evidence that he knew anything about the scheme. Let’s hope 5 years from now that we don’t have another Reggie Bush situation.

2010 was the year of the pitcher in the MLB. Roy Halladay, Tim Lincecum, Cliff Lee, and numerous others were in the spotlight this season. The Giants’ pitching staff received praise all season and they showed why. Solid pitching and late season play from Rookie Buster Posey led the Giants into the playoffs and hot bats at perfect times in the World Series sealed the deal for them.

The Lakers won their 2nd straight title, beating the Celtics and avenging their 2008 defeat in the finals to that nearly identical Celtics team.

Jimmie Johnson won his 5th straight Sprint Chase for the Cup title in a row (first ever to do so).

The UConn women’s basketball team broke the once thought impossible win streak record of 88 wins, set by the UCLA men’s basketball team under coach John Wooden. The lady Huskies’ record ended at 90 games.

All in all, a very crazy year. Can’t wait to see what 2011 brings.

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As the lower tier bowl games kick off, it becomes clearer that the end of another action packed college football season us quickly approaching.

Alabama and Ohio State were listed as preseason #1 and #2, respectively, and were expected to win out and play in the national championship game. Current #2 Oregon and #1 Auburn had other plans.

#3 TCU, with a preseason ranking of #7, watched every team in front of them lose throughout the season, while they stayed undefeated. Yet, they didn’t have the same strength of schedule that Auburn and Oregon had to push them over the #3 hump.

Arkansas, Ohio State, and Stanford will also play in BCS bowl games as at-large picks with the Horned Frogs.

Wisconsin will represent the Big 10 against at-large TCU in the Rose Bowl.

Big 12 champion Oklahoma will face Big East champ Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl.

ACC champ Virginia Tech will play at-large Stanford out of the PAC-10 in the Orange Bowl.

At-larges Arkansas and Ohio State will face off in the Sugar Bowl.

Fiesta Bowl: Oklahoma vs UConn

I’m not sure how I feel here. 75% of the bowl-eligible teams this season are more deserving of a BCS bid than UConn. Still, Oklahoma is notorious for losing the big games under Stoops. Oklahoma has lost the last 5 BCS bowl games they’ve played in (including 3 national championship appearances).

UConn could pull an upset larger than the one Boise State pulled over Oklahoma in ’06, but I don’t see it happening.

Oklahoma wins 45-17

Sugar Bowl: Arkansas vs Ohio State

This should be a good game that pits the Ohio State defensive unit against Ryan Mallett. The X-factor, as always, will be Terrelle Pryor. Pryor tore Oregon apart last  year in the Rose Bowl. If Pryor can bring that same performance, even Ryan Mallett won’t be able to do enough to beat the Buckeyes.

Ohio State wins 35-24

Orange Bowl: Virginia Tech vs Stanford

This could end up being the hardest game to call. Stanford’s defense might be the best since Boise State that VT has faced. Stanford is used to the speed that V-Tech plays with, being from the speedy PAC-10.

Tyrod Taylor and Andrew Luck will be the difference makers here. The quarterback that has the bigger game, will be the winning quarterback.

Stanford wins a close game 35-31

Rose Bowl: Wisconsin vs TCU

Mark my words , this will be a replay of the ’09 Sugar Bowl. Wisconsin is coming in with a smash mouth, in your face run game, and a solid defense. TCU is coming with the nation’s best defense and a high powered, speedy offense.

TCU will jump out early and win by 14, 31-17.

National Championship game: Auburn vs Oregon

Offense, offense, offense. Cam Newton vs LaMichael James. I like Oregon in this game for the same reason I like TCU over Wisconsin. Oregon is going to go 100mph for 60 minutes, whereas, Auburn will gas trying to keep up with them. Cam Newton will get his, but accounting for 5 TDs might not be enough, unbelievable as that might be.

Oregon wins its first ever national championship 42-38.