What does America understand? Brackets! Much like Nudie Magazine Day was for Billy Madison, Bracket Day is a day of celebration for me.... until I look at my completed sheet and sigh.
The NCAA Tournament Field: In an upset, CU had its bubble burst, and got left out of The Tournament (*chortle*). With them out of the field, I'm gonna have to go with Kansas. Seriously, who worries them? Maryland, Michigan St, Georgetown, or Ohio State don't. Same with Duke. Those two teams have a pretty easy road-a-hoe'n ahead of them. Look for KU vs Duke in the final. And, as always, I am completely wrong about everything related to the Tourney. Since I actually follow basketball, I have no chance of winning any pool I am entered in.
(Even Cory and Marcus think my bracket is a joke)
Upset Picks: Like everyone else, I like UTEP (even as far as the Sweet Sixteen!). I also like Washington, St Mary's, and Utah State. Siena and Cornell are fool's follys and are just a waste of time to pick them. My internal jury is still out on Old Dominion vs Notre Dame. The Irish are closing the season strong, so I'll probably stick with them.
Leave the Tournament Alone: Over the past few months, and especially this morning, I have been bombarded with calls to tweak the Tourney. Notions to include more teams or change the selection committee continue to pop up every now and then. Let's get this straight: The Tournament is fine, leave it alone. Coaches just want to expand the dance to save their friends jobs. The media wants to tweak the selection committee because.... well I don't know (It's probably because they can't stand to let a good thing be good). The field, as currently situated is perfectly fine; a good number of BCS schools get in, and there are still enough at-large bids left over to include some "mid-majors." If you expand the field, there there is no more meaning to being a "tournament" team (forgetting for a moment, that the regular season would mean nothing). The selection committee does an exemplary job in a small amount of time. What's the problem with the field? Who got left out? Illinois? I love the Orange and Blue, but if they wanted to dance, they should've beaten Bradley, or won an extra Big 11 tournament game. The point is, more mediocre teams would not necessarily make for a better tournament.
(Villanova coach Jay Wright would just love to mess with the Tournament. Leave it alone, Jay!)
David Beckham is out, and it doesn't necessarily hurt the U.S.: English Right-Midfielder David Beckham tore his Achilles Tendon over the weekend, and will miss the World Cup. With England being the U.S.A.'s opening opponent in the WC, I looked at how this will affect the match-up. Initially, when you look at his probable replacements (Aaron Lennon, Ashley Young, Theo Walcott) you should notice the massive change in pace. Becks superstar 30+ year old legs can't come close to the speed that his replacements can bring to the table. The interesting thing is that it shouldn't matter much against the U.S. In recent match-ups against speedier wing players (Netherlands and Spain) the U.S. has simply let the speed wings do their thing, while locking down on midfield. Obviously, Becks talent lies with his free kick. Add to that his ability to quickly shift the field of play (through long crosses) and he would probably have caused more trouble for the U.S. than his theoretical replacements. Still, U.S. wing backs will have to be sure to eat their Wheaties before the suddenly speedier England team takes the field.
(Essentially, his international career is over. Buck up, David: the MLS will still have you! From: The BBC)
Rex Ryan and his soon to be less Flabby Gut: Rex Ryan, awesome guy and coach of the New York Jets, has opted for lap band surgery. Another dude falls from the noble "fat man" club. We'll miss you Rex.
Jared Mitchell out for season: The top Sox prospect, CF Jared Mitchell, is probably out for the season with a torn ankle tendon suffered while making a sweet grab against the hated Cubs. While he is just a prospect, and still probably a year or two away from leading off for the South Sider's before the injury, he was very exciting to watch in Spring Training. The Sox sure have done well for themselves, taking championship level college players over "high-ceiling" high school question marks in recent drafts (See: Beckham, Gordon). Hopefully, Mitchell will make a full recovery, and not have his outstanding athleticism diminished because of this.
(Get well soon, Jared! From: Mlb.com)
Have a happy Monday!