Click below for the bag...
Duke catches Wisconsin at the post -
The basketball season ended with a slobberknocker, as Duke and Wisconsin met in Indianapolis (In the Annapolis?). Tied at halftime, and tight till the end, both teams put on a show with the nets on the line. Unfortunately, since happy Dookies make me uncomfortable, those damn Blue Devils made the plays down the stretch, turning a persistent second half deficit on its head. They hit their free throws, got some timely calls from the refs, and emerged victorious in a 68-63 thriller that earned Coach Mike Krzyzewski his 5th national title.
|That's a lot of confetti. From: the Huffington Post|
But, oh, the officiating! I never buy into the fact that teams win or lose by the actions of those in stripes, but I couldn't help but raise an eyebrow in that direction Monday night. There were a few flat out blown possession calls down the stretch, and the Blue Devils were allowed to shoot double the free throw attempts of the Badgers (even had a foul to give in the waning seconds). Nothing outstandingly spurious, but there's just something about Duke where they always seem to get the whistle when it matters, and they know how to leverage as good as anyone around.
|Sure looks like a touch to me. From: Deadspin.|
When you strip that caveat away, however, it's hard not to marvel at the way Duke put the hammer down over the final four minutes. They smelled blood in the water, and pounced. In a decisive moment of glory, the Blue Devils went on a 10-0 run from just before the four minute mark to under 1:30 to play. Officiating be damned, that's how you earn championships.
|Jones was tabbed the Final Four's Most Outstanding Player. From: Bleacher Report|
Opening Day -
If you didn't notice, baseball is back. Opening Day is always a special occasion, and yesterday was no exception. Games starting all around the country made for a wonderful treat in the middle of my work day. Happy frickin' spring, everyone!
Unfortunately, that treat turned sour for yours truly pretty quickly. My Sox were on the road in Kansas City, you see, and much worse for the wear, as a result. Stymied and frustrated from the first pitch, The Boys took an ugly 10-1 decision on the chin to kick off 2015; the lone run courtesy of a mammoth blast from Jose Abreu. Nothing worked - new acquisition Jeff Samardzija was wild and ineffective, the defense was shambolic, and the back end of the bullpen was very flammable. Not the way to start a season supposedly built to promise.
|Not the start I had hoped for. From: the Trib|
No such worries for the Rockies (who, friend of the blog @RyanKoenigsberg assures, won't lose 100 games this year), as they smacked around the Milwaukee Brewers for nine innings in a 10-0 final. Tacos were assured by the 4th inning, and all but one starter had at least one hit. Nolan Arenado was a monster, collecting 4 RBIs on three hits. For at least one day, the Rox looked like a contending club, and may prove to be pretty fun to watch this year. Now, if only that same 161 games remaining caveat didn't apply...
Lacrosse update -
In only their second season of existence, the CU women's lacrosse team continues to enjoy some decent success. Coming in off a strong inaugural campaign, they've played above-.500 ball this year, scoring some nice wins - including a double-overtime scalp of Michigan in Ann Arbor - and a few inspiring efforts - like Sunday's close loss to conference power Stanford. Generally, they've proven to be competitive.
|The Lacrosse team continues to carry the CU banner into Spring. From: CUBuffs.com|
Starting with Friday's visit to USC, CU will be facing the toughest test in their short existence. Head Coach Anne Elliot isn't scared, however. "This is the best part of our season. It's all about competing in your conference and giving yourself an opportunity for a conference championship, and then hopefully an opportunity to get into the NCAA Tournament." Actually making the Dance would be a hell of an accomplishment for the second-year head coach. The road to that hope starts this weekend in Los Angeles. Good luck, ladies!