1. Kansas (27-4) 1
2. Florida (26-5) 2
3. Ohio St. (27-3) 4
4. UCLA (26-5) 3
5. North Carolina (25-6) 5
6. Georgetown (24-6) 7
7. Texas (22-8) 6
8. Memphis (28-3) 9
9. Nevada (28-3) 8
10. Southern Illinois (27-6) 10
just missed: Texas A&M, Wisconsin, Pittsburgh, Creighton, Washington St.
All- American Team
F Kevin Durant, Texas (25.1 ppg / 11.4 rpg / 1.8 blk / 43% 3-pt) - Not much of an argument for anyone else for player of the year. Durant was not only the best freshmen in the country, but he was top 5 in the nation in both scoring and rebounding.
F Alando Tucker, Wisconsin (20.1 ppg / 5.4 rpg / 1.9 apg) - The unquestioned leader of one of the best teams in the country. His stats aren't as eye popping as others, but watch him play and you'll understand why he's here.
F Nick Fazekas, Nevada (20.9 ppg / 11.3 rpg / 1.5 blk / 57% FG) - Like Durant, Fazekas is a rarity in college hoops because he's good for a double double every night. He made the right choice by returning to school for his senior year, and now has the Wolfpack primed for a deep run in the tourney.
G Aaron Afflalo, UCLA (17.2 ppg / 2.5 rpg / 2.0 apg / 40% 3-pt) - After last year's PG Jordan Farmar bolted for the pros, many thought UCLA might regress, but Afflalo hasn't let that happen. Not only does he fill it up at 17 a night, but he's one of the top perimeter defenders in the nation. And when it comes to pressure situations, there isn't a cooler cat around.
G Acie Law IV, Texas A&M (18.2 ppg / 5.3 apg / 3.1 rpg / 46% 3-pt) - If you've seen him play, you know why he's here. If you haven't, then you've missed one of the most energetic and talented players in the country. Passes as good as he shoots, and he shoots lights out.
F Tyler Hansbrough, UNC (18.8 ppg / 8.0 rpg / 54% FG) - Unlike his sophomore counterpart at Duke, Hansbrough has been lights out since stepping on campus. Hard to believe he's a veteran on this year's team, but he's played the role well, serving as the rock for one of the best teams in the country.
F Al Horford, Florida (13.1 ppg / 8/1 rpg / 2.3 apg / 2.1 blk) - Joakim who? Horford has proven once and for all he's the most talented of the Gators. He's a beast inside and he brings it every night on the defensive end as well. Hopefully his teammates can wake up in time to try and defend their National title.
C Greg Oden, Ohio St. (15.3 ppg / 9.3 rpg / 3.5 blk / 64% FG) - Seeing as Oden basically played all year without full use of his shooting hand, I'd say he was pretty damn impressive. Still a better defender than a scorer, but without him I doubt we are talking about OSU as title contenders.
G Demetris Nichols, Syracuse (19.1 ppg / 5.5 rpg / 1.5 stl / 44% 3-pt) - Maybe a little favoritism here, but it's my blog isn't it? Nichols has been a stone cold killer from beyond the arc this year. And while Cuse hasn't been all that impressive, Nichols still should have been Big East player of the year (Jeff Green, Georgetown). He's certainly come a long way from the guy we would wish Louie McCroskey would come in for (McCroskey will be at Marist next year if you need him).
G Dominic James, Marquette (14.8 ppg / 3.1 rpg / 5.0 apg / 1.9 stl) - Best pure point guard in the nation. Another guy who's stats don't do him justice, he plays with a great motor and is constantly making big plays to keep his team in games. One more year of working on his perimeter shooting and he could be dangerous at the next level. Also one of the few players who can really pull off that white arm sleeve.
Honorable Mention: Julian Wright, Kansas; Roy Hibbert, Georgetown; DJ White, Indiana; Al Thornton, Florida St.
Spring Training Roundup
*I actually had a female colleague of mine say the following. "You know what a FUPA is? Because it looks like Daisuke Matsuzaka has one." Listen people, I know he may look like a toad (much like former Yank Hideki Irabu), and sure he's a tad on the chubby side. But let's go easy on him. For the first time in his life he's being exposed to non stop fast food, not to mention all the delicious eateries the Bean has to offer. Besides, FUPA or no FUPA, this man can pitch, and that's really all that matters.
*Those of you worried about how Jonathan Papelbon may be "adjusting" to being a starter this season, stop. The man has looked rather unstoppable this Spring. The one thing it's got me to thinkin' of though is this scenario. The reason Pap was moved back to the rotation was because the Sox were concerned his arm would suffer under the constant strain performing a closer's duties. What if Pap gets hurt this season now? Hey, I'm not tryin' to toss out bad karma, but imagine the shit storm that would be created in the media. They had this dynamite closer, said his arm couldn't take closing, they moved him into the rotation and he gets hurt. I'm sorry, maybe it's just me lack of recent faith in Theo that makes we weary they may not know nearly as much as we think they do. Knock on wood. Papelbon for Cy Young 2007!!
*It's the bottom of the 9th...two outs...the bases are loaded...you're playing for the Red Sox...versus the Mets...here comes the pitch...It's a grand slam!!! Sox win! Sox win! You know you played that scenario out about a million times if your a Sox fan. And if you ever liked or played baseball when you were little and you weren't a Sox fan, you know you did it for your team, so don't even try it. Well, one Ed Rogers, playing Spring ball for the BoSox, got to live the dream. Rogers, a 10 year guy who's spent most of his time in the minors, hit a walk off grand slam on Wednesday to give the Sox a 9-5 win over the Metropolitans. I know it was only a Spring game, but God that has to be a great feeling doesn't it? I just hope it makes Ed feel good all summer when he's slangin' Del's lemonade to pre pubescent brats at the local swimmin' hole.
*I've always been a fan of Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim and the surrounding Orange County region's owner Arte Moreno, but until now it was solely because his stadium had by far the lowest beer prices in the league. Now, I actually have a semi legitimate reason to like him, and it's the way he is dealing with alleged roid user Gary Mathews Jr. Mathews has come under scrutiny after it was leaked that he was a client of a recently raided pharmacy, and that from this pharmacy he recieved human growth hormone, or HGH. Moreno has come out and said that unless Mathews comments on the situation, or preferably comes clean, the Angels will attempt to punish him. No, they won't bend him over and whack his hiney with a belt, but they will be whackin's his wallet. Ideally, the Angels would like to void or reduce the $50 mil+ deal Mathews signed this offseason. While I like the fact that an owner is finally stepping up and trying to nip a steroid situation in the butt, the Angels are essentially helpless. They can't force Mathews to talk, and the MLB players association will never let them void his contract. Hey Arte, good for you man. Sounds like you're the only owner in baseball that isn't taking advantage of your low priced brew.
NFL Free Agency News
*Wait a minute. You're telling me that a report that I read on super agent/super weasel/super FRAUD Drew Rosenhaus' website wasn't true?!? Well then why the hell was I calling Frosco to tell him the Patriots signed former Eagle WR Donte Stallworth? I should have know when I heard a radio show credit Comcast Sports Net in Philly and Drew Rosenhaus when saying that Donte Stallworth had signed with the Patriots that it was totally bogus. Right, like the ReRe's in Philly and Drew Rosenfraud have ever done anything right in their lives. Of course, it wasn't true, but it's not all bad news. The Pats reportedly offered Donte 6 years and $32 mil, and while he didn't say yes, he didn't say no either. Usually not a good sign that he left the negotiations with no deal, or that he's decided to visit additional teams, but we'll see. Still nice to see that the Pats are continuing to be aggressive in free agency though.
*Now, I know we've all heard the mantra "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em". However, I don't know how many of us are familiar with "Once you beat their heads in and go to prison for a little bit, then yea take their loots". It might not be as popular as the first saying, but apparently it's the one Jamal Lewis has decided to use. After badgering the Cleveland Browns during his tenure in Baltimore, including a single game league record 295 yards in 2003, Lewis has signed on to be the running back in the Mistake by the Lake. The Browns signed the former prison inmate to a one year, $3.5 million deal, hoping he'll be able to jump start their offense. Only problem there is, Lewis is no longer the same back that rushed for 2,066 yards in 2003, or even the one that went for 1,300+ in 2000 and 2002. Truth is, this guy is basically washed up. He's gone from averaging close to 4.5 yards per carry, to 3.3 this past season. He'll be good as a short yardage and goal line guy, but to ask him to carry the running load and expect success is probably too much to ask at this point. Oh well, I don't think they really had any expectations in Cleveland anyway. They're probably just glad they won't have to face any more.
*And it didn't take too long for the Ravens to replace Lewis either. Just hours after the announcement came of his signing with Cleveland, the Ravens went and dealt two 3rd round picks and a 7th rounder to Buffalo for Willis McGahee (who is expected to sign an extension to the tune of 7 years and close to $41 mil). Might seem like the Bills got hosed, but a closer look tells a slightly different story. Sure, Raven fans probably think they got a bargain, truth is the Bills were fairly sure they wouldn't be able to resign McGahee and decided to get what they could while they still had him. Not a terrible idea. I mean it's not like the Bills were a guy or two away from contending. They have a young nucleus going right now with Losman, Evans, Reed and Parrish, and if they can add a new back into that mix, while improving depth via draft picks, they should be OK. Just don't think that Bills fans won't be wishing upon Willis a repeat of what happened to him in the 2002 Fiesta Bowl. Uhhh. It still hurts to watch that video. Only problem now is, they don't have a single RB on their team at all. Could be a slight issue, but then again, if your living in Buffalo, you have more than a slight issue on your hands to begin with. Hey! I can see Canada!
*In case you didn't know what was worse than losing your #1 wide receiver in free agency, it's when you lose him to a division rival and have to play him twice a year. That's the situation the New Orleans Saints find themselves in as their main aerial threat the past few seasons, Joe Horn, has inked a deal with the Atlanta Falcons. New Orleans seemed as if they were ready to move on from Horn, who had missed 9 games in the past two seasons, and forge forward with young recievers Marques Colston and Terrence Copper. Horn had a great career in New Orleans since signing with the team in 2000, including 4 1,200+ yard seasons. Lord knows he'lll be missed in NO, but probably not as much as he's going to be needed in Atlanta. The Falcons had the league's worst passing offense in '06, and despite the fact that Horn missed 6 games and only had 37 grabs las year, he still would have been their leading receiver. Definitely has to be considered an upgrade over Roddy White and Brian Finneran, that's for sure. I also think this signing serves as notice to Mikey Vick. The front office has to be thinkin', if Vick can't do it with a better receiving corps, then maybe he's just not the QB they were hoping he was. Can't blame the receivers anymore, time to put up or shut up....or put it in your "water bottle".
*I know I said last week that I thought it was very unlikely that Randy Moss was heading to New England, but seeing as the news won't go away, I feel I'll comment on it again. No, I'm not going to talk about possible trade scenarios to get Straight Cash pried away from Al Davis in Oakland, I'm just going to comment on the hysterical remarks Patriot safety Rodney Harrison had on the topic. Harrison basically came out and said, if Moss didn't show up to play, he would fall in line and start showin' up to play. If that wouldn't happen, he would be dealt with by the team leaders. Hmmmm I bet Randy's just itchin to come here now. He should be less concerned about getting a trade now than he should be going to get his mail and having Rodney Harrison to a drive by biting on his ass. Rodney Harrison: The reason Reche Caldwell's eyes are like that.
It was one thing when the news hit that Patriots QB and NFL wonderboy Tom Brady was having a child with former squeeze Bridget Moynahan. Now, Deadspin.com and other media outlets are reporting that Tom Terrific is also expecting a child with current flame, and drop dead gorgeous Brazilian super model, Gizallovermyself Bundchen. Allow me to be the first to say, way to go Tommy! Hey, I'm not condoning having kids out of wedlock, and frankly I could care less about shit like that, but anytime you can "prove" that you scored with two smokin' hot chicks, you'll gain my repsect. Not like I didn't already respect Tom, but you hear what I'm sayin'. Besides, should be surprised that Tom is poppin his Most Valuable Sperm into as many willing babes as possible? He's always saying how he likes to spread the seed around isn't he? No, not you Chad Jackson, keep your legs closed for cryin' out loud. Disgusting. But allow me to propose a toast. Here's to Tom B. May he impregnante the 22 hottest chicks in the world. And may their sons grow up one day and take over the sporting world. One Patriots Super Bowl title at a time. Who's your daddy?
Maybe I've been wrong about the NBA all these years. All of you that know me know I think the league is a bunch of overpaid, under hustling, me first tools that long ago forgot how to play actual team basketball. This latest story however, has me singing a totally different tune. Journeyman and backup Detroit guard, Lindsey Hunter, was suspended by the league without pay for failing a drug test. No, it wasn't from smokin' the tweeds, skiing the Columbian slopes or roidin' it up, it was for taking one of his wife's diet pills. Problem with that, is that one of the substances in the pill is on the league's banned substances list. OK, so maybe he was really really stupid for not reading the label, or for taking random pills for that matter, but I'm more interested in this little comparison. Earlier in the week, I told you how Ron Artest was dismissed by the Sacramento Kings after being charged with shoving a woman to the ground, slapping her and refusing to let her call police. Ragin' Ron, however, is still being paid, while Hunter will lose out on over $200,000 in salary while he's out. What a great message to send. Wife beaters get paid vaca's, while someone trying to drop a few LBs basically loses more than 10% of his annual earnings. Next on tap from the Association, John Amaechi is going to be burned at the stake while Carmelo Anthony and Dennis Rodman begin teaching courses on "proper on court etiquette". I hear in the first class you get to learn....how to burn gay former players at a stake, what a coincidence. This league is a joke, and as long as it continues to govern itself with these whacky standards, it will always be a joke. Not like a good joke, like a Carrot Top joke.
I'm not sure how to approach this next story. As a die hard Red Sox fan, I'd like to think that if I were the owner I would do anything for the team. On the other hand, if "anything" included actually having to purchase fan support, I think I would have to pass. Apparently that's where I differ from Tampa Bay Devil Ray's president Matthew Silverman. An online blogger, claiming he had lost all willingness to follow his team, decided to auction off his "loyalty" to the highest bidder. Silverman won the auction, with a bid of $535, all of which is going to charity. Now, I don't know what chairty that is, but it better be something damn important. It would have to be "Save the Rooch" in order for me to even contemplate writing about the D-Rays on a consistent basis. Hell, it's tough enough for me to type this story, and it's ripping on the freakin' team! And no, no truth to the rumor that Ryan Leaf placed a bid and planned on having the guy write about his daily trips to and from the john.
*I'm gonna go head and say that it was a bad idea for USC junior football player Clay Matthews to create a facebook group called "White Nation". I'm also gonna say it probably wasn't a good idea to make the group's caption read "arrest black babies before they become criminals". Petey Carroll sure knows how to pick em huh? I mean, I'm all for everyone having their own view on racial issues, but ones like that are usually reserved for Dateline prison specials. And in that case the "group caption" would more likely be a tattoo on someone's forehead.
*And a little sad news for anyone that happens to like Cold Pizza. No, the show isn't being "cancelled" says ESPN, but it's being moved from New York, recast, and having it's named changed to ESPN's: First Take. Wait, so is it being cancelled or isn't it? Sure sounds like it to me. Personally, I think what happened was that the producers realized Dana Jacobsen, and her ever widening frame, was actually a dude, and it freaked them out so much they had to cancel the show. Not only is Dana actually "Dan" Jacobsen, but apparently he/she is having an illicit affair with current show contributor, Skip Bayless. And the two were apparently let go when they suggested the name actually change from "Cold Pizza" to "Sweet Shmegma in the Morning".
There were two big hits this week that had the whole sports world buzzing. The first, is Kobe Bryant's second offense of slapping a dude in the head as part of his "follow through". "24 is the new 8" was suspended by the league for one game and now he thinks he's getting the rep as a "dirty" player. Listen, Kobe, nobody thinks your a dirty player. Some think you're a prick and a rapist, but not a dirty player. So I wouldn't sweat it. The next hit makes what Kobe did look like takin a whiz in the preverbial ocean. After getting nailed into the boards, check the stick work by NY Islander Chris Simon on NY Ranger Ryan Hollweg. Talk about ouch. Red rover, red rover, Chris Simon's season's over!
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