Archive for April, 2010
Has The Steeltown Clock Struck Twelve On Roethlisberger? I know. I know. Enough with the Big Ben clock references. But it’s so easy, not to mention completely relevant to the self-inflicted situation Roethlisberger finds himself in. Tick Tock . . . Tick Tock . . . Tick . . .
Okay I’m done.
But seriously, Ben could be done too. It’s no secret that the Rooney family is none too happy with his off the field, unbecoming and un-Steeler like antics. Charles Robinson of Yahoo! Sports reported via Twitter that Ben Roethlisberger’s status with the Steelers “could [be] at [a] tipping point,” due to an unnamed source who says that the “onslaught of fan discontent over Ben has shaken Pittsburgh ownership.”
We’ll find out at 2:30PM ET what they really think as Art Rooney II has scheduled a press conference. I forsee a 2 game suspension for conduct detrimental to the team. Only time will tell . . .Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )
Final Four Weekend Is Here! Who’s excited? Anyone? Going once . . . going twice . . . I’m not buying into the hype of NCAA’s main event this year either. Unless you are a fan of Duke, Michigan State, WVU, or Butler, you probably aren’t planning your Easter weekend around college basketball.
Why? There’s No SEXY: If you love defense and inside play, then you will disagree, but if you lust after the fast paced, up and down the floor, gimme an alley-oop transition game, you won’t get it here. You’ll get gritty work on the boards and nasty loose ball battles. Here’s a rundown of each semi-final game:
Butler Bulldogs vs Michigan State Spartans: The supposed undercard of the two games on Saturday is a matchup between the ambitious young gun leader and the unflappable final four mastermind . . . who wins? Butler coach, Brad Stevens, doesn’t even look old enough to shave let alone lead a team to the Final Four. Yet in just his third year at the helm, he has. Ranked 6th in the country in defensive efficiency, the Bulldogs are riding a 24 game win streak and have to be confident heading into their first Final Four in school history. But there’s one question . . .
Is being close to home an advantage? Not always. Distractions are aplenty and players can fall victim to the HEY, AT LEAST WE MADE IT mentality and lose focus on accomplishing what you set out the season to do. Not just get to the Final Four, but win the National Championship.
It’s been well documented that Tom Izzo has gotten to the Final Four at a break neck clip. To get to college basketball’s promised land six out of twelve seasons is remarkable. But he’s only taken home one title. So there’s plenty of motivation for Sparty to excel in Indianapolis and at the same time, there’s none of the pressure. The loss of Kalin Lucas has brought this squad together as a team and as long as Korie Lucious takes care of the ball, they have a shot.
Duke Blue Devils vs West Virginia Mountaineers: The perceived elitists take on the perceived hillbillies . . . both with historically sucessful head coaches, this is the Final Four’s main event. Bob Huggins is quickly becoming a legend in Mountaineer country and would cement his hero status with a National Championship for his hometown.
Coach K is already an icon and would bookend this decade with titles if his Blue Devils went all the way, giving him four total (1991, 1992, 2001). This will be a surprisingly physical match up, with the play in the paint the deciding factor.
Rebounding will be huge and both of these teams rank in the top ten nationally in offensive rebounding percentage. A less than stellar shooting team in the tournament, West Virginia relies on second and third chances for a big part of their offense. Duke has a reputation to be a finesse team, but this year they have a sneaky good, physical, defense. Although when spread out, they can be driven on. If the Mountaineers game plan to drive into the lane, they can get to the foul line for some easy points,. Overall, boxing out and rebounding will win this game.
You would think the focus on defense and rebounding would lend itself to a Big East/Big Ten tempo . . . and even though Butler and Duke can hang with the physical play, you’d be right. That’s why I pick West Virginia and Michigan State to win close, need to get a lucky bounce here and there type games and advance to the finals.
What do you think?
P.S. Using the term “sexy” when talking basketball reminds me of one of the funniest Will Ferrell moments EVER. Here it is for your laughing pleasure:Read Full Post | Make a Comment ( None so far )