Archive for March, 2012

3pt Play: My Super Not-so Sweet 16

Posted: March 22, 2012 by dontbeskerritt in College Basketball

I hope you totally went the other way from my picks for the 2012 NCAA Tournament (well at least for Friday, I went 14-16 last Thursday).  While the tournament has lacked for buzzer-beaters, it has provided us a great deal of upsets, crazy twists, and unexpected storylines leading to wide open regions for this second weekend of the tournament.  Here are a couple of things I observed from last weekend and what you can look for this weekend coming up.

1. College Basketball Sucks: Well let me not be so harsh.  The games are not really well-played.  They are really intense, which I guess is kind of fun to watch.  But when I see teams struggling to get out of the 40s midway through the second half, I know that the defenses can’t be that good.  So what’s the problem?  Do the players suck?  No, blame the guys that are leading them, the coaches.  As Pete Prisco from CBS Sports said, let the players play.  Coaches are so power-hungry and paranoid, they chain these athletes to their half-court sets.

You would think coaches know that a 2-on-1 fastbreak has a higher success rate than a 5-on-5 halfcourt offense.  You would think that coaches would put the ball in their best playmaker’s hands earlier in the shot clock and let him go to work (that’s usually what happens anyway).  But that doesn’t happen, especially not in this tournament.  Why is that?  Prisco says it like this; in the NBA players are the stars, in college its the coaches.  Because of this dynamic, coaches want the glory for having the best game preparation, style of play, halftime adjustment, etc.  Last I checked, I’ve never seen a coach make a basket.  If the NCAA wants better games, put the ball in the hands of players, not the coaches.

Marquette is the best example I have seen so far of a street-ball styled team that can still play great defense that they turn into easy offense (2nd best example is the Murray State Racers who lost to Marquette).  That is why the Golden Eagles look like a darkhorse for the Final Four.

Can the Heels win without their leader?

2. One free-flowing team looked liked a Final Four lock.  The North Carolina Tar Heels looked like at least the 2nd best team in the nation when Kendall Marshall, their floor general, was fouled hard during the 2nd half of their game against Creighton.  Marshall was awarded with a broken wrist.  UNC could have survived a John Henson wrist injury to make it to the Final Four.  But without Marshall?  Now the Midwest Region is wide open.

UNC is still the most talented team in the region from top to bottom.  But their depth has taken a hit with no Marshall or Dexter Strickland, their best perimeter defender.  Ohio brings DJ Cooper, their outstanding guard who said that Tennessee and Baylor tried to steal him away. If they get past the Bobcats, they get the Kansas/NC State winner.  Kansas has the player of the year (Thomas Robinson) and NC State almost beat UNC in the ACC Tournament.  Keep an eye on the Midwest thanks to this injury.

3. I may never do brackets again.  Norfolk State and Lehigh?  A VCU who should have beaten Indiana?  Florida State doing Florida State things (I probably should have seen that coming)?  There’s too much luck, too much bounce of the ball moments to really ever be comfortable with picks.  Would Norfolk State beat Missouri again if they play 10 more times?  Imagine the refs in the Notre Dame/Xavier game NOT deciding the game with a lane violation call.

Actually, I’ll switch up my strategy next year and you should too.  Just flip a coin for each pick.  With the way the games are these days, you have a great chance to be correct.  You have at least a better chance than listening to me on a blog post.

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#CowboysNation

Posted: March 18, 2012 by LBC in NFL
Tags: , ,

Since I did not put this out earlier, it will seem as if my football knowledge is not as massive, but anyone who knows me I have said the Cowboys needed to solidify 3 key areas to build a solid team. Those areas would be first and foremost the secondary, second more depth at LB, and finally offensive line. So far this off-season after suffering a #GoodellReasons *expletive deleted* cap hit, we have made very promising moves so far.

The biggest news in Dallas is we have finally cut Terrence Newman. This move alone has this one of the greatest off seasons in Cowboys franchise history. The recent acquisition of former Kansas City Chief Brandon Carrmakes a sub par secondary much better than it was two weeks ago. Brandon Carr is a solid coverage corner, and is tops in the league recently in pass deflections. No one is happier than Defensive Coordinator Rob Ryan, as he finally as a solid DB he can rely on to help with his defensive scheme.

Terrence Newman wouldn't have even been in the photo

Second, we have added from the Carolina Panthers ILB Dan Connor. We all know Penn St. makes the best linebackers lol #SeeWhatIDidThere. Another addition to help Rob Ryan with that 3-4 scheme. I would love for this pickup to eliminate all things that are wrong with Keith Brooking especially his awful pre-game hype speeches. Connor is a solid pickup that will hand depth, and youth to the interior of this 3-4 scheme. Connor and Lee have the potential to be a serious problem in the run game for opposing offenses.

Thirdly, protect Tony Romo! We got the young sensation in Tyron Smith playing RT, who I would like to move to LT and move Doug “All I do is allow” Free rushers to play on the RT spot. If we successfully add  Nate Livings along with already added interior lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau our offensive line is looking deep. Tony, Felix, and DeMarco are smiling right now. With these additions, I think our line can keep Tony and our backfield weapons healthy this season.

Lastly, but certainly not least Brodney Pool from the Jets (Good clean hit right there). Even us die hard Cowboys fans cannot remember the last time we had a safety worth mentioning. I believe it was Darren Woodson lol. However, Brodney Pool changes the whole game by coming to Dallas. He is an all around solid safety which is what we need, and have been needed. I really like him and Abram Elam back there. We are giving Rob Ryan what he was missing. The actual secondary weapons to make his excellent 3-4 scheme work.

I thought we stopped wearing our pads like this!? lol

Kudos on a good opening week in Free Agency. I will be back to tell you who and what we need in the draft to finishing fixing the Cowboys. For free agency so far, we are doing very well.

P.S. Goodell You are the worse!

Saaaaaame ole Redskins

Posted: March 15, 2012 by arayegee in NFL

Before I go ham on my team (as I did last year) about their terrible decision making, let me applaud them for their trade to get the #2 overall pick in this year’s draft. I cant wait to wear a  RGIII jersey to work. Unless, of course, the Colts are pulling of the coup of all time and pick Robert Griffin III and leave us with Matt Leina—- err, Andrew Luck.

But free agency, once again, turns out to be the undoing of a franchise that has been historically awful in this category.  The acquisition of three notable wide receivers is a direct result of RG3 hype, which at face value looks great. But lets take a step back and look at what the ‘Skins really got.

Pierre Garcon

If your prize free agent acquisition is a #2 receiver who has never gained 1000 yards in a season, known for his average route running and iffy ball catching abilities, there is a problem. Yes, he’s 27. But that’s the problem, Pierre is in his prime and is all he has to show for playing four years with Peyton Manning and understudy to Reggie Wayne is a very pedestrian body of work. I like the guy, but there is no way you pay a second rate receiver this much money. Is second rate a bit harsh? I tell you what, name the top 20 receivers in the NFL, and I dare you to put Pierre Garcon in that list.

 

Josh Morgan

Great player at Virginia Tech, decent player in the NFL. In his four years, he has 1764 receiving yards. Was he having a decent season before he got injured in San Francisco last year? Absolutely. Over 5 games, he caught 15 balls for 220 yards and 1 touchdown. Which rounds out to be about a 3 catch, 44 yard player. Ok. San Fran wanted him back, but thats only because Braylon Edwards was older, always injured, and wasn’t a good fit with their offense. If both of these players were at full strength, who do you think the Niners would really want to keep?

"I dont do this catching thing much, but Im sure its enough to get signed by your team."

Eddie Royal

Granted this guy hasn’t officially signed, but I will still give my two cents. Royal is probably the most complete receiver of the three, but giving him the eye test I experience deja vu.  5’10, 185 slot guy who can play, and would work well in Shanny’s offense. But he just adds to the crowded depth chart of #2 receivers again, and if he gets signed and becomes the best wideout, then the same WR issue in DC are just renewed: a #2 (Santana Moss) masquerading as a #1.

Much to the joy of then-Raider, now-Redskin CB DeAngelo Hall, Eddie Royal will be in DC.

‘Wide receiver by committee’ is a term often used to describe a marginal group of wideouts who are on a potent offense. I can guarantee that of these ‘committees’ there has been a clear cut #1 WR.

2011 – Giants – Victor Cruz

2006- present Saints – Marques Colston

Patriots 2007 – Randy Moss

Patriots 2008 – 2011 Wes Welker

Just to name a few. The other common denominator between teams that succeed with a so-called ‘WR by committee’ is that they have all-world quarterbacks to get them the ball.  So here’s to hoping that Mr. Griffin becomes the QB that Washington hopes he will be. If you ask me, all that money to get three marginal receivers couldve been spent on a straight up STUD in free agency. Couple that with the fact that this year’s WR class is loaded, I really wonder what the front office is thinking.

Bracket of Insanity

On Wednesday, I hope you caught part 1 of my bracket reveal when I showed my South and West Regions for the NCAA Tournament.  Today, I reveal my East and Midwest Regions leading up to an NCAA Champion.  Winners in bold:

East Region – 1ST ROUND

Yeah, Frank Martin is even scary when he smiles

1 Syracuse vs 16 UNC Asheville

I think all of Syracuse’s starters could go to class during the game and this will still be a breeze.

8 Kansas State vs 9 Southern Miss

I like seeing Frank Martin yell so I’m keeping the Wildcats around.  Also, Southern Miss barely got by East Carolina and lost to Marshall in their conference tournament.

5 Vanderbilt vs 12 Harvard

Harvard is gonna need some Linsanity to pull off the upset.  Mainly because the Crimson have no outside threat

4 Wisconsin vs 13 Montana

The boring Badgers will make the Grizzlies, and everyone who is watching, hibernate during this one.

6 Cincinnati vs 11 Texas

Texas only has one guy that can score (J’Covan Brown).  Cincinnati has 5 guys that can go without scoring.  Rick Barnes still coaches Texas though.  I’ll take Cincinnati.

3 Florida State vs 14 Saint Bonaventure

St. Bonaventure more than likely took my Drexel Dragon’s spot in the tournament.  So I gotta pick Florida State to wrap up the Bonnies.  And the Seminoles can (38.1% FG defense)

7 Gonzaga vs 10 West Virginia

I would say that this is a home game for the Mountaineers but since they don’t win in Pittsburgh very often, I got the Zags.

2 Ohio State vs 15 Loyola (MD)

Jimmy Patsos is a great guy.  If wins were determined by press conferences, Loyola would be in the Final Four.

2ND ROUND

Melo changed his game on the court, but he couldn't get to class

1 Syracuse vs 8 Kansas State

If only Fab Melo made it to class this would be an easier matchup for Syracuse.  Kansas State can rebound like crazy, which is the Orange’s weakness.  But Syracuse is too deep to get put out here.

4 Wisconsin vs 5 Vanderbilt

I’m not going to fall in love with Vandy’s late run.  Vandy has been a terrible Tournament team in the last couple of years.  Wisconsin is always solid in the tourney.  Jordan Taylor is going to carry the Badgers

3 Florida State vs 6 Cincinnati

The paint is not going to be for the faint of heart in this one.  The Seminoles D, combined with the Bearcats pension for droughts will make this is Florida State win.

2 Ohio State vs 7 Gonzaga

Sullinger has been awesome all year and it will continue as the Buckeys get to the Sweet 16

SWEET 16

1 Syracuse vs 4 Wisconsin

I actually was going to have Syracuse out early anyway even before Fab Melo went out.  As Bomani Jones says “zone is for cowards”.  That is a little extreme but this isn’t, Syracuse hasn’t gotten past the Sweet 16 since their National Championship.

2 Ohio State vs 3 Florida State

Florida State has the defense.  But can they score?  I can’t trust their offense to make it to the Final Four.

ELITE 8

2 Ohio State vs 4 Wisconsin

Rivalry game.  Throw out the records.  But I like Jordan Taylor over Jared Sullinger to come through in the clutch.  That’s just me.

Midwest Region – 1ST ROUND

This wrist can keep UNC from cutting down the nets

1 UNC vs 16 Vermont

The Catamounts have a history of tournament upsets.  I hope they have the DVDs of those games for the plane ride home after this one.

8 Creighton vs 9 Alabama

Classic underrated/overrated game: Creighton is underrated, Alabama is overrated.  Take the Blue Jays

5 Temple vs 12 South Florida

Man, South Florida is terrible on offense.  But they can definitely win this one with its defense.  Temple is lucky I lived in Philly so I am partial to them.

4 Michigan vs 13 Ohio

Michigan has to win a game in Columbus over an Ohio team, that where’s green.  Talk about rivals aligning.  Wolverines can handle it though.

6 San Diego State vs 11 NC State

Purely a bandwagon, everyone else is picking them pick.  But I do like C.J. Leslie for the Wolfpack

3 Georgetown vs 14 Belmont

I like things in 3’s.  I like triple-header NBA games, 3 blind mice, and Georgetown losing 3 straight times in the first round.  Georgetown needs to bring back some goon to the program.

7 St Mary’s vs 10 Purdue

In Robbie Hummel’s 10th season of eligibility (I kid), he’s made it through the year without major injury.  Matthew Dellavedova will celebrate by putting the Boilermakers out of the tournament

2 Kansas vs 15 Detroit

I don’t remember a 15 seed having a player that could match the best player on the 2 seed.  But after Ray McCallum/Thomas Robinson show, what else does Detroit have to throw against Kansas?

2ND ROUND

1 UNC vs 8 Creighton

This is why Creighton should be mad that it’s ranked 8.  Bring your abacus, calculator, fingers, and toes to keep count in this one.

4 Michigan vs 5 Temple

I think Michigan’s guards are better than Temple’s guards

11 NC State vs 14 Belmont

Belmont is really good.  They took Duke to the wire.  But I’m sticking with NC State in this one

2 Kansas vs 7 St Mary’s

St Mary’s doesn’t have an answer for DC’s own Thomas Robinson

SWEET 16

1 UNC vs 4 Michigan

Another abacus game.  Michigan better make every 3 they take if they want to win this one.

Plenty of wins, but no trophy for Coach Cal yet

2 Kansas vs 11 NC State

Kansas has overachieved all year.  I think NC State could soften them up for the fall in the Elite 8.

ELITE 8

1 UNC vs 2 Kansas

First good game in this region.  UNC can actually contain Thomas Robinson.  UNC may have too many horses for the Jayhawks.  But Kansas with a loss has nothing to hang their head about.

And now we are down to the…

FINAL 4

1 Kentucky vs 2 Missouri

This is the battle of which coach will screw up in the big game.  Despite all of his great squads, Calipari has never won a title.  I think he screws up here.  Missouri is a better Vanderbilt with their guards.  Kentucky won’t hit the 3’s to keep up.  Their youth will show up again, just like in the SEC Championship.  I’ll take Missouri.

1 UNC vs 4 Wisconsin

Wisconsin actually slowed down UNC when they played in Chapel Hill.  Won’t happen this time around.

NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP

1 UNC vs 2 Missouri

There will be more scoring in the 1st half than the whole 2011 National Championship game combined.  But with all the parity in the NCAA these days, just fill out multiple brackets because it will take Tebow power to make this matchup occur.

Just remember, because I (and President Obama) picked UNC, stay far away from the Tar Heels!  That’s my best advice to you.  Good luck in all of your pools fellow Cavers.

 

This will be me by Saturday

LBC challenged me to put up my bracket for the 2012 Tournament.  Not wanting to look lik I don’t know what I’m talking about, I accepted his request.  I will unveil my entire bracket on Thursday, but today I reveal my South and West Regions with the winners of each region.  Thursday will be the East and Midwest, leading to my eventual National Champion.  I will also explain why I chose each winner.  But, none of this matters because I never won a pool in my life anyway.  So you probably should do the opposite of what I say. Winners in bold:

South Region – 1ST ROUND

1 Kentucky vs 16 Western Kentucky

Umm, the Hilltoppers had 28 turnovers vs Mississippi Valley State.  I didn’t even know that was a school.  Imagine what Kentucky will do.

8 Iowa State vs 9 UCONN

This will be a theme for my bracket.  Stay away from the Big East going deep this year.  UConn has the talent but they never feel like living up to it.  I gotta love the Mayor Fred Hoiberg and Royce White for the Cyclones

Do the Rams have another run?

5 Wichita State vs 12 VCU

You can pick against Shaka Smart in a tournament game if you want to.  I won’t be so bold.  But Wichita State is no cupcake.

4 Indiana vs 13 New Mexico State

I really wanted to pick NM State because their athleticism will give the Hoosiers problems.  But I think Indiana has enough offense to survive.

6 UNLV vs 11 Colorado

Love Colorado’s late season run, but I can’t pick against the Runnin’ Rebels.

3 Baylor vs 14 South Dakota State

Gotta love the nickname Jackrabbits.  But Perry Jones III will jack up SD State on Thursday

7 Notre Dame vs 10 Xavier

Watched a lot of A-10 ball this year.  You could argue that Xavier shouldn’t be in the tournament.  Zip’em up early

2 Duke vs 15 Lehigh

Duke always has to win in the 1st Round.  It’s in the Bible

2ND ROUND

1 Kentucky vs 8 Iowa State

The Mayor has no answers for the Unibrow

You can't tell me Jack Cooley isn't Harangody's long lost twin

4 Indiana vs 12 VCU

It would be sweet to see Kentucky vs Indiana.  That’s why I picked VCU so it would happen *shrugs*

3 Baylor vs 6 UNLV

Unfortunately Perry Jones jacked and ran and didn’t show up for the next game…as usual.

2 Duke vs 7 Notre Dame

Duke probably will actually win this game because Notre Dame doesn’t have the guard play to really break down Duke and Luke Harangody’s clone will not be enough for the Plumlee twins.  But I hate Duke so there.

SWEET 16

1 Kentucky vs 12 VCU

Calipari will have his team focused.  Kentucky won’t mess up just yet.

6 UNLV vs 7 Notre Dame

UNLV can make a deep run y’all, I’m letting you know right now…so you can avoid them.

ELITE 8

1 Kentucky vs 6 UNLV

I remember when UNLV crushed UNC.  I remember when Kentucky beat UNC by 1.  This has nothing to do with this game.  Just go with Kentucky.  Kentucky the South Region winner.

West Region – 1ST ROUND

1 Michigan State vs 16 LIU-Brooklyn

Love Michigan State this year, not bad for starting the year getting blown out on a boat

Will Barton is a DMV icon...but he won't go far8 Memphis vs 9 Saint Louis

Memphis is better than an 8th seed.  Too bad, cause they are only getting one win.  Don’t sleep on Saint Louis with Rick Majerus as their coach.

5 New Mexico vs 12 Long Beach State

To make me feel better about the Pitt loss earlier this year I will ride Long Beach State.  Casper Ware is scary good (see what I did there) and you need good guards in the tournament.

4 Louisville vs 13 Davidson

Stephan Curry ain’t walking through that door.  But maybe he left his ankles in the Davidson locker room.

6 Murray State vs 11 Colorado State

If you only have one loss on the year, I guess you gotta win at least one tourney game.

3 Marquette vs 14 BYU

God loves this matchup: Marquette better pray they don’t have as many turnovers as they had in their Big East Tournament game

7 Florida vs 10 Virginia

I would say this is an upset but Florida is not good.  So there’s that.

2 Missouri vs Norfolk State

At least the music will be good at the game.

2ND ROUND

1 Michigan State vs 8 Memphis

Again Memphis should have been a higher seed.  If you remember the UNC Washington game from last year, this game will be just like that.  Memphis is good but I trust Izzo’s squads

4 Louisville vs 12 Long Beach State

Louisville is the best Big East team in this tournament so I have them in the Sweet 16.  But they won’t get far.

I don't know when Frank Haith became a good coach, but he is hitting the right buttons this year

3 Marquette vs 6 Murray State

I had to really research this one.  So after flipping a coin…sike actually Marquette is 102nd in the country in rebounding, Murray State 237th.  So while both these teams can score, I trust Marquette to dominate the glass.

2 Missouri vs 10 Virginia

I’m a history geek so bear with me.  In WWII, the German attack was built on speed.  The Russians slowed the Germans down, eventually aggravating and stopping them.  Well that’s what Virginia wants to do to Missouri.  But you can’t stop the Tigers blitz

SWEET 16

1 Michigan State vs 4 Louisville

The sweet 16, where the Big East goes to die.  Michigan State will be prepared for Louisville’s pressure D.

2 Missouri vs 3 Marquette

My eyes might bleed in this game.  But Missouri is better.

ELITE 8

1 Michigan State vs 2 Missouri

Gotta love guard play and Missouri’s is playing excellent right now.  When all else fails trust the team with the better guards.

RGIII Is On His Way To DC!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: March 9, 2012 by RenzReport in NFL

What can we expect to hear within the first 30 minutes of the 2012 NFL Draft on April 26th:

“With the 2nd pick in the 2012 NFL Draft, the Washington Redskins select, Robert Griffin the 3rd, QB, Baylor”

Late Friday night, news broke that the Redskins have traded their 1st round picks in 2012,  2013, 2014 and their 2nd round pick in 2012 to move up to #2 in this years draft from the St. Louis Rams.  One may initially think the Skins gave up a lot, but just consider this year’s 1st round picks between the Rams #2 and the Redskins #6 just a fair exchange.  What the Redskins really give up are two 1st round picks and a 2nd.

As a fan of the burgundy and gold, I am not mad at all!

#HTTR

For starters, perhaps Apple is ditching the use of number to identify their products (per the iPad 3 simply being labeled as the iPad).  The next iteration of iPhones might be plain and simply called “iPhones”.

Since the introduction of the iPad some 3 years ago, I have seen a co-relation of how Apple engineers their line of iPhones and iPads in a similar fashion.  Typically, the technology that one device receives is translates to what the other will receive in return.  For example, the iPhone 4S received a high-resolution screen in October 2011.  That same hardware was installed on the latest model iPad to be released in mid-March 2012.  Yet, there are instances when iPhone software is not converted to support iPad, as indicted by Apple’s reluctance to include the highly publicized Siri  with the latest iPad model.  But all is fair considering the iPad has something that the iPhone 4S does not have and that is 4G wireless capabilities.

The iPad now supports 4G in form of HSPA+ for AT&T and LTE for Verizon.  Since Apple has introduced 4G wireless capabilities with the iPad, one would expect that the new iPhone for 2012 will have the same capability level.  So like I said when the iPhone 4S was released, the next version is what consumers will really want in terms of a faster data phone and for those who are on Verizon’s legacy CMDA network;  the capability for voice and data at the same time.  Still this begs the question, what does this mean for Sprint? Allow me to explain!

I’ve long considered Sprint’s WiMAX network as not being a true 4G network.  In fact, what we call 4G isn’t real 4G, but the International Telecommunications Union – Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) saw fit to lower the telecommunication standards to call what we know as 4G; 4G.  Later, they also decided to include Sprint’s WiMAX protocol as a 4G network although it was outperformed by LTE and HSPA+ speeds.  Of course that upset me but that’s not the point here.  The point is, although the iPad still supports 3G and you would expect a 4G iPhone to continue to support 3G, my hypothesis is that 4G will only be enabled on Verizon and AT&T carrier phones.  This will be a huge hit to Sprint’s line of subscribers but Sprint over the past few months have invest heavily in LTE.  Perhaps by this summer, Sprint will come to terms with Verizon to lease LTE lines, but Sprint is not slated to have their new LTE infrastructure in place until 4th quarter 2012 at less than 50% capacity.  But only time will tell and right now the pressure is brewing against Sprint to have something in place fast or risk the potential of losing subscribers.