Brackets,jackets and tip-toeing around the patently obvious …

Brackets,jackets and tip-toeing around the patently obvious …

The seedings have been decided upon for the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament and quite rightly so. The Kentucky Wildcats having ended the season ranked number one in the nation, as well having an unbeaten season bearing a 34-0 record will enter the tournament as its prohibitive favorite, to win it all . John Calipari and his coaching staff head into the Tournament knowing, the first slip-up made, will essentially put to an end a season where a great deal more was expected.

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Players on this Wildcats’ team know a winning season and the NCAA Tournament title will certainly insure great deal of plaudits and the near- certainty of a high draft position in the upcoming NBA Draft this upcoming June . With three consensus first round draft picks among this roster of stars. The names of Karl Anthony Towns , Willie Cauley-Stein and Dakari Johnson simply stand out, as players likely to be taken in the top-ten picks of the first round of the 2015 NBA Draft. If not, then there is something seriously wrong among the general managers and head coaches within the NBA at this juncture.

The four seeds in the regional tournament of the NCAA Championship are Kentucky, Villanova , Duke and Wisconsin . All four teams are in regional draws which will have their pot-holes along the way . where at least one or two upsets are likely to take place as the tournament progress. Opening salvos will be fired in the when the first four teams take to the court on the 17th and 18th March , 2015, as the NCAA Tournaments gets underway to decide the Men’s national champion.

Mike Krzyzewsk and the Duke Blue Devils will certainly have their work cut out for them in this tournament, as their path is unlikely to be easy. As the top seed in the South Regional phase of the Tournament where their biggest challengers could very well be other than their own complacency a , will be the other seeded challengers in the regional phase , with those topping the list said to be , Gonzaga , Georgetown (Hoyas) and Iowa State. As talented as the this Duke team might be considered to be , I do not believe this will be the year in which Mike Krzyzewski guide the program to their fifth national title , all coming under the coaching acumen of the renowned head coach.

With either Derrick Rose or Joakim Noah missing from the Chicago Bulls’ lineup at some point of the season, it easy to understand the reasons why the team has continued to struggle in the aftermath of having lost their League MVP point guard to another season-ending injury , likely curtailing Rose’s long-term future and the rest of his career. Add in the fact, the ongoing relationship between head coach Tom Thibodeau , GM Gar Forman and Head of Basketball Operations John Paxson , is now said to have reached an all-time low, and one wonders how the franchise can gain anything meaningful out of this all, should they fail to make the playoffs .

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Bulls’ forward Jimmy Butler is seen here with Tom Thibodeau . In the absence of either Joakim Noah and Derrick Rose . It has been left to Butler to provide the bulk of team’s offense over the course of the season. Thibodeau’s relationship with the organization has been tenuous at best often becoming heated between the coach and executives, John Paxson and Gar Forman . Courtesy of USA Today/ ..

Not only has the rancor between the head coach and the front office said to have reached an unacceptable level , but it is believed with Thibodeau unwilling to resign, there is no likelihood Paxson or Forman will make the decision to fire their beleaguered coach and their having to honor the remainder of his contract. With Derrick Rose sidelined, it has been left to his teammate Jimmy Butler to step up to the plate in the absence of his more heralded teammate to lead the team by example.

With the Cleveland Cavaliers now raced to the top of the Central Division of the Eastern Conference , the Bulls are now left having to wonder, what to make of their season , while also seeking to play catch-up within the conference. A nine-point road loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder , a road defeat . Butler and his teammates’ next contest will be againstthe Indiana Pacers whom they host on Wednesday evening at the United Center in Chicago, Illinois ,.

In the contest between the Thunder and the Bulls, point guard Russell Westbrook continued his scintillating displays where he almost posted another triple-double . Easy to now understand why he become a consensus favorite for this season’s League MVP. Consider the fact also, Westbrook has been doing this all in the absence of his teammate , Kevin Durant.

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks must be now salivating at the thought of Durant’s imminent return and the chance of his teaming up once again with Westbrook, to provide one of the most dominant and productive duos in the NBA. With only fifteen games left to be played in the remainder of the regular season, it will be interesting interesting to see how the teams acquit themselves as the season winds winds down .

All is fair in love and war . Granted, LeBron James has proven himself to be something of a warrior this season, as the Cleveland Cavaliers seek to justify themselves as the best team in the Eastern Conference. Their record suggests otherwise when compared to that of the high-flying Atlanta Hawks , who might just be the surprise team the regular season within the NBA . Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer certainly has to be considered one of the leading favorites for this season’s Coach of The Year Award , as it would a complete travesty , were he not among the top vote-getters for the prestigious accolade.

(7)    Alonzo  Mourning   now a  senior   executive  within   the  Miami  Heat    organization   has   been  extremely  critical  of    former   Heat   player    LeBron  James   after  his   decision  to  leave  the  franchise  and    return  to  the   Cleveland   Cavaliers  .  Mourning ,   failed  to   suggest   why  Heat   failed  to  surround   James     with   players   complementary  to   his    skills    capable  of   actually   of  being   competitive   enough  to  have   won   last    season's   NBA  title  .   Getty   Images/  Paul  Miller

Alonzo Mourning now a senior executive within the Miami Heat organization has been extremely critical of former Heat player LeBron James after his decision to leave the franchise and return to the Cleveland Cavaliers . Mourning , failed to suggest why the Heat failed to surround James with players complementary to his skills capable of actually of being competitive enough to have won last season’s NBA title . Getty Images/ Paul Miller

At present, Atlanta and the Golden State Warriors are the only teams with fifty victories or more to their respective resumes`. A possible Finals’ meeting between the two seems a reality, but I believe it to be unlikely given the competitiveness of the Western Conference. Steph Curry and his Warriors’ teammates are having a terrific season , albeit, many would not have considered this to have been one of the teams to beat at the start of the year, with the transition of easing in a new head coach, and Steve Kerr assuming the reins after his predecessor, Mark Jackson’s idiotic decision to alienate himself by foistering his hypocritical beliefs outside the game , upon his players and then to some extent , denigrating the organization . Joint team-owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber had no other choice but to dismiss Jackson, ” freedom of speech” rights or not . There is no longer any space for outright bigotry within the realms of sports , let alone the fact , the former head coach showed a great deal of disrespect for the franchise, with his inflammatory remarks .

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Former Golden State Warriors’ head coach Mark Jackson , foreground and his successor , Steve Kerr. This season the Warriors have not only the best record in the NBA , but the team also happens to be the league’s , most potent offense , leading the NBA in a number of offensive categories . Getty Images

If Mark Jackson wishes to make a point , then let him do so while not representing Warriors and most definitely, if he choosing to express his personal beliefs, it should not be done in such a venal way, with his wantoned disregard of others , his own ethnicity and historically what African Americans have gone through in this country, without then seeking denigrate others, because of their own sexuality. Obviously, Jackson’s own religious beliefs and his comprehension of Biblical teachings, indicates his lack of intelligence and compassion. This has nothing at all to do with “political correctness” having run amok, but more to do with simple bigotry . You don’t cry ” fire ” in a crowded theater , or show downright bigotry of others , without their being severe consequences , and those wishing to excuse such behavior are simply naive or just imbeciles.

In what turned out to be a surprise overtime win over the reigning NBA champions , the San Antonio Spurs . New York Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher suggested the team should be rewarded for the efforts in this victory. Unfortunately, victories for the Knicks have been few and far between.

If Fisher is of the opinion his players ought to rewarded for those victories , then he sure as hell does not hold these very same players accountable, for the losses amassed over the course of the season. Fisher has shown as a rookie head coach, he still has a great deal to learn , and learning on the job when you have an inadequate group of players , and a front office which remains clueless, it becomes patently obvious to see why this franchise has been a complete mess and the ongoing butt of so many jokes around the NBA. Those subscribing to the fact Phil Jackson remains a basketball genius should really rethink that whole synopsis and realize it has been his ego and complete lack of knowledge in assessing talent which has also led to this debacle. Next up for the Knicks will be a road trip to visit the equally abysmal Minnesota Timberwolves on Thursday evening.

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New York Knicks’ head coach Derek Fisher is seen here two of his assistant coaching staff Jim Cleamons and Kurt Rambis , as they discuss a pregame strategy in the lead-up to a game to be played the franchise’s home venue , Madison Square Garden , New York City , New York . On the road as well as at home the franchise has simply been pitiful , having been the first team this season to have lost in excess of fifty games , with a league-leading fifty-three defeats as of 17th March , 2015. AP Photo / Mark Warren .

With both the Knicks and Timberwolves likely to be part of the Lottery Pick for the right to the top pick in the upcoming NBA Draft , it will be interesting to see which of the two teams in question or one of their other fellow banal franchises will be joining them as part of this ongoing facade created by the league to seek in the Draft process.

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The NCAA Tournament will likely create a great many thrills and spills, with one or two surprises along the way, in terms of the results. This tournament will ultimately provide us with another D1 collegiate champion in Men’s Basketball. Given the excitement created in last year’s tournament, with the 2015 NCAA championship now underway, let all of the excitement now begin. I may well be wrong , but I do not believe there is now an outright favorite for this year’s NBA title , and granted, there have been two or three teams over the course of this season who have proven themselves worthy favorites or perceived contenders. Yet, a caveat remains , buyer beware, beyond stating the obvious , the only conclusion and sure thing , has been the winner from each conference championship will have an equal chance of being named the NBA champion for the 2014-15 season.

Which programs do you believe will rise to the occasion and become this year’s NCAA Men’s Basketball Champion ? With NBA regular season now winding down , which teams do you believe have been the biggest disappointment to the league and to the fans ? Also which franchises from the Eastern and Western conferences, will be the Finals’ contestants for this season?

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NCAA Men’s Basketball

2015 Men’s NCAA Basketball Tournament

Opening round of the NCAA Tournament.

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NBA

NBA news and archived stories

NBA standings (division) and conference standings

NBA standings (Playoff Picture and with games remaining

NBA results 17th March and schedule 18th March

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It’s that time of the year again , and things are said be right with the world ….

It’s that time of the year again , and things are said be right with the world ….

It’s that time of the year again, where sports reaches a fever pitch , as several things are about to transpire. The NCAA Tournament for Men’s and Women’s Basketball , will begin to determine a Collegiate Champion. With billionaire businessman Warren Buffett offering a $1 billion prize to anyone predicting the champion , as well as the correct breakdown of the sixty-four team bracket field, it adds a great deal more of an incentive for some of the most ardent fans of the game.

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With Billy Donovan and the Florida Gators being ranked number one in the nation in the polls , the team has also garnered a number one seeding in the NCAA Tournament , whereby they will be in the Southern Region . The team will not kick off their tournament schedule, until, the 20th March , when they will face the winner of the game between Albany and Mount St Mary’s , a contest due to be played on Tuesday , 18th March . The tournament itself , might just be one of the most open in recent years , with a number of programs thought to be in with a serious chance of being this season’s national champion. I have long been an admirer of Mike Krzyzewski and the Duke (Blue Devils) , but their path to the Sweet Sixteen as a number three seed in the Midwest Region , will not be an easy one to traverse. Yet, if the team can exhibit much of the form they have shown throughout the season up to this point, then there is no reason to believe why the Blue Devils cannot mount a serious challenge as Krzyzewski seeks to win his fifth national title.

I may well be wrong in my assumption, but I believe Billy Donovan to be the most under-appreciated coaches in all of college sports, when it comes to a coach who has won multiple national titles in their specific arena . Back to back titles in 2006 and 2007 , cemented Donovan’s legacy with the Gators’ program and placed in my mind , in the upper echelons of Men’s Collegiate Basketball coaches ! ! Donovan’s players, were simply good enough this season , to “sweep through ” the SEC (Southeastern Conference) , going an astonishing 18-0 in conference play and rounding out their record , with a 32-2 finish overall .

Duke will begin their sojourn in the NCAA Tournament, with a first round game against Mercer , on Friday, 21st March , where there will be a slew of games scheduled to be played on the day. For players, such as Jabari Parker , Rodney Hood , Quinn Cook and Rasheed Sulaimon , this will provide them the opportunity to display their skills beyond a national audience , as there will be a slew of NBA coaches and front office executives observing not only these players but also the entire talent that will be on display throughout this tournament , with the likelihood , with one of those athletes thought to be good enough not only to be the number one draft pick in the upcoming NBA Draft , but someone around whom, a franchise can be built around . Last season’s top pick , Anthony Bennett of the Cleveland Cavaliers , seems to be struggling to come into his own , having not been able to show the collegiate form which the front office believed could resurrect their fortunes .

From my own standpoint, the NBA in terms of its NBA Draft, might just be the “biggest hit or miss” in terms of assessing talent, next to the idiocy presided over and deemed as the MLB Draft ! A number one pick made there , is unlikely to see any Big League playing time through the first two years of their professional playing career, unless their skills are already highly polished , but yet such players are afforded record signing bonuses , before having stepped onto a baseball field or donning that team’s uniform . Yet it would be remiss to suggest that MLB is the only such area , where this is something that has become a practice , because we have witnessed this also within the NBA and the NFL , in spite of their now being rookie contracts , offered to first round players on a sliding scale , as determined by one’s position of being picked in that first round.

The NBA season itself, has become all the more heightened, as teams now face the final stretch of the regular season, with their not being more than seventeen games left on the schedule, for playoff aspirants to play themselves into contention . Meanwhile , the New York Knicks have made perhaps their biggest acquisition in the past five years, when they made it public, that Phil Jackson would be returning to the franchise where he made a name for himself has a player , winning an NBA title as a member of the 1973 championship winning team . Jackson returns in the capacity of Head of Basketball Operations , overseeing the Player Personnel decisions for the franchise, in which GM Steve Mills will be directly answerable to Jackson, in the franchise’s hierarchical structure . The move itself has to be seen as the last act of a truly desperate franchise that over the past five seasons , has lost its way , edge of competitiveness and simply became a “laughing stock” around the NBA .

The hire of Phil Jackson might not now be enough to deter the departure of the New York Knicks’ best player, Carmelo Anthony , who since being acquired by the franchise as a free agent from the Denver Nuggets , has been perhaps the sole reason to watch the team during that time-span . A prevailing thought in some circles , was that a bold move had to be made by the franchise , as they sought to gain some semblance of respectability. A prevailing thought in some circles , was that a bold move had to be made by the franchise , as they sought to gain some semblance of respectability. What now happens, concerning Anthony’s future with the New York Knicks , will be predicated upon by the overtures made by Phil Jackson and his intent as he seeks to improve the team.

Coming off a 115-94 over the Milwaukee Bucks the team will then play host to the Eastern Conference’s best team in the Indiana Pacers . How the New York Knicks now acquit themselves between now and the end of the season , will allow Jackson a chance to gauge the players on the roster , and which he believes are superfluous to the Knicks’ needs.

In having lost twenty-one consecutive games , I don’t believe that you can be any more critical of a team than need be! The Philadelphia 76ers have been able to do that, without having broken sweat, in terms of the team’s continued .. ineptitude . Team owner, Joshua Harris and GM Stan Hinkie have presided over this mess without having offered the fans an explanation for the Sixers’ malaise. . A 90-99 loss to the Indiana Pacers at the Bankers Life Fieldhouse in Indiana , Indianapolis , pushed the Sixers’ streak to its current mark, one which is likely to be increased, when the team hosts the Chicago Bulls , at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania , on Wednesday evening.

The Sixers’ Brett Brown , in his rookie season as a head coach , has been placed in an impossible position, where he and his coaching staff are being asked to coach and mold a team, that will continue to struggle over the remainder of the season. . Jason Richardson and Thaddeus Young are the most experienced players on the roster , with twelve and six years’ experience apiece, with the bulk of the players on the team , with no more than four years of NBA tenure. Leadership experience if any , is sorely missed and simply a bye product of an organization where there seems to have been no actual goals or priorities set , other than perhaps the level of mediocrity that might well have been possibly sought.

In the aftermath of what appears to be a seismic meltdown within the NFL , with several players being jettisoned by their respective teams as cap salary casualties . The question now becomes , how will those franchises now seek to make up for those losses, be it by way of the NFL Draft or themselves acquiring a free agent of their own choosing ? Merely speculating, as to how much better a team is likely to become , can only been seen as that and nothing else.

One of the more interesting stories to have come out of this off-season , seen as a precursor and lead-up to the NFL Draft , are teams seeking to position themselves in terms of the salary cap, simply making what on the face of it are decisions that make so obvious sense . To my astonishment , I found out that with the Chicago Bears having rid themselves of Julius Peppers one of the NFL’s leading defensive lineman . In the ensuing moves , they sought to make the team’s quarterback Jay Cutler the highest paid player in the NFL , in terms of the value of his contract , the contract’s length , also by way of a base and average salary , never mind the fact that he also becomes the highest paid player on the Bears’ roster . I can only surmise that Bears’ GM Phil Emery , under the advisement of team Chairman George McCaskey , who happens to be the son-in-law of the franchise’s late founder George Halas , believes Cutler, capable of leading the team to Superbowl. A six-year $126.7 million deal is preposterous for a player whose, playoff record and performances can be best described as mediocre.

How Cutler’s contract might be viewed around the NFL and amongst fans in general , can be best summed up with one of a number of two scenarios. The player is worth it, or Phil Emery and George McCaskey have lost complete touch with their senses or that they felt, that in placing their faith in player by offering him such a long-term contract , it best serves the long-term goals of the Bears as a franchise.

The Bears’ loss of Peppers, will be the Green Bay Packers’ gain , as the player’s arrival , immediately makes the Packers’ secondary a little more formidable and can only add to the likely productivity of that team , defensively. This all could come back to haunt the Bears , who meet their divisional rivals within the NFC North , twice over the course their divisional schedule and in what is said to be one of the most celebrated rivalries in NFL history. With the loss of Jared Allen , as the Minnesota Vikings sought to allow the defensive player to hit the free agency market , it now looks as if the franchise will to get into a rebuilding mode and transition . Beyond Allen’s departure, came the firing also of beleaguered head coach Leslie Frazier , who has subsequently been replaced by Mike Zimmer . The incumbent is likely to bring in, his own group of coaching assistants , as well as seeking to gauge the playing roster as it now stands. Vikings’ quarterback Christian Ponder’s tenure has not exactly been an encouraging one , with the player simply not being effective , often struggling to play consistently at a high level , while seeking to lead the team to victory .

Jared Allen is likely to sign with a team in due course , but the issue , will be about his contractual worth , given his time in the NFL , though still productive and seen as of one of the league’s top pass-rushers and defensive ends . There are said to be at least six teams interested in Allen’s services , but as of yet, no concrete offers have been made , but in all likelihood this has more to do with the player and his agent , Ken Harris weighing up offers and the one they perhaps feel , best serves Jared Allen and his long-term future .

Minnesota Vikings’ owner , Zygi Wilf may well be secure in the knowledge that the franchise will have a new state of the art venue for the Vikings to play in, as of the 2016 NFL regular season , with the stadium being built with a mixture of private and public financing . However, the window of opportunity for the franchise to win a Superbowl with current running back Adrian Peterson in tow , does appear to disappearing rather quickly. Peterson was the subject of a great deal of speculation , when it was said, that there was a great deal of uncertainty within the front office as to whether or not the player would be cut by the franchise, or retained. Now in the fourth year of a seven-year $96 million contract that was signed in 2012, Adrian Peterson is not due to become a free agent until 2018 , at which time his tenure in the NFL, he will be entering his twelfth year in the league. At which time, it is expected that the player may well have surpassed the league’s all-time career rushing yards’ mark of 8,355 held by Hall of Fame rusher Emmitt Smith . Only Stephen Jackson with 10678 yards leads Peterson amongst active running backs, in terms of career rushing yards.

The Minnesota Vikings’ last postseason appearance came in 2012 , as a wildcard entrant , where they fell short of their goals in succumbing to a lopsided 24-10 loss to the Green Bay Packers . It will be interesting to see what Mike Zimmer and Vikings’ GM Rick Spielman will seek to do in the build-up to the NFL Draft and with regard to the team’s needs also, by way of free agent acquisitions .

There has to a rhyme and a reason behind baseball’s madness and the MLB season , .which unofficially opens on the 22nd March , 2014, with two NL games , as part of a two-game series in Australia, when the Arizona Diamondbacks designated as the home team will entertain last season’s NL West divisional winner and losing NLCS combatant, the Los Angeles Dodgers . While, I have no bone of contention with regard to the league hierarchy seeking to have the game exposed to a greater global audience ! It does seem somewhat remiss, when you consider baseball’s growth domestically is on the decline, within the inner cities , particular amongst the major inner city suburbs. An even greater telling sign , has been the lack of participation in the game of young African-American youths and in some respects, among young male Caucasians. There remains a great deal of interest in the game at the Little League Level , with the Little League World Series drawing high ratings for the showcase domestically, as well as in the foreign markets where the event is televised .

Baseball has painted its image on a myth , that has not really changed , other than that of, how historians have seen to denote the game . In recent weeks we have seen the idiocy behind the claims of ESPN reporter Buster Olney seeking to suggest that because of a statement made by the granddaughter of Hall of Fame great Babe Ruth , that it was his intent to see the game of baseball fully integrated during his time as a player . Olney attributes this all because of Ruth’s apparent friendship with entertainer Bill “Bojangles” Robinson , who was an entertainer at Harlem’s famed Cotton Club. Now unless I am mistaken the era was still filled with a great deal of racism and it was something of a rarity to have an African-American in an all-white establishment , let alone Ruth’s on-field antics at a time when baseball had yet to be fully integrated, but yet we have a clown , such as Olney, trying to suggest that a renowned racial bigot, was in fact someone , who also had a close relationship with a Negro and that in-fact made him more decent and humane . Perhaps, if Buster Olney spent less time trying to wax on lyrically and actually deal in the facts , the game itself , would be better represented , in terms of its history, rather than it being filled with a number of falsehoods.

With the Boston Red Sox having won its eighth World Series title and third , in the past seven seasons . It has to be said, that there now seems to new-found level of confidence within the organization . Granted, the team saw a number of changes to their championship winning roster , with the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury , having joined the New York Yankees having not been able to obtain a renewed contract with his former team , Ellsbury becomes one of a select group of players that will have played for both of the game’s most fabled ball-clubs in the Red Sox and the Yankees .

For the New York Yankees this will be a season, in which we will be able to see whether or not, this team can rebound from much of the adversity that they faced last year . Off the field issues asides , with the Alex Rodriguez saga now put to rest , the team’s inability to stay healthy , along with a lack of productivity, in terms of their pitching and hitting , added to the complexity and woes of the ball-club , beyond Joe Girardi’s inability to get the Yankees’ players to play with any consistency for much of 2013.

New York will begin its regular season schedule on the 1st April against a the Houston Astros , with a three-game set at Minute Maid Park , in Houston Texas , against a ball-club that will be undoubtedly be looking to avert losing one hundred games for a third consecutive season , having achieved that feat in 2012 and 2013 , respectively. The New York Yankees’ fans will have the privilege of seeing the newly revamped team , in their first home series, when they face the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankees’ Stadium , beginning the 4th April March , in a three-game weekend series .

As the season unfolds, it will be interesting to see what transpires in comparison to the first month last season’s schedule and events that unfolded , leading to, in many respects, what was one of the most eventful years in recent baseball history.

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Picture gallery .

In light of the points raised within this article, what are your hopes with regard to the coming weeks, within the world sports ? Simply, leave a comment, as you see fit .

Picture and slideshow gallery details below .

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(1) Billionaire , Warren Buffett , Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway , who has offered a $1 billion prize money to anyone successfully picking out the “prefect bracket” in this season’s Men’s NCAA Tournament , as well as , picking the outright winner as in the determining of a national champion . Pictured here with Buffett is Chris ‘Handles’ Franklin , a member of the Harlem Globetrotters . AP Photo/ NY Daily News / Nati Harnik …..

(2) Scottie Wilbekin of the Florida Gators’ Basketball team celebrates with teammates after the team’s 61-60 victory over the Kentucky (Wildcats) . Billy Donovan’s Gators are the number one ranked team in the nation , also seeded #1 in their regional grouping for the NCAA Tournament , where the program is highly favored to become this season’s national champion . AP Photo Everett Miles …………….

(3) Head coach Billy Donovan talks to Scottie Wilbekin (5) of the Florida Gators in the second half against the Minnesota Golden Gophers during the third round of the 2013 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament at The Frank Erwin Center on March 24 , 2013 in Austin, Texas. Getty Images North America / Stephen Dunn …..

(4) Duke’s Jabari Parker is seen here speaking with head coach Mike Krzyzewski during a one-on-one film session . The program is seeking to make a successful and deep run in the NCAA Tournament as Krzyzewksi seeks to win his fifth NCAA title as a head coach . Andrew Sherman / UPI ….

(5) New York Knicks’ team owner , James Dolan & Chairman of Madison Square Garden Entertainment Company Inc (MSE) , parent company of the NBA franchise, is seen here with Phil Jackson , who recently accepted the offer to become the Head of Basketball Operations and a SVP within the front office of the Knicks. Jackson will be in charge of all personnel decisions involving the team and the move is seen as a way of encouraging Carmelo Anthony to remain with the franchise , rather than opting out of his existing contract to test the “free agency market” . AP Photo / Anton Cutler ….

(6) Jay Cutler of the Chicago Bears is seen here on the sidelines of Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The quarterback has signed a six-year $126.7 million contract that now makes him the highest paid quarterback and player in the NFL in terms of contract value and annual salary . All of this in spite of a somewhat anemic postseason career in the NFL since his entry into NFL , having been drafted by the Denver Broncos during the 2006 NFL Draft . AP Photo / Jason Marshall …….

(7) Jared Allen a Pro Bowl player with the Minnesota Vikings, having now being discarded by the franchise and having been their all-time sacks’ leader is now looking for a new team as a defensive end . Allen is looking for a long-term contract that is likely to reward him handsomely . Chris Ward / Getty Images ….

(8) World Series’ MVP , David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox will be hoping that he and his teammates can make a successful defense of their World Series’ title won last season , when the Red Sox defeated the St Louis Cardinals with some ease. Ortiz’s career with the franchise and overall , quite possibly makes him a future Hall of Fame candidate . AP Photo / Alexander Hughes ….

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tophatal ………….. 2014/03/19 02:15 PM

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NCAA Men’s Basketball and news

NCAA Tournament (Basketball) Men’s Bracket

NCAA Tournament schedule 18th March 2014

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NBA news and archived news

NBA standings (division) and standings by conference

NBA schedule 18th March

NBA results 17th March and top performers

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NFL news from around the league

2014 NFL Draft and mock draft

NFL transactions (March 2014)

NFL free agents

NFL players with the highest cap hit

Highest paid NFL players contract value

Highest paid NFL players base salary

Highest paid players average salary

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MLB news and press releases for the teams

MLB schedule 19th March , 2014

MLB probable starting pitchers 19th March

MLB results 18th March , 2014

MLB preseason standings

This month in MLB history

This day in MLB history

Milestones this MLB season (Offense) : Hits , runs scored , home runs , RBI’s , Total bases

Pitching : Wins , Innings pitched , Strikeouts , Saves , Games started , Games played , Batters face

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Yaris  Sanchez/

The voluptuous Yaris Sanchez

You Had Me At Hello ………. !

You Had Me At Hello !

In the Cameron Crowe directed and written movie ” Jerry Macguire” there’s a scene in the movie where Tom Cruise’s character Jerry Maguire ____ his wife in the film played by Oscar winner Renee Zellwegger says the words “you had me hello ” . Well here’s a case in point as I survey the world of sports and the news forthcoming within that arena . The NFL is still looking as if their problems now will be litigated within the US Federal Court system and in which an upcoming case will be heard in Minneapolis , Minnesota. What both the NFLPA ( union) and the NFL continue to show is that neither side is apparent in actually resolving this matter in which an amicable resolution is reached , albeit that owners Jerry Jones and Robert Kraft have stated that’s what they seek with the union led by Executive Director DeMaurice Smith and its executive committee . Pardon me for saying this , but common sense went out the window concerning these deliberations the moment that the union sought to decertify in order that players could challenge the NFL’s antitrust exemption status and its legality within the judicial system.

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Slide show for your perusal .

What might be further illuminating and shows that intelligence on the part of the players is merely a preconception , is the fact that they state they’re now prepared to negotiate directly with the owners rather than NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell . Less I’m mistaken wasn’t the action to instigate the lockout done at the behest of the owners and was enacted by Goodell as the NFL’s highest ranking official within the league’s hierarchy ? Well folks , there’s more to come from this soap opera’s saga and the outcome that most sorely await.

Can someone explain to me why it is that everyone is so sold on the New York Knicks even after the team’s acquisition of Carmelo Anthony instigated by GM Donnie Walsh and team owner James Dolan ? The problem is that in spite of Anthony’s acquisition along with that of Chauncey Billups the New Yorks Knicks have been a rather pedestrian 7-8 whereas the Denver Nuggets in exchange are an impressive 9-6 after Anthony’s departure under coach George Karl as the Nuggets try to make a play for a playoff spot in the Western Conference . Something that many may well have felt beyond the Nuggets after this trade was made by GM Masai Ujiri .

I’m not thoroughly convinced that this Knicks’ team even with the addition of Anthony and Billups are still good enough even with perennial All Star Amar’e Stoudemire leading this team and that’s with the advent of Mike D’Antoni’s coaching philosophy or lack of it thereof. Please don’t try and convince me that the Knicks are legit , when they can’t even play with any semblance of consistency be it on the road or at home . People were so in awe of this trade that they seem to have forgotten that neither Anthony or D’Antoni’s teams have never been known for their defensive capabilities and that clearly has been the case once again with the New York Knicks under D’Antoni’s tutelage. Madison Square Gardens may well play host to its litany New York celebrities such as Spike Lee and Chris Rock who may well be in awe of this team’s aspirations over the course of the season but the Knicks are going to in for a big surprise should they make the postseason and are still playing at the fame level inconsistency we’ve seen from the team .

Now as many of you know I’m an avowed boxing fan but as of late I’ve become disenchanted with the sport and just about anything that’s associated with the sport be it from a world title fight or the latest news involving Floyd Mayweather , Manny Pacquaio , two of the sport’s biggest stars. I’d recently written a piece that dealt with the fortieth anniversary of the fight between Muhammad Ali and Joe Frazier . To my mind that first fight and the duo which followed after-wards to make up the trilogy of fights which has made up the greatest series of boxing matches ever to have been staged at any weight category over the sport’s history ! Well this past weekend were led to believe that once again the heavyweight division was once again relevant as Vitali Klitschko would be defending his WBC title against the mandatory number one challenger Odlanier Solis in what was meant to be a bout that the fans would long to see.

The fight itself lived up to the expectations one would come to expect when you have an over hyped challenger and a title holder whose record has been based on meeting opponents either well past their prime or who essentially have been asked to step by now what I largely believe are unscrupulous promoters who don’t necessarily are what the fans think just as long as they’re making money from these staged promotions . Solis a Cuban emigre essentially gave up after one round having been knocked out Klitschko with effortless ease. Solis’ record of having been undefeated merely showed me that the heavyweight division is genuinely devoid of any real talent in spite of what the boxing journalists out there are trying to sell the public. Beyond a disinterested Manny Pacquiao who now merely is fighting for the money and a way of satisfying the ego of his promoter Bob Arum , boxing has now become mundane and about as interesting as watching paint dry or a political debate between two intellectually challenged candidates. Does anyone remember the Vice Presidential debates between Joe Biden and Sarah Palin ? Need I say anymore on the matter ?

A number of my friends know that I’m a former military member who served in the Royal Marines for a 8 1/2 year period serving in various parts of Europe and North Africa . During that time I’d seen active service having been stationed in Northern Ireland , Ethiopia , Eritrea and further afield. And I have to admit those experiences have molded me into the person I am along with my upbringing and post military experience has given me a great deal more insight than I could ever have hoped for . I’ve long maintained that without the experience of having traveled or an education then your life can be something of a void . Luckily enough having brought up by a single mother and being the eldest of the three my mother drummed it into us that education is of the utmost if we’re to strive . Having graduated from high school my initial thought wasn’t to enter college as I’d no real idea as to what I wanted in terms of a vocation. So being rather capricious I entered the military much to the dismay of my mother , and my younger brother and sister. That being said after my stint in the military I was lucky enough to be hired by a bank working within corporate finance and my employer at the time paid for my education having enrolled at UCL and then LSE where I was able to obtain an MBA and degrees in International Finance and Economics .

Now in light of ESPN’s most recent series of their 30 For 30 series of documentaries to commemorate the outlet’s thirtieth anniversary as a sports programming content provider . Their most recent edition was on Michigan’s Fab Five which was that hyped team led by Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose and Chris Webber which went to two straight Final Fours in the NCAA Tournament .

This specific episode though commissioned by the cable outlet provider was in fact produced by Rose’s own production company (Three Tier Entertainment) in conjunction with ESPN and the episode was one of the better made documentaries made shown by ESPN. In the aftermath of the episode’s showing Rose who is also an NBA analyst on TNT’s NBA show has been particularly vocal in the fact that he hates the Duke Blue Devils and the very fact that he’s felt that African Americans who’ve played for Mike Krzyzwewski have been Uncle Tom’s . Much of Rose’s anger in making that statement comes from the fact that he wasn’t recruited by by Duke when he became eligible as a college player. I can understand Rose’s statement but I do believe that the issues raised shows his ignorance and immaturity as a human being ! . Not only that given the fact that even if he’d come from a single parent home it doesn’t change the wholesale environment if what any recruit has to go through once given the chance as a student athlete at any educational establishment . The criteria that has to be met doesn’t necessarily change because of one’s socio-economic standing or ethnictiy , as Rose clearly believes that it does .

In the aftermath of this all , perhaps Duke’s greatest player Grant Hill took umbrage at the statements made by Rose and wrote a concise and illuminating op-ed piece in the Washington Post challenging Rose’s statements and preconceived ideas. If it’s not bad enough that in this day and age young African American males and female have very few role models to which they can look up to, we now have an idiot like Rose now looking to drag down African American males within his own race who just happen to role models that many of today’s youth can look up to , regardless of ethnicity and their sexual identity. What might be even more telling is that Rose hasn’t yet issued any type of formal apology or any further statement having made that original remark. It may well have been done as an effort to further publicize the Fab Five episode but if anything to my mind whatever damage done be it slight in some peoples eyes may well be something that can’t be recanted and looked at as merely a player feeling aggrieved over an issue. The fact of the matter is as great as Rose’s college career may well have been his professional career paled into insignificance where there was nothing exceptional that actually stood out !

Rose may well look back on the statement with some regret but for the moment it looks as if he’s prepared ride it for all that it’s worth while it provides the actual episode that little extra publicity it might not actually get from ESPN from any additional advertising on the cable network.

It’s extremely rare where you get a young athlete that simply takes a sport by storm and where now the expectations become so high after that individual does something that no one literally thought possible. At UFC 128 — Jon Jones the light heavyweight challenger for Mauricio Rua’s UFC title belt made such an emphatic statement that has sent a seismic shock wave across the sport of Mixed Martial Arts (MMA). In the space of three brutal and clinically decisive rounds Jones literally beat the formidable Rua and in doing so took the title holder’s belt with discriminate ease. What was scheduled to be a five round title fight where many felt that Jones would be tested by the vastly more experienced Rua simply didn’t come into being. If anything it was the young 23 year old fighter who took the fight to the champion , had him bloodied , bewildered and disheartened long before the fight came to an unlikely ending with a TKO in the third round of the five round title fight.

Now Jones will have to deal with other title aspirants within the division such as former title holders Rashad Evans , Lyoto Machida and the always dangerous and perennial title contender Ryan Bader .The speed and impressive way at which Jones (13-1) has moved up the ranks of the sport and in particular the light heavyweight division with so little allout experience in the UFC ranks speaks to how he has applied himself and the skills that he brings into the genre as a former All American collegiate wrestler. His jujitsu has improved greatly and it only adds to his all round weaponry within MMA . A prospective rematch with Rua seems unlikely given the nature of Jones’ victory over the Brazilian . And now what may well await him is a big money defense of his title against Evans the number one mandated contender for the title . Jones replaced Rashard Evans he’d suffered an injury in his preparations to fight Rua at UFC 128 , his replacement was Jones who took the fight on short notice although he’d been in training for an upcoming fight , seen as an eliminator for the light heavyweight title. Now with that belt now his own the newly anointed champion can now pick and choose his challengers while along the way gaining further notoriety , fame and wealth.

On the opposite side of the MMA genre we have the woefully inept and mediocre situation now arising within the sport of boxing . I’m sorry but I can no longer see the relevancy of the sport when the fights that the fans desire to see aren’t going to take place ! Over this past weekend Vitali Klitschko (42-2-0 ,39KO’s) defended his WBC heavyweight title against what we’re led to believe was a credible mandated number one contender by the WBC in Odlanier Solis . Well the fact that this bout took place in Cologne , Germany gives you all the credcence you need to know why the heavyweight division is no longer taken seriously . The boxing scene and in particular the the division no longer resonates with anyone within North America and the very fact that the division is now dominated by a group of lackluster and character devoid aspirants of fighters chasing greatness makes this all the comedic . There hasn’t been an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks for almost 7 years and it’s unlikely that there’ll be one anytime soon.

Solis came into this fight with a record (17-0 , 12 KO’s) that if anything that on paper seemed impressive but as they say what you see on paper doesn’t actually represent anything in terms of a legitimate resume’ . This fight was over before the initial bell rang for the opening round and for the fans in attendance at the Lanxess Arena , Cologne had to have been disappointed in seeing the challenger barely last three minutes into the first round having been knocked flat on his backside from a punch that on appearance didn’t seem to be all that devastating much less having any real power. But this is now what the sport of boxing has now become by way of many of the fights now being staged for the apparent appetites of the fight fans out there. I’m sorry but seeing an overweight bloated specimen being knocked flat on their ass much less lying prostrate on their back isn’t what I for one find anywhere near entertaining ! And that’s in spite of fans and boxing writers now talking as if Vitali Klitschko and his brother Wladimir are now the faces of boxing as far as the heavyweight division is concerned . The two have refused to face each other in order unify the titles within the division and create an undisputed champion within the heavyweight ranks. And fight are suppose to take either seriously within the world of boxing ?

Now one can understand why the sport of boxing and in particular the division can’t be taken seriously as a legitimate concern . I can only surmise that’s why both Don King and Bob Arum as the sport’s pre-eminent promoters aren’t overly concerned with the division or promoting any of the top ranked contenders within the division who just happen to be Europeans ! In doing so they know for a fact that they’d be facing a losing endeavor in trying to gain anyone’s interest in a proposed bout on this side of the Atlantic which is and has always been the epicenter of the fight game.

I personally have lost all faith in the legitimacy in the sport of boxing as it has become devoid of talent , character and most certainly promoters who actually wish to give the fight fans what they want and that’s competitive and entertaining fights . That’s not really too much to ask at this juncture is it ?

Well it goes without saying the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is in full swing and there have already been one or two upsets that most hadn’t envisaged. Suffice to say if your brackets have already imploded because of an errant pick on your part take heart in the fact that you’re probably amongst millions who’ve seen their situation ripped asunder because of that pick . I for one am looking forward to the rest of the tournament as we’re now down to the ” Sweet 16 ” as from hereon in it’s now going to be about the contenders being separated from the pretenders .

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

In light of the weekend’s sporting events what if anything has been your own most enjoyable moment ? Simply chime in with your thoughts on the issues raised within this piece and any sporting topic you wish .

Alan aka tophatal …………….

https://tophatal.wordpress.com/

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(1) FILE – In this file photo taken Feb. 1, 2010, then Houston Texans guard Chester Pitts makes a point to members of the House Judiciary Committee during a forum in Houston. Football labor negotiations with the NFL involving a federal mediator broke off March 11, 2011, without an agreement. NFL players have been warned for years about the need to save and the importance of budgeting their money in case of a work stoppage. Well, the lockout is here. All the players have taken a bit of a financial hit already because of the lockout: NFL teams no longer are paying for their health insurance. AP Photo/Pat Sullivan, ……..

(2) NEW ORLEANS, LA – MARCH 21: Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones attends the NFL Annual Meetings at the Roosevelt Hotel on March 21, 2011 in New Orleans, Louisiana. Despite a NFL owners imposed lockout in effect since March 12 the league is conducting its annual owners meeting in New Orleans. Photo by Sean Gardner/Getty Images …….

(3) Three of the in famous Fab 5 of Michigan’s basketball team of the early nineties that had the five freshmen reach two consecutive NCAA Final Fours . From left to right Juwan Howard , Jalen Rose (center) and Chris Webber . AP /Reuters/ Chris Hill ……………

(4) New York Knicks coach Mike D’Antoni argues a call with referee Ken Mauer (41) during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Milwaukee Bucks won 100-95 . AP Photo/Morry Gash ……….

(5) Milwaukee Bucks’ Andrew Bogut , right, has some words with New York Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony during the second half of an NBA basketball game Sunday, March 20, 2011, in Milwaukee. The Bucks won 100-95. AP Photo/Morry Gash ………..

(6) Pictured a badly beaten Mauricio “Shogun” Rua is somewhat dismayed after his loss to Jon “Bones” Jones. In losing to Jones at UFC 128 Rua lost his light heavyweight title in his very first defense to his younger opponent. MMA Fight Weeky .

(7) Jones (right) took the fight to Rua from the opening round here he’s seen unleashing a kick to the champion during their UFC light heavyweight title fight at UFC 128. Both fighters have been suspended by the UFC pending the outcome of their post-fight medical medical results . MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna …

(8) Jones delivers a frontal kick to Rua’s midrift that he was able to avoid but only partially. Jones would use his athleticism and quickness to defeat the Brazlian jujitsu expert with considerable ease. MMA Weekly.com Ken Pishna ………..

(9) Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko celebrates with the winner’s belt after defeating Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis after their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. Photo credit should read PATRIK STOLLARZ/AFP/Getty Images ………

(10) World boxing champion Vitali Klitschko of the Ukraine, right, watches challenger Odlanier Solis of Cuba go ing down during the first round of the WBC heavyweight title bout at the arena in Cologne, Germany, Saturday, March 19, 2011. Solis lost in in the first round with an injured knee. Klitschko’s win was declared k.o. by the referee. AP Photo/Martin Meissner ………..

(11) Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis gets help as he leaves the ring after he lost the fight with Ukrainian heavyweight titleholder Vitali Klitschko in their WBC heavyweight world championship boxing match in the western German city of Cologne on March 19, 2011. World heavyweight champion Vitali Klitschko won the fight and defended his WBC heavyweight title with a shock first-round knock-out of Cuban challenger Odlanier Solis. AFP PHOTO / PATRIK STOLLARZ

(12) Ben Hansbrough (23) of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish reacts on the bench in the second half during the third round of the 2011 NCAA men’s basketball tournament at the United Center on March 20, 2011 in Chicago, Illinois. Florida State won 71-57 in regulation. Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images ……..

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NCAA Men’s basketball results

Sweet 16 draw

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Continue reading “You Had Me At Hello ………. !”

Not As Good As Advertised !

Not As Good As Advertised !

I’ll say it once and I’ll say it again if you’re going to put up an argument about anything you had better put both sides of the argument in place and state the case with authority. Idiots around this environment had tried to state the case that Ohio State as the nation’s number one ranked men’s basketball team were good enough to win the NCAA Tournament and actually end the season unbeaten. Fact of the matter is, the Buckeyes succumbed to the Wisconsin Badgers —- 71-67 at the Kohl Center this past weekend. Thad Matta’s team as good as they’ve been this season has never really been good on the big stage . The loss to the Badgers summed up everything that you need to know about a team that was starting to believe in its own hype and what the print and tv media were saying about them.

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Slide show for your perusal .

Jared Sullinger in his post game interview was sullen and peeved that he was treated in such a way as a visiting team by the Wisconsin fans. He may well have been denigrated by the Badgers’ fans but what was he expecting to be adored and have the opposing fans throw rose petals at him at the end of the game ? What ….. all of a sudden Sullinger becomes as soft as a wet piece of tissue paper ? Man up and shut the hell up rather than whining like a bitch ! Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor outplayed Sullinger and if anything made a case that when placed under pressure he knows how to play when it really counts. Sullinger may well be putting up the stats and is being talked about unlike any other rookie freshman in college basketball but until he proves that he can lead with authority he’ll simply be thought of just another phenom being lauded up and down the country and within the media.

Now pardon me for saying this but the reality here is that Ohio State may well be good enough to win the NCAA Tournament but I wouldn’t bet my life on it. Any team with a view to staking their claim to be thought of as a contender has to be playing with consistency and at the time of the tournament they had to have hit a rich vein of form. I don’t know that we may well be saying that about the Buckeyes but there’ll be those who’ll be stating that there’s still a case to be made that they can win.

The last time a team ran the table, having won the national title and be unbeaten happened in 1976. And while others have come close , well close simply isn’t good enough as being damn perfect ! And that’s how the great teams if they want to be judged as to their greatness in the annals of college basketball then they need to show that they’re not good but damn perfect when it matters most.

A great deal has been made that the ACC is having a down year and that in particular Mike Krzyzewski’s —– Duke team isn’t anywhere good as thought. But anyone who knows Krzyzewski and how he gets his players ready for the big games then they’ll know that this Duke team will rise to the occasion when it matters most. As defending NCAA champions having won their fourth national title under Krzyzewski’s reign and it has to be said that anyone thinking that they’re not a contender then they ought to consider the resume’ of the coach during his tenure with the Blue Devils. If that’s not evidence as to what Krzyzewski has been able to achieve and the consistency that comes along with it then you have to be either naive or simply know nothing about the game but you merely love the sound of making rather asinine prognostications.

Now as the world awaits the latest rankings to come out as to who’ll the number one spot we will no doubt see a new team ascend to the the top spot . In all likelihood that may well be the Texas Longhorns or the Kansas Jayhaws . If anything this Longhorn’s team may well be the most balanced team D 1 basketball and are certainly now beginning to look the part . And if you simply believe that they’re not a worthy candidate of winning the NCAA Tournament if not their conference championship then simply look at their statistics this season ?

I’ve no doubt as usual the NCAA Tournament will be what we’ ve always come to expect with a great deal of suspense and one or two surprises along the way. It’s clear that of all of the sporting highlights of the season the men’s NCAA Tournament may well be the most suspenseful , exhilarating of all the the tournaments that take place within the sport’s calendar. We get all of the hype of the Superbowl and all that it offers the fans as a spectacle but given the length number of competitive participants the NCAA Tournament itself might just be the best competition that there is from a fan standpoint. You get the chance to adjudge the teams as the competition gets underway through its knockout basis through the regional rounds . Sixty five initial starters through the process of elimination gets down to the Sweet Sixteen , Elite Eight , Final Four and the Finals itself . What else could anyone actually ask for from a competition ?

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Picture gallery for your perusal .

As to the fate of the Ohio State Buckeyes as the rest of the season plays itself it will be interesting to see what lies in store for the team under Thad Matta and how they are able to regroup from this loss. How do you see the season panning out for the Buckeyes and which particular team if any do you see as a possible threat or winner for the NCAA Tournament this season ? Conference Champions and invitees notwithstanding this tournament will be one which I believe will have the fans intrigued ! So by all means simply chime in with a comment as to your thoughts on this topic and any thoughts you have on the college basketball season so far.

Picture and slide show details below.

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(1)Ohio State head coach Thad Matta reacts to a call during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Wisconsin Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Madison, Wis. AP Photo/Morry Gash …..

(2)Wisconsin’s Jordan Taylor and Keaton Nankivil , right, are smothered by fans after beating undefeated No. 1 Ohio State 71-67 in an NCAA college basketball game against Ohio State Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Madison, Wis. AP Photo/Morry Gash ……….

(3) Ohio State’s William Buford (44) tries to drive past Wisconsin’s Mike Bruesewitz (31) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Madison, Wis. AP Photo/Morry Gash …………

(4) Ohio State’s Jared Sullinger (0) tries to drive on Wisconsin’s Keaton Nankivil (52) and Jordan Taylor (11) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Madison, Wis. AP Photo/Morry Gash ………..

(5) Kansas guard Tyshawn Taylor (10) looks to pass as he drives the baseline past Iowa State guard Diante Garrett (10) during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. Taylor scored 14 points in the game. Kansas defeated Iowa State 89-66 . AP Photo/Orlin Wagner ………

(6) Kansas forwards Marcus Morris (22) and Markieff Morris (21) celebrate a basket as a timeout is called during the first half of an NCAA college basketball game against Iowa State in Lawrence, Kan., Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011. The twin brothers each had a double-double and keyed a 23-4 first-half run that carried No. 2 Kansas past Iowa State 89-66 on Saturday. AP Photo/Orlin Wagner ……….

(7) Texas forward Gary Johnson , left, and forward Alexis Wangmene , right, celebrate the win over Baylor in an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Austin, Texas. No. 3 Texas won 69-60 . AP Photo/Michael Thomas ……….

(8) Texas forward Tristan Thompson , right, brings down a rebound against Baylor forward Fred Ellis , left, during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 12, 2011, in Austin, Texas. Thompson tied Jordan Hamilton for Texas high scorer with 17 points. No. 3 Texas won 69-60 . AP Photo/Michael Thomas ……

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😛

Alan aka tophatal ………………………….

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Eye candy ……………. Rebecca

Wet on the net ……. Carrie and Jenny

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Outkast …… feat’g Killer Mike ……. “The Whole World”

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Hey Geno For Once And For All Shut The Hell Up And Simply Bask In The Glory


Hey Geno For Once And For All Shut The Hell Up And Simply Bask In The Glory

Now while I’ve no real love of women’s sports barring the rather lasciviousness of tennis wherein the likes of Maria Sharapova , Martina Hingis , Ana Ivanovic , Caroline Wozniacki and one might say the Williams sisters made that sport sexually gratifying to watch. Now I could go on to say that the LPGA Tour is also wonderful but herein lies the real problem other than Natalie Gulbis , the scene on the LPGA Tour with its plethora of players seemingly has a number of females that on appearance alone would have one questioning their sexuality.

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Now it goes without saying that amongst women’s basketball at present Geno Auriemma and his U Conn Women's Huskies reign supreme over the sport of women's basketball. Other than Auriemma in recent years the only other ascendant program has been Pat Summitt's —- Tennessee Volunteers (Lady Vols. All else simply pales into comparison and beyond that there isn't really much else to say. Tonight the U Conn Huskies take on the Florida State Seminoles in a game that should the team win would surpass the wins' total of John Wooden's renowned UCLA Bruins&#039 basketball teams which went on an 88 game winning streak that was ended by Notre Dame . And while that mark is embedded in our memories and sports' folklore it has to be said that this U Conn feat should it be accomplished will be remarkable but to my mind nowhere near as impressive as that of the UCLA Bruins. While both teams have a common factor in the fact that they have remained dominant I do feel that it's somewhat asinine to make comparisons between the two feats by way of their overall achievements ! Look we're talking women's basketball here and one hand the men's game remains far more physical and exciting whereas watching a women's game is somewhat akin to watching paint dry. Dominance being all well and good but please we are talking women's basketball here !

Courtesy of The San Francisco Chronicle

UConn Women Victims of Realism, Not Sexism ……..

By David Whitely of The San Francisco Chronicle

HARTFORD, Conn. — UConn won its 89th game in a row Tuesday night, and I’d like to write about what a fabulous deal it was.

I’d like to, but it might ruin Geno Auriemma’s image of sports fans in general and the media in particular. He thinks most of us were “pissed” that the Huskies were closing in on UCLA’s record of 88 straight wins. And having to cover their quest had turned us into “miserable bastards.”

I don’t presume to speak for everybody, but I wasn’t pissed that UConn beat FSU, 93-62 , at the XL Center . It was a grand occasion, right down to President Obama calling in his congratulations and Auriemma giving away Nintendo Wiis to two lucky fans after the game.

I’d say Richard Nixon never called John Wooden, and that UCLA’s coach probably didn’t give away a Pong after the Bruins won No. 88. But the accomplishments of UConn and UCLA should not be compared in any way.

Or should they?

I say no way, and not because I’m a miserable bastard. I’m happy for the Huskies. It’d be fine by me if they won 8,800 straight games. Given the depth of women’s college basketball, they just might.

That’s a big reason why their streak should not simply be called “The longest in college basketball history.”

It is the longest women’s Division I streak. Yet not lumping it with UCLA has become evidence of gender bias. Auriemma essentially turned it into a national referendum when he ranted about the lack of coverage after win No. 88 two days ago.

To be precise, he said women are happy for the Huskies. Most men who have to cover it are miserable and pissed. And as soon as UConn breaks the record, we’ll just pat them on their heads and say, “Send them back where they belong in the kitchen.”

There’s no doubt a lot of people are biased against women’s basketball simply because they are women. But Auriemma’s attitude has exposed bias isn’t limited to the media and fans.

First, he assumes women automatically like women’s basketball. I know a lot of women who don’t, and it’s not because they hate women.

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And while no amount of praise can't be heaped upon Auriemma for the way with which he's made his program so dominant I do feel that former Hoosiers’ coach Bob Knight went completely overboard in an assessment stating that if he were an AD looking for a coach to start a program men or women by far the best coach out there would be Auriemma. Now while I've great deal of respect for Knight I do feel that he may well have been at one time been in the accompaniment of Miley Cyrus when she was hitting that bong and digesting that salvia. Bitch grow up get laid and stop trying to impress everyone with the fact that you're in reality nothing more than a talentless teen with an average voice and very little else by way of any redeeming talent. As to Knight, hey Bob it's time to shut the hell up and stop making a complete ass of yourself with some of your nonsensical comments . If Auriemma to your mind he is the best coach in collegiate basketball then you obviously haven't got a damn clue . I'd have thought that Duke's —– Mike Krzyzsewski would be atop of your list ? But what the hell do I know I'm merely a British guy who happens to be black and who's resided here for almost two decades and has watched Krzyzewski make that Duke program one of the pre-eminent athletics program in all of sports . And oh yes along the way he's done something that you've never achieved and that's to win an Olympic title and World Championship as the national coach in your reign . And less we forget his four national collegiate titles (NCAA) along the way as well.

Now it goes without saying that whatever the outcome tonight Auriemma ought to be praised but the coach himself ought to respectful of the convened press rather than bitching and whining about the fact that the sport and this particular feat isn't getting enough publicity . What Geno Auriemma seems to forget is that until the women's game reaches the heights of its male counterparts on an athletic and competitive nature then the public's interest in women's sport , in particular women's basketball will remain somewhere along the lines of watching paint dry and mating ritual of pachyderms (elephants). So for those of you now who'd prefer to switch to Animal Planet then by all means do so.

It may well be that the U Conn Huskies will win this game with a great deal of ease after all more than almost 40% of their victories have been by double digits or more . Do you get what I'm simply saying about the game and in particular the dominance of Auriemma's teams ? They're simply aren't being tested at all whereas that wasn't necessarily the case for Wooden and his teams during their reign and basketball immortality. Suffice to say let this merely be about what this team is about to achieve by its own measure and simply stop with the comparisons to Wooden's program . It's a no contest and that's with due respect to USA Today's Christine Brennan and her renowned love of women's sport and its promotion in all circles. Even she can't be foolish enough to think that matching this feat of John Wooden ____ one can say that the U Conn Huskies would ever be that team's equal by any stretch of the imagination .

And to Auriemma once again I simply ask and implore you to bask in the glory and the acclaim as of now because once it's all gone there won't really be that much notice being taken about your sport much less the U Conn program other than the Huskies' faithful who choose to follow the happenings in Storrs, Connecticut and nationally.

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What thoughts if any do you above on this feat were it to be achieved by Geno Auriemma and the U Conn Huskies ? Is it merely much ado about nothing or should it be really considered an amazing feat merely by the fact of its precedence amongst women's sports ? By all means simply leave a comment as to your thoughts on this matter and as usual thanks for the continued support as it has always been appreciated !

NB: This piece was completed prior to the Huskies lopsided victory (93-62) over the Seminoles last night.

U Conn Huskies Women’s Basketball Schedule 2010-11 .

U Conn Women’s Basketball Roster 2010-11 . Could they actually now surpass the century (100) mark for consecutive victories ?

😉

Alan aka tophatal …………… 😛

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Tahiry Lay

Eye candy for your perusal so do enjoy . Tahiry Lay . And lay she must I’ve no doubt !

Here We Go Again …….. Did He Really Do That ? No It’s Not Steve Urkel

Here We Go Again …….. Did He Really Do That ? No It’s Not Steve Urkel

Should I be troubled by the following or I should I simply put it off as nothing more than another athlete simply showing how stupid and unintelligent they are ? Once again it would appear that Washington Wizards’ guard Gilbert Arenas simply has learned nothing from his suspension by the NBA having brought two unlicensed weapons to his place of employment , the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. __ home of the Wizards. You may remember Arenas was involved in altercation with his then teammate Javaris Crittenton , where both players brandished their weapons at each other simply over a gambling debt that one owed the other. Now pardon me for saying this but when you have to resort to using a gun merely to show your masculinity to me that simply shows that you’re nothing more than a coward !

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Arenas having served his suspension is now back with the team looking to recuperate his image and compensate for what he says was a bad error in judgment on his part. You don’t say ? I was under the impression that Arenas brandished his weapon of his own volition and was prepared to use it no matter what the cost. It seems idiotic to think that the player still shows a lack of intelligence but should choose to use his demeanor and standing to try and alleviate his self worth as an individual. In his latest faux pas the player chose to lie to his coach Flip Saunders , feined an injury during a preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks in order that teammate, rookie Nick Young could gain some playing time. Now while some might think that the act might not amount to much in terms of Arenas and his intent. But I look at this as a rather stupid thing to do on his part , as it merely shows that the growth in the maturity of Arenas just doesn’t seem to be there. If he’s now prepared to lie to his coach over something such as this which one might view as innocuous even if it was meant to be an altruistic act. Arenas is either complete ass or he’s trying to insinuate that he’s becoming the elder statesman and leader of his team ____ the Washington Wizards.

Courtesy of AP & Yahoo Sports

Arenas fined for faking injury before Wizards game

Washington (AP)—For someone looking to get back into the good graces of his team, its fans and the NBA, Gilbert Arenas has a funny way of showing it.

The Washington Wizards guard’s latest escapade took place Tuesday, when coach Flip Saunders announced before a preseason game against the Atlanta Hawks that Arenas would miss the contest with a sore left knee.

But Arenas revealed after the Wizards’ 107-92 victory that he pretended to have a bum knee to give teammate Nick Young a chance to start. He told reporters Wednesday that he was trying to do Young a favor.

“I lied to coach and told him my knee was sore so he’d start Nick,” Arenas said.

Arenas was fined an undisclosed amount by the Wizards for his deception. It was another blow to the image of a player who is still trying to recover from his 50-game suspension and felony conviction for bringing guns into the locker room last season.

After Wednesday’s practice, Arenas first said he wasn’t talking, then appeared before reporters offering a halfhearted apology for his actions.

“I screwed up again, so I just want to say sorry,” he said. “I wasn’t really thinking that this was going to be another media outburst. It’s like everything I do now, someone, tit for tat, tries to blow it out of proportion.”

Arenas’ altruistic gesture might have gone over a little better if Arenas didn’t lie to his coach, or if he hadn’t already ruffled feathers this preseason with his moody press conference at the team’s media day or his statements that he would “move on” after helping No. 1 pick John Wall learn the ropes.

Saunders, who has gone out of his way to defend Arenas this preseason, said he was shocked and disappointed with Arenas. He spoke to Arenas and the team about the situation.

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Click on the link provided to view this article in full.

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The Wizards embark on a season where they’re not thought to offer much by way of competitiveness within the Eastern Conference . And after the escapades of last season you can only be assured that they’ll turn up to play their games and hopefully show something to their success starved fans . It seems somewhat sad given the legacy of their former owner Abe Pollin and the things he stood for as a well respected owner within the NBA hierarchy and around the league as a whole. Now with Ted Leonsis taking over the helm of the organization it remains to be seen as to the type of franchise this club will become. This much we do know for the sake of the progression of the team’s first round draft pick John Wall the number one pick overall from this past offseason the team and in particular Arenas had better show the fans that their intent is to play a brand of basketball that will be entertaining. If not Wall and in particular the fans there at the Verizon Center may well become completely disinterested altogether.

A great deal is expected of Wall as a player and he’s seen as the face of the franchise for the future even with Arenas installed and thought of as the team’s best player. But much of what may well happen on the court will come down to the coaching prowess of Saunders and his coaching staff. And as good as Saunders is thought of as a coach I don’t know that he’ll be able to bring about the measure of success that the fans and front office will be hoping for. The team’s progression if anything may well be measured over the course of the season and if anything that success might well be deemed as having an above .500 record for the year. A playoff berth though not out of the realms of possibility given the fact that the Wizards are in the Eastern Conference and where mediocrity amongst the lower tiered teams within the conference seemingly is the norm. This much we can be certain of the margin between the top three teams within the conference and that of the others there is as vast as one could imagine. Simply put even with the addition of LeBron James within the Eastern Conference I don’t really expect to see the level of basketball being played there being raised to where the fans will become in awe of what they’re actually witnessing.

The Miami Heat , Boston Celtics and Orlando Magic will be looking to cement their identity to be viewed as the prohibitive favorites within the Eastern Conference. And while it appears that the majority of analysts and journalists covering the NBA appear to be ready to anoint the Heat as this season’s uncrowned champions. I do believe that there will be a great deal of jockeying between the triumvirate of teams mentioned . Granted James along with Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade make the Heat a formidable team and without a doubt we all expect to see them in the NBA playoffs at season’s end. With the expectations being that the Heat will essentially cast aside whomever they’re matched up against in the earlier rounds before marching their to the conference finals and then ultimately meeting up with whomever comes out of the Western Conference in the NBA Finals itself. As to what’s envisaged by the other teams within the league and the actuality of it all remains to be seen.

Whatever part is played in the season by the Washington Wizards I can only hope that for the sake of the franchise Gilbert Arenas doesn’t continue to embarrass himself and the team anymore than he already has done. It’s bad enough that the image of the NBA as a whole hasn’t been awash, with anything that one could really count as being positive . The success of the national team in the FIBA world championships while commendable was simply orchestrated under the hard work of the players who participated but most of all by the contributions of Mike Krzyzewski and Jerry Colangelo . Anyone thinks differently ought to simply assess their undertakings over the past four years alone and the direction that USA Basketball has taken. LeBron James and his self absorbed ego and the offseason antics simply made most fans of the game watch in amazement and ask what the hell is wrong within the NBA and in particular with David Stern’s tenureship as commissioner ?

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Picture gallery.

Given the latest incident concerning Gilbert Arenas do you feel his actions were idiotic or do you feel that it was merely much ado about nothing ? Chime on in with a comment on this and any other topic as it relates to the NBA this upcoming season .

Alan aka tophatal ………………….. 🙂

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Plies ………. “Becky”

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Sultry model and provocateur Ainette Stephans

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It’s All In The Details ………..The Continuing Woes Of The New Jersey Nets ………… And Then Some …………………

It’s All In The Details ………..The Continuing Woes Of The New Jersey Nets ………… And Then Some …………………

It doesn’t seem all that long ago that the New Jersey Nets were once ‘the darlings’ of the Eastern Conference and thought to be well positioned to become something of a modern day dynasty within the league. Having been coached to two consecutive appearances in the NBA Finals, under their former coach, Byron Scott. The team has simply succumbed to complete and sheer ineptitude. You’re more liable to have more laughs watching the Nets than anything that could be elicited from watching that fame hungry chasing duo of Spencer Pratt and his ‘skank’ of a ‘wife’ Heidi Montag ! Someone ought to take the both of them and ship their asses off to inner Siberia . But alas, the likes of People and OK ! Magazine seem to wait on their every word with baited breath to hear whatever else this asinine couple might have to say . Both are ill educated and are of no use to mankind whatsoever ! Heaven forbid , that they should ever think about having children !

Russian  billionaire   industrialist <strong> Mikhail Prokhorov</strong>,  a  majority   stake  owner  in  the  NBA' s  New Jersey  Nets.     photo  appears   courtesy of  <strong> Reuters</strong>/  Aexander  Thompson  ...........
Russian billionaire industrialist Mikhail Prokhorov, a majority stake owner in the NBA' s New Jersey Nets. photo appears courtesy of Reuters/ Aexander Thompson ...........

Having now posted a 4-48 record within the Atlantic Division of the Eastern Conference, ‘the team’ still possesses the worst record in the entire NBA. They now sit some 29 games adrift of the division leading Boston Celtics (32-18) and are in danger of making the 1972 9-73 worse regular season posting performance by the Philadelphia 76ers, seem something of an aberration. If things carry on as they now are. Then the New Jersey Nets would be on pace to post a similarly horrific ’10-72′ at best, or ‘6-76’ record at worst. As to how their fans might well be feeling about that scenario ? One could surmise that they would be none too pleased by it at all . And with Russian billionaire, Mikhail Prokhorov having made a sizable investment in the franchise, by purchasing a 51% majority stake in the franchise from Bruce A. Ratner. One hardly believes that the Russian is entirely happy with the situation , nor is he prepared to put up with it for much longer.

Things weren’t made any better, when Team President, Rod Thorn and General Manager, Alex Diaz saw fit to fire Lawrence Frank from the position of head coach and then have Kiki Vanderweghe , firstly, be installed as interim coach and then to assume the position on a full time basis. Things have simplly gotten from bad to worse and they now signs of abating whatsoever ! Furthermore , whatever predilections that Van Der Weghe may have had that indicated to him, that he was the best option that the front office had , hasn’t been borne out by the team’s display or the results arrived at , so far. The team has a 1-9 losing streak and they have abysmal 15 game losing streak on the road. H0w anyone can feel that this constitutes or has shown signs of improvement , has to be viewed with a great deal more than just skepticism. If anything this has been downright insulting to the Nets’ fans but even more so to opposing fans who have to witness this mediocrity within their own home venue.

Courtesy of Yahoo Sports

From Russia, with love: Nets eye Coach K?

By Adrian Wojnarowski , Yahoo Sports

For much of the past week, New Jersey Nets officials and Rick Pitino’s network of confidants and cronies had increasingly discussed the Louisville coach’s not-so-secret angling for a job that he had years ago leveraged and turned down.

Only this time, circumstances dictated a dramatic difference: Pitino’s professional and personal stature has been severely damaged, and the Nets were no longer chasing him. Pitino was chasing them, just like Yahoo! Sports had reported he had done with the Sacramento Kings in May.

Pitino understood that new Nets owner Mikhail Prokhorov, the Russian billionaire, wants to hire an immense figure to coach the franchise. Pitino mistakenly believed he could still be packaged as a transformative A-list hire in the New York market. Those days are over, and Pitino is seen as something of a desperate and diminished figure. Everyone knows he wants out of college and treats his denials for what they are: a mechanism to protect his recruiting, to deflect the embarrassment of appearing unwanted.

Nets president Rod Thorn was never hiring Pitino, sources say, and Pitino isn’t who’s foremost on organizational minds as Nets officials trek to Dallas for a telltale meeting with Prokhorov this weekend.

Here’s the possible scenario that has some within the Nets franchise uneasy about their futures: After the Toronto Raptors ownership exercised the 2010-11 option on general manager Bryan Colangelo’s contract this week, there’s a growing belief that Prokhorov could be turning his gaze toward Colangelo’s father, Jerry, to hire as New Jersey’s president.

The reasoning would be simple. This way, Prokhorov could have the executive capable of delivering him the biggest, shiniest coach available to the Nets: Duke’s Hall of Fame coach Mike Krzyzewski. The plan, sources say, would be to make him GM and coach.

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<strong> Bruce  Ratner </strong> (right) (former  principal partnership  owner of  the New Jersey  Nets) seen here   alongside  New York Mayor <strong> Michael  Bloomberg</strong> (left)  in  the  background  .  Also  pictured  is <strong> rapper  and  <em> entertaiment  mogul </em>  Jay-z </strong> ,  a  minority   stakeholder   in  the   NBA  franchise.   photo appears  courtesy  of   Associated  Press /   Matt  Richardson  .................
Bruce Ratner (right) (former principal partnership owner of the New Jersey Nets) seen here alongside New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg (left) in the background . Also pictured is rapper and entertaiment mogul Jay-z , a minority stakeholder in the NBA franchise. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press / Matt Richardson .................

When one surveys the roster of the New Jersey Nets , the first thing that one can conclude, is that the franchise is lacking in leadership . And though its nucleus is that of a young team building towards the future. One can’t but help think that Rod Thorn and Alex Diaz’s mindset has been built around luring possible prospective free agent LeBron James to the franchise. And if they’re of the opinion that James is the one missing link to this particular jig-saw puzzle. Then the entire front office of the organization is sadly mistaken and completely out of touch as to the real inherent problems on this team ! Devin Harris , Courtney Lee , Brooke Lopez, Yi Jianlian , Chris Douglas Roberts and Josh Boone. While on the face of it, they might look as players, if they’re allowed to play together as a unit, will over time, improve. The fact of the matters is , that as of now, the signs have of that happening has yet to be exhibited. Never mind , that even with veterans on the roster, such as Keyon Dooling and Tony Battie . They still aren’t complemented by the experience or play of the veteran duo. It were as if the current roster had been assembled by the partially sighted. There’s absolutely no cohesion on this team whatsoever ! And on either ends of the floor, the team’s play can be best described as being woefully anemic and inept. Not only is this team lacking in confidence , it’s also lacking in all-round ability and a coaching staff that is completely out of its depth !

Rumor has it Louisville Cardinals men’s basketball coach Rick Pitino is said to be interested in coaching the New Jersey Nets. Although it’s been said that he’s been lobbying vociferously behind the scenes and sending out ‘feelers’ to the Nets’ front office to gauge their interest in him. It is thought that the person that Rod Thorn desires and is willing to go all-out to lure from the college ranks, is that of Duke University’s (Blue Devils) Mike Krzyzewski. If one remembers, Krzyzewski was lured once before by the Los Angeles Lakers after Phil Jackson departed from the team the first time. The Blue Devils’ coach would turn down the lucrative offer from the club and the thought of coaching Kobe Bryant. This time around it is also being mentioned that he would be given full autonomy in the hiring of his personnel and that of additional responsibility of being the General Manager and Vice President within the organization.

New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, left, owner Bruce Ratner, and president Rod Thorn, right, pose with Vince Carter at a news conference after Carter signed a new multi-year contract with the basketball team Friday, July 13, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. photo  appears  courtesy of  Associated  Press/  Bill  Kostroun  ...........
New Jersey Nets coach Lawrence Frank, left, owner Bruce Ratner, and president Rod Thorn, right, pose with Vince Carter at a news conference after Carter signed a new multi-year contract with the basketball team Friday, July 13, 2007 in East Rutherford, N.J. photo appears courtesy of Associated Press/ Bill Kostroun ...........

There’s no indication that Krzyzewski is willing to listen to the Nets’ offer, assuming that there’s one to be made to the Blue Devils’ coach. But given the fact that Rod Thorn is rumored to have approached Jerry Colangelo to speak with Mike Krzyzewski , there’s an indication that this is not just an indication that this is PR stunt on the Nets’ behalf. But the mere fact that Colangelo is a close personal friend and who as Managing Director of USA Basketball also worked closely alongside with Krzyzewski in the assembling of the roster for the US gold medal winning men’s team (coached by Krzyzewski), gives every indication that the Nets want to be taken seriously in their approach. My own thoughts are that with his the success attained with the Blue Devils’ program and his continued philanthropic work locally. I think it’s highly unlikely that Mike Krzyzewski is willing to leave the program after all these years. Not when he’s still beloved by the Blue Devils’ fans and the public alike, in the Chapel Hill area.


Given the fact that Pitino’s success within the professional ranks of the NBA has been limited at best. But given his failures in his last tenure , which was with the Boston Celtics . It’s a reach at best, that any other NBA franchise would be willing to hire Rick Pitino , much less the lowly and woefully inept New Jersey Nets. But stranger things have been known to have happened within the NBA. And more likely than not they will continue to happen for the foreseeable future. As to the Nets’ own immediate future they have the ignominy of having to stave off what would be the less than desirable mantel of being anointed the worst franchise record wise , in the history of the NBA. A ‘complete free-fall’ from an organization that little more than seven years ago played in consecutive NBA Finals. Albeit, that they would end up losing both. Sad times indeed , for the New Jersey Nets and their long suffering fans.

Alan Parkins aka tophatal ………….

Naughty By Nature ‘Hip-Hop-Hooray’ released on Tommy Boy Records.

<strong>  Nicole  <em>'Hoopz' </em>  Alexander </strong>  tv  show  reality  star  whose   claim to  fame   was  appearing   on  the   VH1 reality  show 'Flavor  of  Love'  starring Buster  Drayton  aka  Flav-a-Flav.
Nicole 'Hoopz' Alexander tv show reality star whose claim to fame was appearing on the VH1 reality show 'Flavor of Love' starring Buster Drayton aka Flav-a-Flav.