Posts Tagged ‘NCAA

17
Mar
11

March Madness!!!

The day has finally come folks–the culmination of a season’s worth of college basketball trials and tribulations begin today. There has been A LOT going on in sports lately (the NFL is officially locked out, the Bulls are on fiya, baseball is around the corner, Serena Williams almost died, lacrosse season is in full swing and Sidney Crosby skated for the first time since his concussion to name a few) and we know we have a good Sports Digest in us for later this week. But we won’t delay in what is the most important–March Madness, which, if you haven’t picked up on, kicks off today 😀 I for one, couldn’t be more ecstatic (especially since I don’t work on Friday and can be glued to the madness and importantly, the Syracuse game!)

I usually fare pretty well in my bracket selections and am confident in this group of winners (I would be lying though if I said I wasn’t nervous about that pesky SouthEast bracket.) So below, before tip-off I’m inking my picks in the blogosphere. For those of you that don’t know, I fill out one bracket every year. ONE. and I enter it in every pool, for fun, for money, for beer etc. So believe it or not, there is a method to my madness–and I smell a crazy year of upsets.  So here goes:

My theory this year is that the Big East tends to disappoint in the tourney–they always seem to take it out of each other in the Big East tournament and it wouldn’t be March Madness without a few Cinderellas.  So before you ask, I’m taking Penn State and Talor Battle over Temple (Let’s Go State!), Utah State over K-State and Richmond over Vandy in the first round Crazy? Maybe. But there’s just something SO annoying about people taking all four one seeds to the Final Four.

Elite Eight

OSU, Washington, Texas, San Diego State, Kansas, Texas A&M, Old Dominion, BYU

 Old Dominion (Or Butler, 50/50 on that one) will take out Pitt in the second round. Pitt is a perennial choke artist and I expect them to over look their second round opponent. I’m taking Washington in a shocking second round upset over UNC. I think BYU will have a difficult road but will make it to far, given the fact that I expect these strong lower-seeded teams to make a statement and knock out some power houses.

Final Four:

BYU, Texas, OSU, Kansas

It may be insane to take BYU this far, especially with the loss of a key player, but as I mentioned, the team will have some help from a few Cinderella stories, as well as time to regroup and focus on opponents.

National Champion

Kansas

Yes, OSU is the favorite, but Kansas is steady and hasn’t forgotten the loss to UNI and Faroukmanesh last year. They will enter the tourney with additional focus and drive and are poised to win another championship.

What are your first round upsets? Whose your final four? What is your method of picking brackets?

Buckle up folks, it’s going to be a wild ride! 🙂

–Sam

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02
Jan
11

New Year’s Hangover 2011 Edition

Happy 2011 Everyone!

I’m not exactly sure when New Year’s Day morphed into the ultimate sporting day. Yes, there have always been bowl games–but in recent years the better bowl games have slid through until the middle of the month and other sports have staked their claim in the day. Whenever this transfiguration happened, I know that there was nothing I enjoyed more yesterday than having some sauerkraut and pork, Bloody Marys and watching 12 solid hours of sports.

Outback Bowl–Penn State vs. Florida

Oy vey Penn State. Oy Vey. What looked like a promising game–leading 17-14 at half time– turned into a train wreck right in front of our eyes. McGloin’s five interceptions marked the second lowest point of the PSU football season this year (only the loss to Illinois at homecoming ranks worse). What kills me about my favorite walk-on from Scranton is that he just is not a smart ball player. I counted no less than three times that the lane was clear and he could have rushed two or three yards for a first down–instead, he scrambles and tries a short pass to a receiver who isn’t looking–and gets picked off…FIVE times. Defenses can read him like a book. That being said, I do firmly believe he’s the best option Penn State has and I support JoePa’s decision to keep him in. There’s something a quarterback (should) learn when they get drummed like that and hopefully he can take this loss and use it to become a better QB for what is sure to be an ugly Penn State football season next year.

TCU vs. Wisconsin-Rose Bowl

Easily the best game of the day–TCU cemented their spot as an elite program in college football. Having knocked off Boise State last year, and a super-strong Wisconsin team this year. In my opinion, the final score of 21-19 does not accurately represent the complete and solid 60 minutes of football that TCU put together yesterday and I’m excited to see them dominate the Big East in 2012.

Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Washington Capitals

Is there anything better than the winter classic? The NHL has done an awesome job of thinking outside the box and branding a marquee game to excite fans and make the sport relevant half-way through the season. Heinz field looked awesome and even though the weather didn’t cooperate, and the Pens ended up losing, the game delivered on the hype and was really enjoyable to watch. I could complain about the refs, or the fact that Ovechkin is the biggest douche bag I’ve seen in a long time–but where is the fun in that? The winter classic isn’t so much about the game as it is the experience and I’m not worried for one second about the state of the Pens this years.

Syracuse vs. Notre Dame

The Syracuse Orange rolled to a 15-0 start this season–which sets up nicely for the January 17th showdown at Pitt. Kris Joseph and Rick Jackson are playing phenomenally and the team is deserving of their #5 ranking with quality wins against two top 20 teams (Michigan State and Notre Dame) and I’m excited to see where the season takes them. Hopefully Fab Melo will live nurse his achilles and live up to all the hype– I’m not quiiite ready to jump on the National Championship train–but man are they looking good 🙂

What was your favorite sporting event yesterday–any surprises on how the games went? Learn anything new? We’ll make sure to keep our BCS Bowl Fever tally up to date–but are running considerably far ahead of last year’s record.

Once again, Happy New Year!

–Sam

20
Sep
10

Tailgating: What’s College Without It?

Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to travel to Columbus, OH for business.  Much like Sam, my favorite time during my job is when my two favorite things, sports and public relations combine. This “business” just happened to center around The Ohio State vs. Miami football game, a game that was being hailed throughout the previous week as THE game to watch. Did it turn out to be a great game? Not really. Unless a great game to you is watching one team dominate the other in all three arenas – offense, defense and special teams. And, I suppose if you’re an Ohio State fan, this is the type of game you like to watch.

Buckeye Stadium

The real impact made from my trip to campus had more to do with pre-game traditions. I went to a very small school and while I received a wonderful education, met solid people, developed solid friendships and good memories – I never tailgated. Can you believe it? I truly believe there is something missing from your college experience when you don’t. Maybe that is why I love college football so much now, in my mid-twenties. The tailgaters at The Ohio State seem to know how to do it right. Everyone from age 0-60 was dressed in red and white. They brought grills, boom boxes, games, magazines, padded chairs, you name it. And the best part– they offer every passerby to share in their tailgate. They try and welcome strangers in as family and I was offered several beers while perusing the various set ups. The air was slightly chilled that day, perfect for football and comradery. The spirit in the air and people yelling O-H-I-O as they walked into the stadium for kick off gave me goose bumps. And while I didn’t get to see the game, I was happy to be on campus to just get that special Big Ten tailgate feeling.

Tailgating at OSU

What is your best tailgating memory? Was your school big on it? Is it college football WITHOUT the tailgating?

Talk to us, we’d love to hear!

–Laura

01
Sep
10

Football is Upon Us! 2010 College Football Preview

As Laura alluded to yesterday, we here at Chicks Dig Sports are completely tickled that it’s fall. There are multiple reasons for this: we hate humidity, we love fall scents and we’re absolutely and totally crazy about football. It’s not that we don’t have exciting and fun summer flings with baseball, casually date basketball or have a committed relationship with hockey. But football? Well it’s our one true love. The one we’re absolutely crazy about and, if we had to choose, would hands down be the single sport we could watch the rest of our lives.

While we still have to wait a little over a week for the NFL to start, it is college football eve. We’re so excited (and you should be too!) Hell, I say we’d consider smacking a big smooch on Lee Corso. Below you’ll find our top pre-season college coaching stories and our predictions for the 2010 NCAA season. Don’t hold your breath folks, this is a long one! 🙂  

Coaching Carousel

Every off-season, the coaching carousel spins round and round and this year is no exception. These coaches are the ones to watch as they have the most to gain (and lose!) this season.

Lane Kiffin-as most of you know, I’m not a fan of the man, to put it lightly. I find him to be classless, arrogant and have no respect for the game. His inaugural rookie NCAA head coach season was lukewarm at best, how is he going to fair with a storied program like USC?  Well, it really doesn’t matter, to tell you the truth, because USC is ineligible for bowl games until 2013. So Kiffin can go undefeated, but if he doesn’t, and he fails like he’s pretty much done with every program he’s touched, it doesn’t matter, cause they aren’t eligible anyway. Consider me pissed he has an automatic two-year cushion.

Rich Rodriguez-Michigan is in the running for my least favorite team in the entire sporting world. I enjoy their losing almost as much as I enjoy watching Penn State win. That being said, Rich Rod is on thin ice, this season will be make or break for him. After two dismal seasons and a pathetic “I wasn’t aware of what was going on” excuse and the man is already on borrowed time.

Urban Meyer-He goes on an indefinite leave of absence, he’s back, he’s sick, he’s not, he’s coaching. I suppose if I was Urban Meyer, I’d go through a crisis with Tebow graduating, but his back and forth was completely unnecessary and absolutely absurd. Most coaches, when they lose their marquee player (which in a best case scenario happens every four years), regroups and devises a new plan of attack. Meyer throws a public hissy fit in front of the nation and, after assessing that his squad will be competitive enough to compete this season, comes back. Pressure’s on Urban, but only because YOU brought it by your silly antics.

Brian Kelly-First year Notre Dame Coach…do we need to say anything else?

Conference Predictions:

Big Ten

  • Sam’s Pick: Iowa. Fresh off an Orange Bowl win and with Stanzi back in charge, these corn-fed Iowa boys have been chomping at the bit to continue their success of recent seasons. Add in the fact that Pryor just can’t seem to get it together in the big game and the Hawkeyes should have a clear path to the Rose Bowl if they play smart.
  • Laura’s Pick: Terrell Pryor will come into his own this year. He’s athletic and a born leader, with all the practice he’s put in over the off-season his throw should be better now too. He may never be the total package, but he’ll come pretty close this season and lead Ohio State to win the conference.

Big 12 North

  • Sam’s Pick: Nebraska. Is there anyone else worth mentioning in this division? Plus they have one more chance to make their mark before jumping ship for the Big Ten next year.
  • Laura’s Pick: Nebraska. For reasons above.

Big 12 South

  • Sam’s Pick: Texas Tech. In a good position with dual QB’s Potts and Sheffield, Texas Tech is way better off than conference rivals Texas and Oklahoma who have extremely green QBs. (Obviously, Laura has more faith in Jones that I do.)
  • Laura’s Pick: Oklahoma. Landry Jones was forced into a leadership role before he was ready and onto the national stage when Sam Bradford went down. He’s gotten experience under his belt and coaches don’t come better than Bob Stoops, with him at the head of the program the Sooners are always, calm, cool, collected and all football, all the time. I do hope Oklahoma State give them a run for their money – I love that team, they play with so much heart and their coach, well, “He’s a man, he’s forty!”

PAC 10

  • Sam’s Pick: Oregon. Always a solid program, the Ducks have USC out of contention this year. Look for them to shine through a victory in the Civil War and secure a spot in the Rose Bowl.
  • Laura’s Pick: StanfordAndrew Luck is a stud, this potential Heisman candidate and badass (former Bear) Jim Harbagh have this division locked up.

Big East:

  • Sam’s Pick: Syracuse. Why the hell not? Cincinnati surely isn’t repeating.
  • Laura’s Pick: Pitt. Wandstadt is valuable sometimes right?…Right?

WAC

  • Sam’s Pick:  Boise State. Love everything about Boise State down to their blue field. Shame the BCS will never allow them to play for the national championship, even with consecutive undefeated seasons.
  • Laura’s Pick: Boise State. I just love this program, always the unsung hero of college football. These guys have great talent, coaching but often miss out on the national stage.

*Note the same reasoning for TCU to take it all in the Mountain West.

ACC

  • Sam’s Pick: Miami. This is Miami’s comeback year. They’ve been middling since the departure of Shockey, McGahee and *gasp* Dorsey in the early 00’s. This year, they’re poised to return to their glory days and be right where they belong at the top of the division.
  • Laura’s Pick: Virginia Tech. Always a solid program. With a weak division like the ACC, they should be able to easily play their way into a New Year’s Day bowl game.

SEC

  • Sam’s Pick: Alabama. Ingram’s knee trouble may be a factor, but Alabama led by veteran coach Nick Saban, has all the tools to make another title run. Factor in a Tebow-less Florida (Urban Meyer’s built-in excuse) and the hardest division in college football should be prime for the taking.
  • Laura’s Pick: Alabama. Nick Saban is the most no-nonsense coach in college ball and you’ve got to love his halftime interviews. With Ingram returning and a corral of running back studs and McElroy turning out not half bad performances most of the time, I would say they’re a lock. Sometimes it can be hard to repeat, as long as they don’t crumble underneath self-imposed pressure, they should lock things up.

BCS Championship Game

  • Sam’s Pick: Alabama vs. Ohio State. Not because they’re pre-season #1 and #2, but because they will have time to stumble early on (by both losing to PSU ;-)) and will have plenty of time to steady out to regain the #1 and #2 spots.
  • Laura’s Pick: Oklahoma vs. Ohio State.

That’s a wrap, folks! What are your thoughts?? We KNOW you have some, and we’re always up for discussion! What do you agree with? What are we totally off on? Which of the four coaches is on the thinnest of ice? Who are the sleepers?

In case you’ve been living under a rock, you can find the full pre-season AP list here.

As always, talk to us people…have we mentioned how much we love fall?  🙂

–The Chicks

11
Feb
10

Sports Digest 2.11.10

Lots of stuff happening this week. Before the Vancouver Olympics start on Friday, and monopolize a ton of sports coverage, let’s discuss some of sports biggest stories.

College Basketball

I’m really not sure what to make of this Syracuse team. Don’t get me wrong they look GOOD. Really good. AT 24-1, they are off to the best start in school history. Andy Rautins has become and INCREDIBLE leader for the Orange. It’s been awesome to see this Canadian, second-generation SU player transform from 3-point shooter to such a force to be reckoned with. He’s hardly recognizable playing his heart out on defense, setting up to take charges, being a spot-on free throw shooter and assisting his way through games. Wes Johnson and Kris Joseph regularly put up double digits. Onuaku is playing well. Scoop and Triche are growing into their own. The team is GREAT.

Rautins, sans Faux-Hawk

…they just can’t put together a solid 40 minutes of basketball, and THAT worries me. They were down 12 to Georgetown, down 18 to DePaul and lost at 10 point lead to UConn last night. I have said in the past that if we face a better team, we won’t be able to get away with that. On the flip side though, Syracuse ALWAYS manages to find a way to win. They get scrappy, they play tough, they shut it down at the last second. So it’s hard to vote against them. I’m excited for this team, I want them to be Final Four bound and I think they can do it. It will be very interesting to see SU vs. Georgetown and SU vs. Villanova, they add W’s in those contests and its hard to argue that you’re not looking at a National Championship team.

Also, what’s the deal with UNC? If you would have told me that Hansborough would make such a huge difference (i mean unc is 2-7 in the ACC this year) I’d say you were crazy.

Yes Tyler, UNC is THAT bad

Kansas is also looking really good. Would LOVE to se a KU-SU matchup for the championship. Wall’s starting to crack over at Kentucky … keep your eye on him. I’m already tired of the ESPN story about if Wall and Calipari get along. Calipari is the coach, he should push Wall to be his best and Wall should respect that. End of coach/athlete relationship. As long as that’s going on, who cares if they’re drinking buddies?

To the windowssss....to the (John) Wall!

Side note: Pitino, you tried to the whole NBA thing a few years ago. You almost lost your damn mind. Stick to college hoops. Some colleges just can’t make the transition (*future post alert!*) Oh, and I don’t believe for one second that there’s no truth the rumors that you’re looking to save the FOUR WIN NETS. It’s a trap-job. Don’t do it.

NHL

Hockey, I will miss you these two weeks. I understand the importance of letting your players duke it out for an olympic gold-medal. It will be really cool to see NHL teammates facing off on opposing sides. It does suck that there will be an interruption to league play, especially when it was getting SO good. The Washington Capitals 14-game win streak was JUST ended by the Ottawa senators. (With a league best 89 points though, I don’t think they’re too worried), Mark Cuban is talking about buying the Dallas Stars, and how ’bout those Penguins?! 😉 (Note: for the love of God, please don’t get Cuban involved in the NHL!)  This season has delivered really exciting hockey. We’ll anxiously be awaiting your return!

MLB

34 Days ’til Pitcher & Catcher’s report! Holler! 😀

Geovany, my boo

College Lacrosse

  • Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse is set to get under-way next week. Look for perennial powerhouse  and defending 2-time NCAA champion Syracuse to make some serious waves. (Don’t count out Virginia though…they’re tough and SU has to play them on the road this year!)

10-Time NCAA Champions

  • On the women’s side,  you can’t help but feel that Northwestern is going to go for all the marbles again. This year, they are defending their FIVE CONSECUTIVE NCAA CHAMPIONSHIPS. I don’t even know who can uproot them SU is ranked #4 , but has lost their All-Star and all time BIG EAST scorer, Katie Rowan. Georgetown is always a really strong program as well. (*future post alert–NU is playing Georgetown here in Chi in March!)

The Unstoppable Wildcats!

Who do you like in college basketball? Do you think any team this year can upend Women’s Lacrosse champs Northwestern? What’s your favorite NHL story? Early predictions on World-Series bound teams?

Talk to me people 🙂

–Sam




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