College Sports

UConn’s Shabazz Napier Shares Story of Hunger

Shabazz Napier U ConnShabazz Napier, point guard for The University of Connecticut men’s basketball team, understands why Northwestern’s athletes are attempting to unionize after spending several nights going to bed ‘starving’ because he can’t afford a meal.

Last month, the National Labor Relations Board ruled that football players at Northwestern have the right to form the first ever labor union in college sports. 

However the ruling doesn’t apply to students at public universities like UConn, as public schools are governed by state labor laws.

‘We as student athletes get utilized for what we do so well. We are definitely blessed to get a scholarship to our universities, but at the end of the day, that doesn’t cover everything,’ Napier told reporters at the CT Mirror. ‘We do have hungry nights that we don’t have enough money to get food and sometimes money is needed. I think, you know, Northwestern has an idea, and we’ll see where it goes.’

Should state law proved to be a barrier for Connecticut’s college athletes to form unions at public schools, State Rep. Patricia Dillon said she would propose legislation to allow for their unionization.

‘We shouldn’t be preventing them. They should have that voice,’ Dillon said. ‘If state law is the barrier, then we should remove it. It should be up to the players.’

Dillon may not have a chance to introduce a bill this year as only four weeks remain in the legislative session.Read more here

NCAA Men’s Final Four Information

NCAA Official Final Four Information

Final Four Information

AT&T STADIUM
AT&T Stadium, opened in 2009 as home to the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys, is located in Arlington, Texas – approximately halfway between Dallas and Fort Worth. In addition to being home to the NFL team, the venue has hosted the Cotton Bowl Classic every year since 2010. The 2013 NCAA South Regional was also played at the stadium, along with the Big 12 Football Championship Game in 2009 and 2010 plus selected regular-season college football and basketball contests. On the professional level, AT&T Stadium has hosted Super Bowl XLV and the 2010 NBA All-Star Game.

At the time it opened, the venue was home to the world’s largest high-definition video display, with a screen that extends from 20-yard line to 20-yard line on the football field. It is the world’s largest column-free interior stadium and has the largest domed roof in the world (660,800 square feet). The Statue of Liberty could stand on the star in the middle of the football field and the roof could close and never touch her flame.

TRANSPORTATION & PARKING
The Cowboys have created a transportation and parking plan designed to keep the traffic moving, make it easy to park, and ensure safety as fans make their way into the stadium.

While traveling to and from games, all drivers are encouraged to follow the directions of traffic police.

Security Policies
Transportation
Parking Map
Interactive Parking Site

For more information on AT&T Stadium Parking:
• Saturday, April 5 — click here
• Monday, April 7 — click here

Final Four Trivia Quiz

Final Four Facts and Trivia

March Madness History

The NCAA Tournament is one of the most beloved traditions in the sports world. The tournament is a single elimination tournament that has spanned many decades since its inception. The tournament was first played in 1939, where only 8 teams participated in the even. These eight teams were split into two divisions (East and West) with four teams in each. The teams were Brown, Wake Forest, Ohio State, and Villanova from the East Division and Oklahoma, Oregon, Utah State, and Texas from the West. Oregon was the first winner of the NCAA Tournament when they defeated Ohio State 46-33.

The NCAA Tournament has expanded exponentially since those days. In 1951, the field of teams was expanded from 8 to 16 teams. This was followed shortly after by another expansion where the tournament could include any number of teams from 22 to 25 in 1953. Prior to 1975, only one team per conference was allowed in the tournament; however, when the tournament expanded again to an even 32 teams, this rule was dropped. 32 teams only lasted until 1979, when the tournament included 40 teams.

This setup proved unwieldy however, and in 1980 the tournament expanded again to include 48 teams. 1983 was the advent of the “play-in” game, as the tournament expanded to 52 teams and incorporated four such games. 1984 Tried to tweak this by introducing one more play-in game with 53 teams total, but this also proved to be difficult to follow, so in 1985, the field finally expanded to 64 teams.

The tournament would stay at 64 until 2001, when the people running it decided to add one more team and bring back the play-in game. This is how the tournament has been organized up until this point, but there is another change looming for this season’s tournament. This year the NCAA Tournament will expand to 68 teams for the first time, bringing back a 4 play-in games format to the tournament.

NCAA Tournament Facts

 1. Did the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament always have a set number of teams that were allowed in?

A. Yes

B. No

2. Since 1979, when was the last time that all four #1 seeds advanced to the Final Four?

A. 1997 – Kentucky, Minnesota, North Carolina, Arizona

B. 2001 – Duke, Michigan State, Arizona, Maryland

C. 2008 – Kansas, Memphis, North Carolina, UCLA

D. It has never happened

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ABK…Anybody But Kentucky!!

The Final 4 is now set for Saturday, April 5 with Florida playing UConn and Kentucky battling Wisconsin. Show of hands. How many of you had these pairings? A 1 seed, a 2 seed, a 7 seed, and an 8 seed – not quite what the committee had in mind when the brackets came out on Selection Sunday! Of this group, you could see Florida making it and with a few breaks, maybe Wisconsin. But no one in their right mind would have picked UConn and only the diehard fanatics from the Bluegrass State remotely gave the Wildcats the slimmest of chances.

Speaking of Kentucky, I am pulling for Wisconsin to take them out. Listen, I used to be a Kentucky fan. The tradition, the legendary coaches, the flow of All Americans. You mention college basketball and the first program that comes to your mind is Kentucky. But Kentucky today represents everything that is wrong with college basketball. They have a slick Used Car Salesman running the asylum, no one ever graduates from there anymore, and the one and done player is rushed to the NBA – usually too soon and they fall flat on their face. I get it. It is a different era today but the university is doing nothing to prepare the kids for the future. And guess what? Nothing is going to change anytime soon. Coach Cal will get the 1 year players and their fan base will go crazy over some 18 year old that gets in school, never goes to class, and drops out of school on April 8 to pursue his life long dream of playing in the NBA. By the way, as much as I despise Coach Cal and the program now, he has done his best coaching job ever this year with this group. If Kentucky beats Wisconsin, I will be rooting for the winner of Florida and UConn to take down the Wildcats for the title!

Throughout all of the Madness, there truly have been some great games. Last night’s game between Arizona and Wisconsin was one for the ages. If you look at Michigan State’s performance today, you would have to say that their titanic clash with UVA on Friday took their legs away. I had that game circled on my bracket as maybe the best game of the tournament and it lived up to the hype. Dayton’s run was magical, Harvard, Mercer, and North Dakota State gave the “mid majors” continued notoriety. With a blink of an eye, perennial powerhouses like Syracuse, Duke, North Carolina, and Kansas were bounced out early. All of the ESPN Talking Heads has Michigan State cutting down the nets in the end.

Something has got to change with the replay system. Five minutes to get it right?? How come Little League Baseball gets it right in 15 seconds. When you watch the Little League World Series and there is a controversial call, they go to the camera and 15 seconds later we have the call…the correct call. These yahoos referring the college game meet before they go to the monitor, look at 6 camera angles, come to mid court to talk about it, go back to the camera, talk about it some more, let the coaches know of their decision and 3 beers later, make the call. This needs to get fixed NOW!

Now for my picks. I like Florida over UConn and Wisconsin beating Kentucky. Florida vs. Wisconsin would be a great pairing for the championship. Billy the Kid has won 2 NCAA Championships and the Grizzly coaching vet Bo Ryan is looking for his first. Wait a minute…I just thought of something! Let’s have Florida play Kentucky. An SEC match up for the championship?? NOOOOO!!! YESSSSSS!!! SEC!SEC!SEC! I love the way that sounds…another SEC national champion.

 

Posted By A To Z On Sports

Busted…Brackets and Dreams – Welcome to March Madness!

March Madness News

You had a plan. You studied film, you listened to all of the Talking Heads, and you methodically took your time going through the brackets. Not once, not twice, you ripped them up, made more copies, and did them over again. The clock was ticking and you had to get in your office pool by the COB Thursday. At last, you had the perfect picks and you poked your chest out declaring, “I am going to win the pool this year”. A mere 4 hours later and your first pick go down in flames and….your bracket is BUSTED!!

Like that great philosopher Vince Lombardi once said, “What the hell is going on here”? Welcome to the world of March Madness where the best laid plans are shattered by some upstart program with nothing to lose and play like they are having a ball. They don’t have the 5 Star recruits, all of the “one and dones,” and the million dollar boosters. Nope, they have grit, heart, determination, and play for the love of the game. They go to school to graduate and have a working career, they know that the NBA isn’t calling and they play knowing that tonight may be the last time they wear their schools colors. Talk about pride and passion! It’s what is on the front of the jersey that matters, not what’s on the back of it.

So, we are down to the Sweet 16 and no Duke…no UNC…no Syracuse…no Kansas. The party crashers took them out. Mercer, seriously, Mercer over Duke?? Dayton over the ‘Cuse?? Somebody ( the NCAA ) needs to go to Stanford and conduct an investigation. They are winning in football and winning in basketball. Isn’t Stanford supposed to be an academic school? Iowa State over the once mighty Tar Heels…NOOO! Wait a minute…..Tennessee just won….again. On the bubble for weeks, Rocky Top is playing like a perennial power coached by…. Pat Summit. The Vols in the Sweet 16 – OMG!

Don’t feel bad, my bracket is about to fall apart too. My Final 4 of Syracuse, Virginia, Arizona, and Michigan took a big hit last night as The Orange couldn’t hit a 3 all night long. I still have Virginia playing Michigan for the ring with UVA winning it all. At this point, I ain’t feeling warm and fuzzy about that! I sure could have used that billion dollar payoff…maybe next year!

Posted By A To Z On Sports

 

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