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64…32…6…8…FINAL FOUR!!

The 2015 Men's Final Four will be held at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis April 4 & 6

The magical day has finally arrived. Final 4 Saturday is truly one of, if not the greatest, day in all sports. With a full week of hype, assessments, analysis, interviews, and preparation, we can now sit back and watch one of the best Final 4 pairings of all time. Think about it… Read Full Report Coach K and online Deltasone Tom Izzo. Coach Cal and Bo Ryan. All four of these men are the epitome of being a college coach. All 4 will be Hall of Famers. And all have done it a different way and took a different path to get there. Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, and Wisconsin. Legendary schools and giants in the world of college sports. Some of you out there hate this scenario – top seeds making it to the end. You were hoping for a Cinderella story and your brackets were filled with early round upsets. Not this year! Others love it! Chalk prevailed (for the most part) for one of the few times even though State wasn’t a top seed.

The Great Escape 2015…March Madness Style!

The greatest 3 weeks in all of sports took it up another notch last night when the Kentucky Wildcats ripped the hearts out of the Notre Dame faithful and finally prevailed, 68-66. We affectionately call this March Madness and what a day it was for college basketball last night.

The evening tipped off with Wisconsin vs. Arizona in an Elite 8 re-match from last year in which Wisconsin won 64-63 in OT. Once again, Wisconsin took down the Wildcats 85-78. Dekker and Kaminsky were just too much for Coach Miller and the ‘Cats setting up their re-match in nest week’s Final Four with another bunch of Wildcats.

It’s March and it’s MADDENING…Already!!

“It’s Awesome, Baaby”! No truer words were ever spoken by the great Dickie V when it comes to the month of March MadnessMarch.

Conference championships on the line, conference tournaments to be played, and the dream of going to the “Big Dance” is one deflected ball away. This is what we basketball junkies live for…the one and done mentality. Win and move on. Lose and go home. Teams, players, and coaches you may not of ever heard about can be immortalized with one miracle shot that cuts the heart out of the heavy favorite. Upsets, teams playing NOT to lose, and Bracket Busters are all what makes March Madness the greatest month in all of sports! ( So what if it now bleeds into April )

Busted…Brackets and Dreams

The brackets aren’t even out yet ( next Sunday night at 6:00 PM on CBS ) and the insanity has already started. Dartmouth’s miracle win last night, Wichita State being shocked yesterday, Kentucky gunning for a perfect season, and the stunning announcement in Syracuse on Friday are events leading us up to the main event – March Madness.

Syracuse vs. Duke – Welcome to the ACC!

Last night’s epic ACC battle between Duke and Syracuse may go down as one of the greatest games in NCAA history. Hyped all week, this game gave fans of both schools an emotional rollercoaster ride from start to finish. We all know that games like this rarely live up to the hype. However, this one exceeded our expectations…and then some! An instant ESPN Classic. When you promote the ACC in the future, this is the game to feature. Legendary coaches, legendary stadiums, legendary fans, and legendary players.

The ‘Cuse came into the game as the #2 team in the country while Duke had slipped to #17. Really, Duke #17?? The Orange had a chance to open the season with a school record 21 straight wins. In 2 out of the last 3 years they started out 20-0 only to falter in their quest for 21 straight. But there is something different about Jimmy Boeheim’s team this year. There is not a better starting 5 in the country than Fair, Christmas, Cooney, Ennis, and Grant. In the past, Syracuse has had 1 or 2 go to guys but this year, any one of these 5 can go off and lead the team. Duke, on the other hand, has relied on super freshman Jabari Parker to carry them. Sure, others have had great nights to lead them, but Parker has had to be the man every night. So, the game was set between 2 of the greatest basketball in the history of the game….in front of the largest crowd ever at the Carrier Dome ( 35,446 )….with millions of ESPN fans watching. Neither team could pull away and the lead went back and forth all night long. In the end, just when you thought the Orange was going to pull away and win, another Duke miracle happens and Rasheed Sulaimon buries a 3 pointer to send the game into OT. More hoops…more Dick Vitale…it’s awesome baby!! I will say it – Coach K wouldn’t – but 3 Dookies got fouled out and none for the ‘Cuse?? Hood gets fouled going in for a game winning dunk and there is no call? Did Duke get a home job? Roll the tape, that doesn’t lie! Parker’s fifth foul was a joke. That flop would get you fined in the NBA!

So, what does all of that mean? The Big East, one of the great conferences of all time is no longer. Some of the greatest college basketball rivalries ( St. Johns vs. Georgetown, St. Johns vs, Syracuse, Syracuse vs, Georgetown ) have gone away. Some of the greatest coaches – John Thompson and Lou Carneseca. But if last night was any indication of what the “new” ACC will become, we can expect an even better league than the former Big East! We already saw earlier in the week a great game with Duke going into Pitt and winning. Guess what? With Louisville moving to the ACC next year, the ACC will become the greatest basketball conference ever assembled! Still can’t hang with the SEC in football though! You know what is ironic about all of this? We aren’t even mentioning UNC. The ACC has been totally dominated by Duke and UNC over the years and the Heels are now on the outside looking in!

With #1 Arizona falling to Cal last night, Syracuse will take over the top spot in the land with that thrilling 91-89 OT win over Duke. The game of the century rematch will take place at Cameron Indoor Stadium on February 22. The Cameron Crazies will be out of control. Ticket prices will be ridiculous. The ESPN hype will be wild. Let’s just hope that both of these teams can rebound from last night’s emotional drain and take care of business until then.

The BCS National Championship game between Auburn and FSU, last night’s Syracuse – Duke game, let’s hope the Super Bowl can give us a memorable game like those collegiate games!!

Posted By A To Z On Sports

College Football 2013 – Recapping Week 12

College Football A - ZJust when you thought there may be some stability in the world of college football after a few wild weeks, BAM, we got hit with another crazy week.

Iron Bowl Alabama and AuburnRight from the opening kickoff, Auburn was in total control over Georgia. Georgia had to win to keep it’s slim SEC east hopes alive and fell behind by 20 points in the 4th quarter. Then, QB Aaron Murray took control and the ‘Dawgs fought back to take the lead with a little over a minute to go. The knock on Murray has been that in the big games he can’t pull out a win. He surgically cut up the Tiger defense and kept Georgia’s title hopes alive until the last play of the game when 2 Georgia defenders tipped a pass in the air that somehow fell into the Auburn receivers hand for a game winning TD.

I said a few weeks ago that Auburn really controlled the entire SEC race. Sure enough, with that win, they eliminated Georgia and are now on the verge of another Iron Bowl showdown with #1 Alabama in 2 weeks.

Win that one and they play for the SEC championship game. What a turnaround after the Gene Chizek debacle!

If that game didn’t get your juices flowing, then hopefully the Southern Cal vs. Stanford game did. Stanford, coming off a dismantling win over Oregon, has had the Trojan’s number over the last few years. USC has been playing very well since their ouster of Lane Kiffin and for the first time in several years, the Trojans had something to play for. They jumped on the Cardinal early, held on, and kicked a game winning field goal at the buzzer. Bedlam pursued as the Trojan faithful stormed the field. Could we be heading for a MONSTER showdown in 2 weeks between the Trojans and the Bruins for a chance to play Oregon in the PAC 12 championship game? WOW!!

Maybe the biggest game of the day was at Cameron Indoor Stadium where Coach K and the Duke Blue Devils moved closer yet again to another ACC title. What a minute…this is football season. Why are we talking about basketball? Isn’t Duke a perennial football power? What the hell is going on here? Duke routs the stumbling “U” and is now in control of the ACC Coastal Division and on their way to the ACC championship game against FSU. This can’t be happening. What are we talking about here? Duke football? With 2 road games left, at Wake Forest and at UNC, Duke is on it’s way to playing for a conference championship and major bowl game! Congrats to everyone associated with the Duke football program!

BCS National ChampionshipIt will be very interesting tonight on the BCS Countdown Show. Let’s see if the Talking Heads will want to put FSU at #1 because Alabama had a bit of a letdown last night with a lackluster performance at Mississippi State. Let’s see….play a tough SEC schedule or play Wake Forest, Syracuse, and Idaho. Hmmmm……..America wants Alabama and FSU in the BCS title game and FSU has a cake walk to get there. ‘Bama still has to go to Auburn and then the SEC championship game.

Staying in the SEC, the east race tightened up last night when South Carolina nipped a determined Florida squad and Auburn beat Georgia. The Steve Supperior lead Gamecocks now just need a little help from Mississippi or Texas A&M to get a piece of the Crimson Tide for the SEC title game. Remember the last time South Carolina played Alabama? Just saying…..

OK, so I rip Ohio State every chance that I can. Here is the reality. I feel bad for the kids, they don’t make the schedules.

The administration should be ashamed of themselves for not giving the Buckeyes a chance to play in the big game. Sure, they have won 22 straight games under Urban but it’s almost 22 meaningless games when you don’t beat or play any quality competition. For them ( and the Big 10 ) to get relevant again, they are going to have to upgrade their schedule and prove to all of America that they can play with the SEC or PAC 12 heavies.

Speaking of the Big 10, how about those Cornshuckers? For 5 straight years under Bo, they have lost 4 games every year. Yesterday, they lost their third game for 2013 and with 2 games remaining ( and maybe a pitiful bowl game ), they are well on their way to ANOTHER 4 loss season. How much longer can this go on in Lincoln?

Did yesterday finally seal the fate of Mack Brown and his tenure at Texas? After starting out 1-2, the Longhorns ripped off 5 wins in a row and the buzz was back. But, after laying a cow pie yesterday versus OK State, Mack may be on his way out now with a new AD riding into town. Great career, great ambassador for the game, but it’s time to move on.

A TO Z TOP 25:

  1. Alabama 10-0
  2. FSU 10-0
  3. Oregon 9-1
  4. Auburn 10-1
  5. Baylor 9-0
  6. Ohio State 10-0
  7. Missouri 9-1
  8. Clemson 9-1
  9. South Carolina 8-2
  10. Oklahoma State 9-1
  11. Stanford 8-2
  12. Texas A&M 8-2
  13. Fresno State 9-0
  14. Michigan State 9-1
  15. Northern Illinois 10-0
  16. UCLA 8-2
  17. LSU 7-3
  18. Wisconsin 8-2
  19. Oklahoma 8-2
  20. Louisville 9-1
  21. Arizona State 8-2
  22. UCF 8-1
  23. Minnesota 8-2
  24. Duke 8-2
  25. USC 8-3

Quick Heisman update. Johnny Manziel is statisically having a better year than last season. With huge road games left at LSU and at Missouri, he has the national spotlight to capture his second Heisman in a row. Jameis Winston has put up numbers v Wake, The ‘Cuse, and this week against Idaho. Both have off the field issues and AJ McCarron could have put a nail in the coffin last night but he had an average game. Wide open with a few weeks to go!


#3 Oregon @ Arizona

#5 Baylor @ #10 Oklahoma State

#7 Missouri @ Mississippi

#12 Texas A&M @ #17 LSU

#14 Michigan State @ Northwestern

#21 Arizona State @ #16 UCLA

#18 Wisconsin @ #23 Minnesota

#19 Oklahoma @ Kansas State

#24 Duke @ Wake Forest

Duke and Minnesota both in the TOP 25?? Great stories that make us love college football! K State lost 4 of their first 6 games and have now won 4 in a row. Watch out Boomer Sooner! The Baylor express keeps moving on and up the leaderboard. UCLA better not be looking ahead to their cross town rival USC or ASU will spank them! With a win, Michigan State moves closer to a showdown with the Buckeyes for the Big 10 championship. Oregon has reclaimed the PAC 12, let’s see what they do with their new life. Stomachs will be churning when Missouri travels to Mississippi. Will their title hopes be shattered? It will be wild down in the Bayou this weekend as the Johnny Football circus travels to Baton Rouge.

It is too bad that we are winding down to the end of another awesome year in college football. There are a lot of stories still to be written and with every week, the drama continues to build. Only 6 more days to go before another zany, nail biting, gut wrenching, heart pounding weekend of college football!

Posted By A To Z On Sports