Friday’s Den: Random stuff with the weekend here

13) If the entire NCAA basketball tournament is going to be in the Indianapolis area in March, CBS should hire Maris Valainis to do the lead-in to the show when they release the brackets on Selection Sunday.

Maris Valainis played Jimmy Chitwood in Hoosiers; would be fitting for a tournament being held in Indiana for one of Hickory High’s stars to play a role in introducing the 68-team field. 

12) Dick Vitale is 81 years old now; over the last 25-27 years, he has helped raise over $100M to fund cancer research, thru the V Foundation, which came to be after Jim Valvano’s death from cancer in 1993.

Coach Vitale has amazing energy, especially for an octogenarian; he deserves a ton of credit for working so hard to save people’s lives. Thank you, coach.

11) Liberty-Coastal Carolina were supposed to play football on ESPN this weekend; ESPN is having College Gameday in Conway, SC, on the Coastal campus, but then Liberty had COVID issues, and the game was scratched. Not good.

ESPN got to work and BYU was quickly signed up to come to Conway for a 5:30 game on ESPNU Saturday. Two undefeated teams going at it; will the winner get invited to the college playoff? 

10) NBA will increase active rosters from 12 to 15 players, because of COVID. 

9) UConn 61, USC 58:
— Trojans were 3-19 on arc, had only one guy score double figures.
— Bouknight scored 18 for UConn; Huskies were +11 on the boards.
— Last 10:00 of this game, teams combined to score only 11 points. 

8) Florida 90, Boston College 70:
— Gators struggled with Army Wednesday, but they hammered the Eagles here, shooting 62.2% inside the arc.
— One of the big variables this season is how much these teams have/have not practiced; unlike a normal season, teams are going to progress at different rates. 

7) This past offseason, two great college basketball coaches passed away, Lute Olson and John Thompson, two guys who both won a hell of a lot of games. Here are their resumes:

John Thompson (596-239)
— All 27 years as a head coach were at Georgetown.
Made it to three Final Fours, won 1984 national title.

Lute Olson (776-285):
— 24-2 at Long Beach State
— 165-93 at Iowa
— 587-190 at Arizona.
Made it to four Final Fours, won 1997 national title.

Two guys who were regulars on TV in the 80’s/90’s. Big loss for the sport. 

6) Big week for the Lakers’ accountants:
— Lebron James singed a 2-year, $85M extension
— Anthony Davis signed a 5-year, $190M extension. 

5) Houston Rockets dropped from 40-1 to 30-1 to win the NBA title, after they traded Russell Westbrook to the Wizards. 

4) Utah 76, Washington 62:
— Huskies are off to a dreadful 0-3 start, scoring 52 ppg, making 14-74 on the arc. 

3) Arizona State 70, California 62
— Sun Devils improve to 3-1 by beating their conference rival.
— Bears have now already lost to both ASU, Oregon State

2) This football season, St Louis Cardinals’ pitcher Adam Wainwright formed a “Players Only” fantasy league that benefits not only his own foundation but 31 other charities; Each participant, 32 major leaguers, played for the charity of his choice.

League is down to its Final Four:
Wainwright vs Sonny Gray and Matt Holliday vs Nick Ahmed.

Winner of the league gets $50,000 for their charity. Good for them. 

1) More people died each of the last two days than died on September 11, 2001; we need to be careful for the next few months, until there is a vaccine in place. It is truly a matter of life and death; wearing a mask isn’t so bad (I actually look better in a mask). Please wear a mask. 

Author: Armadillo Sports

I've been involved in sports my whole life, now just write about them. I like to travel, mostly to Las Vegas- they have gambling there.