13) I’m watching the Seton Hall-Marquette game Friday night, and it dawned on me; half the league has to travel halfway cross the country for the conference tournament every year, while the other half of the league? Their fans can drive or take the train to Madison Square Garden.
This is the sixth year of the “new” Big East; during that time, the midwestern part of the league is 8-19 SU against the eastern part in the conference tournament.
Creighton lost in finals of the tournament twice, Xavier once, but no midwestern team has won it, and this year is no different. Something to think about going forward.
12) Houston 61, Memphis 58— This is going to be the last year in the foreseeable future where Memphis won’t go to the NCAA’s; Penny Hardaway did a good job in his first season, and he is crushing it on the recruiting trail. Memphis has a lot of high school talent.
11) Tennessee 82, Kentucky 78— This is Wildcats’ first loss in SEC tourney since a 61-60 loss to Florida in the finals of the 2014 tournament. Tennessee plays Sunday for its first tournament title since 1979.
Both of these teams are really good and either could win the NCAA title.
Sometimes it is better to lose in the semi-final of the tourneys that play their final on Sunday; one thing you do NOT want is to play on Sunday, then draw a Thursday game in the NCAA’s, especially if it is Thursday afternoon— not lot of prep time.
10) Michigan 76, Minnesota 49— Wolverines got swept by rival Michigan State this season; now the teams meet a third time, for the Big 14 title.
9) Utah State 64, San Diego State 57— You could make a legit argument for Chris Smith to be national Coach of the Year. Last three years, Aggies were 22-32 in Big West games; this year, in his first season in Logan, Utah State is 27-6, 18-3 in conference.
8) Iowa State 78, Kansas 66— Cyclones won Big X tournament for 4th time in last six years; this year, they came into the tournament on a 2-6 skid, but they seem to like Kansas City.
7) Villanova 74, Seton Hall 72— Wildcats win Big East tournament for fourth time in last five years. For the season, 54% of Villanova’s shots were 3-pointers; thats unusual for a good team.
6) Oregon 68, Washington 48— Huskies laid an egg here; they scored two points in first 9:30 of second half. Washington is 5-4 in its last nine games, after starting season 19-4.
5) Chargers signed QB Tyrod Taylor this week, an excellent signing by a team in desperate need of a backup for aging Philip Rivers, who will be 38 in December. Last year’s Chargers’ backup QB’s were Geno Smith and Cardale Jones; Taylor is a huge upgrade from those two.
4) Cleveland Browns’ QB Baker Mayfield took batting practice and then coached first base for the Milwaukee Brewers Saturday. Apparently Mayfield is buddies with Christian Yelich; he hit a foul ball into the stands that broke a woman’s watch.
3) Pittsburgh Pirates honored TV analyst Steve Blass this weekend in Florida, naming the press box in Bradenton after him. Blass has been on TV for the Pirates for the last 34 years- he also pitched for the Pirates for a decade, helping them win the 1971 World Series.
in 2009, Blass recorded two hole-in-ones in the same round of golf, a pretty cool feat.
2) During that same game, Pirates’ TV guys were insisting that Starling Marte has as much talent as Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, an interesting claim.
1) Way back in 1963, the San Francisco Giants had three Alou brothers on their team: Matty, Felipe and Jesus. All three could hit;
— Matty wound up with a .307 career batting average over 15 years,
— Felipe wound up being a manager, winning more games than he lost over 14 years.
— Jesus hit .280 in 15 major league seasons, winning two World Series rings with the A’s.
This year, Vermont has three brothers on its team this year; the Duncans- Ernie, Robin and Everett. Never heard of three brothers on the same basketball team before. Now they’re all going to March Madness together, which is pretty cool.