13) I’m not fond of the baseball season starting at 5:30am on another continent.
If it wasn’t the A’s playing, I’d just sleep thru it and watch the replay later on. Only positive note about all this is that the last time Oakland played over in Japan, they wound up winning their division that year (2012).
12) Syracuse will be without starting PG Frank Howard when it plays Baylor Thursday; Howard was suspended for violating an athletic department policy. Howard scored 28 points against Duke in the ACC tournament last week.
11) Over/under betting line on largest margin of victory in first round of NCAA tournament Thursday/Friday: 37.5 points.
10) North Dakota State 78, North Carolina Central 74— Both teams shot over 40% on arc in this game. Bison bench outscored NC Central’s 17-0, now advances to get crushed by Duke Friday.
9) Arizona State 74, St John’s 65— This was an awful game; Red Storm starts three juniors and a senior, but they’re not good- they went 9-13 in last 22 games, after going 12-0 vs non-conference schedule #327. Chris Mullin seems like a good guy, but is a suspect coach.
Bobby Hurley continues to be an overbearing jerk on the sidelines; he got a technical near the end of the first half, when his team was up 15; you could tell the ref just got sick of listening to him carp constantly about everything.
Then there is this; ASU gets 22.7% of its points on the foul line, which is #18 in country. Hurley wears down the officials and winds up getting calls for his team. ASU outscored St John’s 25-15 on foul line here.
8) Brooklyn Nets were down 25 in the 4th quarter Tuesday, rallied to win in Sacramento, just the 4th time in the shot clock era that has happened.
7) Been a rough 14 months for former U of San Diego basketball coach Lamont Smith; last year, he got into a fracas with a girlfriend during a Toreros’ road trip, which isn’t so bad, except that he was married at the time. He was shown the door before the season ended.
This week, Smith was named in that big college admissions scandal; now an assistant coach at UTEP, Smith resigned from that job Wednesday.
6) Norfolk State 80, Alabama 79 OT— Big win for MEAC over an SEC team; Jamerson scored 25 points off the bench for the Spartans, making 7-13 behind the arc.
5) Harvard 71, Georgetown 68— Hoyas played this game in McDonough Gym, an old gym on campus that looks like a pretty nice high school gym. Georgetown is 34-29 in two years under Patrick Ewing, 14-22 in Big East games.
4) Happy birthday to the greatest defenseman ever, Bobby Orr, who turned 71 Wednesday. A friend of my parents gave me a subscription to Sports Illustrated for my 9th birthday, and the first issue that arrived had Bobby Orr on the cover, which made me a big Bruins fan.
Bad knees shortened his career, but when he rushed the puck from behind the net, the crowd at Boston Garden would buzz. Bruins won the Stanley Cup in ’70 and ’72. Happy birthday!!!!
3) QB Tate Martell bolted from Ohio State to Miami, will be eligible this fall; kids who don’t start don’t stick around very much these days.
2) White Sox signed OF prospect Eloy Jimenez to a 6-year, $43M contract, despite fact that Jimenez hasn’t played in a major league game yet. If he is as good as everyone says, this will wind up being a tremendous bargain for the Pale Hose.
Tampa Bay signed utility guy Brandon Lowe to a 6-year deal with at least $24M; Lowe still qualifies as a rookie; he had 129 AB’s in 43 games last year, hitting .233 with six HR’s, six doubles, 25 RBIs. He made 24 starts at second base, 11 in center field and five in right field.
1) Alex Bregman signed a 6-year, $100M extension with the Astros, as every AL West team but the A’s spends a load of cash. A’s used their first round pick last June on a quarterback, which would be great, if they were a football team.