Friday, March 25, 2011

The Podcast, The Tournament, NCAA Hockey, Jeff Duncan, Some Links

The Sports-Casters Make History

We made a little history this week by producing two podcasts in the same week for the first time. Anthony Day (Waterloo Blackhawks) was a special guest host stepping up for Donnie who was stuck in the basement with a case of scurvy

Episode 11 - A totally college episode features 3Things (college only), an interview with Ken Schott from the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, a book club update (check out this article), Zaccuscore returns to check on our NCAA tournament bet, and a college only Pick4 ends the show. 

Episode 12- A totally pro episode features 3Things (Pro only), an interview with Jonah Keri the author of The Extra 2%, a book club update (check out this article), Dan Kadar from MockingTheDraft, and a pro only Pick4 ends the historic week. 

4 Hours of College Basketball

For maybe the first time this season, I spent four straight hours watching basketball. Going into the night, the teams, some of the players, and even one of the coaches were really interesting to me. I am no basketball writer so if you are looking for a breakdown of the X-O's that resulted in Duke's shit getting pushed in, you are at the wrong spot. Instead, here are a few things I noticed while watching the games:

  • I didn't want it to happen but, Jimmer got tired. Down the stretch, you could just tell he didn't have the lift in his legs that landed him on the cover of SI for two straight weeks.

  • San Diego St. and BYU spend much of the season in the top 10. Many of the skeptics claimed that the only good teams they played were each other. It is interesting that they would both be eliminated from the tournament around the same time in Anaheim and New Orleans. 
  • Kemba Walker is the best player in the Nation. I don't think it's close.
  • It's amazing to me that a small school from Indiana has made a Final-Four and an Elite-Eight in back to back seasons. 
  • This tournament seems to be headed for a Kansas vs. Ohio St. final. I almost can't see it any other way. Kansas had their bracket open up for them last weekend when the 2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,and 10 seeds in their bracket all went home after one weekend. Only 2 mid-majors and Florida St.stand in their way of playing in a Final Four. Ohio St. has North Carolina looming in what could be the best game of the round of eight. 
  • If I could pick my final four now, Ohio St, UCONN, Florida, Kansas. 
  • Did Coach K die at some point during the beginning of the second half tonight? I kept waiting for him to call a timeout at some point to try and break the momentum of a surging Arizona team. 
  • Is there any chance that Oklahoma could lure Brad Stevens down to Norman to replace Jeff Capel?
  • Florida is a much better team than the talking heads gave them credit for on Selection Sunday. 
Time for the Real Tournament to Begin

I find myself all jacked up to watch the NCAA Men's Ice Hockey Tournament this season. Here are some predictions and things to watch for this weekend as the field gets trimmed from 16 to a Frozen Four. 

  • The number 1 seeds are very strong this year. Miami (OH) is loaded with senior leadership, top end scoring, and tournament experience. Andy Miele and Carter Camper are both undersized, but the things they can do with the puck at full speed are NHL quality. Boston College is loaded with players who won this tournament last season and can score a lot of goals in a short period of time. North Dakota finished the season #1 and Matt Frattin has 35 goals an unheard of total for college hockey. And then their is Yale, the tournaments #1 overall seed need only beat Air Force (the worst team in the tournament), and the UMD/UNion winner to make the Final Four. Senior goalie, Ryan Rondeau will be looking to bounce back after a disastrous tournament performance against BC last year. 
  • Despite the fact that the #1 seeds are so good, this tournament is loaded with good teams. Only one automatic qualifier (Air-Force) needed the AQ to qualify.
  • There is a nice group of freshman to check out this weekend. Jaden Schwartz might be in the NHL next year. Anders Lee, Mike Voran and Tj Tynan all play considerable minutes for Notre Dame. Chase Balisy had 30 points for Western Michigan, and Jason Zucker scored 20 goals for Devner.
  • Union is making their first ever appearance in the tournament. They could be scary because they have nothing to lose. On the other hand, are they just happy to be there?
  • Did you hear about Western Michigan and what good kids they have?
  • My Final Four: Chalk baby, Miami, Yale, North Dakota, and BC
  • My Champ: Miami (OH)
  • Hobey Baker: Sadly, Miele and Camper will split votes and Koko B. Ware Matt Frattin will win.

Book Club Update and Announcement

A few book club related pieces of news:

  • Our very spirited look at the Greatest American Sports Writing Series is coming to an end. The wrap up show is on April 5, 2011. Glenn Stout, the editor of the series, is confirmed. Jeff Duncan the author of a piece from the 2006 book is also confirmed. I am working on a few other others to join us and talk about their contributions to the series. 
  • The book of the month for April will be the book pictured above. From Bags to Riches by Jeff Duncan is so much more than a football book. 
  • Jeff is going to join us on the May 3 show to talk about From Bags to Riches. 
  • I have a few copies of the book to give away to fans. Contact me if you are interested in being one of the fans to get a free book. 

  • I have a feeling that this interview was translated from Russian and some of the answers ended up falling a little flat. Or, Pavel Bure agreed to this interview, drank a bottle of liquid lorazepam, and started talking.  
  • One thing that Terry Pegula has brought to the Sabres organization in a short time is class.
  • Happy 10th Birthday MAC OS X
  • College Hockey has its first iPhone App.
  • Verizon wants to sell you an iPad1 for the price of a kindle. 
  • This needs to happen for the iPhone very fast. 
  • I find this website to be really unique and interesting. 
  • I have been known to enjoy the sights and sounds of Mr. Eddie Vedder
  • Soundgarden released their first live album on Tuesday. You can pick it up on iTunes for $9.99 and it includes five songs from various sound-checks on the tour. 
  • Los Angelas, Nashville, Chicago, Anaheim, Dallas and Calgary. 6 teams separated by 5 points fighting for 4 playoff spots

Say goodnight Bella (We babysit her in July)

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