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The Best and Worst Three Picks of 2010 NBA Draft | The Afro-American Newspapers | Your Community. Your History. Your News.





The Best and Worst Three Picks of 2010 NBA Draft | The Afro-American Newspapers | Your Community. Your History. Your News.



June 28, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bracket Busted? Just Ride with Kentucky

No Experience Required. With Kansas out, Kentucky is now the team to beat (courtesy photo/Dave Martin/Getty Images)

So now what? It’s officially week two of March Madness and unless you have damus somewhere in your name, your bracket is totally busted. I know you penciled in Georgetown, Kansas and Villanova as no brainers to advance to the Sweet 16. And I know you laughed silly at the possibility of the Hoyas going out in the first round or the chances of Kansas being ousted by Northern Iowa.

You may have even had Maryland pegged for some extra airtime just because you’re familiar with the area. But it wasn’t to be. In one of the craziest weekends ever, it was all blowouts, buzzer beaters and upsets (sound familiar). Over 5 million people filled out brackets on and every single bracket filler got theirs wrong. So now what? Now is the time when you seek out a fallback team and ride or die with them, that’s what. And if you’re looking for a team to reinvest in, why not the hottest team remaining in the tourney?

The Kentucky Wildcats may not have the experience you would like to see or the Cinderella story you would like to hear but they sure know how to play ball don’t they? Their two first round opponents were annihilated by 29 and 30 points, respectively, and when it comes to what a complete team should look like, Kentucky’s a full sized centerfold model.

They have size in the paint. They can score down low and defend inside. They’re deadly in transition. Their backcourt is amazingly athletic. They’re deep, fast and talented and perhaps their most attractive feature; they’re all freshmen! Well, maybe not all of them but the likes of first year men John Wall, DeMarcus Cousins and Eric Bledsoe make up the nucleus of a well-oiled machine. The majority of Kentucky’s players have never even played in a NCAA tournament before so the fact that they just pummeled their first pair of opponents makes them a team to fall in love with.

I don’t know what head coach John Calipari had to do, say or pay to reel in one of the best freshmen classes in NCAA history but what ever he did, kudos to him. Fans love to see Cinderella teams knock out top dogs in the tournament, that’s one of the things that makes March Madness so special. But in reality, watching a Sweet 16 or a Final Four full of 12 and 13 seeds isn’t something that fans really want to see.

People are intrigued by storylines and what better tale than that of the Wildcats. A team that fell from the graces last season only to land in the prestigious NIT, their first appearance in the fallback tournament since 1979. Out goes controversial head coach Billy Gillispie after last season, in comes the smooth-talking slick-haired Calipari and his star-laden freshmen class.

Now the Wildcats are back on top of the college basketball world because Calipari, Wall and Cousins have restored the swag back into the bluegrass state. Unlike perennial powers such as Duke, Kansas and North Carolina, it’s almost impossible to root against Kentucky because they haven’t been all that relevant for quite some time. Their last NCAA title came in 1998 and the school’s been the hotspot for ridicule ever since.

And let’s be honest, once Wall, Cousins and possibly Bledsoe declare for the NBA Draft after the season, Kentucky may not be this strong again for quite a while. So think of this Wildcat run as a farewell tour of sorts. I know you might be weary about placing your bets on a team full of kids who couldn’t get into most night clubs but from a talent standpoint there isn’t a team left in the tourney that can run with Kentucky.

And besides, with your championship favorite Kansas now sitting at home, what other choice do you have?

March 22, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

One Weekend Down, Three to go for NCAA

Blowouts, buzzer beaters and upsets. If you caught any of last weekend’s conference tournament games then you saw it all. You saw why Evan Turner is the best player in college basketball and why guys like John Wall, Eric Bledsoe and DeMarcus Cousins are special freshmen. You saw how momentum in basketball games can switch at the drop of a dime and why coaches get paid top dollar to reel in fancy recruits and lead their schools to victory.

It was basketball in its purest form, minus the stretch limos and overbearing personalities of professional city teams. I mean sure there’s a John Calipari here or a Lance Stephenson there but it doesn’t get any better than the NCAA come March. College basketball in the spring is a dangerous combination. You can have your NBA Finals in June and your World Series and NFL Playoffs, they just don’t measure up to tournament time.

There’s something unique and innocent about March Madness. The games are played during the day while you’re at work trying to get a peak on the cafeteria television at your favorite team. You fall in love with schools whose location on a map you can’t identify quickly. You lose every year but still play the office and online brackets hoping for some luck. Why? Because March Madness strickens everybody, not just you or your neighbor and coworkers, that’s why!

And what is it? Just what is it that makes March Madness so attractive? Well, for starters, everyone has a chance to win. Yes you Morgan State University. Yes you Georgetown University. And yes you the University of Maryland College Park. Three schools so vastly different in so many ways but all in this thing together that we call March Madness.

It’s crazy. The love affair with your alma mater never dies. Whether you wore a school’s colors when you were in line at its college bookstore or because grandma caught a Christmas sale, everybody has a favorite school come March. When they lose you sulk and when they win you gain an extra day of color donning and smack talking. It’s that simple.

Look high and low, you’ll never find a greater sports playoff system than the NCAA’s version. Other sports do you wrong. One loss during college football’s regular season and a school might as well call it quits. The NBA Finals has proven that you can just nickel and trade your way to championships. The Super Bowl often fails to match its hype. You won’t see the two best boxers fight each other because one’s scared of getting hit and the MLB is still flipping through drug tests from ten years ago.

So March Madness it is. Not to say the NCAA is the epitome of stainless steel but at least you won’t find as many blemishes as those other sports. Sure football has the country in a chokehold right now but even the hardest of pigskin lovers wouldn’t turn away from a good NCAA tournament game.

Poor you if you missed this past weekend’s games. They had everything you could look for in a sport and everything you probably won’t find elsewhere. But don’t worry, last weekend was just a preview. Hopefully, you’ll get to rewitness all the sights, sounds and sizzles for another few weeks. Enjoy it while you can. March Madness doesn’t happen often but when it does, you have to take notice.

March 16, 2010 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment