Final Four Weekend: Say what you want about the lack of a Cinderella factor in the Final Four (and I have), but these are some tremendous games and tremendous teams.
How weird is it that both are rematches from last year's Tournament? This
I'm sticking with my original bracket picks:
Be sure to leave your predictions for Saturday's semifinals in the Comments section (if you enjoy that sort of thing), perhaps with a pithy bit of analysis as to why.
Florida over UCLA: Yes, "revenge factor" scares me, but even if this UCLA team is slightly better than last year's team (a dubious claim, given that in the title game, now-NBA PG Jordan Farmar was the only player who did any damage offensively), this Gators team is better than last year's team, too. And if the Bruins had so many match-up problems then that they lost by 20, how have those mismatches improved? (And have they improved by 20 points' worth?)
The X-Factor: I am intrigued by
The X-Factor: The reason I picked
More hot topics on the sports radar today:
NCAA Tournament expansion: While they will never expand it to include all teams – as I've been advocating for a decade – but I think that expanding it to 68 teams, with four play-in games, will pass.
It's a great idea. It adds three teams to the 11/12/13 at-large pool, while ending the current play-in situation where a single team gets bounced before Thursday. Now four will!
Women's Final Four: You cannot possess any sense of irony and not be rooting for LSU.
MLB: Ria Cortesio handles her ump duties just fine, thank you very much. It's back to the minors for her, but – hey – Mark Prior is there, too.(I know, I know: I didn't do an MLB preview this week. But we'll blow it out all next week.)
Michael Phelps does it again: Ridiculous. This makes
NBA: If the Grizzlies' late-season surge (two wins in a row!) costs them Greg Oden and/or Kevin Durant, they should fire everyone.
NBA Tonight: Who had tonight's Raptors-Wizards game as the East's most intriguing game of the season?
NIT: Congrats to
College Hoops Coaching Carousel: So who will be the next
Marbury's new shoes come out Sunday: How amazing is it that the release of the next edition of a $14.98 pair of shoes will have people lined up around the block on Sunday morning? This remains one of the most intriguing sports consumer-product concepts of the last 20 years.
I think yesterday's Comments discussion about the different levels of expectations among fans of winning vs. losing teams was one of the best we've ever had here. I highly recommend you check it out.
Speaking of sports movies, it's always good to note new ones coming out. Will Ferrell's new one (does he do ANYTHING except sports movies anymore?) about the pairs ice skating is going to make a mint. He's currently working on a movie about the ABA, but maybe he'll have some interest in mine. (Though, to debunk several of the theories on yesterday's comments about the post, it isn't a Dodgeball-style comedy. There is some humor in it -- as with any good sports movie -- but having to choose between silly and not silly, I went with not silly. Of course, that could change as the demands of commercialism are satisfied.)
Fun day yesterday: Between the Ben Maller/Boston Herald mention for the Peyton Manning SNL thing and the Deadspin mention of my small business deal, it was a true "Everything's Coming Up Milhouse" type of day. Whee!