Tons of thoughts while re-watching replays of Rasheed's 60-footer...
The hot story of both the day and the week leading up to the Final Four is the fate of Florida coach Billy Donovan.
Would Donovan really leave
First off: I don't think he'll go to
More realistically: There is the idea that if
But I'd argue this would push him to a coaching job in the NBA, not another college. He has always said the NBA is intriguing to him, and it's not like he won't get offers (no matter what the sorry record of college-to-NBA coaches is). Fans can't begrudge a jump from college to the pros.
Apparently, the Heat are hot for him, which would be a great fit. He could stay in-state and enjoy the services of a Top 3 NBA superstar. (I was thinking Bobcats, because Jordan would want to make a big splash and the team is essentially a bunch of college kids anyway. But who would want to play for MJ? Worst boss ever.) Originally, I thought he was a lock for the Knicks, but as they're keeping Isiah, that seems to be a non-starter (lucky for Donovan).
From everything I understand, Donovan was going to wait all along until the end of the season to do his extension. Rather than creating uncertainty, isn't this the stand-up thing to do? After all, can you imagine the crap he'd get if he spent this week negotiating a lucrative personal contract extension, rather than focusing on the Final Four?
That would go against everything he has preached to his team; it's why he didn't sign an extension last April – he said that if his players would defer their NBA payoff to return, he'd defer his big payoff for a year, too. So his silence isn't a signal he's got a deal with
As for the Heat? It wouldn't surprise (or offend) me, and it shouldn't surprise (or offend) Gator Nation.
Let's move on...
My favorite stat of the Tournament (remaindered from yesterday): Nearly 162,000 people correctly predicted this year's Final Four in ESPN.com's Tournament Challenge. (Last year's total of correct Foursomes? Four.)
Thanks to the Commenters for pointing out some possible Glaring Omissions in yesterday's Top 5 CBB teams since 1985: '94-95
Given my list, I think teams are generally given a lot more credit for following the "win a title first, then get back to the Final Four and lose" than "get to the Final Four and lose, then go back to the Final Four and win a title."
Maybe that's because defending a title is so much harder than winning a first one.
Quickie-ish College Hoops All-Americans: As the AP has released their All-America teams, most notable for putting freshmen on the first team for only the third time ever (and there were two of 'em this year, Durant and Oden).
It's time for my picks, in order of how worthy they are to be on the team:
1st team: Durant, Law, J. Green, Tucker, Hansbrough.
2nd team: Oden, Horford, Afflalo, Lofton, Dudley.
Billy Gillespie to
Gillespie would have
(The latest update is that Texas A&M is going to sweeten the pot to keep him. Seriously: Given the foundation Gillespie has put in, the Aggies job is a better one than coaching at
Rick Pitino not leaving
Women's Tournament: You could tell
They play each other in the Final Four: Something's gotta give.
I'm sticking with LSU and the ironic timing of winning a national title. (It's just like Michigan and Bill Frieder in 1989, except he was exiled for having an inappropriate relationship with Arizona State, not his own player.)
MLB: Joe Torre back in '08? If the Yankees don't win the World Series this year (or at least an
MLB Fantasy: Did you drop Kerry Wood and Duaner Sanchez yet? How about picking up new Marlins closer Jorge Julio for a few extra saves?
MLB Know the Name: Ria Cortesio, who will become the first female ump to work an MLB game (even if it's exhibition) in 20 years. (Remember the name "Pam Postema?")
My new Nats fandom: Apparently, most of the season tickets won't be delivered in time for the season's start. Excellent customer service for a team that will be lucky to win 40 games!
NFL Trade: Eagles get LB Takeo Spikes and QB Kelly Holcomb from the Bills for DT Darwin Walker and a cond'l '08 draft pick.
NFL: The hot catchphrase of the summer will be "personal conduct policy," the new hammer that the league plans to wield to club players and coaches into not being such assholes.
Suspensions (even up to a year) and fines are nice, but when the Commish starts talking about docking teams' draft picks, he's threatening in a language they can understand.
(Man, if the new policy had been in place over the last year, the Bengals wouldn't have a draft pick.)
NFL 2007 Season Opener: Saints at Colts, by far the best possible matchup, pairing the Super Bowl champs versus the league's top feel-good story.
Ron Jaworski to MNF: He will go down as the best analyst in the history of the show. Hopefully, it will finally affirm that the average MNF viewer doesn't want more entertainment -- they want more analysis.
(And yet, the USA Today story about the switch said that Joey T was TOO much about the in-game analysis, and not enough about analysis of the other news around the league. Fair enough: Jaws would be as expert about that as anyone, and you never got the sense that Joey T was comfortable riffing on the storylines from the rest of the league -- of course, game analysts rarely are, which is what makes Jaws such a good fit here and what makes next season's development of the show so intriguing: Sounds like they want MNF to be as much a three-hour talk about the week in the NFL as it is a three-hour talk about the game at hand.)
Roids Watch: How fast will it take the transfer of customer lists from the Albany DA's office to sports leagues for the names to come out in the media? My over-under is the end of the business week.
NBA: Rasheed from 60! Yet another sign that this is the Pistons' year to win the East.
NASCAR: I'm not sure there's a more promising marketing gimmick than "Car of Tomorrow." I don't even understand what it means. It just SOUNDS interesting.
NFL PacMan Watch: Jones to face felony charges? Seems like it was only a matter of time, didn't it?
NHL: Commish Bettman says fighting is "part of the game," after critics pop off about the need to curb it. (Bettman added that safety should be the first concern. Isn't it possible those are incompatible?)
Tennis: Serena heckler booted. I appreciate clever heckling, but there's very little place for it during a tennis match. And it's totally unacceptable when the heckling is racist.
Freaky story of the day: The news that there was a device to shoot poison darts into horses embedded in the track at
(It would, of course, be much more intriguing if they surreptitiously shot poison darts into visiting football players at
Rest in peace, Jason Ray.