Monday, April 07, 2008

Monday 04/07 A.M. Quickie:
Memphis, Kansas, Candace, Candice, MLB

Here's today's Sporting News column, and it is led by something between resignation and a flip-flop:

I simply can't sustain any more hostility or indignation toward John Calipari and Memphis.

Is he smarmy? Yes. Does he break out that "We're SO underrated!" too much? Yes. Is there something totally sketchy going on between him and China and Worldwide Wes? Hmm...

But is his team a stiletto heel of hoops destruction? Absolutely.

Memphis took a team I thought would win the national title -- UCLA -- and made them look foolish. They have done that virtually the entire season. They played the toughest non-conference schedule anyone can remember and ran through it like a buzzsaw, the perfect preparation for tonight.

I think they will win. I think they should win. (That said: Personnel-wise, Kansas is by far Memphis' toughest matchup yet: Lots of guards, deep guards, long guards and depth of size up-front to give Joey Dorsey fits. Oh, and they love to run as much as Memphis does.)

But there's something about this Memphis team this year: It's Calipari's time. If Memphis wins, Derrick Rose will lay claim to being arguably the greatest freshman point guard of all time (even better than Mike Bibby, who set the standard). Chris Douglas-Roberts might vault himself into the NBA Draft Lottery (and, based on Saturday, he should be there). And the haters can stop hating for a little while.

Meanwhile, the women's Final Four is arguably even more exciting than the men's...

MLB: The Tigers are 0-6 and there are some unlikely division leaders, like Baltimore (?!?!) and St. Louis... Jake Peavy did NOT cheat... Ben Sheets is the Week 1 NL Cy Young winner... Johan with a good effort, but ultimately a loss, against the Mets' biggest division rival... How can you NOT root for Gabe Kapler?...

Don't forget to pick up your copy of Rob Neyer's new book, "Rob Neyer's Big Book of Baseball Legends," a fantastic coffee-table addition for any baseball fan, casual or avid.

The NBA West had some intrigue yesterday: The Warriors lost to the Hornets and the Nuggets seemed poised to seize the 8-spot for themselves... right up until they lost to Kevin Durant and the Sonics in 2OT. It's hard to justify the Nuggets deserving a playoff spot if they lose to the Sonics. (Did Durant seal up the ROY ahead of Al Horford with that performance?)

There's a ton more in the column today, so check it out. More later, hopefully.

-- D.S.

7 comments:

Kurt said...

Santana's dud? You obviously didn't watch the game or look at his line. You just saw he got the L and figured he pitched poorly. I'm sure a lot of pitchers would like this dud: 1-2 at the plate, 7 innings, 1 ER.

Jack said...

Johan Santana giving up 1 run in 7 innings is a dud? Not his fault the Mets offense has sucked this year.

Derek said...

Calipari is on the sell so often that you have to think the "corporate scandal" is right around the corner. Memphis is now the official farm team for the NBA.

Great basketball team, though.

The thing about Dorsey is that HE'S the guy who disrupts the front court. His assignment on Saturday was simply to take Love out of the game. Result: 15 rebounds, 0 points. The rebounds were icing; let those amazing guards take care of the scoring.

Aldrich looked pretty good, but if Self insists on sitting guys like Kahn with even the slightest bit of foul trouble, the game's gonna get away from him. NC came back because Self doesn't know how to properly shuffle the deck.

Anyways, despite savoring the look on Roy Williams' face, I was fairly disappointed in thisyear's final four, and I'm beginning to note an, um, trend.

The committee needs to get some real-deal statisticians in the room to put together more challenging brackets next year. The east looked pretty damn tough, but giving NC the home court advantage was obviously a mistake. (Pitino would concur.) Parity's a myth; we gotta stop these guys from just rolling downhill.

pv845 said...

Nothing about the Royals, yes those Royals, being tied for first?

Steve in OH said...

Well that sure as hell was an exciting end to regulation... I think your reverse-jinxing or whatever we're calling it might be in force yet again, Dan.

pv845 said...

Rock Chalk! Jayhawk!

Richard K. said...

DS,

I hope you mention how much of an idiot Calipari is for not fowling Kansas on that last posession in OT. How many times does this have to happen in the tourney for coaches to figure it out.