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.