Saturday, March 31, 2018
The Michigan Wolverines won the first game of the evening, 69-57 over Loyola (Chicago) to end the Cinderella dreams for the Ramblers and advance to the title game for the second time in the last five years. Michigan lost to Louisville in the 2013 title game, but the championship was vacated by the Cardinals recently due to penalties imposed by NCAA officials.
The Villanova Wildcats will be seeking their second title in the last three seasons (they beat North Carolina in the 2016 championship game in Houston) in the Lone Star state.
It should be a great game, with the Wildcats coming out on top and cutting down the nets on Monday night.
PREDICTION - Villanova 82, Michigan 68
Sunday, March 25, 2018
The Ramblers (and team Chaplain Sister Jean) have stolen the show in the 2018 version of March Madness as they make their first Final Four appearance in 55 years.
The match up between Villanova and Kansas will likely be considered the "final" game in many observers eyes, but . . . not so fast!
Michigan and Loyola are the two hottest teams going in this tournament and which ever team wins that game could very well be cutting down the nets a week from Monday night.
It should be an exciting Final Four and best of luck to all the teams.
Saturday, March 24, 2018
The Astros look to be the team to beat once again, at least on paper as injuries can never be predictable. The Astros are loaded with a powerful lineup, led by American League Most Valuable Player Jose Altuve. The mighty small man (5-5 in stature) can hit for both average and power and has decent speed to boot, along with solid defense at second base.
Justin Verlander and Dallas Keuchel are a formidable one-two punch in the starting pitching rotation and the Astros added Gerrit Cole to that mix in the off-season.
The team the Astros knocked off in a memorable seven-game World Series last fall is the Los Angeles Dodgers.
The Dodgers are a solid team as well, led by ace starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw. Along with the best pitcher in baseball, the Dodgers have Rich Hill, Kenta Maeda and bullpen closer Kenley Jansen, who is almost always lights out.
There is also a solid lineup in L.A. as well as Cody Bellinger, the N.L. Rookie of the Year in 2017, leads the way along with Cory Seager, Justin Turner, Yasiel Puig, Chris Taylor and Matt Kemp.
There are many other teams that boast big lineups and solid pitching and for a glimpse of the division races in both leagues, the following offers a look at what to expect this summer in Major League Baseball.
1. NY Yankees - The Bronx Bombers are back, even with a somewhat questionable starting pitching staff.
2. Boston - The Red Sox added J.D. Martinez to a stacked lineup and their pitching is decent.
3. Baltimore - The Orioles slipped last year, but added two solid arms to their woeful starting pitching of a year ago. Dark horse for a playoff spot this season.
4. Toronto - The Blue Jays will play it out this season and see what happens.
5. Tampa Bay - Team appears to be in rebuild mode after many major off-season roster moves, including the trade of Evan Longoria, the face of the franchise the past decade.
1. Cleveland - The Indians look to be set for yet another October run this season.
2. Minnesota - The Twins will be nipping at the heels of the Indians this season as they look to make the post-season for the second straight year.
3. Chicago White Sox - This team has a bright future as they continue the youth movement.
4. Kansas City - The Royals are a far cry from the team that won it all in 2015.
5. Detroit - Rebuilding mode in Motown.
1. Houston - Barring any major injuries to key players, the Astros may very well repeat as World Series champions.
2. LA Angels - The Angels are a team that could contend for a wild card spot this year.
3. Seattle - The Mariners would do well to play .500 ball this season.
4. Texas - This is a team in transition that could make a move up if they get consistent pitching.
5. Oakland - The A's could escape the division cellar this year.
1. Washington - The Nationals should roll into October baseball once again. From there, all bets are off with this team.
2. NY Mets - If the starting pitching is healthy, the Mets could make a push for the post-season.
3. Philadelphia - The Phillies are an up and coming team.
4. Atlanta - The Braves are an up and coming team.
5. Miami - The Marlins are a mess that will likely lose over 100 games this season.
1. Chicago Cubs - The Cubs want to get back to the World Series. It could happen.
2. St. Louis - The Cardinals are looking to end a two-year playoff drought.
3. Milwaukee - Were the Brewers a fluke last year? They are out to prove otherwise this season.
4. Pittsburgh- Pirates are in rebuild mode.
5. Cincinnati - This team can score runs, but their pitching is perhaps the worst in all of baseball.
1. LA Dodgers - It's World Series or bust again this season for the Dodgers.
2. Arizona - The Diamondbacks have a good baseball team and could play deep into October this time.
3. Colorado - The Rockies will go as far as their pitching can carry them this season.
4. San Francisco - Giants looking to rebound after a disastrous 2017 season, but will be without two top starting pitchers for the first month or two of the season.
5. San Diego - The Padres are an up and coming team.
A look at the possibilities for the 2018 MLB post-season . . .
Wild Card Game - Baltimore over Boston
A.L. Division Series - Houston over Baltimore; Cleveland over NY Yankees
A.L. Championship Series - Houston over Cleveland
Wild Card Game - Arizona over St. Louis
N.L. Division Series - LA Dodgers over Arizona; Washington over Chicago Cubs
N.L. Championship Series - LA Dodgers over Washington
Houston Astros over Los Angeles Dodgers is six games.
Saturday, March 17, 2018
The biggest shocker thus far in the tournament took place Friday evening when the University of Maryland-Baltimore County Retrievers beat the top dog, Virginia Cavaliers, 74-54 to advance.
It was the first time ever a 16th seeded team beat a number-one seed in the opening rounds. Virginia (31-3 to finish their season) was the overall top rated team in the nation entering the tournament.
But as the old saying goes - That is why they play the games.
Locally (here in Chicago area), the Loyola Ramblers beat Miami, 64-62 on Thursday with a buzzer beating three-pointer by Donte Ingram to advance his team to a game against the mighty Tennessee Volunteers (number three seed in the West Region) on Saturday evening. Tennesse smashed Wright State, 73-47 in their opening game.
It should continue to be an exciting tournament as Round Two gets going today and tomorrow as the teams look to advance to the Sweet Sixteen next weekend.
Sunday, March 11, 2018
Sunday, March 4, 2018
Can't even remember the last time a post like this went up on this site, but here goes.
President Donald Trump . . . WTF ?
Vice President Mike Pence . . . WTF ?
Teenage students from the Florida high school shooting massacre are getting death threats from hard core NRA supporters . . . Total insanity there.
Trump flip flops on political issues more than former Democratic presidential candidate (2004) John Kerry ever did, but yet he gets a free pass from the news media.
The Me Too movement . . . long overdue, how long will it endure is the real question.
Seems the millennial generation is finally beginning to take themselves seriously about life. Now get out there and vote in the 2018 Congressional elections this November to help make a change for the better for this country.
Professional and college sports just need to get back to the basics.
News items on the American agenda and how they are covered begs the question of - Is that true or did you hear it over on Fox "News?"
Do Americans really need AK 47 and/or AR 15 assault rifles? If shooting those guns is so important to people, why not just enlist in the military and then they can shoot them all they want to.
People who are seriously demented do not deserve to be gun owners. Period, end of discussion.
The American flag and national anthem are symbols of the United States of America. People make up the fabric being of the country, any country in the world for that matter.
Climate change is real.
Corporations are NOT really living, breathing human beings . . . U.S. Supreme Court decision on so called citizens united calling them people and saying money is free speech is wrong.
Everybody in the USA deserves to have health care coverage, it fosters the pursuit of life, liberty and happiness penned by our forefathers in the Declaration of Independence.
Good Day !