Archive for Oklahoma Sooners

Courtney, So Much For That Guarantee…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 6, 2009 by sportsguru09

Can anyone say student loan? How about $64,000 of debt? Well, all this is now a reality for Ms. Courtney Paris, the Oklahoma Lady Sooner who failed on her guaranteed NCAA Championship as of 9 P.M. last night. The Lady Sooners lost to the Louisville Lady Cardinals in the Final Four Sunday evening by a bucket after blowing over a 10 point lead at the end of the 1st half, thus ending OU’s title hopes and crushing Paris’ guarantee. When asked the $64,000 question (literally), she said, however, that she would be good on it and would pay back the scholarship in the coming years. Paris just didn’t have the cash on her last night, of course.

What does this teach us kids? NEVER GUARANTEE ANYTHING when money’s on the line. You’re just asking to be broke. It’s all fun and games until someone goes bankrupt. This isn’t the board game Life, it IS life. Money doesn’t grow on trees…unless it’s Monopoly money.monopoly_photoshop_template

And to those in the financial offices at OU, nothing like getting $64,000 back in the mail right?

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Silly Sooner…Guarantees Are For Kids…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 4, 2009 by sportsguru09

So, let me get this straight. Before March Madness began, at Senior Night, one of the Oklahoma Lady Sooners, Courtney Paris, guaranteed an NCAA Championship?!?!? And if they didn’t win it she would pay back her entire OU scholarship, a value of $64,000?!?!? I am ABSOLUTELY STUNNED, mortified for her parents, and completely hysterical over how obnoxious this whole thing is. I know the Lady Sooners are a quality basketball team and are in the Final Four, but has Ms. Paris ever heard of the UConn Lady Huskies and Geno? They haven’t lost in what feels like a decade and they have averaged over a 20+ point margin of victory in each of their NCAA games during the Big Dance this year. oulogoAnd oh by the way, earlier this year the Huskies dismantled the Sooners by 28 points. I’m no fortune teller, but a 28 point margin is a LOT to overcome over the course of one game. Anything can happen, mistakes can be made, and flukes do indeed happen, but let’s be real here. If this were PTI and we were playing “OddsMakers,” I would give the Lady Sooners a 7% shot at winning the game. However, this may take at least 80 points from Paris in order to keep up with the Lady Huskies on the court.

Now don’t get me wrong, I admire the courage and the heroism of the guarantee. Many famous athletes, including Joe Namath for one, have done so in the past and lived up to their public, cocky statements. If the Sooners were able to actually win the game, however, the guarantee would go down as absolutely unbelievable in the history of women’s college basketball. But don’t forget, SHE’S RISKING A $64,000 SCHOLARSHIP. I don’t know Paris and her family’s financial situation but as a parent (and no I wouldn’t know), this just doesn’t seem right. Paris, yes, earned the scholarship herself but if it then disappears, guess who pays the college bills? Good ‘ole mommy and daddy (or Paris takes out a $64,000 high interest loan). Come on Courtney, don’t be silly.

And on the subject of women’s basketball, does anyone know if the WNBA even exists anymore?!

Saturday’s Elite 8 Predictions and Thoughts…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 28, 2009 by sportsguru09

After last night’s chalk results, the NCAA Tournament is on to the Elite 8. Tonight, we’ll see Villanova-Pitt and Missouri-UConn. Below is my analysis on each game and my prediction as to who will make it to Detroit and represent in the Final Four….

Villanova vs. Pittsburgh

In the late night matchup, Pitt faces off against another Run ‘n Gun type squad and will have their hands full with Jay Wright’s Villanova Wildcats. If they think they’re going to cakewalk to the Final Four as everyone once thought they would, think again. Pitt hasn’t impressed me yet so tonight they better show me something, especially Lavance Fields. Show the nation that you can lead your team and not rely on DeJuan Blair and Sam Young each time down the floor. Pitt’s tournament journey has been far from easy so far as each one of their games has been relatively close and down to the wire. Shoot, Pitt even struggled to knock out East Tennessee State. Tonight should be no different though. I think they’ll do just enough, once again, to take down the ‘Cats and move on to Detroit.

Though Villanova is hot right now, I think their “gas” finally runs out later this evening.

Courtesy of rushthecourt.net

Courtesy of rushthecourt.net

After watching them dismantle my Dukies the other night, I have been more than impressed by what Scottie Reynolds and Dante Cunningham have done on both ends of the floor. Nova’s hawk style defense has been shutting opponents down from 3-point land and has made it tough for anyone to establish a balanced offense. However, they haven’t seen size like Pittsburgh and I think that because Nova has a smaller team, they will get largely out-rebounded and be hurt by second chance points. Look for the ‘Cats to shut down Lavance Fields but not be able to contain DeJuan Blair and/or Sam Young. One of them is bound to go off tonight. It won’t be of any surprise to see Blair or Young put up a monster double-double. Though I do give the guard play advantage to Villanova, I just don’t think it will be enough. I see the ‘Cats racking up fouls inside the paint and giving Pitt the opportunity to cash in at the free throw line. It will be competitively close on the scoreboard the entire game, but Pitt pulls it out in the end. Congrats Jamie Dixon….see you in the Motor City.

Prediction: Pittsburgh 78, Villanova 73

Missouri vs. Connecticut

UConn-Missouri…intriguing. No one knows a lot about the Missouri Tigers but they have been the dark horse in this stage in the tournament, without a doubt. Where did they come from? Who cares, they’re lights out. UConn, however, has done its job and taken care of business each round with Thabeet leading the charge and A.J. Price following close behind…like everyone thought they would. Tonight, UConn will match up against Mizzou’s pressure defense and fast-break offense and will hope to slow the game down enough to take over and move on. I think this game stays close for a while but UConn pulls away in the second half when the Tigers finally struggle to shoot it….

Look for Thabeet, assuming he stays out of foul trouble, to have a big night against the Tigers’ less-than-big-men down in the paint. Thabeet should take full advantage of size differential and he’ll likely get four or five dunks/layups being so close to the basket.

Courtesy of usatoday.com

Courtesy of usatoday.com

On the other end, Mizzou will have to rely on the three point shot…look for them to be hesitant to drive to the hoop because of UConn’s monster in the middle. I give Missouri a chance here, but just a little one. They might surprise everyone by leading at half time but look for UConn to continue to go inside and if Mizzou doubles down, UConn will take advantage of open looks from behind the arc. If I had to guess, Thabeet will likely go for 22 points and 11 rebounds, doing it all for the Huskies. Huskies roll late and Jim Calhoun gets another ticket to the Final Four…

Prediction: Connecticut 82, Missouri 71

CINDERELLA, SAY HELLO!

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 21, 2009 by sportsguru09

Wow, what a night last night (of course it all happened a- after i went to bed and b- after i posted about the games not being that dramatic in their late moments). Boy did March Madness shut me up with a slew of close games, near buzzer beaters, and multiple overtimes. March Madness is finally here folks!

In the late game last night, Cleveland State pulled 2009’s biggest shocker. As a #13 seed, they took care of Wake Forest right out the gate. Sorry Deacon fans….especially those who picked them into the Final Four in their bracket. Your bracket life is pretty much over.wake-forest-deaconsThe ‘Deacs came out flat and the Vikings took full advantage, running them up and down the court and knocking down threes. It actually wasn’t much of a game. What does this say about Wake Forest? Well, their streaky play and inconsistencies finally came back to haunt them at the quite possibly the worst of times. They’ll have to wait until 2010’s NCAA Tournament to get revenge and revive the basketball program’s success. As for the Vikings, their tenacity and spirit of the game created fireworks at the end of Round 1. cleveland_state_logo1We couldn’tve asked for anything more. Cleveland State has finally brought Cinderella back to life in 2009. Now, in the 13-12 matchup they’ll draw Arizona in Round 2 on Sunday. That battle will come down to who wins out between size and speed. Cleveland State will want to push the ball quickly up the court and ‘Zona will want to be in the half-court set. An intriguing matchup of two different styles…I like our Cinderella to dance in the Sweet 16…Go Vikings!

In an overtime thriller, Siena proved that they’re worthy to dance, knocking out Ohio State in Double OT. Siena hit not one, but two 3-pointers with less than 5 seconds left in each of the overtimes to tie and then win the game. Courtesy of YouTube

Why does this make me happy? Well, it confirms the fraud of the Big 10. They’re just not that good! Siena got behind early but did enough in the second half to extend the game against Turner and the Buckeyes. Thad Matta, do you wish you still had Greg Oden? I bet you do…sorry big fella. It’s much harder to win with a balanced team than with one dominant player isn’t it?

Though it pained me to watch another ACC team bite the bullet, they did it in dramatic fashion. Florida State, who absolutely owned Wisconsin throughout much of the game, struggled late in regulation and lost in Overtime. Welp, there’s goes a few games in my bracket. I liked Florida State to win at least one more game. O well, and so it goes…

Here are my picks for today’s matchups

Duke vs. Texas – NO QUESTION HERE, GO DUKIES!!!
UCAL vs. Villanova – I like the Bruins in the upset. Scottie Reynolds will struggle.
Maryland vs. Memphis – Can Vasquez lead the Terps in the upset? Nope, Tigers win.
LSU vs. UNC -LSU, I’ll love you forever if you win but I don’t think you will…advantage Heels.
Texas A&M vs. UConn – Thabeet dominates, UConn rolls.
Michigan vs. Oklahoma – For my bracket’s sake, go Sooners…and Blake Griffin of course.
Gonzage vs. Western Kentucky – Can Cinderella re-appear? Nope, the ‘Zags win a close one.
Washington vs. Purdue – Who cares? Washington?

Final Four and Championship Predictions…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2009 by sportsguru09

My 2009 NCAA Tournament Final Four Seeding
1 – Louisville, 2 – Oklahoma, 3 – Duke, 4 – Memphis

Down to 4 in Detroit. In the East vs. South matchup, Duke matches up with Oklahoma. Again, Duke faces a tough challenge in size vs. speed. ouBlake Griffin, against the Dukies, will likely have 25 points and 20 rebounds. Duke has no inside presence to even contend with Oklahoma’s All-American. Duke’s only chance in this game is to absolutely shoot the lights out and somewhat contain Griffin and make any other Sooner beat them. And as much as I love Duke, I just can’t honestly take them here. Oklahoma has a lot of guard firepower and Blake Griffin will be just too much to handle. I like the Sooners here, 86-78.

Across the bracket, the other Final Four game in my bracket pits Memphis (who yes, I still believe is overrated though I have them here) against Pitino’s Cardinals. The outcome of this game will rest mostly on coaching and experience. loisuvilleThough the actual roster for Louisville doesn’t have the recent Final Four experience like some of Memphis’ players from last year, I really like Pitino in March. He’s one of the greatest coaches of all time and he’s simply basketball saavy. The best part? All of his guys buy into his system. Led by Terence Williams, Earl Clark, and an up-paced offense, I like Louisville to win a scorcher here. Calipari’s Tigers just won’t know what hit them and their luck will run out in the Final Four, proving that they’re not necessarily one of the nation’s elite. They simply took care of business in a weak conference. Louisville outplays the Tigers, 76-71.

2009 Championship Game in Detroit
Louisville vs. Oklahoma

Now, the finale. Louisville vs. Oklahoma in another bruiser in Detroit. Off the bat, I’m going to have to give the edge to Pitino. These types of games are where he thrives the most. He also gets his players to step up in the spotlight (refer to the Big East Championship last week). They are arguably the hottest team in the country, have been lighting it up from 3-point land, and have just run teams out of the gym on the fast break. Oklahoma will do a lot to stay competitive in this game but I think Pitino will have something up his sleeve to contain and/or stop Blake Griffin from scoring and beating them by himself. Coaching experience and conditioning wins this game…

Finally, let’s break down who has the edge in the rest of the matchup categories:

Scoring: Advantage Louisville

Defensive Pressure: Advantage Louisville

Strength and Size: Advantage Oklahoma

Basketball Smarts: Advantage Louisville

Rebounding: Advantage Oklahoma

Your 2009 NCAA Tournament Champion? The LOUISVILLE CARDINALS…81-73…. CONGRATS RICK PITINO!

Absolute bedlam in the NCAA…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 14, 2009 by sportsguru09

6 Overtimes, 3 ½ hours?!?!?!?! Upsets galore, OT thrillers, and buzzer beaters: just another glimpse into how great the 2009 NCAA tournament will be. Yesterday’s college hoops action included two top seeds in the Big East going down, Oklahoma (#1 seed) losing a close one, and Kansas (also a #1 seed) biting the bullet and falling short against a stubborn Baylor team. And the top seeds in the ACC have yet to even play! PS, no one cares about the Pac 10 anyways, they’re non-competitive. Though I don’t support the necessity of having individual conference tournaments to place a potential other “Big Dancer” in the March Madness mix, because of the fact that they still do exist, let’s go ahead and root for the dramaticbasketball. Boy did our wishes come true last night. What will go down in NCAA history as one of the greatest heavyweight fights ever, Syracuse and UConn took exhaustion to a new level. Jonny Flynn, Syracuse’s star guard, played 67 out of 70 minutes. That’s the definition of stamina and perseverance. The game even saw bench scrubs getting minutes late and racking up statistics for the first all season. Over 200 shots were taken, 60+ fouls were committed, and just to add spice to the night, multiple layups that could’ve won the game were missed. Madison Square Garden turned into Hollywood last night….what a show.

March Madness is here folks. I can’t believe we still have to wait until Sunday night to get the bracket posted and pick our winners. O well….but in the meantime, let’s talk about what makes the NCAA tourney better than all the rest in professional or college sports. Yes, the Super Bowl, World Series, and Daytona 500 are exciting, but do they really compete in a sports lover’s heart with the intrigue and excitement created by March Madness? It’s not even close. If I had to give up watching any Finals series or championship games except for just one, I would without hesitation choose to watch the NCAA tourney for the rest of my life. The drama, the despair, the elation……all in one tournament! The best part is: no matter what the year, there’s always buzzer beaters and NOTHING can top those. Remnants of Bryce Drew, Jim Valvano, and Christian Laettner fill the halls of NCAA tourney history. ncaa-logoNot even great catches or comebacks in the Super Bowl are better than half-court swishes, a full length drive down the court for a game winning layup, or bad free throw shooters actually hitting free throws with little or no time left to lead their team to victory. These moments are priceless and best of all, they are created by kids who’ve worked their tail off (on the court and in the classroom) and have a REAL PRIDE AND PASSION for the game of basketball. This isn’t the NBA where every player is typically overpaid, hot dogs-it, and bores the audience to sleep. Truthfully, the heck with the NBA. March Madness is a time where athletes’ hearts are poured out, teams become families, and future all-stars make a name for themselves in the most dramatic of moments. All for the love of the game….aren’t we missing that these days? The NCAA Tournament is two thumbs up in my book. The NCAA Tournament is finally upon us folks…are you ready?!?

PS – Good luck filling out your brackets next week. You have as about as much chance of picking all the games perfectly as I do actually winning the trip to ESPN studios by eating Cheez-Its and looking inside the box…..