Archive for UNC

Poor Choice Fellas…

Posted in College Football, NFL with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 22, 2009 by sportsguru09

Courtesy of foxsports.com

The draft stock of Percy Harvin and Brandon Tate may have taken a hit.

Two sources told FOXSports.com that both wide receivers tested positive for marijuana in February at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.

Best of the best The No. 1 pick often has to do with team needs instead of talent. All mock drafts aside, Scout.com’s Chris Steuber ranks his Top 25 players in the draft.percy_harvin

Before the test results became official, Harvin was considered a potential first-round pick after leaving the University of Florida following his junior season. Tate was projected as a first or second rounder after a solid college career at North Carolina.

Joel Segal, the agent who represents both players, didn’t return messages seeking comment.

Harvin and Tate were the only high-profile players to flunk their combine drug tests, the sources said. Fewer than a dozen players tested positive for recreational drugs, one source said.

NFL teams received the drug-test results earlier this week. Players who failed are subject to entry into the NFL’s substance-abuse program.

Sports Illustrated’s Web site reported that Boston College defensive tackle B.J. Raji had flunked a combine drug test. Raji was not on the list of failed players, one source said, and SI.com has since retracted its story.499057

Harvin excelled as both a wide receiver and running back in Florida’s spread offense. Harvin generated 1,303 yards from scrimmage and 17 touchdowns in 2008. He also posted a blazing time of 4.39 seconds in the 40-yard dash at the combine.

Tate was having a monster season for North Carolina before tearing two knee ligaments midway through his senior campaign. He averaged 23.5 yards on his 16 receptions and was even more dangerous as a punt and kickoff returner. Tate’s 397 all-purpose yards against McNeese State set a single-game record at UNC. Tate didn’t work out at the Combine while still recovering from his injury.

The NFL draft will be held this weekend.

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Why Sports Illustrated, Why?!?…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2009 by sportsguru09

Ugh, I am disgusted. What did I get in the mail today? Sports Illustrated’s NCAA Championship issue with Tyler Hansbrough on the front. I could not have been more upset. Sports Illustrated should’ve known better. I don’t want this! You know what I did? siunccoverYep, you got it. Ripped that cover right off (the rest of the magazine was good, come on now). I should get a one magazine refund for even having to look at that right out of the mailbox. Even worse, the Tar Heel I hate the most, Tyler Hansbrough, highlighted the front cover with a ridiculous, goofy looking face while taking a shot against one of State’s defenders in the NCAA title game last Monday night. Gross…SI, take it back. I would’ve rather had a “Duke Gets Knocked Out” issue to be perfectly honest. At least I wouldn’t have had to look at Hansbrough and the rest of his lady friend Tar Heels. Come on SI, you know better…

Blake Griffin or Tyler Hansbrough?…

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

Who will be a better NBA player, Blake Griffin the OU Sooner or Tyler Hansbrough the Baby Blue Tar Heel? My answer is Griffin. And let me preface this post: my position is not a result of my hatred for Hansbrough and the Tar Heels. The Duke-Carolina rivalry aside, Griffin is much more athletic and an overall bigger powerhouse. Hansbrough is a real “creative” post player and finds ways, ugly or not, to get the ball in the hoop. As much as I hate to say it, Psycho T does it quite frequently, thus taking over the ACC All-Time Scoring Record previously held by my boy J.J. Redick. But honestly, can you see Hansbrough throwing up that trash in the NBA? The likes of Dwight Howard, Kevin Garnett, Shaquille O’ Neal, and others will stuff it and probably throw it 12 rows deep and turn it into a souvenir.

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Courtesy of yardbarker.com

Griffin, however, can actually go coast-to-coast, with speed, and smash the ball through the hole overtop of multiple defenders. Both are great college players, but how does that translate into the NBA? Let’s compare the two by NBA potential in the skilled categories:

Strength – Advantage Griffin…Griffin is an absolute monster underneath the basket and has a great presence that keeps opponents out of the lane when they drive and is able to do whatever he wants on the Offensive end. If you watch him play, the whole game revolves around him. Why? Because no one else can physically stop him. Hansbrough is also a tough guy but does not seem as dominant in the post. He’s a scorer but doesn’t tend to throw people around in the paint.

Speed – Advantage Griffin…Hansbrough, though great in the post, struggles to outrun anyone down the court. He has great court presence and vision, but fails to physically beat defenders out on the break. Griffin, as we’ve seen at multiple times throughout the year, has stolen the ball underneath his own basket and left everyone in the dust on the way back down the court only to throw down a ridiculous dunk while defenders sit back and watch.

Dunking – Advantage Griffin…See above…Griffin is a man-child all by himself. In overall dunking ability, able to jump higher, Griffin is a great lob-catcher and more talented in the alley-oop department than Psycho T. Hansbrough is not nearly as explosive or fun to watch. Put the two in a dunk contest and Griffin wins hands down.

Post Play – Advantage Hansbrough…I definitely give the nod to Tyler here. Somehow, someway, Hansbrough finds ways to score against multiple defenders in the paint. Trust me, I know. I’m a Duke fan…he’s done it four years in a row, in Durham gosh dang it. It’s ugly, but it works. Griffin tends to be a better one-on-one player and because he’s a more skilled ball handler, tends not to go down and sit in the paint. However, because Hansbrough finds home underneath the basket, I’d take him over Griffin if you need a great post scorer. Yes, Tar Heel fans, I am applauding Hansbrough’s ability…though it sure isn’t pretty.

Ball Handling/DribblingAdvantage Griffin…This definitely goes to Griffin. Without a doubt, Griffin would dribble around Hansbrough. Not to take anything away from Psycho T, but Griffin goes between the legs and around the back much better and on a more frequent basis to school defenders soon before posterizing them.

Defense – Advantage HansbroughIn the defensive block, Hansbrough has better court sense and the ability to take a charge. As dominant as Griffin is on the boards, he is all risk or all reward in trying to block shots. When’s the last time you saw him take a charge? When an opponent drives the lane, Hansbrough steps up and usually takes one for the team, risking his body to get a turnover and the ball back.

Rebounding – Advantage Griffin…Has anyone seen Griffin’s stats this year? I can’t even count the number of double-doubles that Griffin has had this year. Simply put, when you average over 20 points and close to 15 rebounds over the course of a season, you deserve Player of the Year honors. When the ball is up for grabs, count on Griffin to use his brute force to get the ball wrapped up securely in his arms for whatever NBA team is lucky enough to draft him.

One on One Ability – This is a wash, but are great in finding ways to score, no matter who’s guarding them.

Overall, Griffin has more talent and will likely find it easier to get playing time and make an immediate impact in the NBA. Hansbrough will likely be a 7th or 8th man and be a role player until he finds his way onto a team that needs a talented Small Forward. Both will be taken high in the NBA Draft, but look for Griffin, assuming he stays healthy, to be a better talent in the professional arena.

Want a look at Blake Griffin’s athleticism? Check out the video….see for yourself…

Courtesy of YouTube

VOTE IN THIS WEEK’S POLL TO GIVE YOUR OPINION!

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

Time to root for a rival?…

Posted in Random with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 27, 2009 by sportsguru09

With only North Carolina left in the 2009 NCAA Tournament to represent the ACC as a conference, is it time to root for them? Is it appropriate to cheer for the Heels as a Duke fan? If the Jacksonville Jaguars get knocked out of the playoffs next year and Manning’s Colts qualify, do I support Manning just to show love to the AFC South? What about if the Mets knock the Braves out of the playoffs this year? Do you hop on the bandwagon? The answer is absolutely not. And this goes for your most hated, despised rival in any sport. As a true sports fan, you 100% CANNOT root for your team’s rival, NO MATTER WHAT. Rooting for the conference, league, or division all gets thrown out the window when the team you hate the most is left standing. Stay true to YOUR team at all costs.

A lot of my friends are Redskins fans and I know, for a fact, that if the Skins are out and America’s Team the Dallas Cowboys are still alive in the playoffs, they will IN NO WAY root for Dallas. Same goes for ‘Sox fans when the ‘Yanks are still playing in October and the boys from Beantown are at home on the couch. For me, this holds true for UNC. As much as I love and defend the ACC, there is a line between rooting for the conference and cheering for Duke’s Tobacco Road nemesis the Tar Heels. I’ll be honest, ANYBODY else like Clemson, Wake Forest, or yes even Virginia Tech would get my vote if they were the last surviving ACC entity in this year’s tourney. However, that’s not the case. Nobody will ever, under any circumstances, catch me supporting Tyler Hansbrough and the boys in baby blue. Say what you want Tar Heel fans, but I bleed Durham Blue. Sorry to burst your bubble. Instead, I’ll stand up and cheer for anybody not named North Carolina in hopes that any of those teams eventually send UNC packing.

This whole philosophy goes for all sports, not just college basketball. It just so happens to be that time of year…March Madness. When October rolls around, you can forget about it if you think I’ll be tipping my hat towards the Yankees (MLB) or the Colts (NFL). You couldn’t pay me enough……..well, let’s be honest, everyone has a price………..

Day 1…Not Much Madness…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 20, 2009 by sportsguru09

Subdued, expected, and blowouts…all three of these words described Day 1 of the NCAA Tournament. High seeds took care of business, for the most part, and of the upsets that did happen, most people already picked them in their brackets. The #1 seeds proved why they are seeded so high. And yes, that includes North Carolina, even without Ty Lawson. They got off to a quick 10-0 start against the “boys” from Radford and never looked back. unclogoIt was domination from the get-go, much to my chagrin. Up and down the floor, Radford was caught day-dreaming and Roy William’s squad made them regret it. The only other #1 seed that played yesterday was UConn and they absolutely throttled Chattanooga. I mean, it was like David vs. Goliath…without much David. Thabeet and company led scoring fleuries all throughout both halves and made it look easy. Poor Chattanooga. Louisville and Pitt will learn their fate this afternoon, but I foresee no trouble in their near future. Both should win big and not really get tested until the Sweet 16 or Elite 8.

The biggest seed upset of the day was #12 Western Kentucky over the #5 seed Illinois in the South Regional bracket. The Hilltoppers took charge out of the gate and proved to America that they are a solid basketball program and should not be overlooked. Just ask Gonzaga…they get them on Saturday night. western-kentucky-080321-392Western Kentucky won on a buzzer beater last year and really made a name for themselves. For this reason, lots of people, including myself, picked them to be the victor in this ballgame. The 5-12 matchup is always a dangerous place for the #5 seed and last night was just another example. Go Toppers. Look for them to put up a good fight against the ‘Zags over the weekend.

Across the rest of the Regions, the only other major excitement came from the following three games:

American vs. Villanova

American, a HUGE underdog, against a highly praised ‘Nova squad took at 14 point lead early into the second half. For those of you who picked Villanova to get to the Elite 8 or further (and you should’nt have because apparently you forgot Duke is in their bracket), you must’ve been sweatin’ it our and glued to the TV set. Unfortunately for the scrappy American group, they went absolutely ice-cold down the stretch and ‘Nova took full advantage, going on a major run to the end the game to win by double digits.

Clemson vs. Michigan

Clemson lost this game in two ways: Oglesby getting ejected for throwing ‘bows like an absolute thug and poor coaching on their last possession with no time left on the clock. After Michigan blew a 12 point lead, Clemson clawed their way back, only to scramble with a few seconds left and put up a horrendous shot to tie the game. Better luck next time Tigers. How does it feel to be the only ACC team not to do their part yesterday?

VCU vs. UCLA

I’m not going to lie, I’m glad UCLA won this game. They probably shouldn’t have, but they made shots and hit free throws when they counted. As a Duke fan who literally was heartbroken when VCU upset them in the first round two years ago, I got a little revenge back last night when Eric Maynor (who single handedly beat Duke two years ago) missed a game-winner at the buzzer. The Rams made a big run at the end of the game, only to fall short by a single point. Good try, but no soup for you Mr. Maynor.

Hopefully today will bring a little bit more Madness….LET’S GO EAST TENNESSEE STATE!!!

South Region Breakdown and Analysis…

Posted in College Basketball with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 18, 2009 by sportsguru09

2009 NCAA Tournament South Region Bracket Seeding
1 – North Carolina, 2 – Oklahoma, 3 – Syracuse, 4 – Gonzaga
5 – Illinois, 6 – Arizona State, 7 – Clemson, 8 – LSU
9 – Butler, 10 – Michigan, 11 – Temple, 12 – W. Kentucky,
13 – Akron, 14 – Stephen F. Austin, 15 – Morgan State,
16 – Radford (LET’S GO! BEAT NORTH CAROLINA!!!!)

On the night of March 19th, these teams will begin their journey on their way to a potential National Championship run in Detroit on April 6th. Compared to the other regions in the tournament and the opportunity for the #1 seed (in this case, North Carolina) to make it to the Final Four, I rank the South Region as the 4th toughest bracket (the easiest) out of the field.

Egh, you mean I have to talk about North Carolina now? Dang it. I guess if I have to, I will…I just won’t like doing it. Depending on Ty Lawson’s foot, UNC should have a relatively easy cakewalk (which of course makes me upset) to the Elite 8 until they run into a stacked Oklahoma Sooner team led by potential NBA All-Star Blake Griffin. oku-logo1 Without Lawson in the first round, I think UNC will struggle out of the blocks against Radford. Obviously, if UNC were to lose as a #1 seed against Radford (who, by the way, leads the country in STDs instead of scoring….well, ironically they could technically lead the nation in scoring…if you get my drift), I would be in all my glory. I wouldn’t care about what happened the rest of the tournament. Unfortunately, this only has a miracle’s chance of actually happening. The NCAA tourney committee says “Your Welcome” North Carolina. In the LSU-Butler matchup, this game comes down to size vs. shooting. If Butler plays it’s up and down the court game and shoots well from the floor, they will be able to overcome LSU’s size and pull out the victory. However, whoever wins this coin flip will likely get beaten up on my Carolina in the second round, assuming they have Ty Lawson back and healthy.

An always exciting matchup is the 5-12 game out of any region. In this case, it is no different. UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT! UPSET ALERT!Western Kentucky is willing and ready to play spoiler against Illinois. As the 12 seed, they are automatically considered dangerous. I like them a lot here. Go Toppers! wku-logoThey will likely play a very talented team from Gonzaga. However, in the Round of 32, I like Western Kentucky to pull another upset and knock out the ‘Zags, who are usually a tournament letdown. They usually have talent, but can’t hack it when tournament pressure arrives. Go Toppers once again! At the bottom of the South regional, I like Arizona State, Syracuse, and Oklahoma to take care of business with no problems. However, in the 7-10 matchup, I think Clemson will struggle with consistency (like usual as they are typically overrated) and lose to a red-hot, developing Michigan Wolverine squad. In the next round, I look for Oklahoma to again take care of Michigan with Blake Griffin absolutely dominating the glass on both ends of the floor and producing all kinds of numbers. I expect Syracuse to continue to play well, led by Jonny Flynn, and beat AZ State, but then succumb to size and fatigue against Oklahoma in the Sweet 16.

Back up at the top of the bracket, UNC will again play its game at run the Toppers ragged in the Sweet 16 and set up an intriguing matchup with Oklahoma in the Elite 8. At first glance, you would think that the Sooners don’t have enough firepower against the Heels, but you forget that Blake Griffin will likely be guarding Tyler Hansbrough. Advantage – Griffin. In a high-scoring battle, I like the Sooners to make the trip to Detroit and try to prove to the country that they belong among the nation’s elite. This bracket will not have as many upsets but will provide excitement with high-scoring affairs and fast-paced offenses. It will also feature two of the nation’s top players in Blake Griffin and Tyler Hansbrough. Try and keep up…..

Ok folks, get out your brackets…

2009 SOUTH REGION PREDICTIONS

Sleeper teams to win at least one game: Western Kentucky and Michigan

Most intriguing team to watch: Syracuse (can they recover from a brutal Big East tournament?)

Biggest regional upset: Western Kentucky to beat Gonzaga in the 2nd round after upsetting Illinois in the Round of 64

1st Round Winners: UNC, Butler, Western Kentucky, Gonzaga, Arizona State, Syracuse, Michigan, and Oklahoma

2nd Round Winners: UNC, Oklahoma, Western Kentucky, and Syracuse

South Region Sweet 16 Winners: UNC and Oklahoma

South Region Elite 8 Winner: Oklahoma Sooners

OUT OF THE SOUTH REGION, Oklahoma WILL REPRESENT THE FIELD IN DETROIT AT THE FINAL FOUR

Analysis and breakdown of the East Region coming soon….