It’s Championship Time!!

Then, there were two.

Nearly three weeks ago, 68 teams had their sights set on the ultimate prize; a national championship. Today, only two teams are left standing: Villanova and Michigan.

Monday night, Villanova will look to capture their 2nd national championship in three years. They currently stand as 7-point favorites. That’s a lot of points for a national championship game. And Michigan is playing as well as Villanova right now. No, they can’t light it up from 3-point range like Villanova, but they can still overwhelm opponents on both ends of the floor.

It would be hard for Villanova to repeat their shooting performance from their Final Four victory over Kansas (18-40 on 3-pointers)!! But expect them to come close. This will be a competitive game that comes down to the final two minutes.

Tune into TBS tonight @ the ungodly hour of 9:20 P.M. EST to catch all the action. As much as I want to watch this game, sadly, I will be sound asleep by 10:30 P.M.

Score Prediction: Villanova 74, Michigan 69 

Imperferction

arike

On the women’s side of things, UConn did not win the national championship. That doesn’t sound right. Undefeated heading into Friday’s final four matchup with Notre Dame, Uconn would fall, to the eventual champion, 91-89 F/OT. 

Notre Dame’s championship victory Sunday night involved yet another buzzer beater by Arike Ogunbowale. Notre Dame’s junior guard hit the shot that took down UConn in overtime. And then she hit the shot that hoisted the trophy. While it wasn’t Kris Jenkins from 2016, it was pretty close.

Snow Baseball

Baseball-Snow-FP

It’s April. Oh, you thought you were done with snow for the year?? HA! So silly you are. While the MLB season is trying to get into full swing, New York (and other less important cities) may have an obstacle to hurdle today. With 4-6 inches of snow expected to accumulate in the Tri-State area, the Yankees’ home-opener is in slight jeopardy. Currently set for 1:05 P.M., my guess is it’ll be postponed allowing time for this snow to melt (it will). If not, the Yankees will have a double-header in their future.

Speaking of Yankees’ fans (I’m a die hard one as well), please RELAX!! The Yankees aren’t going to give up grand slams every day. Their bullpen will be a strength, not a weakness. And they’ll win 90+ games, not miss the playoffs. People are SO reactionary it makes me angry. Stop hanging on every moment of every game. IT’S A 162-GAME SEASON!!!!

Enjoy what should be the final snow of the year!! And enjoy your snow baseball!!

 

Who will win the Men’s National Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

 

Day 1 = AWESOME!!

That..was..AWESOME!!

Thursday marked Day 1 of the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. It had everything you’d hope for; blowouts, buzzer-beaters, and major upsets. Where else can you get 12 hours of uninterrupted entertainment?! Wait, don’t answer that! If you hadn’t noticed, we’re a big fan of lists….

trae-young-rhode-island-1200x807

4.) 1st Overtime Game – The 1st game of the tournament, Oklahoma Vs. Rhode Island was a nail biter. After leading by as many as 7, Oklahoma found themselves down 6 with 4:12 left. That was about the same time Trae Young started to heat up. After scoring 10 early points, Young went scoreless for 22 minutes and 56 seconds. Finishing with 28 points was impressive, however, losing overshadows anything positive. Rhode Island will take on Duke in the 2nd round following an 83-78 F/OT victory.

rob-gray-houston-stihl-cut-above-the-rest

3.) Career High – Rob Gray put on the performance of a lifetime. Gray, a senior guard  for Houston University, scored a career high 39 points Thursday night. Gray willed his team to victory (67-65), carrying them into the 2nd round. The final 1:08 was epic. Devin Watson of San Diego State and Rob Gray traded 3 pointers not once, but twice. And with the game tied at 65, Gray drove the lane, making an acrobatic layup with 2 seconds left.

Check out the play here.

This was the 1st, official, ‘jump off the couch moment’ of the tournament. Or, the ‘I scared the crap out of my dog, Jordan, moment’.

Arizona-loses-to-Buffalo-1024x768

2.) Arizona Stinks – That was pathetic. I don’t mean to disparage Buffalo’s accomplishment, but they have no business beating Arizona — by 21 (89-68)!! Maybe someone should have reminded Arizona what time their game was, because they still haven’t shown up. If you ever wondered what quitting looked like in physical form, just watch the last 10 minutes of this game….

Loyola v Miami

1.) Can I Get A Buzzer-Beater?! – And last, but certainly not least, Loyola-Chicago Vs. Miami was the game of the day. A closely contested game throughout, saw drama reach its peak in the final second. Miami choking the game away didn’t hurt either. Their final 4 possessions consisted of 3 turnovers and 1 missed free throw.

Trailing by 1, with 9 seconds left, Loyola-Chicago’s Ben Richardson grabbed a defensive rebound. With no timeouts remaining, they were forced to push the ball up the floor. The ball wound up in Donte Ingram’s hands, who launched a 3-pointer from 25-feet. HE NAILED IT with 0.3 seconds left on the clock. 64-62. BOOM!!

 

What was your favorite part of Day 1?? Tell me all about it in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

 

The Best Day Of The Year!!!!

Whether you like it or not, today is going to be crazy. There will be buzzer-beaters, major upsets, and absolute blowouts. If only we had a crystal ball to predict the future, this would be a lot easier (and more lucrative). Whatever happens, don’t bet more than you can afford to lose, and have a good time.

Upset City

(12) South Dakota State over (5) Ohio State

(11) Loyola-Chicago over (6) Miami

(11) St. Bonaventure over (6) Florida

(11) Loyola-Chicago over (3) Tennessee (2nd round)

(8) Missouri over (1) Xavier (2nd round)

None of the top 4 seeds, in any region, will lose in the 1st round. You’ll see at least one 12 seed beat a 5 seed. It happens every year. This year, it’ll be South Dakota State taking down Ohio State.

Loyola-Chicago is under-seeded. Vegas agrees, as Miami is just a 1.5 point favorite in today’s game. Seemingly every year a double-digit seed makes it to the sweet 16. This year, it’s Loyola-Chicago.

st bonaventure

Since the inception of the “first four” (in 2012), at least one team has advanced from the “round of 68” to the 2nd round. St. Bonaventure will carry the momentum from a win over UCLA to a win over Florida.

Our last major upset of the tournament actually falls into our next category….

First #1 Seed To Fall

xavier sucks

Xavier. Xavier is the weakest #1 seed. They’ll run into a Missouri team in the 2nd round, who recently regained the services of one of the top prospects in the country; Michael Porter Jr. Expect Porter Jr. to hit his full stride come the 2nd round.

Final Four

South – ARIZONA

West – GONZAGA

East – VILLANOVA

Midwest – DUKE

**The winner of the Sweet 16 matchup between Michigan State and Duke will advance to the Final Four.

Champion

Villanova. Jay Wright is a phenomenal basketball coach. He consistently produces top-line NCAA teams every year. This season, his squad has returned to life as a #1 seed. Balanced scoring is the name of their game. Villanova has six, double-digit scorers on their roster, making their bench almost as dangerous as their starting five.

Villanova will be cutting down the nets for the 2nd time in three years.

 

Who’s going to win the Championship?? Post your prediction in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

IT’S BRACKET TIME!!!!

It’s here. It’s finally here!!

No, not Christmas, March Madness!!

It’s like Christmas, minus the awkward, social obligation to buy people you barely know (or like) gifts.

Anyway, this is, ‘I collectively watched 12 minutes of college basketball this season, but I’m suddenly an expert’ week. Others fill out brackets based on their favorite mascots or jersey colors. Either way, filling my bracket(s) with check marks and x’s fills my soul with happiness. Before we get to my predictions, let’s analyze the field of “68”.

#1 Seeds

Virginia, Villanova, Kansas, and Xavier. They got these right this year. While watching the #1 overall seed, Virginia, play basketball is like watching paint dry, their defensive style is effective. They finished the year 31-2, their only losses coming to West Virginia and Virginia Tech. Villanova, the #2 overall seed, overshadowed by Virginia, will look to sneak their way through the weakest bracket in the tournament (East).

To see the entire bracket, click here.

Bubble Teams

No matter how many teams are in the tournament, 64, 68, there will always be an odd man out. This year, it’s Notre Dame. According to the NCAA Tournament Committee, Notre Dame was team 69, so Davidson upsetting Rhode Island Sunday afternoon was the final nail in the Notre Dame coffin.

bonzie-colson-010218-getty-ftr_67ptbt2886k317wbtq3tig4mp

The last team in, Syracuse. In year’s past, I would have thrown my arms in the air, stomped my feet like a child, and screamed about tournament snubs. Honestly, I don’t have the time or energy for that anymore. Every team straddling the “bubble” has an argument one way or the other. Syracuse, Louisville, UCLA, Notre Dame, Oklahoma, USC, St. Marys, and Oklahoma State all fall into the same category; mediocre basketball teams.

The crazy part is, one of the last teams in, usually makes a deep run in the tournament, “justifying” their entrance. Even though Oklahoma has only won two games since February 1st, Trae Young’s Oklahoma Sooners can beat anyone on any given day. Arizona State has also shown the ability to beat anyone, with wins against not one, but two #1 seeds; Kansas and Xavier.

Under Appreciated and Under Seeded

DeAndre-Ayton-Arizona

While I’m not going to throw my hands in the air, I do have an issue with some of the seeding in this tournament. Arizona and Auburn deserve better than #4 seeds. Arizona won the Pac-12 regular season title, the Pac-12 conference championship, and they have presumably the #1 pick in the 2018 NBA Draft on their roster (DeAndre Ayton). They should have been swapped with Texas Tech (a #3 seed), losers of 5 of their last 7 games.

auburn

Auburn should also feel slighted. They finished with a better record then Tennessee, AND they beat Tennessee, IN TENNESSEE!! How are they a #4 seed, while Tennessee is inexplicably a #3 seed??

As for my predictions, they’re coming….

 

 

 

on Thursday.

Check back with DaveTalksSports.com on Thursday morning to find my upsets, locks, and most importantly, my National Champion.

 

What do you think of the bracket?? Who were the biggest snubs?? Who was under seeded or over seeded?? Answer my questions in the comment section below!!

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

It’s Time To Start Punching Tickets!!

In case you hadn’t noticed, it’s March.

And that means more than ‘Spring is coming’. It means the Madness is upon us. This past Sunday (aka yesterday), four teams officially stamped their names in the bracket of 68:

Radford

Lipscomb

Loyola-Chicago

Michigan

One of these things is not like the other. Michigan, representing the Big Ten, is the first major conference to send their conference champion to the big dance. Now, they wait….

Radford

Unless you were overly concerned with the outcome of the Big South Conference Championship, you’ve probably never heard of Radford University. Radford is a small school located in Radford, Virginia. This will be their first appearance in the NCAA Tournament since 2009, when they promptly got their butts kicked by UNC (101-58).

To advance to the dance, Radford took down Liberty University. Man, was this game ugly!! But then the television tells you this game ended in “thrilling” fashion. Yes, Carlik Jones hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer. The result of play, exciting. The execution of the play, awful.

Watch the play here. Because nothing screams preparation like dribbling around, 30-feet from the basket, and hoisting an off-balance 3-pointer at the buzzer. Did I mention the game was tied, with 13 seconds to play, and they were coming out of a timeout?!

Lipscomb

The Lipscomb Bisons scored 108 points on Sunday. Insanity!! After scoring 60 points in the first half, and leading by as many as 32 points over FGCU, Lipscomb nearly choked this game away. With 7:05 to play, Lipscomb led by just 5 points. FGCU was able to storm back thanks to a 24-point half by senior guard, Brandon Goodwin. However, it was too little too late, as Lipscomb held on 108-96. Lipscomb will represent the Atlantic Sun Conference in their first ever NCAA Tournament appearance.

Loyola-Chicago

The Loyola-Chicago Ramblers are headed to the NCAA Tournament for the first time since 1964. They earned their tournament birth by beating up the Illinois State Redbirds Sunday, 65-49. This game was never close, so I don’t have to much to say here….

Michigan

After losing by a combined five points to Purdue (over two losses) during the regular season, Michigan was seeking revenge Sunday evening. Thanks to big-time performances from Moritz Wagner and Jon Teske, Michigan defeated Purdue 75-66. Wagner dropped 17, and Teske dropped 14. For those (degenerates) who bet the over of 141.5, all I have to say is; OUCH!!

And now, Michigan and company will have to wait an extra week for the REAL tournament. Hooray scheduling!!

By the way, Purdue will NOT go far in the NCAA Tournament. They rely on one player, Isaac Haas. Granted that player is 7’2″ and virtually unstoppable, but it’s a hard tournament to win playing one-on-five.

**Murray State also clinched a birth to the NCAA Tournament, defeating Belmont 68-51 on Saturday.

Did you watch any of these games?? If so, please post your thoughts, comments, questions, and concerns  in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:10 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports.

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

Madness Is In The Air!!

trae young

It’s almost March.

Okay, maybe I’m getting ahead of myself, but Tuesday night definitely felt like March. With 2 upsets of top 20 teams, the best sports tournament of the year slid toward the front of my mind; March Madness.

Kentucky Wildcats Shrink Down The Stretch

Kentucky could have used some of their head coach’s shooting skills Tuesday night. Click here to see John Calipari drain a half court shot at practice. Kentucky, the 18th ranked team in the nation, led by as many as 14 against the South Carolina Gamecocks. But with 5:29 left in the game, Kentucky went ice cold, scoring just 3 points down the stretch. South Carolina closed the game on an 18-3 run, turning a 7-point deficit into an 8-point victory (76-68).

South Carolina’s comeback was charged by their leading scorer (14.9 points per game), Chris Silva’s, 27-point evening. Silva’s 27 points tied his career high, a mark he set just 10 days earlier against Vanderbilt. Frank Booker, senior guard, gave South Carolina a nice boost off the bench as well, scoring 9 of his 18 points in the final 10 minutes of the game. This upset marks the biggest win of South Carolina’s season, by far. They’ll look to continue their winning ways when they host the 21st ranked, Tennessee Volunteers, Saturday @ 6:00 P.M. EST.

Trae Young’s Dubious Record

Trae Young, superstar, freshman guard, has been playing out of his mind. He’s leading the nation in scoring (29.5 points per game) and assists (9.8 assists per game). The Oklahoma Sooners are the 4th ranked team in the nation and are seeking to make a run at a Final Four appearance (Last Appearance – 2016). With wins against 5 top 25 teams, all arrows were pointing up….until Tuesday.

Trae Young had a night to forget. His 12 turnovers are the most in a single game in the history of the Big 12. His 2-10 performance from beyond the arc didn’t help matters either. Kansas State, on their home floor, was able to capitalize on Trae’s mistakes. They routed Oklahoma, 87-69, behind Barry Brown’s 24 points. Brown, Kansas State’s leading scorer (17 points per game), is hitting his stride, dropping 20 or more points in 5 of his last 7 games. Brown will look to lead his team to victory against another top 25 team when they host the 24th ranked, TCU Horned Dogs, Saturday @ 4:00 P.M. EST.

I feel bad for Oklahoma State, Trae Young’s next opponent….

 

Will Trae Young be National Player of the Year?? Are you excited for March Madness in January?? Tell me what you think in the comment section below.

You can now find me on the Radio too. Download the TuneIn Radio App and search OWWR. I’ll be on live every Wednesday from 6:00 P.M. – 8:00 P.M EST. I also broadcast every show on Facebook Live via my DaveTalksSports.com Facebook Page: http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports .

Since you enjoy my writing, follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like my page on Facebook at http://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. You can also Subscribe to my YouTube Channel: DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading!! Now go tell all your friends!!

 

 

March Madness Is Finally Here!!

It is official. March madness has finally arrived. Today marks the beginning of the best sports tournament in the world. Today at 12:00 EST, the first set of games will tip-off. Today there are 64 teams. Come April 8th, in Atlanta Georgia, there will be only one team left standing. Who will it be? We can all play with our brackets and do our best fortune teller impressions, but no one knows what will happen. Upsets happen everyday in this tournament, and there is always that upset that happens that absolutely no one saw coming. While I wish there wasn’t so much parody and 1 and done players in men’s college basketball, I still love this tournament. So, I want to wish everyone good luck with their brackets (unless you’re in my pool then I hope your brackets stink).

Final four: Louisville, Ohio State, Michigan, and Miami

Finals: Louisville over Miami (81-75)

Enjoy the games everybody!!

If you enjoy my writing, follow me over to intheneutralzone.com where I am a contributing author there as well. Also you can follow me on twitter @DaveEttinger2 or like me on Facebook athttp://www.Facebook.com/DaveTalksSports. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it!

Who Ya Gonna Call?? No, not Johnny Damon. Call the Ghostbusters.

Something big is happening in New York.  It’s not what you’d expect, and personally I’m terrified.  New York used to be the example of greatness.  We used to be the place that all others tried to model themselves after, but now we are the example of mediocrity.  Don’t believe me?  Okay, I’ll prove it.  The Islanders are one of the worst hockey teams in the world, the Jets are well the Jets (enough said), the Knicks are having a nice year, but they’re not winning any titles, and the Yankees are not the Yankees of the ’90’s anymore.  As sad as this is to say (I love the Yankees), the Yankees are not that good.  When Johnny Damon is the answer to your prayers, you know you’re in trouble.  For those of you who don’t know, Curtis Granderson broke his arm yesterday, causing mass hysteria here in New York.  Some of the media outlets here are suggesting that the Yankees sign free agent Johnny Damon to help fill the void.  A thought like that makes me wonder what really goes through peoples minds.  Do people enjoy living in the past?  Do they really think that veteran’s will bring intangibles to the team that the youngsters can’t?  Who in their right mind would think that the Yankees resigning Johnny Damon would be a good idea?  Everyone wants to talk about how old the Knicks are, but those same people obviously haven’t taken the time to look at the Yankees roster.  Let me run down the list of some of their ancient artifacts.  The Yankees have a 37 year old A-Rod who is probably not going to play this year or ever again, a 38 year old Derek Jeter who is recovering from a broken ankle, a 38 year old Hiroki Kuroda on the mound, a 39 year old Ichiro, a 40 year old Andy Pettite, and a 43 year old Mariano Rivera coming off major surgery.  Mark Teixeira (32) and Kevin Youkilis (33) are no spring chickens either.  With all the talk surrounding Robinson Cano’s contract negotiations (which are a year away), and Granderson going down, the Yankees season is already in disarray and it hasn’t even started.  Man, I’m really glad Steinbrenner made all of those off-season acquisitions this year.  Oh, yeah that’s right, they didn’t make any moves whatsoever.  Good idea Hal.  Quick side note: I’ve always said that the death of George Steinbrenner was the worst thing to ever happen to this franchise.  Clearly not everything runs in the family, because his kids have no clue how to run the most successful sports franchise in the world.  Anyway, with an aging roster and below average pitching staff, you’d think that the Yankees would have made a flurry of big moves to bring in some young talent during the off-season.  Instead, they let Russell Martin walk leaving the Yankees with literally no catcher.  They let Nick Swisher and Raul Ibanez walk as well.  They also decided not to negotiate with Rafael Soriano due to the devil’s (I mean Scott Boras’) demands.  Hey Hal, do you know why the Yankees won 4 World Series in 5 years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s?  I didn’t think so.  It’s because you had a transition from a great closer (John Wetteland) to another GREAT closer (Mariano Rivera).  As much as I love Big Mo this is clearly going to be his last season, and great closers don’t exactly grow on trees.  But hey, I guess little Steinbrenner wants us to be excited about the signing of Travis Hafner.  Newsflash, the long ball doesn’t win Championships by itself (Exhibit A: last season)!!  Without any substantial additions to the Yankees roster as it is presently constructed, they will finish in 3rd place in the American League East and MISS the playoffs.  They need a pleasant surprise from someone already on the roster, a big trade, or they need find some talent from their Farm system to compete this year.  Otherwise, I think they are in big trouble.  Nobody loves the Yankees more than me, I am just calling it like I see it.

As for the Granderson situation, I have a solution that they should have been trying for about two years now.  Move Eduardo Nunez to the outfield.  Nunez has blazing speed but has not proven to be a consistent enough fielder at shortstop.  He makes far too many errors from one of the most important positions on the field.  If you keep Brett Gardner and Nunez in the order at the same time you will put speed on the base paths and be able to play small ball (a recipe for success that I’ve been begging for for years now).  And hey, if it doesn’t work you can always slide Nunez right back into his utility role.  It’s not like he’s ever had a set position and you would somehow be disrupting his rhythm by moving him to the outfield.

With Spring Training upon us, we are entering the best time of the year.  March Madness is on it’s way as is beautiful Spring weather.  Undoubtedly, the best part of the year is the start of Baseball season.  Stay tuned for my full preview of the Major League Baseball season including division winners, playoff and world series predictions, and player projections.