Another great week of sports has gone by and with it, there are more sports happenings to talk about. The National Championship game is set as Louisville defeated Wichita State and Michigan defeated Syracuse to make it to the big game Monday night. Louisville and Michigan are both teams that are led by their guards. Peyton Siva and Russ Smith lead the uptempo, pressing attack of the Louisville Cardinals. Their pressure, along with the incredible offensive play of this twosome (at times) can give teams headaches. But heading into this game, they are up against the National Player of The Year, Trey Burke, and a very good guard in his own right, Tim Hardaway, Jr. The talented guards from Michigan will not be phased by the pressure of the Cardinals. And it would not surprise anyone if they give them some problems of their own. All in all, I look forward to a tough competition between two teams that were favored to be in this game from the beginning of the season. And it will all come down to the battle of these talented guards.
Also in college basketball, the fallout from the Mike Rice/Rutgers coaching fiasco has reached another level. In addition to the mess that went down at Rutgers, it was reported that there were brawls between the coaches and the players while Rice was the coach at Robert Morris University. I cannot say that this surprises me. Usually when coaches get in trouble for the things that Rice did, it is not the first time. The ball was dropped not only at Rutgers, but also at Robert Morris. Both of these institutions failed to rein in Rice, who was obviously out of control. And it is because of this, that both universities have to take blame, not just Rutgers. If either one of these universities cared about the players that he was coaching, they would not have allowed these kids to be around this behavior. But instead, both of them looked the other way. It’s truly sad that collegiate athletics has come down to this. But what is even scarier is that Rice more than likely is not the only coach that is doing things like these. Our universities have got to do better.
In the NBA, after one streak ended, another took over. The New York Knicks have now won 12 straight games after defeating the Oklahoma City Thunder by 25 points on Sunday. It’s no coincidence that the rise of the Knicks has happened while Carmelo Anthony has been on fire. The veteran forward from Syracuse has been scoring at an incredible rate and is looking to be unstoppable. But not only is he playing well, so is 6th man J.R. Smith. The mercurial scorer has been Robin to Melo’s Batman during this winning streak and provided the additional scoring punch the Knicks need. For many Knicks fans, their hope for a breakthrough this year has been revived with this winning steak. They seemed to have figured each other out a little more and if they can button down the hatches defensively, they could potentially give some problems to the Miami Heat.
Los Angeles has always been a Lakers town. Well this year, the Clippers decided to change that trend. Behind superstar point guard Chris Paul, the Clippers defeated the Lakers 109-95 this Sunday. With that win, the Clippers won their first division title in franchise history. But with that division title comes some growing pains and some frustrations. It had been reported that DeAndre Jordan and Blake Griffin had been unhappy with point guard Chris Paul. Well, both Griffin and Blake may want to understand what kind of priveledge they have. These two are playing with arguably the best point guard in the NBA and his play allows DeAndre and Blake to be who they are. Maybe both DeAndre and Blake need to work on their free throws and post games more than barking at CP3 in regards to the orders he is giving them.
In baseball, there is a brewing issue going on in Atlanta. First baseman Freddie Freeman was batting .417 with one homerun and 7 RBIs and was off to a great start. He was playing through pain in his right oblique throughout the start of the season and was playing well. So imagine his surprise when he arrived at the ballpark today and found out he was being placed on the disabled list. Freeman was upset and said that he could have played through the pain, but the decision was taken out of his hands. In this instance, he may not like the decision, but the Braves had to protect Freeman from himself. The baseball season is still young and there is no need for Freeman to continue to play through that pain for the entire year. In the end, I think Freeman will realize that the organization needs him for the end of the season and not the beginning of it.
Sunday spelled the end of the Skylar Diggins era at Notre Dame as the University of Connecticut beat the Irish 83-65 and moved on to the women’s National Title game versus the Louisville Cardinals. With the win versus Notre Dame, the Huskies finally defeated the Irish for the first time this year after three failed tries this season. And now, Geno Auriemma, head coach of the Huskies, is headed into rare territory. If he wins the National Championship, he will tie former University of Tennessee head coach Pat Summit for the most championships in women’s basketball (8). Geno, for as much as people don’t like him, can flat-out coach. He has taken the baton from Summit and continued to raise the bar in her absence. With eight titles potentially, there is no doubt that Auriemma has to be mentioned as one of the greatest women’s coaches of all-time. It would be an amazing debate and no matter how you feel about him personally, the man has taken the Connecticut program to unpresidented heights that no one expected when he got there.
These are my thoughts and these are my words. Until next time………….