Hey y'all it's finally here, Selection Sunday. The day that we all print out our brackets, figure out our favorite upsets, and find ways to deke the boss so you can catch a sneak peek of those last second buzzer beaters. The madness is here, and I ask that you enjoy it all to the fullest. This is the week all true sports fans live for. From tip off till the cutting of the nets, it's the ultimate representation of heart and soul that no other sport can provide. That scintillating feeling of young men shooting, passing, and streaking towards the basket for a chance to take down Goliath, it is here once again. It is here only to send chills down your spine once again with the pulse of Spring hanging in the balance and leaving you wondering, how much better can this get. The NCAA Tournament 2013. Get your dancing shoes, and have a ball.
I'll have my bracket blog tomorrow to break down the picks I will have made. I have picked the last two NCAA tournament champions (UCONN '11, UK '12), and I'll try to make it three years in a row in this most unpredictable of years involving the tournament. Lets get to other news first shall we!
It's also free agency season in the NFL and this week did not disappoint although as a Vikings fan, it made me nervous until Friday.
Tuesday started off the new fiscal 2013 NFL season and free agency did not disappoint with a boat load of cap freeing releases along with signings that may help shape the landscape of the NFL. Teams were releasing players left and right and even releasing those who were once the face of their franchise or the position they played. The Dumervil scandal in Denver was probably the biggest story of the first week with his release after the team supposedly thought they had enough cap space to sign him to a deal. It was one of the most bizarre sequences I could remember in recent memory. First they said he was signed to a deal, then the next thing you know he was released and the team let him go. Now, Dumervil is letting go of his agent for how the deal was handled. Click Here for the entire story. Other than that the rest of the week went relatively smooth.
Percy Harvin was traded to the Seahawks Monday making them clear favorites as super bowl contenders. Especially after signing Cliff Avril and Micheal Bennett to short term deals, ratcheting up their front four on the defensive line, which was what their main goal was this off-season. All they have now is the draft, and all that does is help teams especially if their motto is competition all the time which Pete Carroll preaches constantly.
Anquan Boldin was traded to the 49ers after he threatened to retire if he was let go. Looks like he'll be gone soon, especially after being traded to the enemy. It must be especially insulting being traded for a 6th round pick when you were Joe Flacco's favorite target during the season. Understand business Boldin, you can be let go at any moment no matter what stature you hold on a team. One would think someone as experienced as Boldin would understand begging and pleading just doesn't work in the NFL when it comes to a long term deal. Apparently I was wrong.
Mike Wallace went to Miami on a five year deal, Wes Welker went to Denver, and Greg Jennings chose Minnesota over Green Bay. Considering what Minnesota lost to Seattle when it came to wide receiver production, they got it back by signing the NFL spokesmen for Old Spice. Now they have an extra two draft picks for this season, and one next season along with a veteran receiver who can make clutch catches for a team that desperately needs of a veteran presence at the position. Believe in your smelf Minnesota, you may have just jumped into the driver's seat of the NFC North division for 2013. The signing of Wes Welker may have also cemented Denver as the favorites in the AFC for super bowl contention in 2013, giving Peyton Manning another toy to play with in the off-season. Can anybody say Seattle, Denver, New York, February, and 2014? I sure can.
One cool signing occurred in Atlanta that should not be over looked. With Stephen Jackson going to the Falcons seeming to be his final full contract in the NFL (3 years/ 36 $million), he is going to a team set to make another run in 2013. Versatility is something that Jackson brings to backfield that Turner could not over the past couple of seasons. This will also be the first time in his career the team he is playing for has a legitimate shot at making a run in the post season, unless you count the Rams in the mid-2000's which were no better than a one-hit wonder who didn't have a shot at the big dogs in the NFC. Atlanta is a big dog in the NFC, and I hope Jackson stays healthy and does nothing but rip it up this season to give his team a shot at a super bowl run.
Let's jump to basketball then we can get out of here for the week (because next week is going to be crazy).
The Miami Heat have now run their winning streak to 22 games in a row tying them for the second highest winning streak in NBA history with the 07-08 Houston Rockets. If the Heat can run their streak to 30, that is when I'll start talking about the greatest streak ever. Right now, it is just very very impressive. Remember when I said the Knicks could possibly challenge the Heat as the eight seed heading into the NBA playoffs? Well let's just see if they can even get there at this rate.
Earlier this week the Knicks played the Golden State Warriors once again except this time on the west coast. Clearly the Knicks were not prepared to play. The Knicks only scored 63 points for the entire game and Stephen Curry didn't even go off like last time. It's amazing what injuries can do to a team, especially when both of their headline stars get injured such as Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire. If only they had the same scheme as the Spurs, then maybe they wouldn't be in the rut they are. If you haven't checked out my special blog from this week, you should seriously check it out because it's about the Spurs and their 50th win this season (the most consecutive seasons doing so). Only if they were the New York Knicks... Click here for the link.
Kobe Bryant also twisted his ankle this week and was ruled "out indefinitely." He played the next game. Granted, he only played twelve minutes, but either way, he still came out and performed for the crowd. The man does not quit everybody. I'm telling you, if the Lakers somehow make the playoffs, Kobe Bryant will play 40+ minutes, bum ankle and all, because all the man wants to do is win. He does not care about his condition, and he does not care who his opponent is. I am not the biggest Kobe Bryant fan, but if you cannot respect what he has done to this point in his career and in the fashion he has done it (playing through pain, not taking games off, doing whatever he can to win whether it's having more assists than points, or sacrificing his scoring for the team) I seriously question your morale as an individual because this man comes to perform no matter the situation. Even if you don't like Kobe, understand that he is performing for you, even if you hate him. That's a true professional and that's what more of our world should consist of.
College Basketball, how are you doing?
While we put the NBA on the back burner for the next 3 weeks, we get to talk about the best sporting event of the year. First, lets get to highlights of the conference tournaments. Maryland upset Duke in the ACC tournament which opened the door for Miami to win the ACC outright. Miami has one of the best guard systems in the land this year as they bring experience into the tournament this season. They have the national spotlight with guys like Wade and LeBron going to their games, and they have the swagger of a team ready to explode towards a final four push. Conference USA had a double overtime thriller with the twentieth ranked Memphis Tigers beating the Southern Mississippi Golden Eagles 91-79, where Memphis merely outlasted Southern Miss to automatically place themselves in the tournament.
Louisville ended the 34 year run of the greatest conference tournament of all time; the Big East Conference Tournament. Players from Patrick Ewing, to Kemba Walker, Ray Allen, and Carmelo Anthony all have competed in this amazing tournament which will look vastly different heading into 2014. Syracuse dominated in the first half leading by 13 heading into the break, but to symbolize their entire season, they completely shut down in the second half and did not make a field goal for over ten minutes. Peyton Siva won player of the tournament as the original Big East came to an end Saturday. With how the Big 10 conference has performed this season, we can only hope that conference becomes the new mecca of college basketball when it comes to conference tournaments. Considering the dominance of UNC and Duke in the current landscape of college basketball, it's looking like the ACC may take the cake for becoming the next mecca. Either way, the Big East will never be the same after this season, and it's a damn shame. Unfortunately, money talks and money listens, but this only indicates a new era in college basketball set to begin in 2013-2014.
We'll end it with this crazy women's college basketball game (another four-overtime game, no big deal). It would only be viewed as one of the craziest games in sports history if men were playing it. Hey sports world, figure it out that women can do some amazing things and that glazing over a four-overtime game is nothing to scoff at. Click here for the box score, and seriously take into consideration the amount of press this game would get if men were the athletes. No matter who would be playing this game, if men were involved in a four-overtime thriller in college basketball, it would be considered an instant classic.
Happy St. Patrick's day + Selection Sunday everybody! My Bracket Blog will be up tomorrow! If you follow my blogs, send in a comment on who you have winning the tournament, you can send in your bracket, or you can join my bracket Supah Scintillating Sigs! By clicking the THIS LINK and entering the password: madness2013. Thank you for reading this week's blog, have a great week!