5 Hardest Teams to Predict in 2014 NFL Draft

03 May

Every draft all 32 teams look at their needs and then at that year's draft board and determine what plan of action they should take. Which 5 teams are the hardest to grade though....when you do your mock draft which teams do you get to and wonder which way to go because that team is such a wild card.

Well based on history and current needs I'm going to give you which teams I think might surprise you the most come Draft Day. 

1) Houston Texans

It is pretty much a 50/50 scenario where nobody can predict what the Texans are going to do. Are they going to go after their glaring need at QB even though some experts out there are worried about a QB in this class stepping up and being that guy...that franchise QB that the Texans or any team needs for that matter. Some say that would be foolish when they can pair a once in a generation freak athlete like Jadeveon Clowney next to an All-Pro stud like Watt and watch the bodies pile up in the backfield. This is a very tough decision for the Texans' front office. Most teams might see this as an easy choice and go with Clowney, but the Texans' new coach Bill O'Brien is known for being good at developing QB's and they might like to see what they can do if he gets a hold of Bortles/Manziel/Bridgewater. 

2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

This team could snatch up a QB if he falls to #7 which is very likely, but some are mocking other positions there mostly because they believe the organization will give Glennon a chance to prove himself as their franchise QB much like they gave Freeman a chance. This is also why they think the Buccaneers might take a QB, the Freeman flop might have made them more weary about choosing to settle down with one QB unless they're sure it's their guy. Another reason they're unpredictable is because of the top tier WR's in this draft and how they could intrigue a team like this with a need at the position. Evans, Lee, and even Beckham could intrigue them here. If Watkins fell this far it's almost a no-brainer what the Buccaneers should do, but he'll fall before the 7th pick is on the clock. They also could take a pass rusher at the second level like Mack or Barr making it three positions they could target. 

3) Arizona Cardinals 

This team with Palmer at the helm is good, but not great. The Cardinals could be looking to the future and take a QB if one of the big 3 fall to their slot at 20. Anthony Barr might also intrigue them if he falls here as they have a big need at OLB. I say their most likely picks are this: Bridgewater, Barr, Clinton-Dix, Pryor, Shazier. The Cardinals may also pick Darqueze Dennard if he slides here. While on the surface picking Dennard doesn't seem right after signing Cromartie to line up opposite of Peterson, it was only a 1 year deal so this another possibility. The Cardinals tend to pick the best player on their board regardless of need so Dennard to Arizona could happen if he fell that far. 

4) Tennessee Titans

With Locker's struggles, the Titans could be looking at QB, but they have also considered trading back if their CB and QB they desire both get picked before they are on the clock at 11. With Chris Johnson gone trading back could make sense to pick Hyde or Carey for late in the first round. If they believe that Michael "The Blindside" Oher isn't the answer at OT then they could pick there at 11 as well. Lewan, Robinson, or Matthews probably won't all fall that far, but one of them will. Watch this team. Who knows what they could do.

5) Dallas Cowboys

Anytime Jerry Jones is at the helm expect the unexpected. He tends to trade up for guys he falls in love with. What if Clowney or...dare I say it...Johnny Manziel intrigue him enough to trade up for them? He also tends to pick skill positions if the value is strong enough at his slot. If Mike Evans falls to 16 he could consider it. Most Cowboys fans would probably like to see a safety or defensive lineman taken at 16, but Jerry World is a roller coaster come draft day, and every Cowboys fan better hold on. 


Do the Texas Rangers have the Most Hitting Depth in Baseball?

23 Apr

The Rangers lineup has been decimated lately, and yet, after finishing their sweep of the Oakland Athletics tonight, they now have the best record in the American League. After taking a look at today's lineup and their current record you have to think they just might have the most hitting depth in all of baseball.

Here is the Rangers' projected lineup heading into 2014 Spring Training...

1. LF Shin-Soo Choo

2. SS Elvis Andrus

3. 3B Adrian Beltre

4. 1B Prince Fielder

5. RF Alex Rios

6. DH Mitch Moreland

7. CF Leonys Martin

8. 2B Jurickson Profar

9. C Geovany Soto

Now here was today's lineup

1. LF Michael Choice

2. SS Elvis Andrus

3. RF Alex Rios

4. 1B Prince Fielder

5. DH Mitch Moreland

6. 2B Donnie Murphy

7. C Robinson Chirinos

8. CF Leonys Martin

9. 3B Josh Wilson

That's 4 starters injured and 3 others moved higher in the lineup as a result. Another detail missing here, is that Kevin Kouzmanoff was the backup 3B and won AL Player of the Week in Beltre's absence, now even he is hurt. Yet utility backups like Donnie Murphy and Josh Wilson have both been huge in this series against the A's. Wilson had a game tying RBI last night and Murphy had a HR today. Michael Choice had the game winning RBI last night and Chirinos had a walkoff hit in a 12 inning pitchers duel against the Astros. Every backup is stepping up, more than you usually expect. That is also a beautiful part of baseball, it isn't about the individuals, it's about the team and every guy stepping up, and the backups for the Rangers are doing just that. They will have lots of late inning platoon pinch hit options once their starters get back. Their pitching is also a big part of this as well. Martin Perez and Yu Darvish are both putting up Cy Young numbers right now, the Rangers are really hoping they hold on to those kinds of numbers and they won't have any problems winning games with this kind of hitting behind them.


Should the Dallas Cowboys Trade Up in the 2014 NFL Draft?

15 Apr

The Cowboys have just lost DeMarcus Ware, the star of their defense for the past decade, should they trade up to snag his replacement?

First question is, how much would it cost the Cowboys to trade up to a top 5 pick?

Depending on what team and slot they trade up to, this could change. Any top 5 pick comes with a big cost though, and you have to see if the reward is worth the risk. Now the Cowboys' glaring need in this year's draft after Ware's departure is an impact player on the defensive line that can pressure the opposing QB snap after snap. There are about three players up top in this draft that would be worth a top 5 pick, but one of these player's draft stock is sliding. The three impact pass rushers the Cowboys could target up top is Jadeveon Clowney, Khalil Mack, and Anthony Barr. The teams up top probably see Mack and Clowney (with Barr  being the guy who's stock is falling) as guys they could easily regret passing up if they traded their pick away, so they would have a hefty price on their picks. The Cowboys have quite a few late round picks to fall back on if they had to trade away some early picks in the draft. They could still hit a lot of needs if they had a hand a few over for a top 5 pick in the draft. I think the reward of a star DE for the next decade to replace the one that just left is more than worth it. Tony Romo needs a defense who can hold it down so he isn't losing 52-48 games like he was last fall. A game changer on the DLine would be a big start back in that direction. 

Now the second question is what team would benefit from a trade back and would it be high enough to get our guy?

The Cowboys really need a QB and there are three up top for their picking so I don't see them trading back here. The Rams at #2 have lots of needs, 2 being WR and OT, both positions where the Rams could snag an impact player at #2 so I don't think they would bite either. The Jaguars, they might be a target to trade with. Yes, they need a QB, but what if they only end up liking one of the big 3, and the Texans snag that guy at #1. If the Texans did that, the Jaguars might be interested in accepting that trade on draft day. At #3 we would pick Clowney and have our DE of the future to take Ware's place and wreak havoc on QB's again for the next decade. Now some out there are wondering, will Clowney be motivated enough to perform at a high level in the NFL, is he worth the trouble of trading all these picks away to get a high pick for him? Is Mack an option here? 

Khalil Mack would also fit well in our defense, but as an OLB, not a DE. Right now we have two OLB's who would both be backups if Mack was put on the depth chart at their spot. He would be a huge upgrade over Bruce Carter or Justin Durant. Carter is a great physical specimen, but his technique and ability to get to the ball just seriously disappeared in multiple games last season. Durant is just a veteran body, when you think of sabermetrics and a "replacement player"...yea he's that guy...the "replacement player". Mack would be huge behind Selvie who proved to be great for the Cowboys last season. The problem with drafting Mack over Clowney is, while OLB could use an upgrade, the 2nd DE spot is a bigger dropoff from Clowney than either OLB spot is from Mack. Right now Mincey is supposedly holding down the second DE spot, Clowney with Carter, Selvie and Durant would simply be better overall value than say Mincey, Selvie, Mack, and Durant/Carter. Mack's character is mainly the only thing he holds over the freak DE from South Carolina. I think Rod Marinelli would really be huge for Clowney though I think. He seemed to get the most out of the street bodies we were throwing out there at the end of the season. He also got tons out of Selvie who I bet barely any Cowboys fans knew before the season started, but were loving by seasons' end for being one of the few impact players on an abysmal overall defense. I think if we could trade the 16th pick, a second and 5th rounder, and maybe one our 6th rounders, it would be able to snag that pick, and still be able to draft a solid DT or S in that 3rd round like Ahmad Dixon or Will Sutton. 

I just think that at pick #16, we won't be able to draft the necessary impact player to replace the difference this defense will feel with Ware's departure. When the Cowboys had a great defense 4-5 years back, Ware was the key, a nasty pass rusher is a key ingredient in every great defense there ever was. Whether you remember his name or not, he was the guy driving the QB crazy and making him make hurried throws resulting in key drops and picks for his secondary. 

I think Clowney would be another huge name in Cowboys lore along with other older Cowboys defensive linemen such as Bob Lilly, Randy White, Jim Jeffcoat, and DeMarcus Ware. If we trade up I do not think at all the Cowboys would regret it. Put a star on the guy's helmet and watch him go to work. 

Make it happen Jerry Jones, make it happen!


This Week's Walkoff Wins in Baseball!

14 Apr

There aren't many more things than a walk-off win in baseball or sports overall. This is a compilation of this past week's walkoffs! 

I was live at the 1-0 Rangers over Astros walkoff win that took 12 innings! I was really hoping that Yu could pull off the perfect game, but he lost it in the 6th! Both Feldman and Darvish played their ace role well and the game seemed like a nightmare for both teams on offense! The Astros couldn't muster but 2 hits all game and the Rangers kept stranding men on base like crazy, they didn't even score a run in the 10th despite loading the bases with no outs. Finally in the 12th, Kevin Kouzmanoff got home from second thanks to Robinson Chirinos's walkoff hit up the middle! Hope you guys (and girls) enjoy the video! 

http://m.mlb.com/video/topic/28898650/v32075529


Baseball's Top Prospects and How They've Started Off

12 Apr

The baseball season is in full swing now, and with that hope springs eternal for all 30 ball clubs who hope to be hoisting that World Series Trophy come October!

With an eye to the future though, how is the league's top prospects doing so far in the early going?

I will be doing the top 15 prospects in Baseball America's Top 100 List.

1. Byron Buxton - OF - Fort Myers Miracle - Class A Advanced (Twins)

Buxton has started off the young season on the 7-day DL and hasn't played yet. I'm sure the Twins are very eager to see this guy get back out there, he has put up the best minor league stats so far since Mike Trout was down there tearing it up. 

2. Xander Bogaerts - SS - Boston Red Sox

As of right now he has a .286 batting average and .388 on-base percentage which is very good for a rookie in the early going of the season. I'm sure playing in the World Series was huge for him though in terms of experience. He was probably still a little nervous in his first Opening Day start, but he was much more prepared than most rookies. While he doesn't have a single RBI yet, he has 6 runs which is a better measurement for his role on the team. Keep an eye on this guy. He could be your 2014 AL Rookie of the Year.

3. Oscar Taveras - OF - Memphis Redbirds - Triple AAA (Cardinals)

Taveras is the centerpiece in what is probably the best outfield in the minor leagues. Between him, Stephen Piscotty, and Joey Butler the Red Birds aren't exactly hurting for offense. As of right now Taveras has a .289 BA and a .341 OBP, so he is looking ready and poised for a promotion if the Cardinals have a need for him in case of injury.

4. Masahiro Tanaka - SP - New York Yankees

Tanaka has looked like a solid innings eating pitcher for the Yankees so far. If a pitcher finishes a season with a 3.21 ERA (Tanaka's current ERA) he usually thinks he's had a pretty good year. Tanaka has also gone 7 innings for the Yankees both times out. The Yankees have to like what they've seen so far from him against two good offenses from their division. Another good candidate in the early goings for the AL Rookie of the Year award.

5. Javier Baez - SS - Iowa Cubs - Triple AAA (Cubs)

Baez has had a rough start to his season. His BA and OBP at the moment are .154 and .214. He has shown some power though as he already has 2 home runs on the season. He will need to improve before the Cubs call up their star of the future though. 

6. Miguel Sano - 3B - New Britain Rock Cats - Double AA (Twins)

Like fellow Twins top prospect Buxton, Sano is also hurt, but his injury was much more serious and he is out for the season after needing Tommy John surgery. The Twins are excited about this guy returning as well after a 35 HR 2013 from Sano. His power and ability to get on base as well (.382 OBP in 2013) will be very much welcomed back in 2015. 

7. Carlos Correa - SS - Lancaster JetHawks - Class A Advanced (Astros)

Correa has had a pretty good start to the season. He hasn't shown much power (which really isn't his game anyways), but he has gotten on base at a clip of .350 which is pretty good. I'm sure the Astros would like to see a little more from their #1 overall pick at the Class A Advanced level though. 

8. Kris Bryant - 3B - Tennessee Smokies - Double AA (Cubs)

Bryant has a great start to his season so far. He has already shown power with 3 HR's but his OBP is also .406. The Cubs have to love seeing this from Bryant with the struggles Baez is having so far. The faithful fans of this club are looking forward to this guy who was the Cubs' 2nd overall pick in the 2013 MLB Draft. 

9. Archie Bradley - SP - Reno Aces - Triple AAA (D'Backs)

Bradley has had a fantastic couple of starts to begin the season. He has a 1.50 ERA in 12.0 IP at the moment. The D'Backs are really hoping he can develop quickly because their major league starting rotation has been awful to start off the season and any and all help is needed. 

10. Gregory Polanco - OF - Indianapolis Indians - Triple AAA (Pirates) 

Polanco has been on absolute fire to begin the season!!! His current BA and OBP are .500/.537! He also has 2 HR's as well. His OPS is 1.300. If he keeps this up he could complete the star trifecta outfield for the Pirates playing next to Marte and McCutchen, two of the best in the game. Watch out for this guy for NL Rookie of the Year if gets promoted quick enough to have a shot.

11. Taijuan Walker - SP - Jackson Generals - Double AA (Mariners)

A guy who many thought could go after the 2014 AL Rookie of the Year award had to start off the year in the minors after an injury set him back in spring. Right now at two different levels of the minors though he has a 0.96 ERA so far. He looks like he might be ready to return soon and the Mariners are hoping so with Paxson on the DL now. 

12. Jonathan Gray - SP - Tulsa Drillers - Double AA (Rockies)

The guy who many thought would go first overall in the 2013 MLB Draft but ended up going third has had an awful start to his season. His first start he went 6.0 innings with 3 ER which isn't too bad. His second start was absolutely abysmal though, only got 2 outs while giving up 6 ER to skyrocket his ERA all the way up to 81.00 from the 4.50 in the game before. The Rockies have to really hope it was just an off day or the two teams who passed on him with the first two picks will look real smart instead of them.

Francisco Lindor - SS - Akron RubberDucks - Double AA (Indians)

Francisco has been only getting on base at a clip of .302 so far, but he has 2 HR's and his fielding is what will also carry him through the minors if he can bat .303 like he did in 2013. With Kipnis now locked up, whenever Lindor finally arrives the Indians will have their complete middle infield of the future. 

14. Addison Russell - SS - Midland RockHounds - Double AA (Athletics)

Russell was off to a torrid start with a .714 BA and OBP and a HR in 2 games before he hit the 7-day DL. I'm sure the Athletics are hoping he can get whatever good vibe he had going before to get going again! 

15. Dylan Bundy - SP - Bowie Baysox - Double AA (Orioles) 

Bundy had Tommy John surgery in June of 2013, and hasn't pitched since 2012. The Orioles are eyeing the return of their star pitcher and hoping the stars align just right in his rehab process so no big setbacks occur. 


Most exciting Sweet 16 Matchups

27 Mar

There are some really cool Matchups to watch this weekend this is my ranking of which ones I think will be the best!

1. Kentucky vs. Louisville
Rivalry? Check. Preseason #1 vs. Defending Champ? Check. Veterans vs. Hyped Up Freshmen? Check. Get ready for a barnburner classic right here ladies and gents.

2. Baylor vs. Wisconsin
There may not be a hotter team than Baylor right now, their defense held down a prolific scorer in Doug McDermott to well below his average last game and most of those points were in garbage time anyways. Wisconsin is known for being a disciplined team and they'll have to be to survive the Bears and halt their streak.

3. Virginia vs. Michigan St.
MSU was a popular champ pick in peoples' brackets, and now they have finally arrived in their first game where they are the underdog and will have to live up to the hype. Gary Harris and company will have their hands full with the #1 defense in the nation against the Cavaliers. You won't wanna miss this one folks!

4. Dayton vs. Stanford
Whoever wins this will be a big Cinderella story. Not often do double digit seeds reach the Elite Eight, but we have a guarantee here and you won't wanna miss your rare shot to watch two Cinderella's tango with each other in this game.

5. Florida vs. UCLA
Kyle Anderson and Jordan Adams will have to have possibly their biggest games of the year to survive this, but Florida's defense and clutch play by Scottie Wilbekin will be hard to match no matter what. Can't promise a close game here.

6. Michigan vs. Tennessee
Another hot team on a roll playing a tough 2 seed. Difference is Michigan isn't nearly as disciplined as Wisconsin, but plays with a much more loose free flowing style that has resulted in a high pace prolific offense that is very hard to stop, but also a very vulnerable defense that the Vols just might be able to exploit. If the Vols can't attack the boards early with Stokes and slow down that Wolverine offense it could be over quickly though.

7. Arizona vs. San Diego St.
Thames will need to be an absolute monster for the Aztecs in this to keep it close. If he doesn't I just don't see his surrounding cast being able to keep this thing close.

8. Iowa St. vs. UCONN
The Cyclones might be missing Niang, but with Kane and Ejim still leading the way, Iowa State will have a fighting chance against Shabazz Napier and company. Both teams have big time players, and I see this being a close high scoring game, but I just don't see any juicy story lines here. No 1 seeds or Cinderella stories here at stake. But with any Sweet 16 matchup, still worth a watch for pure basketball purposes.


Cal Poly keeps their streak alive

19 Mar

Cal Poly's Cinderella story is still alive...for now, we'll see if their hopes need life support by halftime against #1 Wichita State on Friday. They managed to fight off a heroic effort by Texas Southern's Aaric Murray who had 38 points on 14-23 shooting from the field and 3-5 from behind the arc! Eversley and Nwaba were the key guys for Cal Poly with 19 and 17 points a piece!


Big Time Tournament Preview: March Madness Style

17 Mar

This year's bracket as always is one of a kind, but as always the same questions remain, so let me try to answer these key questions as we head into the craziest sporting event of the year. 

1. How are we supposed to go about picking the winner out of that region of death that is the Midwest?

Let me just start off by saying that the Wichita State basketball program won't be sending the selection committee any Christmas cards this year. Their path to the Final Four is as brutal of any that I've ever seen. Once they get to the Round of 32 (barring the first 1 seed upset in history), they will already most likely be up against the preseason #1 team in Kentucky. How Kentucky wound up as an 8 seed is a mystery to us all along with how SMU missed out and how the #5 overall team going into Selection Sunday wound up as a 4 seed (Louisville). Now if Kentucky is having one of those days where they zone off and play undisciplined basketball for long stretches in a game then the Shockers should move on handily. If the Wildcats show up strong for a full 40 minutes however, the Shockers could be ripe upset meat for the Wildcats who would most likely go on to face defending champ and rival Louisville. Again...how is Louisville a 4 seed? That is so unfair to them and their opponents in their path to the Final Four. This squad will be out to prove it was deserving of that fourth 1 seed I think and upset the Shockers if the Wildcats don't. Whoever does win between the Wichita St./Kentucky/Louisville though will most likely have to face Duke or Michigan who are both offensive juggernauts. The Longhorns and Hawkeyes are dark horses who could sneak into the Elite Eight as well with their offensive rebounding prowess and shooting (Iowa) or defense (Texas). Ultimately I see Louisville as the winner of the Midwest Region here. 

2. What 12 seed will win over the 5 seed this year?

Every year there seems to be at least one 5-12 matchup resulting in an upset, sometimes a couple of them. This year my two 12 seed upset picks are Stephen F. Austin over VCU and North Dakota St. over Oklahoma. While Stephen F. Austin may not have faced a defense as good as VCU's, I think that VCU will be shocked at how tenacious the Lumberjacks' offensive rebounding is. Also, VCU tends to live off of their opponents' turnovers and the Lumberjacks take care of the ball very well with only a 14% turnover ratio. If the Lumberjacks can take care of the ball, continue shooting well (52.4 Eff. FG%), and give themselves second chances when they do miss then they will shock the team that is usually used to shocking others. North Dakota State is also a team that shoots and takes care of the ball well. They will just have to really focus on defense against the Sooners as that is usually the weaker side of the ball for NDSU. I really like Cincinnati though and just don't see an upset for Harvard over the Bearcats in the cards. St. Louis will get to face a play-in team (NC St. or Xavier), and frankly NC State is the team who I think was lucky at the expense of SMU's snub on Selection Sunday. I don't see the Billikens getting upset by either of those squads in the Round of 64. The best 5 seed in the bunch is Cincinnati and I wouldn't be surprised to see them surprise Michigan State in the Round of 32 if the Spartans beat Delaware as predicted. 

3. Will any 16 seeds finally break the undefeated trend for the 1 seeds? 

No. I see Texas Southern possibly making it interesting against Wichita State if they beat Cal Poly, but that is just it...interesting. Nothing more. The 16 seeds will stay o-fer...

4. Will any play in games produce a dark horse?

Yes, I see Iowa beating Tennessee then shocking UMass, Duke, and Michigan. The metrics really like the Hawkeyes who kill the boards, take care of the ball, and know how to handle fouling on offense and defense. They can get to the line while also playing smart defense. They will likely fall to Louisville, but will have made plenty of noise while getting to the Elite Eight. 

5. Who are the top low seed small schools in this year's bracket?

If I had to rank them I'd say:

1. Stephen F. Austin (have them getting to Round of 32 and losing to UCLA)

2. NC Central  (lose in Round of 64, but in a thriller against Iowa State)

3. Harvard (great but get tough first matchup like NC Central did and lose to Cincinnati)

4. North Dakota St. (have them getting to Round of 32 and losing to San Diego St.)

5. New Mexico St. (lose in Round of 64 to San Diego St.)

6. Who will show that their late season surges or slumps were for real? 

I think Syracuse will struggle more than it should against Western Michigan but they will still win. I see Ohio State and Aaron Craft handling Syracuse in the Round of 32 as an under seeded 6 seed. I think Iowa will overcome their late season slump. They were close in all of those games and never got blown out which shows that they can easily recover and get on a run in the tournament. I see Baylor beating Nebraska, Creighton, and Wisconsin to reach the Elite Eight. The Bears have been red hot and their latest loss was barely to Iowa State in the Big 12 Championship and that was most likely due to fatigue after playing their 4th game in 4 days unlike Iowa State who had a bye to start off the Big 12 Tourney. The Bears' zone defense and offensive rebounding will carry them to the Elite Eight. Also, their opponents had better keep an eye on Brady Heslip, or he could bury them quickly in three pointers. 

7. Which star freshman will have the biggest impact in this tournament? 

I have Arizona winning my bracket and it will be due to a big dose of Aaron Gordon. The Wildcats' young freshman is averaging 12.1 points and 7.8 rebounds on the season, but I could see him possibly stepping it up to 16 and 9 per game for the tournament. The Wildcats will need him against Baylor in the Elite Eight if they both make it as the Bears have a strong frontcourt in Isaiah Austin and Cory Jefferson. He will have to step up his free throw shooting as well for the big moments late in the game. I just dont see any other freshman getting nearly as far (Syracuse/Ennis losing in Round of 32, Kansas/Wiggins losing in Elite Eight, Duke/Parker losing in Round of 32, Kentucky/Randle losing in Sweet 16). I think veterans will show up bigger in this tournament despite the huge preseason hype of this freshman class. 

8. What game/matchup will provide the best game and drama of the whole tournament?

My projected Sweet 16 matchup between Louisville and Kentucky will provide plenty of drama. This game doesn't lack storylines with "The Defending Champs against Preseason #1", and "Veteran Laden Squad against the Overhyped Freshmen Class", and just being a couple of them. These teams were also both vastly underseeded which is a huge reason why this great matchup will happen so early on the tournament. Even if these teams weren't in-state rivals this would already be a classic, but that adds even more fuel to the fire. Watch for the fireworks to fly right from the tip-off if this game happens. 

9. What team was way overseeded and fall early? 

I don't see Oklahoma living up the 5 seed at all. As you saw earlier I see the Sooners falling victim to the typical 5-12 upset, and them being overseeded along with past teams is a huge reason why the 5 seed has typically been one of the weaker big seeds. When NDSU upsets them they're gonna be wishing they had Blake Griffin back in no time. 

10. What team was under seeded and will rise up and prove themselves?

I see Ohio State showing up with a chip on their shoulder, which is a dangerous thing equipped to Aaron Craft and company. I see them taking down Dayton and Syracuse to prove they deserved better, but I ultimately see a Kansas squad who will likely recover Embiid before their matchup and feel some extra spunk to take down the Buckeyes and play #1 Florida in the Elite Eight. I also see both #8 seed Kentucky and #4 seed Louisville performing far beyond what their seed indicates. I see Kentucky tking down Kansas State than #1 seed undefeated Wichita State to prove their worth before underseeded Louisville takes them down in the Sweet 16. I then see Louisville advancing to the Final Four where they lose to eventual champion Arizona. I also see the 6 seed UNC Tarheels making noise and making it to the Elite Eight where they will lose to the Virginia Cavaliers. UNC is as good as any team out there when they play at their best and I think they will, but Virginia's defense will be just too nasty for them I think. 

Final Question: Who will be in the Final Four and who will be the champion?

South: Florida over Kansas

East: Virginia over North Carolina

West: Arizona over Baylor

Midwest: Louisville over Iowa

Final Four: 

Virginia over Florida

Arizona over Louisville 

Championship:

Arizona over Virginia

Now time for the Big Dance!


Top 5 Impact Freshmen in College Baseball in 2014

04 Mar

College baseball has been going for a few weeks now and it is time to look at the fresh new faces who have been impacting the landscape and will continue to impact it.

1. Ryan Long - SS - Texas Tech Red Raiders

Long started only getting an at-bat here or there, but he showed enough to the coaches to get snag the starting spot at shortstop and he rewarded them by winning Big 12 Newcomer of the Week. He has batted .343 with 12 hits in 35 AB's so far and has shown a good glove as well to go with his bat. He has shown a knack for putting it in play even when he gets out. This is obvious by seeing that he has only 6 K's to his 12 hits so far. I think he will be a legit candidate for Big 12 Newcomer of the Year.

2. Phil Bickford - RP - Cal State Fullerton Titans

This guy was a top prospect in Baseball America's Rankings among many others and so far he has shown up big time for the Titans with a 1.80 ERA in 10.0 innings of relief. He is averaging 12.6 K's/9 and batters have a batting average of only .205 against him so far. His great control and ability to throw effective strikes will carry him a long way. 

3. Ryan Cleveland - 1B - Georgia Southern Eagles

Cleveland has shown some early pop in the season with 3 HR's already and he has a solid .308 batting average to go with the power. His glove is great too as evidenced by his .982 fielding % so far. The Eagles have soared to a great 10-2 start and Cleveland has been a big reason why they've gotten off to such a great start and will continue to make a huge positive impact for this team.

4. Tyler Weekley - SP - Charleston Southern Buccaneers

Charleston Southern must be happy with this guy, every time he has gone out and started he hasn't given up a single earned run. He has started 3 games and pitched 15.1 innings and still has a 0.00 ERA to boot. He is more of a "throw strikes and let the your defense get outs for you" kind of guy and it has worked like charm for the Bucs. I will be keeping an eye on this guy to see how long he can keep this scoreless start going. 

5. Matt Krook - SP - Oregon Ducks

He has a whopping 33 K's so far in only 19.1 IP. Wow. This is a guy who knows how to miss bats early and often and it has garnered him a 2.33 ERA to date. The real crime here is how he has wound with three no-decisions in all of his starts so far. I believe if he can keep missing the bats like this then the W's will have to start falling his way sometime for him. 


LeBron James Drops 61 Points on the Charlotte Bobcats

03 Mar

Best player. Best game of his career.

LeBron James looks like he isn't quite ready to give up his MVP award to anyone just yet. James made 22 of 33 shots from the field, including his first eight 3-point attempts.