Tag Archives: Championship

NCAA Women’s Basketball 2013

With the NBA Playoffs right around the corner, and the Kevin Ware fueled men’s college game in the rearview, here’s to the ladies.

The face of women’s college basketball for the past two years has been Brittney Griner. Brittney initially exploded onto the national scene with superficial criticism regarding her physique, followed by multiple in-game dunks, and highlighted by a National Championship last year. This year, after cruising through an undefeated regular season, her Baylor Lady Bears cruised into the Elite Eight of this year’s tournament before flaming out against the Louisville Cardinals. Brittney’s final season should be remembered for her bold proclamation: no one can beat us except for the Miami Heat (in the midst of their historic win streak nonetheless). I had the privilege of watching the second half of their collapse, and must commend Odyssey Sims on her performance for the Lady Bears; to imply that Brittney threw that game would be an understatement. Although Brittney was offensively limited due to constant double teams from a zone defense, she disappeared completely on defense and watched a layup line ensue.

With Baylor gone, the nation turned to Skylar Diggins and Notre Dame to carry women’s basketball athletics into the limelight. Immediately following Brittney’s sellout, we were treated to an emotionally charged Skylar carrying Notre Dame into the Final Four. Notre Dame then lost their next game, and the Connecticut Huskies subsequently won their eighth national championship. For perspective, Connecticut and Tennessee account for sixteen of the thirty two national championships in NCAAW basketball history. As it turns out, I can’t recall who won Most Outstanding Player, or name any of the Connecticut players after Maya Moore and Tina Charles left; alas, their coach, Geno Auriemma, is who will be remembered.

The women’s game needs marketable names, not Mark Cuban instigating the likelihood of a woman in the NBA. Elena Delle Donne of Delaware is the favorite to usurp the title during her senior season. While we’re aware of Andrew Wiggins and Jabari Parker entering the men’s college ranks as definite one and done lottery picks, it’s far more difficult to stay abreast of incoming female stars. Pay attention, as the weather warms and women storm the courts in ever increasing numbers, because they’re so far under the radar, it’s not far-fetched to find yourself playing with one.

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Super Bowl Sunday Special

It’s Sunday, the Super Bowl is too large to ignore! Please note my Patriots over the 49ers Super Bowl pick from the Conference Round, unlike pre-game talking heads, I own my losses; of course, when I win, you must never forget that I celebrated President Obama’s second term before he won! My record for the new year so far: one win, two losses.

I would like to make the sentimental pick here: Ray Lewis’ bon voyage season concludes with a Championship ala Michael Strahan and Michael Jordan; it would probably help if his name were Michael Lewis. The problem with the sentimental pick is that it flies in the face of the better team. After dominant wins over dominant teams, and despite a few hiccups, the 49ers were arguably the best football team all season. And yet, there are logical reasons to side with sentiment. The 49ers did fall to far lesser teams, and the Ravens did pull out victories over two future Hall of Fame quarterbacks in games they were favored against. Sentiments are emotional though, the pick is still tied to the dream of a fairy tale ending, instead of inexcusable confidence. Colin Kaepernick has played like a veteran, crushed a playoff quarterback rushing record, and won on the road when it mattered against the league’s best home team.

There’s more sentiment, my anti-sentiment towards the polarizing arrogance of Jim Harbaugh. I was a Jim Harbaugh fan in his playing days, I was also a Jeff George fan, a Warren Moon fan, and a Ken O’Brien fan… Basically, I rooted for quarterbacks who kept losing, liked the allure of the upset, and wanted to be inspired by the underdog. Today, Captain Comeback has reinvented himself as the hard-nosed coach who revitalized football in San Francisco, previously the home of west coast finesse. We both changed in this equation, and there is a solid discomfort associated with coming full circle.

Sentiment aside, I’m picking the 49ers to win, and even my record for the year; I’m going to need the clean slate before the NBA Playoffs. An on-field Ray Lewis collision with Colin Kaepernick’s immediately dislocated hip would still make my evening; and somehow, I find myself worrying more about Lewis’ miracle recovery being derailed. Flukes aside, give me second string Alex Smith over Joe Flacco anyhow. I win either way, just know, I care more about my record than a story. Enjoy the game and chime in with my tweets during the game!

UEFA Euro 2012 Championship Recap

The image above represents my notes below, presented in reverse order.

  • #euro2012 Spain crushes Italy 4 – 0, first to win three consecutive championships, earns *best team ever* consideration
  • #euro2012 that awkward moment when your opponent is smiling between scoring attempts in a shutout
  • #euro2012 Spain allowed one goal through this entire tournament, and their four goal lead is the largest in championship history #legacy
  • #euro2012 #GOAL Spain, again, for the fourth time.
  • #euro2012 #GOAL Spain, again, for the third time
  • #euro2012 the players are exhausted, nearly as exhausted as my interest; let’s not delude ourselves with comeback possibilities
  • #euro2012 Mario Balotelli reminds me of James Harden with his mohawk hairstyle and flopping technique, neither is a champion this year.
  • #euro2012 this is the first game I have ever seen with a two score difference in which I would favor a mercy ruling.
  • #euro2012 anyone know what the soccer version of a pick and roll is? Can you set a legal screen in soccer? Don’t let me coach your children
  • #euro2012 Italy almost scores, Spain almost scores, Italy almost scores, Spain … this is the soccer I remember
  • #euro2012 FINALLY Americans do something noticeably better than Europeans in presentation, their halftime show was WEAK
  • #euro2012 there were Italy players in the vicinity of both Spain scorers, it’s the little things #championship #experience
  • #euro2012 it’s usually easy to blame the offside rules for low scoring soccer matches, Spain is playing how you imagine the game makes sense
  • #euro2012 Mario Balotelli is beginning to play like Carmelo Anthony, and that is no way to win a championship. How did Italy get this far?
  • #euro2012 no really, it’s beginning to look like older brother’s toying with their infant siblings, poor Italy
  • #euro2012 GOAL! Spain, again, forty one minutes in. The slow motion celebrations add to the awe
  • #euro2012 is there a soccer commentator equivalent of Walt Frazier? Nothing percolating?
  • #euro2012 Italy has not wilted after Spain’s first goal, scrappy like the Little Giants http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Giants except this is not a movie…
  • #euro2012 the tide has turned somewhat, not in Italy’s favor, neutralized is closer to the truth
  • #euro2012 are there simply more Spain players on the field than Italy players? Swore a fast break was on before Italy ran into a sea of Spain.
  • #euro2012 Spain has threatened to score more times than Italy has crossed midfield, their uniform colors aren’t helping, Italy looks like prey
  • #euro2012 Europeans define modern style by the cut of their suits, every professional soccer sideline is a fashion week ad
  • #euro2012 Americans wear glasses without lenses and checkerboard tweed blazers to impress at post game interviews… #questionable #flash
  • #euro2012 @espn reception is in and out, is this a result of viewership? Looking forward to the Nielsen numbers.
  • #euro2012 beautiful goal from Spain, their precise coordination pays off early #goal
  • #euro2012 Spain has been in complete control for the first thirteen minutes, Italy is sticking around looking to land an early hay maker
  • #euro2012 took two minutes for the first forearm to the ear, it’s okay because the commentators said so; no malice intended.
  • #euro2012 all sporting championships should lead with the players emerging from a tunnel separated by the trophy, great visual
  • #euro2012 @nytimessports front page featured Mario Balotelli of Italy, challenging the defending champions of Spain

2012 NBA Finals G5 Recap

G4 coverage was unnecessary, whoever took a 3 – 1 series lead would inevitably close out at home. Last year the Thunder were my choice to win it all this year, then the season began tailor made for the Heat, and two weeks ago the Spurs were suddenly my predominant choice. Ultimately, I chose the Miami Heat to win this series, and I really didn’t want Durant to have this loss on his resume; alas, what follows are my game notes in reverse order.

  • #nbafinals @miamiheat may not have beaten the world, but I will respect their claim as world champions until USA loses another world tournament
  • #nbafinals G5 final @miamiheat 121 / @okcthunder 106
  • #nbafinals no doubt, Lebron James is the Finals MVP, one more and he historically puts Kobe Bryant in his rear view
  • #nbafinals garbage time resembles the @nba development league showcase
  • #nbafinals Eddy Curry will receive an NBA Championship ring, the shame…
  • No joke, may watch Nashville on @abc, always intrigued by the makings of an original drama
  • ‏@Jaxn_CEO Kevin Durant is a great scorer. Not defender, not passer, not leader. Retweeted by Jorene Rene
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up twenty six with a minute left in the third, tuning out for a bit, unlike @okcthunder, to be productive
  • #nbafinals new G5 catchphrase, @miamiheat blocks Westbrook!
  • #nbafinals when Bosh shoots imaginary bullets your way after knocking down a three pointer, then takes a foul on the other end #gameover
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up nineteen with four minutes left in the third, @okcthunder making off-season plans
  • #nbafinals Van Gundy and I are looking to each other wondering about these calls, let them play ball refs
  • #nbafinals last @okcthunder possession ended with Sefalosha to Ibaka for the shot #losing
  • #nbafinals lead down to five, lead up to eleven, @miamiheat lead remains the constant
  • #nbafinals play resumes with a three from Durant, commentators immediately suggest a comeback… #unnecessary
  • #nbafinals G5 half @miamiheat 59 / @okcthunder 49
  • Sneaker commercials are the worst, random numbers that may or may not be statistics, and comical graphics with a catch phrase #gameon
  • #nbafinals we’re finally calling moving screens on Perkins? He almost carried Chalmers out to mid-court on the last possession.
  • @brittquita Mike Miller is already back from the dead, any performance is already astounding for him
  • #nbafinals these James Harden bailouts and flops are doing nothing to counter his memorable backdrop to Kobe’s summer game winner
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat up seventeen following a run of three pointers and excellent defense
  • #nbafinals Bosh is making a bid for best big man in this game, at least for the night, Serge Ibaka had that title locked up until now.
  • #nbafinals @miamiheat Bosh is playing like a big man tonight, Wade is scoring from mid-range, Lebron is playing lock down defense #winners
  • #nbafinals Kevin Durant can’t buy a basket, Lebron James won’t sell him one.
  • #nbafinals G5 Q1 @miamiheat 31 / @okcthunder 26
  • #nbafinals Durant pulled off a Tracey McGrady poster to end the quarter… poor Tracey McGrady, getting backhanded compliments.
  • #nbafinals if Norris Cole makes the post game podium wearing a ridiculous outfit with that haircut, then @tumblr may explode.
  • #nbafinals know how I can tell these players don’t play street ball? We don’t give up on the foul, no and ones, and they wouldn’t even count
  • #nbafinals not proud or ashamed to admit this, early during the season I had suggested Norris Cole would win Rookie of the Year…
  • Just watched a Spanish language @ford commercial with captions during an #nbafinals break, couldn’t be prouder of our progress.
  • Advance tickets are on sale for The Dark Knight Rises, which isn’t in theaters until July 20th, what has the world come to?
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh is playing like a big third, the lower third, a third nonetheless.
  • #nbafinals why is Kevin Durant guarding Mario Chalmers? Another reason to give Lebron the ultimate respect, he steps up on both ends.
  • #nbafinals Lebron James, coast to coast, and the foul… like it’s already raining @miamiheat confetti
  • @Jaxn_CEO and master flopper James Harden hasn’t even entered yet, the court is about to get damp
  • #nbafinals alley layup for Dwyane Wade, he’s not the same from even a year ago, effective just the same.
  • #nbafinals remember when Mario Chalmers was busted for smoking pot right after he was drafted? Now he’s Super Mario #high
  • #nbafinals we’ve officially come to expect every Shane Battier shot to drop, not unreasonable following his play this series.
  • #nbafinals already see the @okcthunder strategy, get Durant started early, except Durant is not a killer, or a point guard #turnover
  • #nbafinals Kevin Durant leads @okcthunder in talent, Russell Westbrook has lead by example, stop disrespecting that man.

2012 NBA Finals G3 Recap

* in reverse order

  • #finals final @miamiheat 91 / @okcthunder 85
  • #finals leaving Westbrook wide open is the best defensive play possible, he comes to play with pressure only #kryptonite
  • #finals @miamiheat found a solution to that Kevin Durant isolation play on the left block, part of it is simply all world Lebron defense.
  • #finals Thabo Sefalosha dunked on Dwyane Wade in reverse after picking his pocket… @okcthunder back within one
  • #finals two minutes left, @miamiheat up five
  • #finals Durant couldn’t expect to get that charge called, he needs another year to man up, especially with that kind of length.
  • #finals if you’re an @okcthunder fan and you’re not tight that Durant didn’t try for the block there, then you’re not a basketball fan.
  • #finals Chris Bosh perfectly displayed butter fingers, ruined the perfect Lebron James assist, is equalizing the Westbrook liability.
  • @bringmedabir in support of the @miamiheat, I totally agree with this sentiment, please put the ball in Westbrook’s hands, and not Harden’s.
  • #finals like game two, Durant misses another pair of free throws, would call the game over in favor of @miamiheat if not for James Harden
  • #finals one more quarter to go, @miamiheat up two at home, waiting on that one play… #thekilling
  • #finals this is an impossible amount of three point fouls committed, very original method for cutting this lead down to three.
  • #finals @okcthunder lead has grown to eleven, @miamiheat need shooters to connect against this zone defense
  • #finals not sure why teams don’t zone against @miamiheat more often, Scott Brooks is becoming an elite coach.
  • #finals @okcthunder up nine, their third quarter runs continue
  • @brittquita my money would be on Stern, the Ric Flair comparisons are uncanny.
  • #finals halftime David Stern has been the @nba commissioner since I was a ONE YEAR OLD #retire
  • @Jaxn_CEO three time scoring champion, Durant is an offensive beast, no one is going to shut down Lebron except for Lebron.
  • #finals half @miamiheat 47 / @okcthunder 46
  • #finals Shane Battier is channeling the spirit of B.J. Armstrong and Steve Kerr to perfectly compliment Lebron and Wade.
  • If only Stallone, Norris, and Schwarzenegger made The Expendables in their prime… It’s sort of sad watching them try to look active.
  • #finals Durant exchanges words with Wade? Saw him take out the mouthpiece and everything, then he promptly turns the ball over…
  • #finals Nick Collison has played 4 minutes, scored 2 points, and committed 3 fouls; new favorite @okcthunder player thanks to @brittquita
  • #finals blocking foul after the pass AND change of possession? #unprecedented
  • #finals Van Gundy quote, Nick Collison’s intangibles include proudly raising his hand to take responsibility for committed fouls.
  • #finals remember when you knew game one was over because Nick Collison was dunking left and right? Mike Miller just scored at the rim…
  • @brittquita that bad Adam Sandler movie looks like a parody of a bad Adam Sandler movie. Retweeted by @jorenerene.
  • #finals for the smaller team on the court, and against a younger team, @miamiheat are dominating the offensive glass early.
  • #finals Serge Ibaka has a mid range jumper, light touch around the rim, and just showed a hook shot; his game is smoothing out all around.
  • #finals missed the anthem and team introductions… Any Jessica Sanchez competition? More Star Wars music?
  • #finals for all the flack Russell Westbrook is receiving, his 27 points, 8 assists, 9 rebounds per game averages are spectacular
  • #finals after a day spent drowning out #usopen golf on @espn radio, it’s time to absorb the @nba

2012 NBA Finals Game One Recap

* In reverse order.

  • #nbafinals is Lebron James TRULY destined to be the @nba Jim Kelly? #fb
  • #nbafinals game one deciding factor besides the starters, Nick Collison > Chris Bosh.
  • #nbafinals agreed, game is over once Nick Collison bangs on you. Congratulations on game one @okcthunder
  • #nbafinals Pat Riley is tight, and Lebron James has left the building.
  • #nbafinals Lebron is disappearing in the fourth while Durant comes alive, problem…
  • #nbafinals good finish Lebron, I’d call that a travel if I were rooting for @okcthunder
  • #nbafinals finally, Wade gets a foul shot, in the third quarter, thanks.
  • #nbafinals someone check the foul numbers while I protest the rest of the third quarter.
  • #nbafinals why do the referees keep rewarding Sefalosha for missing dunks?
  • #nbafinals EVERYONE but Wade is getting a call, this is getting out of hand; that’s how referees allow a run.
  • @lunaberry3 asked which team deserves to win? The winner, that’s who.
  • #nbafinals looking through @nba tweets on my timeline, lots of chatter about @okcthunder despite being down at the half, is that hate?
  • #nbafinals Shane Barrier got a technical foul? The Pacquiao judges are @nba referees also?
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh transforming into Andrea Bargnani is uncomfortably working out so far.
  • @espn centuries will pass without assembling a Dream Team to rival the original; eternity maybe.
  • #nbafinals Fisher is three for three, that’s experience; Kobe is somewhere plotting against Sessions.
  • #nbafinals Daequan Cook gets a foul called before Wade? Ball don’t lie.
  • #nbafinals can the @miamiheat get a foul called in their favor? Not like we need it, still…
  • #nbafinals Chris Bosh just committed the weakest foul of the playoffs, you are the weakest link.
  • #nbafinals who are you rooting for? I have the @miamiheat sweeping four straight. #fb
  • #nbafinals first three minutes MVP, Shane Battier
  • After watching Spoelstra’s pregame speech, he needs to stay out of the way.
  • The Star Wars introduction music and subdued announcer was special, that’s how I would want to be introduced at home.
  • Have to say, Jessica Sanchez impressed me some time ago on @youtube, she may have sole possession of the voice crown, whose her competition?
  • Before we start @nba finals coverage, let’s be sure @juneambrose will cover the post game costume designs, that’s beyond me.