March Madness, NBA style

first_imgDavid K. Stern just called. It could have been the NBA commissioner or the pseudo-husband of Anna Nicole Smith. Doesn’t matter, because the man called with some huge news regarding this month. It seems that the NBA has retroactively banned college and high school guys from playing in the NBA. All players who left school early over the past three years will go back to school, effective immediately. So instead of gearing up for a run through the playoffs with the Cleveland Cavaliers, LeBron James will suit up for the Maryland Terrapins, the school he said he would attend, even though he never attended a class. Of course, this changes everything for the big dance. Teams hit hard by early departures are now sitting pretty while senior-laden teams are now outmanned. And of course, the Cavaliers are devastated. So here’s how it might go: Teams not making the cut in the first two rounds include Gonzaga, which resumes its early-round fade even with the return of Adam Morrison. Also not making the cut are Utah (with Andrew Bogut), Wake Forest (with Chris Paul), Kentucky (with Rajon Rondo and Randolph Morris), Arkansas (with Al Jefferson and Ronnie Brewer) and Michigan State (with Shannon Brown). Here’s where the big boys play, and both local teams fare well. UCLA, with Jordan Farmar and Trevor Ariza, avenges last year’s title-game loss to same-old Florida, while USC, its void in the middle filled by Robert Swift, pulls an upset of Kansas. In a matchup of returning big men, Texas’ LaMarcus Aldridge holds his own against Pitt’s Chris Taft, and former commit C.J. Miles makes the difference for the Longhorns. In that bracket, Duke, with Luol Deng and a healthy Shaun Livingston (hey, it’s a dream sequence, right?) blows by Wisconsin. center_img Louisville, with Amir Johnson and Sebastian Telfair, upsets Ohio State. Memphis, with Sean Banks and Kendrick Perkins, outlasts North Carolina, which returns J.R. Smith and Marvin Williams. The team that makes the biggest jump, Connecticut, returns a team full of players, led by Rudy Gay, Josh Boone and Charlie Villanueva, and topples LSU in a war, since the Tigers have Tyrus Thomas back. Oh yeah, and LeBron scores 50 to lead Maryland over Texas A&M. Why not? How fickle the fates are. LeBron sprains his ankle midway through the first half, Maryland is exposed as a one-man team and UCLA rallies for the victory. USC’s shaky defense finally catches up with the Trojans, and the deep UConn Huskies, who also feature guard Marcus Williams, force enough turnovers to come away with an eight-point victory. Texas’ backcourt, with Miles and Daniel Gibson, matches up with Duke’s Livingston and Deng, and the Longhorns have the depth to outlast the Blue Devils. Memphis, which also features Darius Washington Jr. and Shawne Williams, goes to overtime against Louisville and pulls out the victory. UCLA finally meets its match in Texas. The backcourt matchup is even, but Aldridge, who is establishing himself as a solid NBA center, makes the difference for the Longhorns. UConn, which isn’t even ranked until Stern’s decree, has way too much frontcourt power for Memphis. The combination of Boone, Gay, Villanueva and Williams sends the Huskies to the title game. Early rounds Sweet 16 Elite Eight Final Four Championship All signs would point to the Longhorns, who are a top-20 team even without the pro infusion and would seem to have the edge over Connecticut, but not so fast. One player got lost in the bureaucratic paperwork: Andrew Bynum. The Lakers’ center committed to UConn before he turned pro, and Bynum lifts the Huskies to a five-point victory and the title. Would be fun, wouldn’t it? Too bad the courts just issued an injunction to prevent it. Maybe next year. Good move: Give credit to the Sacramento Kings for being proactive in the case of Ron Artest and sitting him down after news of his arrest broke this week. The politically correct thing would have been for the Kings to say they’re waiting for more information, but this is Artest. Any benefit of the doubt goes out the window with Artest. He’s the Milton Bradley of the NBA, a seemingly sweet guy who can snap on a moment’s notice. It’s sad, but it probably will never change. Most confusing, though, was the quote from Kings general manager Geoff Petrie, who seemingly was trying to cover the team’s rear end. After all, this isn’t good publicity for the image-conscious Maloof brothers. In the Sacramento Bee, Petrie said this about Artest: “He has not been destructive. He has not destroyed anything in here, like thrown a TV, or anything that might indicate he was on the verge of going off.” Nothing, huh? Was Petrie out body surfing in Australia when Artest ran into the stands in Detroit? Meanwhile, the Clippers are wiping their collective brow. Best non-trade of the season, by far. Lucky charm: The Dallas Mavericks are on pace to challenge for 70 wins, although they will most likely fall short of the NBA-record 72games won by the Chicago Bulls in 1995-96. The man with the best perspective on all this is Devean George, who was along for the ride with Kobe and Shaq and was a rookie when the Lakers went 67-15 and won the NBA title in 1999-2000. “Since we had a number of these streaks, I think we’ve gotten over some of the excitement of them,” George told the Dallas Morning News. “It’s like we want to move on to something else. We can’t get too excited because we did it. “(With the Lakers) we felt we had the two best players in their prime. And we had that confidence, no matter what, that we would always have a chance to win the game. And I see that same confidence in our team now. We stay calm. We don’t panic. Things might not be going our way, but those good wins, like the Denver win, that was building for now. That’s going to help us in the long run.” Lighten up: Hang around Staples Center long enough, and you’re bound to be needlessly harassed by one of the arena’s red-coated security guards. Last week, a colleague witnessed Kevin McHale, Minnesota’s GM and an NBA Hall of Famer, being detained for a lack of proper credentials. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

Grading the Warriors’ center competition in first preseason game vs Wolves

first_imgFinal line: 4 points, 4 rebounds, 2 assists.Jones … OAKLAND – As the Warriors attempt to fine tune in the preseason, the competition for the team’s opening starting center is starting to heat up.In Saturday’s 114-110 loss to the Minnesota Timberwolves, hopefuls Damian Jones (who got the starting nod), Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell each had a chance to make an impression for the role.Here’s a breakdown of each player’s performance.(Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)Damian Joneslast_img

Wet spring giving weeds a head start

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest The cold, wet start to spring is keeping farmers from getting a jump start on the 2018 planting season. The inability to get into the field is also giving weeds an opportunity to make some unwanted progress. The Ohio Ag Net’s Ty Higgins visits with Matt Hutcheson from Seed Consultants about the game plan a farmers should have in place when field conditions improve. Click here for more Fennig Tips of the Weeklast_img

TweetLouder is a Fast Easy Way to Track Your Favorite Bands

first_imgTags:#music#web Tweetlouder is a new service that uses your Twitter account and your music listening history to connect you with Twitter and concert updates from all your favorite musicians in just a few clicks. It’s a project of concert tracking startup SonicLiving. It was first demonstrated as a proof of concept at Twitter’s developer conference, Chirp.I’ve been syncing my music listening history from Rdio and Spotify to lately, so it was really easy to click click click and boom – there’s the official Twitter accounts of all the bands I’ve been playing on those services. You can also sync with iTunes or Pandora. After I followed the bands it discovered on Twitter, I put them in a Twitter List, which I can now visit whenever I want to see some music updates. Cool. Thanks, Tweetlouder.Concert alerts is an incredibly crowded market, but this is a cool feature that’s sure to help draw attention to SonicLiving. It’s a great example of a way that 3rd parties can add value on top of our accessible data. 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… marshall kirkpatrick 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img Related Posts 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…last_img read more