Sports Outside the Beltway

2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 19th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

West Virginia beats Morgan St. 77-50
Cornell beats Temple 78-65
Xavier beats Minnesota 65-54
Purdue beats Siena 72-64
Pittsburgh beats Oakland 89-66
Wisconsin beats Wofford 53-49
Texas A&M beats Utah St. 69-53
Gonzaga beats Florida St. 67-60
Duke beats Arkansas-Pine Bluff 73-44
Michigan St. beats New Mexico St. 67-64
Syracuse beats Vermont 79-56
Maryland beats Houston 89-77


Nevada Wolfpack golf team put on probation

Sounds to me like their coach liked to party. From AP-

The NCAA placed Nevada’s athletic department on probation for three years and fined it $1,500 on Thursday because of an ex-golf coach’s major rules violations but concluded there was no proof he gambled on college games and cleared all other sports of wrongdoing.

The NCAA investigation that began more than two years ago determined that Rich Merritt, former coach of both the men’s and women’s teams at various times, bought athletes beer, paid for meals and lodging, and helped cover travel expenses for one to try to qualify for the U.S. Open.

He also broke the rules by paying one woman Wolf Pack golfer $25 to complete two “crass acts” on a dare, one “involving the regurgitation of food and the other, spitting,” the NCAA said.

Nevada athletic director Cary Groth suspended Merritt for three matches after an internal investigation confirmed the allegations regarding meals and an airline ticket. He resigned in May 2008.

The school will lose a half scholarship for two seasons. Should Nevada be punished at all for the dumb acts of a former coach? Without knowing more, the coach appears to be the one at fault here.


Throwing in the towel- Phoenix beats Florida 4-3

Would a serious NHL playoff contender would blow a 3-goal lead with less than 20 minutes to go in the game. From AP-

With a lot of grit and a little luck, the Phoenix Coyotes earned a record-setting win Thursday night.FL-Phe

Radim Vrbata scored with 59.7 seconds left in the third period to force overtime, then added the winner in the third round of a shootout in the Coyotes’ 4-3 comeback victory over the Florida Panthers.

Martin Hanzal and Lee Stempniak also scored in the third period to help the Coyotes stretch their winning streak to seven games. The Coyotes set a franchise record for wins in a season with 44, besting the previous mark set by the 1984-85 Winnipeg Jets — before overtime ties were broken in shootouts.

“It was just one of those games where we never quit,” Vrbata said. “We came back and it was nice to get that.”

Ilya Bryzgalov stopped 21 shots in regulation and overtime for Phoenix.

David Booth and Cory Stillman scored second-period goals for Florida, and Stephen Weiss had a power-play goal in the first. Tomas Vokoun made 43 saves.

Florida’s Nathan Horton and Phoenix’s Lauri Korpikoski also had shootout goals.

A fluke goal keeps the Panthers from fluking their way into a playoff spot. Very appropriate for this franchise. I give up on hoping the Panthers will make the playoffs. All I wish for now, is that the Panthers get their act together. The team has new owners but management hasn’t changed much if at all. So I remain pessimistic about my favorite hockey team.


New York Mets and Florida Marlins to play 3 games in Puerto Rico

It sure isn’t New York Met fans who will be losing three popular home games. From AP-

A three-game series between the New York Mets and Florida Marlins in June has been moved from Miami to San Juan’s Hiram Bithorn Stadium in Puerto Rico.

Major League Baseball made the official announcement Thursday.

Florida will remain the home team, and the games will be played June 28-30.

Hiram Bithorn hosted 22 Montreal Expos home games in each of the 2003 and 2004 seasons before the franchise relocated to Washington and was renamed the Nationals. Average attendance dropped from 14,000 in 2003 to 10,000 in 2004.

I have never liked these transplanted games. Not when the Miami Dolphins played a home game in London or when the Florida Panthers played a game in Helsinki. Why are South Florida sports fans being needlessly penalized by pro sports leagues. We only have so many home games against popular teams in a given year. The New York Giants have played in South Florida a grand total of twice in 40 years since the AFL and NFL merged. The Blackhawks haven’t been to South Florida in over 3 years, and the Mets when they visit down here are one of the biggest draws for baseball fans. We get screwed, and I’m sick tired of it.

Up yours Bud Selig. Why not a Brewer game in Puerto Rico?


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament- March 18th

This post will remain at the top of the blog for the rest of today. To see newer posts, scroll down.

As results come in today, I will update this post. I’ll also include any related tournament news here.

1st result- Old Dominion defeats Notre Dame 51-50
1st overtime game- BYU beats Florida 99-92 in double OT
Close call- #2 seed Villanova beats Robert Morris 73-70 in overtime.
First big upset- #13 Murray State beats Vanderbilt 66-65
Baylor beats Sam Houston St. 68-59
Kansas State beats North Texas State 82-62
St. Mary’s beats Richmond 80-71
Butler beats UTEP 77-59
Kentucky beats East Tennessee St. 100-71
Ohio beats Georgetown 97-83
Washington beats Marquette 80-78
Northern Iowa beats UNLV 69-66
#1 Kansas beats Lehigh 90-74
New Mexico beats Montana 62-57
Wake Forest beats Texas 81-80


Seattle Seahawks acquire QB Charlie Whitehurst

The team was in need of a backup quarterback after trading away Seneca Wallace. From AP-

The Seattle Seahawks and San Diego Chargers have completed a trade that sends third-string Chargers quarterback Charlie Whitehurst to Seattle for draft picks, according to sources.Charlie Whitehurst

The Seahawks swapped the 40th pick in the second round with San Diego’s 60th pick and also will send the Chargers a third-round pick in the 2011 draft.

Seattle, meanwhile, has signed Whitehurst to a two-year, $8 million contract, with $2 million more in incentives.

The Chargers now have three third-round picks in 2011. They earlier acquired the New York Jets’ third-round pick next year in exchange for cornerback Antonio Cromartie.

Whitehurst, a restricted free agent with third-round compensation, has had only four NFL snaps and has not thrown a pass in a regular-season game.

A 3rd rounder for a NFL player who has been around 4 years and not thrown a pass seems a steep price to me. There are plenty of backup quarterbacks, and many of them are that way because when given a chance to start, these players have failed. Now Seattle can be thinking Whitehurst hasn’t had an opportunity to show himself and that’s why they decided to gamble on him rather than a Sage Rosenfels or a Cleo Lemon. If that is so, I can understand the move to a degree but still think a 3rd rounder is a little too much of a gamble.


Duck Hunter- Chicago beats Anaheim 4-2

Old friends ran into one another last night. From AP-

For the second straight game, the Chicago Blackhawks lost a key member of their defense because of a vicious check against the boards behind the net.Corey Crawford

To add insult to injury, Anaheim’s Saku Koivu scored the go-ahead goal late in the third period — just seconds after a blind-side cross-check by Corey Perry against defenseman Brent Sopel that easily could have been called interference. As a result, the Ducks won 4-2 Wednesday night and handed the Blackhawks their third straight loss — preventing them from tying idle San Jose for the Western Conference lead.


The play started when Lubomir Visnovsky’s shot from just inside the blue line was deflected high in the air, and Sopel was cross-checked to the ice by Perry as they waited for the puck to come down. Perry then got the puck to Koivu, whose 20-foot wrister beat Corey Crawford with 5:36 remaining.


Anaheim defenseman James Wisniewski knocked Brent Seabrook out of the game less than 2 1/2 minutes into the second period. Wisniewski began his NHL career with the Blackhawks before getting traded to the Ducks in March 2009.

He drove his ex-teammate into the glass behind the Chicago net with a vicious shot to the jaw, causing Seabrook’s head to strike the glass with enough force that it left him with a dazed expression a couple of seconds before he crumpled to the ice.

The injuries to Seabrook and Brian Campbell could seriously harm the Blackhawks’ post season chance. This team is not known for its stellar defense when healthy.

Here’s video of the hit.

IMHO what Alexander Ovechkin did to Brian Campbell was worse.

Chicago Goalie Corey Crawford was only just called up from the AHL and put into the lineup. He has some previous NHL experience.

Two seasons ago, Crawford beat the Ducks 3-0 at Chicago for his first NHL shutout. It came in his second career start

Curiously I blogged about that game in 2008. Crawford has a 2-3 lifetime record in the NHL and both wins have come against Anaheim. In light of how weak Chicago is at Goalie, I’m surprised they haven’t given Crawford whose been up and down with the team back to 2005-06, more of a chance.


Miami Dolphins sign G Richie Incognito

From the Miami Herald-

The Dolphins made their second roster addition Wednesday since the start of free agency began March 5, continuing the methodical approach that has defined much of the last two weeks since they signed high-profile linebacker Karlos Dansby.Richie Incognito

Guard Richie Incognito, who arrived for his visit in South Florida on Monday, agreed to a one-year deal worth just over $1 million. It is considered a bargain rate for a player with a controversial past that led to his departure from St. Louis last year.

“I had a great visit,” Incognito said shortly before his agent reached the deal with his new team. “I had a great feel for it.”

Now, it’s up to Incognito to prove he still belongs in the NFL while also attempting to prove worthy of a starting job with the Dolphins. Before he can earn any type of long-term deal, he will need to show accountability.

Miami, which has been looking to improve the level of competition at guard, was one of only a few teams to take a risk on Incognito’s volatile on-field personality.

Incognito is a talented jackass football player. He is also a NFL Head Coach’s Excederin #1 headache. He is going to be Tony Sparano’s new Joey Porter.


Former Olympic Medalist Wayne Collett dead at 60

He also won 3 consecutive NCAA relay championships while attending UCLA. RIP.

Wayne Collett, a silver medalist in the 400-meters at the 1972 Munich Olympics who starred in the hurdles, sprints and relays at UCLA, died Wednesday. He was 60.

He passed away at St. Vincent Medical Center in Los Angeles after a long battle with cancer, the university says after being informed of his death by family friends and his former college coach Jim Bush.

At the 1972 U.S. Olympic trials, Collett ran the fastest 400 time in history at sea level before finishing second in Munich.

He competed for UCLA from 1968-71, winning Pac-8 titles in the 440-yard intermediate hurdles and the 440-yard dash. He anchored three consecutive NCAA championship mile relay teams.


2010 NCAA Men’s Basketball predictions

Here are my selections-

2010 predictions1

2010 predictions2

So you heard it here first. Duke and Ohio State in the finals.

Note- Starting tomorrow I will have a sticky post at the top of the blog featuring that day’s results. Feel free to make your own predictions in the comment.


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