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


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.


2010 NCAA Basketball Tournament Bracket

Well here it is-

2010 bracket

I don’t have to say. Later in the week, I’ll take a shot at predicting the outcome.


Louisville basketball fans can get free pizza

Mama Mia! From AP-

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter is promising a free pizza to every fan who saw him sink a shot from midcourt at a Louisville basketball game.

He banked one in after a few tries at halftime of the Oral Roberts-Louisville game last week.

Video posted by the company on YouTube shows Schnatter celebrating wildly after hitting the long shot in Freedom Hall.

The company estimates that if all 18,868 fans claim the free large one-topping pizza, it will add up to a $174,000 giveaway.

People who watched the game have up to December 27th to make a claim. Anyone for pepperoni pizza on Christmas day?


NFL Draft 2009 Round 1 #28- Buffalo- C Eric Wood

Acquired in the Jason Peters trade from Philadelphia(who got the pick from Carolina). Two centers in the first round. When did that last happen?

ESPN writes- At 310 pounds Wood has ideal size for a center and the strength to hold his own when nose tackles line up over his head. He also does a good of getting into position and covering up linebackers. Although he lacks ideal lateral mobility Wood shows good footwork and uses his hands well in pass protection.


Judge: Duke Football Stinks

Louisville sued Duke for pulling out of a four game football contract after only one game and demanded $450,000 in damages. Duke claimed that, because their team is so bad (13-90 since 1999) any Division I team would meet the contract’s “team of similar stature” clause.

Judge Phillip J. Shepherd of the Franklin County (Ky.) Circuit Court agreed, according to the Louisville Courier-Journal.

“At oral argument, Duke [with a candor perhaps more attributable to good legal strategy than to institutional modesty] persuasively asserted that this is a threshold that could not be any lower,” Shepherd wrote in a summary judgment issued Thursday, according to the paper. “Duke’s argument on this point cannot be reasonably disputed by Louisville.”

You almost hate to win with that kind of argument.


NFL Draft 2008 – Round 2 #53 – Green Bay Packers – QB Brian Brohm

NFL Draft 2008 Logo The Green Bay Packers have made the most interesting pick of the 2nd round so far, tacking Louisville quarterback Brian Brohm.

The Pack, of course, lost Brett Favre to retirement this offseason. (Or did they?) They drafted Aaron Rodgers, who also fell well below his value, what now seems like years ago. Now, when Rodgers finally gets his chance to start, the Packers take Brohm, who would probably have been the first quarterback taken in the 2007 draft had he not opted to return to college.

Stay tuned.

Scouts, Inc.: 21

Strengths: A drop-back passer with adequate height and good overall bulk. Makes quick decisions. Is tough and will hang in the pocket to buy his receivers extra time. Displays solid overall mechanics. Keeps the ball high and has a high release point. Release quickness is adequate. Shows excellent touch and timing on throws. Knows how to change up velocities and can hit his receivers in stride in the short, intermediate and deep zones. Knows how to keep safeties honest and is also adept at reading coverage. Does a good job of selling fakes. He will surprise you at times with his ability to make some tough throws on the run. He grew up around the game of football and he’s a hard worker on and off the field.

Weaknesses: Is a bit robotic. Locks on to his primary target at times. Some of his biggest flaws are seen when he faces consistent pass rush pressure (see: Rutgers and first-half vs. Miami in 2006). He tends to short-arm his throws when under pressure. Arm strength is adequate but not good. He lacks ideal mobility. He will make some impressive throws on the run but he’s not consistent in that department. He lacks the foot quickness to buy many second chances and he won’t run away from many NFL defenders. He will take more than his share of hits from within the pocket. Durability was a major issue earlier in his career and his potential to hold up in the NFL remains somewhat of a concern. He had surgery on his non-throwing shoulder in January of 2007. He missed nearly three full games with a thumb injury in 2006 and suffered a season-ending ACL tear in the 10th game of the 2005 season. Finally, while he’s competitive and works hard, there are some questions regarding his leadership skills  he’s not overly vocal as a leader.

Overall: Brohm’s decision to return for his senior season will be second-guessed due to his team’s failure to meet expectations in 2007. From where we stand, the experience has allowed Brohm to showcase aspects of his game never seen before. First off, he has shown mental toughness in dealing with the adversity. Secondly, he has eased concerns regarding durability by remaining healthy despite taking a beating throughout his senior season. On the plus side; he is a smart, hard working pocket passer with very good accuracy and the toughness to hang in the pocket. On the minus side; he lacks ideal mobility, arm strength and leadership skills. Also, Brohm comes with some durability baggage. With all that in mind, Brohm projects as a first-round selection but we still think he has too many weaknesses to stamp him with a top-15 grade.

Rick Gosselin: 29

There were five quarterbacks with starting potential in the 2007 draft and all cleared the board by the 43rd pick. There are four such quarterbacks in this draft and all should be gone by 40. Matt Ryan of Boston College sits in the top 10 followed by Brohm, Chad Henne of Michigan and Joe Flacco of Delaware. Brohm, Henne and Flacco are all rated as the No. 2 quarterback on various team boards. Don’t be surprised if there isn’t at least one trade up into the back end of the first round to secure a quarterback. Henne was a four-year starter, Brohm a three-year starter and Ryan two years. All could hit the field as rookies. Flacco may be a year away because of the jump in caliber of competition from Delaware but has the best arm of all of them.

An amazing value with the 53rd pick in the draft and a bold, gutsy move.


Erin Andrews Distracting Players

ESPN’s Erin Andrews is so sexy she’s got Louisville Cardinals baseball coach Dan McDonnell worried that his players will be distracted.

Sexy Erin Andrews Photo 1 Distracting Players Louisville might be making its first appearance at the College World Series, but the senior-laden Cardinals aren’t overwhelmed by the spectacle.

“I don’t want to hide from the fact that the kids are going to be excited, I don’t want them to try to act too macho,” Cardinals coach Dan McDonnell said. “The coolest they tried to act was when they met (ESPN’s) Erin Andrews in the lobby. I told them, ‘guys, stop acting like you’re so cool and macho.’ This is a kids’ game, and they should be excited.”

Funny. But he has a point. Being on big time TV makes the kids nervous enough without having to worry about impressing a hot chick.

via Rob Tringali and Relentless Grace


NFL Draft 2007 – Round 1 #10 – Houston Texans – DT Amobi Okoye

The Houston Texas have selected Louisville defensive tackle Amobi Okoye with the 10th pick in the 2007 NFL draft. He was born June 10, 1987, making him only 19 years old. He is, according to ESPN’s Chris Berman, “by far” the youngest player ever drafted.

What the Experts Say: Profile:

Amobi Okoye Photo Player Evaluation: A developing player with great upside, Okoye’s game has taken off the past two years. Looked sensational in the Senior Bowl and saw his draft grade soar. Offers potential as a two-gap end or possibly as a three-technique lineman. May need time to adjust to the level of competition in the NFL, yet he is a bright, hard-working individual who should have a long and productive football career.

STRENGTHS: Explosion, Intensity/Effort, Techniques and Moves

AREAS FOR IMPROVEMENT: Disengaging Skills, Size

Biography: Two-year starter awarded All-Conference honors as a senior after posting 55/12.5/8. Junior totals included 23 tackles. Entered college at age 16 and will be just 19 years old when he is drafted.

Pos: Explosive defender with terrific instincts. Quick off the snap, plays with good pad level and gets a lot of force going up the field. Makes plays laterally, effectively uses hand technique to protect himself and rarely is off his feet. Chases hard to get involved in the action and makes plays everywhere on the field.

Neg: Lacks top playing strength, is slow getting off the blocks and can be handled at the point.


The Texans had a more pressing need at corner and both of the top two were still on the board at the No. 10 pick. Either Darrelle Revis or Leon Hall would be great values at this pick and fill a more pressing need. That has to be noted but Okoye is still an excellent pick and the reason is great defenses are built from the inside out.

Okoye has excellent initial quickness, good strength and the frame to comfortably add weight. He can get after the passer and disrupt running plays in the backfield. In addition, defensive tackle is also a need and Okoye should compete for a starting role.


Louisville Signs Tulsa’s Kragthorpe

Tulsa’s Jim Kragthorpe has agreed to replace Bobby Petrino as the head football coach at Louisville.

Louisville and Tulsa coach Steve Kragthorpe have agreed to terms on a five-year deal to become the next coach of the Cardinals, sources said Tuesday morning. The deal will pay Kragthorpe $1.1 million a year, according to an official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because the deal has not been completed.

Kragthorpe, who met with Louisville athletic director Tom Jurich on Tuesday in Tulsa, is expected to be introduced in Louisville on Tuesday afternoon. The Louisville Athletic Association’s board of directors was scheduled to meet at 4 p.m. ET and was expected to approve the hire.

Kragthorpe is 29-22 in four years at Tulsa after taking over a program that had lost 21 of its previous 22 games. The Golden Hurricane have been to three bowl games in Kragthorpe’s four years.

Louisville, which won the Big East and beat Wake Forest decisively in the Orange Bowl, acted quickly to replace Bobby Petrino, who left to coach the NFL’s Atlanta Falcons.

The football program is hosting prep players this weekend at a previously-planned recruiting event, and apparently already lost one prized recruit when quarterback Matt Simms — the brother of NFL quarterback Chris Simms and son of NFL great Phil Simms — reportedly said Monday he was withdrawing his oral commitment to Louisville.

While Cardinals running back Michael Bush announced he was entering the NFL draft on Tuesday, it remained to be seen if quarterback Brian Brohm could be persuaded to stay. Brohm, projected as a first-round draft pick by some experts, was expected to meet with Kragthorpe before deciding whether to return for his senior season or enter the draft.

Jurich and Kragthorpe have roots at Northern Arizona together. Jurich was the athletic director there in the late 1980s and early ’90s, and Kragthorpe was NAU’s quarterbacks coach from 1990-94.

Like Petrino, Kragthorpe has a track record as a strong quarterbacks coach and offensive tactician. He came to Tulsa after two years as the quarterbacks coach of the Buffalo Bills, and his Golden Hurricane teams have been prolific offensively.

While there’s always room for skepticism, as reports are wrong and coaches change their minds (witness Rich Rodriguez’ decision to stay at WVU rather than take the Bama job), but this looks like a done deal. Tulsa is a sports backwater and continuing to win there will be much harder than at Louisville.


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