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.


U of Minnesota Golf Coach Brad James resigns

The Gophers were National Champions in 2002 and won the Big 10 Championship three times under James leadership. From AP-

Minnesota golf coach Brad James resigned on Tuesday to take a position in his native Australia.

James is leaving to become the high performance director of Golf Australia and the Australian Institute of Sport. He will oversee the men’s and women’s national teams and also be responsible for developing the country’s young talent.

James has served as the Minnesota men’s coach since 2001 and has presided over both the men’s and women’s teams as the school’s director of golf for the past 2{ seasons.

He guided the men’s team to the 2002 NCAA championship and has four NCAA finals appearances on his resume.

James had a impressive record. Maybe former Minnesota gopher and 1996 British Open Champion Tom Lehman would be interested in replacing him.


Are you ready for some bowling? II

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this afternoon, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Note- I gave the shortened name version of all the upcoming games. Also I listed what broadcast network would be televising the game and what time they would be coming on the air. All times are Eastern Standard.

Dec 19

New Mexico- Fresno State vs. Wyoming 4:30 p.m. ESPN
St. Petersburg- Central Florida vs. Rutgers 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 20

R+L Carriers New Orleans- Southern Miss vs. Middle Tennessee 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 22

MAACO Las Vegas- Oregon State vs. BYU 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 23

Poinsettia- Utah vs. Cal 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 24

Sheraton Hawaii- Nevada vs. SMU 8 p.m. ESPN
Dec 26

Little Caesars- Marshall vs. Ohio 1 p.m. ESPN
Meineke- Pitt vs. North Carolina 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Emerald- Boston College vs. USC 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 27

Music City- Kentucky vs. Clemson 8:30 p.m. ESPN

Dec 28

Independence- Texas A&M vs. Georgia 5 p.m. ESPN2

Dec 29

EagleBank- UCLA vs. Temple 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Champs Sports- Miami vs. Wisconsin 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 30

Humanitarian- Bowling Green vs. Idaho 4:30 p.m. ESPN
Holiday- Arizona vs. Nebraska 8 p.m. ESPN

Dec 31

Armed Forces- Houston vs. Air Force Noon ESPN
Sun- Oklahoma vs. Stanford 2 p.m. CBS
Texas- Navy vs. Missouri 3:30 p.m. ESPN
Minnesota vs. Iowa State 6 p.m. NFL Network
Chick-fil-A- Virginia Tech vs. Tennessee 7:30 p.m. ESPN

Jan 1

Outback- Northwestern vs. Auburn 11 a.m. ESPN
Capital One- Penn State vs. LSU 1 p.m. ABC
Gator- West Virginia vs. Florida State 1 p.m. CBS
Rose Bowl- Ohio State vs. Oregon 4:30 p.m. ABC
Sugar- Cincinnati vs. Florida 8:30 p.m. FOX

Jan 2

International- South Florida vs. Northern Illinois Noon ESPN2 South Carolina vs. UConn 2 p.m. ESPN
Cotton- Oklahoma State vs. Ole Miss 2 p.m. FOX
Liberty- Arkansas vs. East Carolina 5:30 p.m. ESPN
Valero Alamo- Michigan State vs. Texas Tech 9 p.m. ESPN

Jan 4

Fiesta- Boise State vs. TCU 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 5

FedEx Orange- Iowa vs. Georgia Tech 8 p.m. FOX

Jan 6th

GMAC- Central Michigan vs. Troy 7 p.m. ESPN

Jan 7th

BCS National Championship Game- Texas vs. Alabama Jan. 7 8 p.m.

Some random notes on the above 34 games

*- 19 of the 34 games are not scheduled till Dec. 31st or later. I guess college football fanatics are expected to flip channels very quickly on those 3 days(Dec 31-Jan 2) when 15 games are being aired.
*- What a downer must it be for Oregon State players and fans. A few weeks ago they were one win from a Rose Bowl trip. Instead they lost to Oregon and are playing in a minor bowl before Christmas.
*- The NFL network televises a college football game. I guess that’s the cable sports equivalent of the Sci-Fi channel showing wrestling….
*- The bowls are now set where now certain conference finishers are locked into the same bowl games every year. I understand why the current system is done, but I prefer the day when bowl games would have greater variance from year to year. The Peach bowl would usually invite a ACC or SEC school but they could be creative, like when they invited Army and Illinois. Wouldn’t a SEC team against BYU or Wyoming be nice for a change?
*- Bobby Bowden’s farewell game is against the same school(West Virginia) that he left before coming to Florida State. I do know FSU and WV have played at least twice previously in bowls during the Bowden-Florida State era.


Beer may be banned at Univ. of Minnesota football games

What are fans supposed to cry over after a loss next season? From AP-

This fall’s eagerly awaited return of Minnesota football to campus after 27 years will feature nostalgia, pageantry and fresh air. But no beer.

University President Robert Bruininks is expected to recommend Friday that regents ban alcohol from the new TCF Bank Stadium following a dispute with state lawmakers.

“We know people will drink before they get to our games. We’re not naive,” Bruininks told The Associated Press on Thursday. “But we do think this is the best, most responsible way to manage our game days and to really make this a high-quality experience for our fans.”

Lawmakers and Gov. Tim Pawlenty had set conditions for a stadium liquor license, saying the school could sell alcohol stadium-wide or not at all. They also blocked the university from serving free alcohol to fans in premium seating areas, such as luxury boxes and club rooms.

Trying to enjoy a sporting event as some drunk makes a fool out of himself, always made me wish I had stayed home. In fact, I haven’t been to a major team sporting event in over a decade. Who needs drunks on top of high prices for food and parking and the cost of a ticket when you can just watch it on television?

By the time the Gophers host their first game Sept. 12, Bruininks said the university will have settled on a plan for keeping intoxicated people from entering the stadium and removing unruly fans who do get in.

Checking fans before game time would appear to be an impossible task unless you require 40,000 people to show up five hours early for the game. Does the University plan on doing breathalyzer tests at the gate?


Are you ready for some bowling?

No I’m not talking about some middle aged man propelling a ball at some objects at the end of a lane, but the games that climax every college football season. Bowl season officially starts this Saturday, here are the matchups for all the college football fanatics out there.

Dec 20
Eaglebank Bowl- Wake Forest vs Navy
New Mexico Bowl- Colorado State vs Fresno St
MAGICJACK ST. PETERSBURG BOWL- Memphis vs. South Florida
PIONEER LAS VEGAS BOWL- Brigham Young vs Arizona
Dec 21
Dec 23
Dec 24
SHERATON HAWAII BOWL- Hawaii vs Notre Dame
Dec 26
MOTOR CITY BOWL- Florida Atlantic vs. Central Michigan
Saturday, December 27
MEINEKE CAR CARE BOWL- West Virginia vs. North Carolina
Champs Sports Bowl- Wisconsin vs. Florida State
Emerald Bowl- Miami (FL) vs. California
December 28
Independence Bowl- Northern Illinois vs. Louisiana Tech
PAPAJOHNS.COM BOWL- North Carolina State vs. Rutgers
Valero Alamo Bowl- Missouri vs. No. 23 Northwestern
Tuesday, December 30
PACIFIC LIFE HOLIDAY BOWL- Oklahoma State vs. No. 17 Oregon
Texas Bowl- Western Michigan vs. Rice
Wednesday, December 31
Sun Bowl- Oregon State vs. Pittsburgh
GAYLORD HOTELS MUSIC CITY BOWL- Boston College vs. Vanderbilt
Insight Bowl- Kansas vs. Minnesota
CHICK-FIL-A BOWL- LSU vs. Georgia Tech
Thursday, January 1
OUTBACK BOWL- South Carolina vs. Iowa
CAPITAL ONE BOWL- Georgia vs. Michigan State
Gator Bowl- Nebraska vs. Clemson
Rose Bowl- Penn State vs. USC
Fedex Orange Bowl- Cincinnati vs. Virginia Tech
Friday, January 2
Cotton Bowl- Mississippi vs. Texas Tech
AUTOZONE LIBERTY BOWL- Kentucky vs. East Carolina
January 3
INTERNATIONAL BOWL- Buffalo vs. Connecticut
January 5
TOSTITOS FIESTA BOWL- Ohio State vs. Texas
January 6
GMAC Bowl- Ball State vs. Tulsa*
January 8

That’s 34 games, 68 schools spread over a period of 20 days for those of you keeping score at home. An ample supply of college football for any fanatics out there.

A few notes

*- There are a few bowl games remaining without corporate names in their title. Gator, Sun, Texas, Independence. Were these games unable to find sponsors?
*- Will Oklahoma St. and Oregon combine for 70 pts or more in the Holiday Bowl? This annually has been of the most high scoring affairs.
*- Oh how has the Orange Bowl dropped. A game that featured early triumphs of Joe Paterno led Penn State, Nebraska and Oklahoma in their glory days, the first major bowl appearance of Florida State, and the all time classic 84 battle between Nebraska and Miami, has Cincinnati and Virginia Tech playing this year. I’m sure they are talented football teams, but how many people are drooling to see them play in a prime-time network slot?
*- Arizona and BYU meet in a bowl 30 years after the former left the WAC conference for the higher profile Pac Eight(Now Ten, Arizona State joined also)
*- Vanderbilt makes a rare bowl appearance. Congratulations to Commodore fans, but this is a sign of how bowls are grown way out of proportion. 6-6 college teams get bids. When I was growing up I could remember Florida State going without a bowl in 1978 even though they finished the season 8-3.

It is my humble opinion that bowl season has gotten out of hand. Someone may say what’s the big deal? If someone wants to start a bowl game and there are two schools willing to play in it, does their records matter. A good football isn’t only a contest between stars at big name schools.

All true, but how much public money is spent on these affairs? Many of the teams are state universities who get funded by taxpayers. Then there is the game itself where police have to be taken from other tasks to work the day or night of the game or paid over-time.

With the economic downturn right now, you have to wonder if there will be less bowls in the near future. That would depend on how long a deal a corporate sponsor signed on for. I wonder how many fans of some schools plan to make a bowl trip. Are there 1,000 or more FAU Owls willing to journey from Florida to Michigan in December to watch the team play? Even if I were a Owl fan and had money, I’d stay home.

Enjoy the games.


Denver Broncos Greg Eslinger Gettin’ Props

Denver Broncos backup center Greg Eslinger was named to the All-NFL Europa League team today. Ok, so I heard it over at Mile High Report.

Only time will tell but I think Eslinger is going to be a solid player in the NFL. Just remember where you heard it….

Eslinger was a four year starter at the University of Minnesota. After his senior season at Minnesota in 2005, Eslinger was named the winner of the Outland Trophy, given to the nation’s outstanding interior lineman, and the Rimington Trophy, given to the nation’s best center.

The Broncos selected him in the sixth round of the 2006 NFL draft.

As of now, Eslinger has to wait in the wings. After all, He is Tom Nalen’s relplacement. Big shoes to fill.

I also believe Eslinger will be a solid player. Although, I am going to go a step further. Remember, he has excelled every where he has been. Greg Eslinger will be a very good player in the NFL.

FYI for all you Greg Eslinger haters out there. It has been announced that the 2nd year Center, currently playing for the Cologne Centaurions has been named to the All-NFL Europa Team.

Who’s hatin’? Let’s get em!

In all seriousness, who can hate on that trophy case. Eslinger has more honors than most could dream of. I won’t like it when Tom Nalen retires. As, with all my favorite players.

Father time has to come calling. And, the back-up plan looks very good.


Frozen Four Field Set

On April 5th, the Frozen Four will feature Maine vs. Michigan State and North Dakota vs. Boston College. The winners will play on April 7th in St. Louis for the NCAA Title.

1st Round




4-Massachusetts Massachusetts
Won, 1-0 ot
Won, 3-1
Cloud State
Won, 4-1
4 p.m. ET
1-Notre Dame        
4-Alabama-Huntsville Notre Dame
Won, 3-2 2ot
    Michigan State
Won, 2-1
Michigan State
Won, 5-1
3-Michigan State        
St. Louis,
4-Air Force Minnesota
Won, 4-3
    North Dakota
Won, 3-2 ot
2-Michigan North Dakota
Won, 8-5
3-North Dakota        
8 p.m. ET
1-New Hampshire        
4-Miami Miami
Won, 2-1
    Boston College
Won, 4-0
2-Boston College Boston College
Won, 4-1
3-St. Lawrence        


Tubby Smith leaves Kentucky for Minnesota

Smith coached the Wildcats to a National Championship in 1998. From AP-

MINNEAPOLIS – With Kentucky fans dogging him after another disappointing finish, Tubby Smith is bolting the bluegrass for Minnesota. Smith will be introduced as the 16th coach of the Golden Gophers at a noon press conference Friday, ending a 10-year tenure in Lexington that seemed to be nearing an end even before Minnesota contacted him.

The Wildcats went 22-12 this season and made it to the NCAA tournament, but lost to top-seeded Kansas in the second round, turning up the heat on the coach of college basketball’s winningest program.

Smith led Kentucky to the national championship in his first season in 1998, but the Wildcats haven’t been back to the Final Four since, their longest drought since the NCAA tournament began. The team has lost 10 or more games in a season five times under his watch, prompting the demanding fan base to nickname him “10-loss Tubby.”

Anyone see Smith’s move as similar to Football coach Bill Curry leaving Alabama for Kentucky?

Kentucky Basketball like Alabama Football puts any coach in a high pressure situation. Smith is probably burned out and in need of a change of scenery. Gopher fans will certainly have lesser expectations than Wildcats fans have.


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