Thursday, March 31, 2011

MLB Opening Day : World Series Predictions

Opening Day is an American institution. As always, I put forth my thoughts on the upcoming season.

AL East:

The Boston Red Sox signed Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez. No one else added players of that calibur. I think Gonzalez will put up MVP numbers with the short fence in right field at Fenway.

AL Central:

I'm taking the Minnesota Twins. Justin Morneau is back in the starting lineup Friday. Joe Mauer is always in the running for the batting title, and they have a strong bullpen.

AL West:

The Texas Rangers were the surprise team last season. They won't surprise anyone now, but they are in a weak division. So that should ease the pain of losing Cliff Lee.

Wild Card:

The New York Yankees have several gaps, including aging stars and few reliable starters. I'm still not going to pick against them, though.

NL East:

The Phillies have put together the best starting rotation in the history of baseball. They do need Chase Utley back, and that might not happen before the All Star break.

NL Central:

The Reds put together a strong season last year. The Brewers and Cubs have improved, while the Cardinals lost their best pitcher to an elbow injury. It doesn't hurt that my favorite player, Scott Rolen, is the starting third baseman.

NL West:

The Giants won the Series last fall. But they barely made the playoffs. I think the Colorado Rockies are going to take over the division, with Troy Tulowitzki named MVP.

Wild Card:

The Atlanta Braves will certainly challenge for the NL East. I think a Wild Card spot is much more likely because the Phillies' rotation is too strong.

World Series Prediction: Philadelphia Phillies over the Boston Red Sox.

Who do you think will win?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Elite Eight: Saturday

(8) Butler vs. (2) Florida

Butler forward Matt Howard and injured center Andrew Smith will have to play huge against the front line of the Gators. It would be dumb to say Butler has no chance, but they are once again out-matched.

(5) Arizona vs. (3) Connecticut

UConn has no one to stop Derrick Williams. But they key match-up is Arizona guard MoMo Jones versus Kemba Walker. Walker has been stellar in the last month of the season, and that's why he is a national player of the year finalist. But who is going to step up to supplement his play?

Friday, March 25, 2011

Tonight's Sweet Sixteen Preview

I was 3-1 yesterday, with Duke being my only loss. And since it was a blowout and they were my national champion pick, I'll consider it two losses.

(11) Marquette vs. (2) North Carolina

The Tar Heels have been one of the best few teams in the last couple months. They have the size and athleticism to beat anyone. Marquette has to shoot well from the outside to contend.

(12) Richmond vs. (1) Kansas

Kansas is way better.

(4) Kentucky vs. (1) Ohio State

As a Kentucky fan, I would love to see this "upset" here. But I've said Ohio State is the best team in the country for months. Kentucky needs a huge game from Josh Harrelson and Eloy Vargas against Jared Sullinger in the post.

(11) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (10) Florida State

This game is a toss-up. VCU is the better story as one of the last four teams selected. But Florida State is the best defensive team in the nation. They'll prove it again tonight.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Sweet Sixteen Preview

(3) Connecticut vs. (2) San Diego State

San Diego State should not have beaten an average Temple squad. Kemba Walker is one of the best players in the nation and led the Huskies to the Big East tournament title. I'm taking UConn.

(3) Brigham Young vs. (2) Florida

BYU has no one to match up with Florida's size with Macklin, Tyus and Young. No one. The only chance the Cougars have is to hit 60% from three-point range. With Jimmer, that's always a possibility. Gators advance.

(5) Arizona vs. (1) Duke

Duke is 10-0 with Kyrie Irving on the floor, but that's not the reason Duke is going to win. That would be Nolan Smith. Smith led the ACC in points and was second in assists after switching positions to point guard. He's still the most underrated player in the nation.

(8) Butler vs. (4) Wisconsin

I will not pick against Butler. Especially against Wisconsin. The Badgers are the better team. They're a great free-throw and three-point shooting team and play great defense. They're the smarter pick. But I'm taking Butler.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tennessee Athletic Director Mike Hamilton Should Be Fired

Bruce Pearl is out at UT, ending the most successful six-year span the men's basketball program has ever experienced. Pearl led the Vols to a 145-61 (65-31 SEC) record including an Elite Eight and two Sweet Sixteen appearances.

But with impending NCAA violations, Pearl is playing the part of the scapegoat. The person at fault is actually Mike Hamilton.

Hamilton has done little to police the athletic program and was responsible for the hiring of Lane Kiffin. We all saw how that worked out.

Pearl made mistakes, for which he is now paying, but he single-handedly made UT men's basketball relevant.

And now he's gone. And Hamilton should be following.

I know most agree with me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Round of 32 Predictions: Day Two

Almost straight chalk today. Record: 28-12

(7) Washington vs. (2) North Carolina
(8) Michigan vs. (1) Duke
(8) George Mason vs. (1) Ohio State
(5) Arizona vs. (4) Texas
(11) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (3) Purdue
(11) Marquette vs. (3) Syracuse
(9) Illinois vs. (1) Kansas
(10) Florida State vs. (2) Notre Dame

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament: Round of 32 Predictions

I'm 23-9 through the first two rounds. Gotta do better than that today.

(4) Kentucky vs. (5) West Virginia
(7) UCLA vs. (2) Florida
(13) Morehead State vs. (12) Richmond
(7) Temple vs. (2) San Diego State
(8) Butler vs. (1) Pittsburgh
(11) Gonzaga vs. (3) Brigham Young
(5) Kansas State vs. (4) Wisconsin
(6) Cincinnati vs. (3) Connecticut

Friday, March 18, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament: Friday Picks/Upsets

I was 12-4 yesterday and enjoyed watching UK and Gonzaga advance. Hoping to do even better today.

Winners in Bold Italics

(13) Oakland vs. (4) Texas
(9) Tennessee vs. (8) Michigan
(15) Akron vs. (2) Notre Dame
(9) Villanova vs. (8) George Mason
(12) Memphis vs. (5) Arizona
(16) Hampton vs. (1) Duke
(10) Florida State vs. (7) Texas A&M
(16) UT-San Antonio vs. (1) Ohio State
(16) Boston University vs. (1) Kansas
(15) Long Island vs. (2) North Carolina
(14) St. Peter's vs. (3) Purdue
(11) Marquette vs. (6) Xavier
(9) Illinois vs. (8) UNLV
(10) Georgia vs. (7) Washington
(11) Virginia Commonwealth vs. (6) Georgetown
(14) Indiana State vs. (3) Syracuse

I don't see as many upsets today. Can't wait to be proven wrong.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Update: Thursday Games

Butler defeated Old dominion on a buzzer beater by Matt Howard.

Morehead State knocked off fourth-seeded Louisville with a 3-pointer by Demonte Harper.

Temple beat Penn State on a last-second shot in the lane by Juan Fernandez, merely 15 seconds after Taylor Battle hit the game-tying three.

Kentucky barely held on against Princeton on Brandon Knight's first field goal with 2 seconds left.

More updates to come.

2011 NCAA Tournament: Thursday Picks/Upsets

I'll be making my picks each day of the tournament. This could definitely get ugly.

Winners in Bold Italics

(12) Clemson vs. (5) West Virginia
(9) Old Dominion vs. (8) Butler
(13) Morehead State vs. (4) Louisville
(10) Penn State vs. (7) Temple
(13) Princeton vs. (4) Kentucky
16) North Carolina-Asheville vs. (1) Pittsburgh
(12) Richmond vs. (5) Vanderbilt
(15) Northern Colorado vs. (2) San Diego State
(15) UC Santa Barbara vs. (2) Florida
(14) Wofford vs. (3) Brigham Young
(14) Bucknell vs. (3) Connecticut
(13) Belmont vs. (4) Wisconsin
(10) Michigan State vs. (7) UCLA
(11) Gonzaga vs. (6) St. John's
(11) Missouri vs. (6) Cincinnati
(12) Utah State vs. (5) Kansas State

Record: 0-0
I'll be keeping tally for how well/poorly I'm doing.

Upsets? I have Penn State, Belmont, Michigan State, Gonzaga and Mizzou winning. Five double-digit seeds advancing on Day One? It could happen.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Formerly Known as Round One

These are the Thursday match-ups I think could be the most entertaining.

Richmond vs. Vanderbilt

President Obama is taking the Spiders. As a guy that used to have season tickets to Vanderbilt, I'm hoping that doesn't happen. But Richmond is the most under-seeded team in the tournament. The Spiders won the Atlantic-10 tournament and beat Purdue earlier this season. I thought they should get an 8- or 9-seed. Tough draw for Vanderbilt. But if John Jenkins and Jeffery Taylor perform like they should, the Commodores will march on.

UC Santa Barbara vs. Florida

If Richmond is the most under-seeded team, Florida is most definitely the most over-seeded team. They won the regular season title in a mediocre SEC, and got blown out by Kentucky twice at the end of the season. Jim Rome called for this upset. I want to know if he was right.

Belmont vs. Wisconsin

A great shooting team vs. a team that scored 33 points in its last game. The Bruins should have knocked off Duke a few years ago. I imagine this is one of the most popular upset picks this March and with good reason.

Gonzaga vs. St John's

The Gonzaga Bulldogs have made their name as a double-digit seed advancing deep in the NCAA tournament. This isn't their best squad, but it has a favorable draw. The insertion of NBA legend John Stockton's son David has re-energized a team that was going nowhere. And now center Robert Sacre and forward Elias Harris are peaking. They face a Red Storm team with an injured star in DJ Kennedy. Here's to hoping the Zags pull off the upset.

What games are you wanting to see?

Monday, March 14, 2011

2011 NCAA Women's Final Four Picks

All four No. 1 seed to the Final Four.

UConn over Baylor in the title game. Maya Moore named MOP.

Would love to be proved wrong. Going for the Lady Vols.

Trailer for Everyone Loves You When You're Dead by Neil Strauss

Neil Strauss, the six-time NY Times bestselling author and Rolling Stone contributing editor, will release his next book on Tuesday, March 15th.

Strauss proves once again how Game not only affects relationships but improves social skills to help each area of life. In "Everyone Loves You When You're Dead" he shows how building rapport is essential to getting the best celebrity interviews, including those with Britney Spears, Trent Reznor, Johnny Cash and Lady Gaga.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

2011 NCAA Tournament Final Four/Upset Picks: First Glance


Ohio State over UNC

A couple weeks ago, I mentioned this as my pick for the national championship game. I'll settle for a regional final.

Upset Pick: Xavier over Syracuse

Not a huge upset, but great shooting can beat the zone.


Duke over UConn

Nolan Smith v. Kemba Walker. I may change my mind and take Walker. But I don't want to overreact to a Big East tourney title.

Upset Pick: Mizzou over Cincinnati

The Tigers have many flaws but their style would be a difficult first-round match-up for anyone.


Purdue over Kansas

Kansas is playing the best basketball right now. They were last year also when they lost to Northern Iowa. I called that, and I'm calling this. I've had Kansas going deep in the NCAA tournament too many times.

Upset Pick: Florida State over Notre Dame.

Ben Hansbrough struggles when more athletic people guard him. That's what the Seminoles can do.


Kansas State over Florida

The Wildcats turned it on in March last year and they have a clutch guard in Jacob Pullen. I think they will knock off Pitt in the Sweet Sixteen.

Upset Pick:

I'm from Nashville, so I'm taking Belmont over Wisconsin. The Badgers can't score. And the Bruins should have beaten Duke a few seasons ago.

National Championship: Duke over Purdue

These are my first thoughts. I will fill out a complete bracket later tonight and post a screen shot.

What are your thoughts?

Friday, March 11, 2011

Everyone Loves You When You're Dead

Neil Strauss, the six-time NY Times bestselling author and Rolling Stone contributing editor, will release his next book on Tuesday, March 15th.

Strauss proves once again how Game not only affects relationships but improves social skills to help each area of life. In "Everyone Loves You When You're Dead" he shows how building rapport is essential to getting the best celebrity interviews, including those with Britney Spears, Trent Reznor, Johnny Cash and Lady Gaga.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Charlie Sheen Is Winning

Charlie Sheen, the highest paid actor ($800k per episode) on TV's highest rated comedy, has been fired.

CBS cut ties with the "Two and a Half Men" star and plan to take the show in a different direction. My guess: off the air

They don't have a show without Sheen. There are only two reasons people watch: the guys live in a Malibu beach house and watching Charlie make fun of his brother.

The drama has been lingering for months about Sheen's wild behavior, which reportedly did not affect life on set. And now that his profile has risen to elite status, e.g. the fastest to gain one million Twitter followers, they fire him. CBS is the most watched network on TV for a reason--by making better decisions than this.

I expect many offers to fly Sheen's way. Maybe another turn as tiger blood-filled Ricky "Wild Thing" Vaughn in the Major League series.

If not, he'll continue to live it up with booze, drugs and porn stars.

Either way, he wins.