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Posts Tagged ‘Vanderbilt’

2009 NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament Picks

Posted by sportsmaven on March 18, 2009

College tournament basketball.  Women’s basketball.  While all the hype is focused on the 2009 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the women are also playing their tournament, and I have picks for that tournament to share.

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

(AP Photo/Dave Martin)

The decision to start with the women’s bracket was easy. Women’s college basketball is easier to make picks, due to the fact that there are a few dominant teams and upsets seemed less likely than in the men’s bracket.  Thus, the picks came much quicker and easier.  Without hesitation, the picks are:

Trenton Bracket: Connecticut, Florida, Virginia, California, Arizona State, Florida State, Notre Dame, Texas A&M

Berkley Bracket: Duke, Middle Tennessee State, Tennessee, Iowa State, Texas, Ohio State, DePaul, Stanford

Raleigh Bracket: Maryland, Utah, Kansas State, Vanderbilt, LSU, Louisville, TCU, Baylor

Oklahoma City Bracket: Oklahoma, Iowa, Gonzaga, Pittsburgh, Purdue, North Carolina, Rutgers, Auburn

Sweet 16: Connecticut, California, Florida State, Texas A&M, Duke, Tennessee, Ohio State, Stanford, Maryland, Vanderbilt, Louisville, Baylor, Oklahoma, Gonzaga, North Carolina, Auburn

Elite 8: Connecticut, Texas A&M, Duke, Stanford, Maryland, Baylor, Oklahoma, North Carolina

Final 4: Connecticut, Stanford, Maryland, Oklahoma

Finals: Connecticut vs. Oklahoma

National Champion: Connecticut

The Connecticut team is undefeated entering the tournament and will remain undefeated as National Champion.  I like Oklahoma’s Courtney Paris’ “guarantee” that if Oklahoma doesn’t win the National Championship, she will refund her scholarship to University of Oklahoma.  As I remarked on Twitter yesterday, Courtney, you better get your checkbook ready.  My men’s picks will follow shortly and the games will begin tomorrow at high noon (well, 12:20p EST).

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Chicago Bears Open Training Camp One Man Down

Posted by sportsmaven on July 23, 2008

The Chicago Bears have reporting to training camp in Bourbonnais with new hope, many question marks, and apparently down one man, as of 12:45am CST.  Bears first round draft pick OT Chris Williams, the man who in his first press conference as a Chicago Bear vowed not to be a camp holdout, is dangerously coming close to being the only camp holdout this season.

The Bears begin their first practice today at 3pm CST with or without their 6’6″ 315-pound tackle from Vanderbilt. With all the new faces on offense, arguably, the person that can least afford to miss any time in camp is Williams, but barring any last minute signings, it appears that Williams is on track to begin his Bears career in the same fashion as infamous Bears such as Rashaan Salaam, Curtis Enis, Cade McNown, and Cedric Benson.  All were camp holdouts at one time, all are now ex-Chicago Bears, serious blips on the radar of underachievers and malcontents.

Now I am willing to give Williams and his agents Pat Dye, Jr. and Bill Johnson the benefit of time in reaching an agreement with the Bears before that 3pm CST practice, but if that time arrives and there is no sight of Chris Williams, all bets are off.  The Bears were already facing an uphill battle with everyone in camp, but with one of their anticipated key contributors missing any camp time, this really sets the Bears offense back, not just one step, but two steps.  With no set WR rotation, a top RB that has yet to take a snap in the NFL, no clear cut starting QB and now a OL missing their top draft pick, the Bears offense is already in disarray before the first whistle of training camp is blown.

The Bears need to get off the bus running this season — for a successful running game will take the pressure off the question marks of QB’s and WR’s.  An unsettled line from day one hurts the running game.  It hurts the passing game.  It puts pressure on the QB’s and WR’s to make plays.  It adds pressure to the RB’s to make plays with uncertain blocking.   The OL is the key to the success of the Chicago Bears offense, and to the Bears season……somebody please explain this to Chris Williams before 3pm CST.

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