Seeing may be believing and we're not sure we believe the run Kentucky is on. So it goes.
From the "Talks too much" studios, Sam Bowie is not walking through that door.
Kentucky is awesome. UConn is clutch.
Kentucky is clutch. UConn is awesome.
John Calipari may have done his finest coaching job, and did it in the heat and pressure of possibly being the nation's biggest underachievers during the regular season.
UConn's Kevin Ollie has weathered the storm of NCAA violations that forced his Huskies to sit out last year's Dance. Now they are a No. 7-seed playing for a title. Weathered indeed.
So what do we know and what do we think we know? Here's a power five checklist:
We know that we want the ball in Aaron Harrison's hands with the game on the line. The UK freshman guard has delivered the greatest clutch run in college hoops history, hitting a trio of treys that proved to be game-winners in the final seconds in this tournament.
We know that UK and UConn's run here validates that the regular season in college hoops is meaningless. Each perennial power struggles mightily. Each rambled out of the rankings and into the tournament. Each was viewed in the powerful prism of underachieving. Each is 40 minutes away from a championship.
We know that we undersold the elite kids in the one-and-done carousel, and we will not make that mistake again. And here's why — and this undercuts Coach Cal's season-long lament that these are freshmen: These elite-level AAU stars and McDonald's All-Americans know when the games matter. They have played in big games since they were in junior high. At 19, they have competed for numerous national titles at almost every level. This is old hat. And UK is showing that poise and purpose now that the real season has started.
We know that TFP columnist ace Mark Wiedmer has been his usual excellent self at this Final Four. Here is today's award-worthy submission on the NCAA's unknown future, http://www.timesfreepress.com/news/2014/apr/07/final-four-hides-many-of-ncaas-woes/
We also believe UConn's magic and desire fall short tonight. UK 74, UConn 61. We do know that UConn ended our bracket chance at a repeat in the TFP pool. Alas. So it goes.
No Tiger, no problem.
It's Augusta National for crying out loud and after some early week rain, the forecast looks splendid.
So what should we do? We should have a contest and give stuff away of course.
Here's the Masterfully Mastering the Masters rules:
Pick four golfers, your top three count. Lowest cumulative score wins. Winner gets some Masters gear. Deal? Deal.
And with no Tiger, well, the entries could be quite varied.
Here are the odds for the favorties, according to Golfweek.com:
Rory McIlroy . . . 8/1
Adam Scott . . . 10/1
Jason Day . . . 10/1
Phil Mickelson . . . 15/1
Dustin Johnson . . . 15/1
Henrik Stenson . . . 20/1
Matt Kuchar . . . 20/1
Bubba Watson . . . 20/1
Justin Rose . . . 25/1
Zach Johnson . . . 25/1
Jordan Spieth . . . 25/1
Brandt Snedeker . . . 30/1
Jason Dufner . . . 30/1
Keegan Bradley . . . 30/1
Sergio Garcia . . . 30/1
Charl Schwartzel . . . 40/1
Harris English . . . 40/1
Lee Westwood . . . 50/1
Luke Donald . . . 50/1
Louis Oosthuizen . . . 50/1
Hunter Mahan . . . 50/1
Graeme McDowell . . . 50/1
Ian Poulter . . . 50/1
Angel Cabrera . . . 50/1
Graham DeLaet . . . 50/1
Sports Movie Madness
Caddyshack vs. Bull Durham. That's the title match in the sports movie madness bracket that we have been left with after you guys and the listeners of Press Row from 3-6 p.m. on ESPN 105.1 FM voted.
Caddyshack delivered the biggest upset of the draw, downing Hoosiers in the Elite Eight and virtually blanked Brian's Song in the semifinals. Bull Durham had a late charge to beat Raging Bull in round one and beat Rocky in the semifinals by one vote. (And hey, if you can't put all your chips in an internet-based, social-media popularity contest, what's left for us to believe in? U-S-A. U-S-A.)
The merits for each are obvious. One is among the greatest comedies — and comedic casts — ever. It is based around golf although it does not fill the traditional spots movie idea. The other is 100 percent authentic — writer/director Ron Shelton was a minor league baseball player and that experience comes through in a litany of details and nuances.
And each of these two are in our top five of quotable movies. It could be a fantastic title game. It could be a blow out — Caddyshack's fan base is a lot like Kentucky's with massive expectations and undying belief.
Who you got?
This and that
— Notre Dame and UConn are unbeaten and playing the women's title game tomorrow night. Big stuff. And bigger still in that Geno Auriemma could pass Pat Summitt with a win.
— Braves tracker: Who had any questions about the pitching? OK, we all did, but a week into the season and a 4-2 start propelled by the pitching has been impressive. The Braves lead the NL with a 1.43 ERA and that's before free agent acquisition Ervin Santana (Black Magic Women, 9er) has pitched. He's set to make his Braves debut Wednesday. To make matters even more impressive, after a week, the Braves have five everyday regulars hitting .217 or less. The Danny Struggla-meter has been set at .210 and we took the under. He got a hit Sunday and is at .217 with as many hits as strikeouts (five).
— Baseball, part II: Dodgers star and Amnicola Highway speedster Yasiel Puig hurt his thumb. He's day-to-day (aren't we all?) and will have an MRI.
— LeBron went for 38 in the Heat's win Sunday over the Knicks. Here are the stats to know: Miami has six games left and Indiana has four and the Heat lead by one game (two in the loss column, which is big) for home-court advantage. Side note: The Heat starting five Sunday was Udonis Haslem (no relation to the Tennessee governor and the Flying J family), Chris Bosh, LeBron, Superintendent Chalmers and Toney Douglas. That's a little sketchy for a title run unless LeBron's ready to deliver the goods.
— NBA side note, I: Kevin Durant went for more than 25 again. It's 41 consecutive games for the slim gunslinger who leads the NBA in scoring at 32.7 a night — roughly than five points better than Carmelo Anthony.
— NBA side note, II: Clippers center DeAndre Jordan may be the best player most people do not know about. Dude is leading the NBA in rebounds (13.8), third in blocks (2.4) and tops in shooting percentage (.674).
— From the c'mon guys file: In a charity hockey game between the NYPD and the FDNY, an all-out brawl broke out. Here's a link, via the CBS sports folks.
As we normally do here and on Press Row on Mondays, our first question is almost always, who won the weekend?
There are a slew of choices. UConn basketball seems like a front-runner. Matt Jones is not a bad choice after shooting 66 Sunday and chipping in on the first playoff hole for a winning birdie that punched his ticket to Augusta this week. Here's another one — the Texas sports fan, with the Final Four, the NASCAR race and the PGA event this week, the plates were full for those in the sports BID-ness in Texas.
Who won the weekend? Who you got?
Jay was named the Sports Editor of the Times Free Press in 2003 and started with the newspaper in May 2002 as the Deputy Sports Editor. He was born and raised in Smyrna, Ga., and graduated from Auburn University before starting his newspaper career in 1997 with the Newnan (Ga.) Times Herald. Stops in Clayton and Henry counties in Georgia and two years as the Sports Editor of the Marietta (Ga.) Daily Journal preceded Jay’s ...