It's Memorial Day, I'm alone in the sports department today, AND I'm sick. I've got cold symptoms so I'm pretty sure that's what it is, and as innocuous as colds are, they are annoying as heck. I think the worst part is the chills, because at the same time you can be sweating and freezing at the same time. Normally dealing with tissues is pretty egregious too, but I got the kind with lotion and I'm carrying them with me everywhere.
If that's not bad enough, I'm following the Braves game, taking note of their feeble attempts to play baseball. I guess I shouldn't be too upset though, they're up against the juggernaut San Francisco Giants (sarcasm). The Braves loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth inning, a golden opportunity to tie the game or take the lead. They got one run. Next half inning, they hand away two more runs. Pathetic. It's slowly crushing my soul watching them play day after day. I shouldn't have gotten MLB.tv
ANYWAY...enough of my life story. There was a lot going on this weekend, not so much locally. Does the NBA not have the best playoffs in pro sports? I think it does, and if you don't agree with me I think you're insane, and that you haven't been watching this postseason. It's not just the shear excitement and competitiveness of the games, but all the side stories and drama that go along with it. You really can't beat it.
The Lakers stole a huge win from the Nuggets in Game 3 of the Western Finals, with Kobe Bryant just going off. I was surprised. I thought if the Nuggets could steal just one from the Lakers at Staples, that series would be over. I felt the Nuggets had the best homecourt advantage. Apparently not. That series is far from over, and I expected it to go seven from the beginning, but I think the Lakers got back on the inside track with that win. I feel like the Nuggets inexperience (Chauncey Billups aside) could be their undoing. We'll learn a lot about how they respond in tonight's Game 4.
How about the Eastern Finals? What a shock. The Magic SHOULD have a 3-0 lead and be on their way to a sweep if not for King James' heroics in Game 2 (if they go on to win it all, how long are they going to be showing replays of that shot?) Surprisingly, I think the Magic have control of this series. I know the Cavs just need to get one game in Orlando to be back in it, but they are having serious issues defending the Magic offense.
They have no answer for the ball-screens for Rashard Lewis and Hedo Turkoglu, and they have nobody who can defend Dwight Howard inside. They've had to resort to fouling him almost every time he has the ball, and when he's making free throws like he is, that strategy isn't going to work.
I think both of these series are going to continue to be great, and as much as everyone is talking about the potential Lebron-Kobe matchup for the finals, I wouldn't be surprised to see the Nuggets and Magic play each other. In fact, I think that would be just as fun.
What else besides basketball, how about the Indy 500. Ah, the nostalgia. I was born and grew up in Indianapolis, and we would go to the 500 almost every year, or at least listen to all the coverage on the radio. It was like a celebration of school being done and summer beginning, the start of a relaxing few months. It was great, and I would always get really into it.
Not many of the names are the same, but I still get into the 500, and I really like Helio Castroneves. I remember how cool I thought he was the first time he won a few years ago and he climbed the fence. He just seems to be a really cool guy, with a lot of spirit, and I'm glad he's having so much success.
I have to wonder...what happens if you win the 500 and you're lactose intolerant like myself?
College baseball doesn't get a lot of attention until the College World Series, but I think it's worth mentioning since the Longhorns were awarded the No. 1 overall seed in the tournament this year. They're in a regional with Boston College, Army and Texas State, which they should blow through. They'd be smart to watch out for Texas State though.
What's intriguing to me is the potential Texas-Texas A&M matchup in the Super Regional. A&M definitely has their work cut out for them, however. Unlike the last two seasons when they breezed to the Super Regional, they don't have homefield in the regional round. The Aggies will travel to Fort Worth to be in TCU's regional. They'll be up there with two-time champion Oregon State and Wright State...not exactly a walk in the park.
But if both can reach the Super Regional round to play each other, you can bet that I'm going to do everything I can to make the trip to Austin to see that. Despite A&M's inconsistency, the Aggies were ranked No. 1 in the preseason for a reason. They have some of the best talent in the nation, and they can beat Texas. The Longhorns barely took 2-of-3 from the Aggies in their season set, and the series could have easily been a sweep for either team. That's how close it was. I have a feeling that a Super Regional matchup would be just as competitive, and it's something everyone should be watching out for.
There were two other Texas teams that made the tournament: Sam Houston St. and perpetual powerhouse Rice. Coincidentally, the two are paired up to start the Houston Regional which the Owls host. They're in that regional with Xavier and Kansas State.
I wish I knew enough about college baseball to break down this tournament for you like I did so expertly with the basketball tournament. I have a friend that probably could, but who could have possibly predicted Fresno State winning it all last year? I think it'd be best for me to just sit this one out, watch and enjoy what unfolds.
More to come, hopefully some details about Victoria's new Texas Collegiate League team the Generals will be in the next entry.
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