Good morning and Happy Monday to all! I'm bored at work and figurd I'd touch on some developments in the sports world over the weekend.
Terrell Owens signs one year deal with the Buffalo Bills.
Of all the possible destinations I had in mind, Buffalo hadn't even been on my list! (I was thinking Seattle,Oakland, or SF) The one year deal is definitely smart by management, however, I don't think this makes the Bills THAT much better. Granted this improves their WR corps, but Lee Evans is ALREADY a #1 receiver and Owens has a history of wanting to be a major focal point of the offense (and when he isn't as we all know, the problems begin!) Now they drop Evans to the #2 receiver (which is still better than Evans at #1 and Hardy/Parrish as their #2) but Evans' numbers are going to take a hit this season and I don't think he's going to be the happiest camper.
Also aside from Tony Romo, Owens has had issues with almost every quarterback that threw him the ball. Is that really the optimal situation for a still maturing Trent Edwards? Granted it's a new weapon for the QB that helps stretch the field a little more (which will open things up for Marshawn Lynch and the running game) but what happens when Owens starts criticizing Edwards? Confidence is a huge part in sports and Owens could be detrimental to the growth of the Bills "franchise" quarterback. I'm sure it's brought a lot of attention and excitement to the Bills franchise (as well as increased ticket sales), but in no way do I feel this gets them "over the hump" and I STILL think they're the 4th best team in the AFC East. Either way, I've been a TO fan (aside from his antics) since he was in Philly and I wish him the best.
World Baseball Classic
The WBC got started this weekend and the US has looked very good so far and is already in the 2nd round of Pool C (they defeated Canada 6-5 and beat up Venezuela 15-6)
Korea has already wrapped up Pool A with a 1-0 victory over Japan, the Netherlands got a surprising upset by beating supposed "powerhouse" the Dominican Republic and will play my beloved Puerto Rico (defeated Panama 7-0) today.
Cuba/Australia(3/10) and South Africa/Mexico(3/9) face off in Pool B as well.
In a crazy season where no team has been able to maintain a hold on the #1 ranking, North Carolina has regained the #1 spot and with a win in the ACC should be the #1 overall seed.
Pittsburgh completes season sweep of UCONN :
Sam Young is flourishing down the stretch of his senior year and Dejuan Blair (at only 6'7"!) is a beast on the block. Pitt completed a season sweep of UCONN and heads into the Big East tournament the #2 seed. Louisville is the #1 seed in the Big East tourney and still has a shot at a #1 seed (they're gonna have to win the tourney to get that seed though)
North Carolina defeated Duke yesterday 79-71 for bragging rights and the regular season ACC title. I have a feeling UNC loses in the ACC tourney championship (to Wake Forest) but still earns a #1 seed and should be in the Final Four. I'm not completely sold on Duke and see them making a 2nd round or sweet 16 exit.
Gonzaga squares off against St. Mary's tonight for the West Coast Conference's automatic bid. Despite who wins (i'll take St. Mary's), both teams deserve to be in the tournament. St. Mary's just got star Patrick Mills back and this team can definitely cause some problems in the tourney, I'm not really sold on Gonzaga though.
Several teams have already punched their tourney cards including Cornell (Ivy), E. Tennesse St. (A-Sun), Radford (Big South), Northern Iowa (MVC) and Morehead State (Ohio Valley). I don't think any win a game in the tourney but Northern Iowa may shock somebody.
Projected #1 Seeds:
Pittsburgh, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Louisville (I think they win the BE tourney)
Last Four In:
Providence, Florida, Arizona, Penn St.
Magic 86 Celtics 79
The Celtics edged out the Cavs at home on Friday (as they should have) but then turn around and lose to the Magic at home? Perhaps due to the absence of Garnett (and Rajon Rondo), but I can see the Magic giving the Celtics fits in the playoffs. They don't seem as solid at home this year as much as last and the C's need to change that come playoff time. Am I the only one cheering on a Dwight Howard MVP award? Pretty sure he WON'T win it but I'd like to see it happen nonetheless.
Nets 106 Knicks 101
As a die-hard Knicks fan who only a couple of weeks ago was dreaming of the playoffs, I'm severely saddened by their play lately. Granted this team is exciting and way more competitive than last year's squad, but we were only 1.5 games out of the 8th seed and yet we STILL can't close games out? I don't know how many times already I've watched us have a 10-12 point lead (or even be losing but still close) only to completely unravel in the fourth quarter....There HAS to be a commitment to defense as well before anyone will take us seriously....As it is, I see the Nets righting their ship and nabbing the 8th seed. The Knicks probably finish as the 10th seed in the conference.
Check out my updated Power Rankings on Wed/Thurs.