May 4, 2014 |
Toward the end of his freshman year, Paul VI junior receiver Irvin Charles started getting an indication that he could be a scholarship football player. He began earning invitations to college football camps, great recruiting vehicles for the big-time programs. Since then, Charles hasn't done anything to dispel the notion. In fact, he is among the top recruits in the state, and that is why the spring of his junior year is in some ways much more hectic than the past football season.
April 8, 2014 |
ARLINGTON, Texas - I liked four teams when this NCAA Tournament began - Wichita State, Louisville, Michigan State and Florida. Kentucky has beaten two of them, Connecticut the other two. Now, what? The seeds stopped mattering when the games started. Add these seeds up and you get 15. Watch and analyze the 10 games UK and UConn have played in this tournament and you get the teams that have performed the best now playing for the championship. I have been in the building for each of UConn's five wins.
April 7, 2014 |
John Reid never bit on the gadget play. He was too seasoned for that. The St. Joseph's Prep cornerback reached behind him and snatched the interception with his right hand. La Salle picked the wrong guy last season to trick with a flea flicker. He was just a junior, but Reid was already a captain for the football power. And plays such as that have grabbed the attention of premier college programs. The 5-foot-10, 180-pounder has scholarship offers from Alabama, Notre Dame, Michigan, Michigan State, Miami, Penn State, and many others.
April 1, 2014 |
DUKE COACH Mike Krzyzewski can't deal with it. North Carolina's Roy Williams has been bitten in the rear by it. Kansas' Bill Self is soon to loathe it. But Kentucky's John Calipari, well, he has no problem with the one-and-done syndrome that has become a staple of college basketball. While other top programs have struggled in dealing with recruiting top-flight prospects who only make a quick pit stop on campus before bolting to the NBA draft, Coach Cal has turned managing it into a Final Four art form.
March 30, 2014 |
If Brandon McIlwain has his way, he's going to have a busy few months ahead of him. The Council Rock North quarterback is one of the area's hottest recruits. He has received scholarship offers from major programs across the country. And he said he wants to visit each of those colleges before the end of the summer. "I'm going to try to," he said. Each day makes that task harder, as McIlwain seems to gain suitors daily. Nebraska added an offer Thursday. Two days earlier, it was California.
March 25, 2014 |
THE NCAA Tournament Selection Committee had consecutive very bad Sundays. The group of well-meaning men and one woman simply did not understand how to put a balanced bracket together. They spent all their time rewarding teams for November and December performance rather than lining up teams on how they were likely to play in late March and April. The group is in desperate need of an oddsmaker and somebody who really understands the game, preferably both. I thought there were six teams with enough talent and firepower to beat Wichita State in this tournament.
March 21, 2014
EVEN THE president is picking Michigan State, and all he ever does is go with 1-seeds. Such is the fate of the Delaware Blue Hens, who won the Colonial Tournament, earned an NCAA bid for the first time since 1999 and now have a date in the NCAA dance with Godzilla. The Hens are two-touchdown underdogs because smart money in March usually follows Michigan State and its coach, Tom Izzo. "We don't really worry about the name on the other team's jersey, we just play against them," Delaware guard Davon Usher said.
March 19, 2014 |
I DID NOT think Kentucky could lose in 2012. I did not think Louisville could lose in 2013. My eyes told me both would win the championship. This year is more challenging so I did this more analytically. I like teams that win with offense and defense, preferably in concert. So, even on a bad shooting day for them or a hot shooting day from an opponent, they can still win. Click here to see Dick Jerardi's picks for this year's NCAA tournament. My test for a potential national champion is that a team must be top 20 in offensive and defensive efficiency.
March 18, 2014 |
The room fell silent. Everyone knew that Delaware's name would pop up on the television screen eventually, but through each commercial break, the blue-and-yellow-clad fans packed inside the Carpenter Sports Building for the Blue Hens' selection-show viewing party stayed on the edge of their seats. The crowd let out a collective sigh of relief as Delaware (25-9), the Colonial Athletic Association champion, avoided a matchup with Louisville. But when the No. 13 Blue Hens saw their name appear under fourth-seeded Michigan State (26-8)
March 18, 2014 |
Adreian Payne scored 18 points and Gary Harris and Branden Dawson added 15 each to lead No. 22 Michigan State to its second Big Ten tournament title in three years with a 69-55 upset of No. 8 Michigan in Indianapolis on Sunday. The third-seeded Spartans (26-8) will have some momentum entering the NCAA tournament with four wins in five games. The top-seeded Wolverines (25-8) were led by Big Ten player of the year Nik Stauskas with 17 points and Derrick Walton Jr. had 11, but the league's regular-season champs had their seven-game winning streak come to an end. SEC Florida 61, Kentucky 60 - The No. 1 Gators capped a perfect run through the Southeastern Conference when the Wildcats failed to get off a shot on their final possession, allowing Florida to escape with a victory in Atlanta.