Friday, March 11, 2011

Madness? No. This is MARCH!

Maybe it's just me, but do you feel like you already have 53 errors on your March Madness bracket?  I literally have no confidence in any of my picks this year, and it isn't even selection Sunday yet.  Yes, the Big East is clearly the strongest division I conference, but they're also beating the living shit out of each other. 

Being a Syracuse fan that watches/attends nearly every game, I wouldn''t bet money on them moving on the orange moving past the sweet 16.  But with the loss tonight in the Big East Conference Tournament they save themselves a lot of energy for the Big Dance.  Taking UCONN into overtime will prove to work against the Huskies fatigue potentially as soon as tomorrow in the championship game, but will definitely take it's toll during the NCAA Tournament.  For this reason, I think that even though the Big East may have 11 teams in the tournament, there won't be one Big East team in the National Championship game.

Now looking on to other top teams; Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, Notre Dame, BYU, San Diego State.  Over the past few games for each team, Ohio State and Kansas have both been lucky to pull out tight wins, peaking at the wrong time.  Duke, who was on the rise to become a #1 seed in the tourney instead of Pittsburgh, just lost Nolan Smith for an unknown time period to what looks to be a lower leg injury.  The defending champs do have depth, but the bench is young.  My favorite team entering the conference tournaments was BYU, one because they came out of nowhere, and two because I'm a big Jimmer Fredette fan.  They're chances were good, that was until big man Brandon Davies was suspended for having sex with his girlfriend.  This has left the Cougars with an open gap that cannot, and will not be filled this year, meaning BYU's national championship hopes look grim at best. 

That leaves the big question mark within this list as San Diego State.  I honestly don't know anything about the Aztecs besides that fact that they lost to a full-force BYU team.  Being the only team that hasn't compiled any true disadvantages within the past week, San Diego State may be this year's Butler of last year.  With the madness already ensuing, this year's tournament seems to have more parity than recent years, and may make it a tournament for the ages.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Bro Tunes: Cam Meekins Edition

Over the past few months, rapper Cam Meekins has been making his mark in the music world through both his free downloads online, and performing as an opening act for Chris Webby.  The high schooler has been rapping since 6th grade, and the practice is proving to pay off.  Cam has already released three mixtapes, the first of which was self-produced, proving his commitment to the game.  As a promising talent under the broad wing of the well-recognized Matty Trump, the possibilities are endless for this young artist.  Find Cam's beats for free on DatPiff, Youtube, and make sure to follow him on Facebook.  To name just a few, some of my personal favorites include "Just Like You" (above), "My Baby",  and "Never Givin In".  Check it out Bros.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The Queen is Feeling the Heat

The 63rd game of the long NBA regular season has past, and the Miami Heat still have not found a way to win when it counts.  Following the game, Head Coach Erik Spoelstra announced in his postgame interview that there were "a couple of guys crying in the locker room."  Right now everything is working against "El Heat".

This helps prove that Erik Spoelstra should not be the Head Coach for a team with so many superstars.  Yes it is true that the Heat are shooting 5% in late-game situations, and one can't blame Spoelstra for that.  However, that doesn't mean it is a good idea to announce that tears are being shed in the locker room just because he is frustrated that his team is not clutch.  Spoelstra continued on, trying to clean up the mess he created by stating how important the regular season is the the players, and that's why they were crying.  If the Heat cannot handle the pressure of the regular season, how will the pressure of the NBA Playoffs be tolerated?

Lebron James proved during his years in Cleveland that he cannot make the final shot.  Aside from a bomb that he launched against the Orlando Magic 2 years ago to seal a game, I can't remember any other.  Although he is considered arguably the best player in the league, he is not the most important player on his team.  The Miami Heat are still Dwayne Wade's team, and though Wade did take one of the two final missed shot in the latest choke episode versus the Chicago Bulls, the ball is not in his hands enough during late-game situations.  Dwayne Wade has a ring, he knows how to win the big games, so why not trust Miami's top man with the ball at the end of a game?

This was not a game 7, Finals loss that everyone sacrificed through pain to win, this is just another game that the Heat could not finish in the middle of the regular season.  It may not be until Pat Riley resurrects his coaching career that the Heat can come close to achieving champion status unless Erik Spoelstra learns how to manage and implement changes to his current under-manned, failing team.  After all the hype, a championship is the only thing that will label the new-look Heat as a success. 

As the year continues to take it's toll on the emotionally drained Heat, it's not only crunch-time for the players to make big shots down the stretch, but also for Erik Spoelstra to prove himself as a worthy adversary to Queen Lebron's realm by controlling the pieces on his team.  The question is, can the Miami Heat ride out the storm of the regular season, and pull the pieces together for the NBA Playoffs?