Post in the 'Sports' Category

Free Throw Woes: Kansas Defeats Memphis

Up nine points with 2:12 to go in the game, it appeared the Memphis Tigers would win the National Championship game. With time against them, the Kansas Jayhawks had no choice but to foul to extend the game. As any basketball fan knows, to win a game down the stretch you will have to make free throws.

All season long, despite winning an NCAA record 38 games, Memphis was a terrible free throw shooting team. At one point this season they were 347th out of 350 NCAA teams in free throw shooting percentage. Ouch. Many pundits argued that this Tiger “Dream Team” was good enough to overcome the deficiency. In fact they shot much better during tournament play.

But on Monday night on the biggest stage, they missed four of five free throws allowing Kansas to stay in the game. Mario Chalmers took advantage, hitting a 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left to force overtime. The Jayhawks had all the momentum and controlled the extra period, winning 75-68.

In a sporting event there are often five to ten moments that can change the momentum and outcome of the game. But I’ll disregard that by simply stating the obvious. If you hit your free throws you will win the game. Sure, the opponent could trade 2 for 3 and close the gap, but a free throw is a much higher percentage shot than a contested 3-pointer.

Free throw shooting is truly a lost art. Even guards, traditionally the best shooters on the court have trailed off in recent years.

Perhaps the modern basketball culture has gotten too caught up in alley-oops, step back threes, crossovers and thundering dunks. True, the free throw is not glamorous. It will never appear on a poster, but it wins games. Any player who cares about winning should step back 15 feet and shoot until it becomes natural. As natural as winning a championship.

AP Photos by Mark Humphrey.

SEC East: Best Division in College Football

Let me preface this with full disclosure, I’m a University of Florida grad and huge Gator fan. With that said, the proof is undeniable. The Southeastern Conference (SEC) East division is the best division of any conference in all of college football. Let’s take a look at the teams:

south carolina logo#7 South Carolina (5-1)
The Ol’ Ball Coach, Steve Spurrier is winning with running and defense. The Cocks already defeated Georgia and gave the LSU Tigets a run for it’s money in Baton Rouge.

florida logo#13 Florida (4-2)
Despite being a very young team (60% underclassmen), the Gators destroyed Tennessee and held a 10 point fourth quarter lead on #1 LSU. It appear Florida has a dominant leader in Tim Tebow.

kentucky logo#17 Kentucky (5-1)
This isn’t the same old Cats. Kentucky now has some football players. Clutch QB Andre’ Woodson is a Heisman candidate who lead UK to a miraculous upset of then #9 Louisville.

georgia logo#24 Georgia (4-2)
Backed by a tough defense and after finally finding a leader in QB Matthew Stafford, Georgia continues to be a road warrior under coach Mark Richt. But can the win in “neutral” Jacksonville?

tennessee logo#25 Tennessee (3-2)
Despite the blowout loss to Florida, the Volunteers played current #2 California to the wire on the road and recently knocked of Georgia by 21 points. If their defense remains stout it will be a tough out.

vanderbilt logoVanderbilt (3-2)
The Commodores are the perennial division cellar dweller, but they always hangs tough particularly at home. And they have a winning record…

The body of work speaks for itself. With five ranked teams and every team with a winning record, despite competing in the most difficult conference in the country, the East is a beast to be feared.

MSU Radio Host Goes Off On Air

Last Saturday night, leading 31-14 at halftime, Michigan State allowed 19 Notre Dame points in the last 8:18 of the fourth quarter in which quarterback Drew Stanton turned the ball over 3 straight times including a go-ahead pick-six. After the remarkable “choke job”, a MSU Radio Host, Mike Valenti, of The Sports Inferno goes off for nearly 16 minutes. Take a listen, It’s priceless.

Football Is Back!

Did you feel that cool breeze this afternoon? Did a leaf fall from above? Did you wake up this morning feeling more alive? The answers must be yes, because today is the start of a new College Football Season! Tonight the season officially gets started with an SEC clash between Spurrier’s South Carolina Cocks and Croom’s MSU Dogs. Not exactly a thriller, to be sure, but it’s not baseball. This weekend is the launching point of my favorite time of year. One final look at the checklist:

Beer – of course
Couch – broken in
2nd TV in living room – setup saturday
Gator shirts – cleaned (thanks Katie!)
ESPN GamePlan – ordered
Message Boards – perused and participated
Preseason Polls – read and ignored
BCS – already pissed
Kram Yam (Mark May) – still hate him

Yawn… It Must Be Summer Sports

This is the dreaded sports void known as Summer! It’s the time of year that no real sports are in season. Don’t try to convince me baseball is worth watching. There is no basketball or football. Hell, I’d watch Hockey at this point, but no dice. At least we had the World Cup for a month (not the most exciting game either).

Instead of watching SportsCenter in the mornings I now watch The Daily Show and/or The Colbert Report rerun from the night before. They are on at 8am and 8:30am, respectively, on Comedy Central. They are much more entertaining than baseball “highlights”.

Check out SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays during the Summer:

10. Guy catches baseball (whoopty do…)
9. Guy hits home run (this is baseball, right?)
8. Different guy hits baseball (see above)
7. Guy fucks up fielding a baseball (dumb ass)
6. Guy doesn’t fuck up fielding a baseball (so…)
5. Guy from #9 hit another homerun (holy crap! two home runs by the SAME guy!)
4. Mascot does something (best play yet!)
3. Pitcher strikes a guy out (yawn…)
2. Guy catches baseball near edge of playing field (isnt’ that what he’s supposed to do?)
1. Pitcher catches ball hit right to him (so, he almost allowed a hit? bench him!)

The first NFL Preseason game is August 6th, if you can stay awake until then…

Florida Ultimate Team National Champs 2006

As many of you know I played for the University of Florida Ultimate Club Team (UFUCT) in college. It was a great time and I made lifelong friends. We grew the team from humble beginnings into a Sectional and Regional force.

This year, UFUCT made it’s first ever appearance at Nationals. The 16 team tournament is the pinnacle of College Ultimate. Florida went undefeated in the tourney to become the 2006 College Ultimate Champions defeating Wisconsin 15-12.

UFUCTImage Courtesy of Discraft

This team was truly special, accumulating a final record of 49-1. They won the Florida Winter Classic, Trouble in Vegas and Stanford Invite tournaments in the regular season. Florida continued their domination by capturing the AC South Sectional and Atlantic Coast Regional titles to become the top seed at Nationals.

Anchoring the team in his final season was Captain Tim Gehret. His dominating play on offense and defense showed he was clearly the best player in the country. It was made official as he won the 2006 Callahan Award, given annually to the top college player.

Check out CSTV for the broadcast of the final: Schedule


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