Xavier was victorious over Dayton in the Atlantic 10 Tournament yesterday. Our record for March improves to an impressive, 9-3. Today, we look down South into an SEC match up that features two of the best younger players in college basketball, John Wall and DeMarcus Cousins.

Matchup: 1:05 PM: #13 Tennessee Volunteers(25-7) vs. #2 Kentucky Wildcats(30-2)

John Wall’s heroic effort in the 2nd half yesterday propelled the Wildcats over the Alabama Crimson Tide, 73-67. Wall scored 23 points including a stretch of five straight points in the final three minutes to preserve the victory. The Wildcats only shot 1 for 13(7%) from three point land. The Vols posted an impressive 76-65 victory over the Mississippi Rebels on Friday. Wayne Chism recorded a double-double (16 points, 15 rebounds).

This game will be played in Nashville, so it will be on a neutral court. Geographically speaking, the Volunteers should have more fans in the house for this match-up.

In Kentucky’s earlier loss to Tennessee, the Wildcats shot only 2 for 22(8%) from behind the arc. On the season, the Wildcats have been shooting at 35% efficiency clip from three-point land. In games that Kentucky has lost or only won by 5 or fewer points, they have shot less than 25% from behind the arc. Kentucky has not had any issues out-rebounding opponents or winning the turnover battle.

With only two more wins before claiming an SEC Championship, look for the young Wildcats to come out motivated. UK for the Green.

The Pick: Kentucky Wildcats (30-2)

Bookmark Us (CTRL D) and Check Back Tomorrow For Another Selection

March Record: 9-3

Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

I can’t believe I’m actually writing about this, but the media has been making a huge deal about Tim Tebow’s Wonderlic Test results. The Wonderlic tests a person’s problem solving and learning ability, two critical key assesments to teams. Each player at the NFL Combine is subject to this one time test. Players have 12 minutes to answer 50 challenging problems. The average score among NFL players is 21. Tebow scored a 22 out of a possible 50 questions. Is this life-altering? No, it is considered below average in terms of quarterbacks, but it was a better score than Donovan McNabb.  McNabb scored a 14 on the test, one of the lowest scores ever for a quarterback. By my estimation, McNabb has had a good NFL career. 49ers underachieving quarterback, Alex Smith scored a 40. Enough said about this test…..

Instead of focusing on Tebow’s score, people need to focus on Tebow’s physical assets. He has shortened his throwing motion, performed well at the combine, and is ready for the NFL. Tebow is a bright player. One test will never make or break an individual.

If you are interested to see what the Wonderlic test is like, take this abbreviated online test. It’s only 2:25 and you must answer 10 questions. I got 9 out of 10, which can be projected to a score of 45. How’d you do?

Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

Written By: Matt Vereb

Syracuse dropped their opening round game in the Big East Tournament to Georgetown, 91-84.

Should Syracuse fans worry? The team has dropped two straight games before the NCAA Tournament, so it causes some reason for concern. However, their projected #1 seed in the NCAA Tournament will not be affected after today’s loss.

The real concern? Forward Arinze Onuaku left in 2nd half with an apart leg injury. X-rays have come back negative, but ‘Cuse fans will hold their breath with only five days before the NCAA tournament kicks off. If Onuaku is unable play, Syracuse will only have one inside presence in center, Rick Jackson. After watching Georgetown center Greg Monroe have his way with Jackson(15 points, 10 rebounds), Syracuse will have matchup problems against teams with larger front courts. Long term, Syracuse will have a problem against a team like Kansas if they do not have Onuaku.

Is there a silver lining? Definitely. Syracuse has played great basketball all season in the nation’s toughest conference, posting a 15-3 record. Their RPI of 4 and Strength of schedule of 11, further emphasizes that point. Big East player of the year, Wes Johnson and head coach, Jim Boeheim, will have the Orange motivated heading into the tournament.

Syracuse will have the next 5-6 days to rest and recover before embarking on a National Championship journey. They will not have to battle two, top-tier Big East teams in the next two days. To me, that is a big advantage. Syracuse will come out angry in the NCAA Tournament.

Syracuse has been elimiated in the first round in two of the last three NCAA Tournaments. Last season, they were eliminated by Blake Griffin and the Oklahoma Sooners in the Sweet 16.

Photo Credit: news.yahoo.com

**Pictured Above Mets Pitcher Oliver Perez**

Written By: Alex Lowenthal

The Mets’ pitching situation is anything but solid or comforting to fans this year.  Johan Santana is the only bankable pitcher.  Yes we know a few other definite starters, but Johan is actually expected to hold up his end of the bargain.  What about the others?

Oliver Perez is going to be the Mets number 3 starter.  We know he has a ton of talent, but he is one of the most erratic pitchers in the league.  We never know which Perez will show up on any given day, and his health is also a big question mark.  He returned to the mound yesterday making his first start since August 23, when he suffered season-ending knee surgery.  He gave up 7 hits and 5 runs in just three innings yesterday.

Is this all bad? It’s definitely not good.  However, he did throw a ton of strikes, with a 2 to 1 walk to strikeout ratio.  He said his goal was to throw strikes and mix in his “slurve”, while feeling healthy.  He said afterwards that he felt healthy, and was in command of his pitches. It’s a start for Perez.

The better story of yesterday’s game was Ollie’s relief.  35 year old rookie Hisanori Takahashi came in in the 4th inning and had a pretty decent inning.  He struck out the side on 10 pitches.  He threw 3 shutout innings, throwing 34 strikes in 42 pitches, struck out 6, allowing only 1 single.  Jerry Manual was very impressed, saying that they would definitely find a way to use him in the opening day lineup if he continues this success.  I think he’s likely to be a long reliever.  Mets minor leaguer, Pat Misch came on for the final three innings, allowed no runs, 3 hits and struck out 3 while getting the save.  The Mets beat the Nationals 6-5.

Today the Mets were running on all cylinders as they beat the Marlins, 11-2.  John Maine got the nod, and In 1 2/3 innings, he struck out four and gave up one run.  Jenrry Mejia shined once again, throwing three scoreless innings, allowing two hits and striking out one.  The 20 year old hasn’t allowed a run yet this Spring.

With four weeks left until opening day, we have an idea of the Mets’ probable starting rotation.

Here’s what it looks like:

Johan Santana, Mike Pelfrey, Oliver Perez, John Maine, and Jon Niese

Fernando Nieve and Niese are battling for that fifth spot, but I think it will go to Niese.

Can this rotation contend for a pennant? Or even a playoff birth?

Side Notes

1. Jason Bay had an RBI single in the 1st inning today.

2. Chris Carter homered twice in the Mets’, 8-run 9th inning.

3. Rod Barajas homered today, in his quest to be the starting catcher over Omir Santos and Henry Blanco

4. Johan Santana makes his first start tomorrow against Houston at 1:10pm

**Pictured Above: Yankees Outfielder, Nick Swisher, Falling Over A Fence**

Written By: Matt Vereb

The Yankees participated in split squad games today. Half of the Yankees traveled to play the Pirates. The other half stayed home to take on the Phillies.

Game 1: Notable Players vs. Pirates:

Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderon, Alfredo Aceves

Game Result: Yankees Win, 6-0

Game Notes:

1. The pitching foursome of Aceves, Ivan Nova, Zach McAllister, and Jason Hirsch combined to one-hit the Pirates. Aceves threw four, dominant scoreless innings. He has looked extremely sharp during Spring Training. Nova, McAllister, and Hirsch all play prominent roles for the Yankees’ Double A and Triple A clubs.

2. Curtis Granderson is still hitless this spring, but did score a run in the victory.

3. Alex Rodriguez laced a two-run single in the 1st inning.

Game 2: Notable Players vs. Phillies:

Javier Vazquez, Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, Nick Johnson, Jorge Posada, Brett Gardner, David Robertson

Game Result: Yankees Win, 7-5

Before I begin my writeup, take a look at the Phillies lineup today:

Jimmy Rollins SS
Placido Polanco 3B
Chase Utley 2B
Ryan Howard 1B
Raul Ibanez LF
Jayson Werth DH
Ben Francisco CF
John Mayberry Jr. RF
Carlos Ruiz C

I guess Charlie Manuel is still a little bitter from October. It’s March, Charlie. Wake up. Half of the Yankee starters are playing the Pirates. We’ll see you again in October, don’t worry.

Game Notes:

1. Javier Vazquez got the start today for the Yankees. Phillies leadoff hitter, Jimmy Rollins, hit Vazquez’s first pitch over the right field wall. After that, Javy settled in. He threw two innings, striking out four, and only allowing the one hit. Not a bad showing for Vazquez, given it is his first start of the season against a stacked lineup.

2. Outfielder Nick Swisher was 2 for 3 with two doubles and three RBIs. His big 3 RBI double came off of….

3. JOSE CONTRERAS. Contreras has found himself competing for a spot in the Phillies bullepn. His line today? 1 2/3 innings, six runs, six hits, three walks.Thanks Jose.

4. David Robertson had a rough outing today, giving up two runs and three hits in only 2/3 of an inning.

Both games provided some encouraging results. A-Rod is getting the clutch hits, Vazquez pitched very well against a good lineup, Swish-Hawk is crushing the ball. We are one day closer to opening day…

Yankee Fans: Are You Encoruaged By Today’s Results?

Written By: Matt Vereb

Older fans will remember epic boxing matched held at Yankee Stadium. Greats like Joe Frazier and Muhammed Ali were just a few of the fighters to compete there. The last boxing match at Yankee Stadium was held in 1976 with Muhammed Ali. That statistic changes this June. Younger fans will now have the same opportunity to watch boxing at the new Yankee Stadium.

On June 5th, 2010 at roughly 11 PM, WBA junior middleweight champion, Yuri Foreman(28-0) will defend his title against welterweight, Miguel Cotto(34-2). The Yankees wrap up their home stand on June 3rd, so the promotional companies will have two days to set up the venue.

The ring will be situated in right field. Tickets will be sold in the outfield grass, right field bleachers, and near the right field foul pole. Ring side tickets could sell for as high as $500 and for as low as $50. $50 could get you a seat next to Bald Vinny in the Right Field Bleachers. The fight plans to bring in 35,000 fans.

Cotto, a New York City native, figures to have a strong backing at this fight.

With the construction of the New Yankee Stadium, the team will be looking for different events to hold at the stadium. The team bid on the Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather Jr. fight and will look to bring an outdoor NHL game in, in the near future.

This is another ground breaking achievement for the New York Yankees. They are able to bring boxing back to Yankee Stadium after a 34 year absence.

Yankee Fans: Do You How The Team Is Using The Venue For Different Events?

Do You Think It Should Be Used For Just Baseball?

Written By: Matt Vereb

This article topic was first tipped off by our friends at LoHud

The majority of fans across baseball cry for a salary cap. Many will argue that the Yankees have an unfair advantage over the competition. With the recession and credit bubble bursting, many are left with questions about the future. How can a sports teams spend $200 million on baseball players? It’s simple: Basic Investment Strategy.

Without going into too much detail, the Yankees’ YES Network is worth over $1 billion dollars. The Yankees always have the highest attendance in baseball, roughly 4 million per season. The Yankees made roughly $20 million on 2009 playoff ticket sales alone. That figure alone pays off Mark Teixeira’s 2009 salary. And we won’t even get into merchandise sales, advertising, etc. So you’ve got the Yankees, the investment behemoths, the ‘bad guys of the world’. At the forefront of this group against the Yanks, is Baltimore Ravens’ owner Steve Bischotti.

Bischotti had this to say about those damn Yankees:

“It certainly doesn’t show up in the standings,” Bisciotti said. “If I’m a Yankees fan, I’m upset we’re not winning 130 games with the roster that they have and the money that they pay out. I think it’s a disgrace they only beat the average team by 10 games in the standings with three times the money. I’d fire that GM. You don’t need a GM. All you have to do is buy the last Cy Young Award winner every year.”

Well, if only baseball were that easy, Mr. Bischotti. No one handed the Yankees billions of dollars. The Yankees created their own advantage. Mr. Steinbrenner reinvested his money into the team. The return has been great. The Players’ Association will never allow a salary cap. The Ravens should worry more about their Super Bowl hopes and their middle linebacker, Ray Lewis’s off-field activities.

Written By: Matt Vereb

Bank of America has been running this credit card promotion for the last few years. Fans, doctors, lawyers, really anyone can apply for a Bank of American credit card featuring their favorite team. These credit cards offer reward points that fans can use towards purchases of their favorite team apparel. Trendy logos will appear on your credit cards; making it much more appealing to the owner.

In general, credits cards can be a little intimidating. Building your credit isn’t the easily thing to do. A lot of Americans have bad credit and may resort to free credit reports. However, sport fans can relish in this Bank of America credit card promotion. Bank of America may even send you a free t-shirt of your favorite team. I suggest enrolling for one of these cards today.

Written By: Mike Ulatoski

Olli Jokinen’s first game-winner with the New York Rangers gave them a 3-2 overtime victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Friday night.

Playing in his fifth game with New York since being acquired in a four-player trade from Calgary, Jokinen took a pass from Michal Rozsival, skated down the right wing and fired a wrist shot through defenseman Kris Letang’s legs and over goalie Marc-Andre Fleury’s stick-side shoulder.  It was Jokinen’s second goal with the Rangers and 13th overall this season.

“I think he’s been playing okay for us but … okay isn’t good enough because we’re not winning,” said Rangers coach John Tortorella, whose team had lost eight of 10 coming in. “So it’s a big play by him… Hopefully it will give him some confidence. You always want to be accepted when you come to a new group, and when you score an overtime game winner that’s a big avenue for him as far as joining in with the team.”

New York’s victory marks the first time the Rangers have won in Pittsburgh in their last eight trips, and their first win against the Penguins in their last eight meetings overall.  With the win the Rangers moved to within two points of the Eastern Conference’s eighth and final playoff spot.

The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby scored twice to achieve a career-high 41 goals.  He trails Washington’s Alex Ovechkin by a goal for the NHL lead.  It is Crosby’s first 40-goal season in the NHL, and I bet he’ll get to 50 by the end of the season.

With the OT loss, Pittsburgh gained a point but fell two points behind first-place New Jersey, who won Friday night, in the Atlantic Division.

New York played most of the game with only 16 skaters after defenseman Michael Del Zotto sustained “a significant laceration” in a collision with Penguins star Evgeni Malkin and had the side of his abdomen land on Malkin’s skate.

Rangers star Marian Gaborik dressed and had 4:02 of ice time over six shifts during the first period after being a game-time decision. He missed a home game Wednesday night against Nashville after cutting his right thigh during a collision with goalie Henrik Lundqvist in practice a day before.

Brandon Dubinsky tied it 1:28 into the second period (I called that) when he one-timed a blind backhand pass from Chris Drury.  Drury was behind the net and found Dubinsky in the left slot.  The goal was Dubinsky’s 13th of the season, just his second since January 1.  It also was Drury’s first assist since January 17.

Vaclav Prospal gave New York the lead 8:16 later with his 13th goal of the season, and fourth in his past four games.

Penguins’ goaltender Marc-Andre Fleury stopped the first 17 shots he faced in relief of backup Brent Johnson, who left the game with 3:55 to play in the second period due to a lower-body injury.
The stage was set for yet another New York Ranger meltdown against the Penguins. They had a lead going into the third, they blew the lead to a Sidney Crosby goal, and it seemed like they were going to add another tally to the loss column.  But Olli Jokinen (who said he was going to have a great game) skated down the ice, rifled a shot and lit the lamp in overtime.

While this is a big win, it’s the first step of a long journey if the Rangers expect to make the playoffs.  The Blueshirts next game is this Sunday against Tampa Bay, the last game before their Olympic break begins.

The Rangers lost another player to a cut from a skate on Friday.  Rookie defenseman Michael Del Zotto collided with Penguins center Evgeni Malkin near the boards and fell on Malkin’s skate with the side of his abdomen. He sustained what team officials termed “a significant laceration” and will also not return.

“The playoffs have already started for us; we have to start winning,” Lundqvist said. “A big part of the game is to be focused. Whatever happens during the game, you can’t let that affect us — if it’s a goal or a guy can’t play for us, all the guys have to step up even more. We did that tonight.”

Written By: Adam Poedubicky

The improbable run the New York Jets made to the AFC Championship was a thrill ride for all kinds of fans: the Colts were for those who loved great passing and a balanced attack and the Jets played it old school, running more than passing and playing sound defense. Ultimately, the Colts went on to beat the Jets to make it to the Super Bowl.

You can’t chalk up a total loss in the AFC Championship to Peyton Manning and the Colts. However, as a lover of old school “three yards and a cloud of dust” football, it was frustrating to see Manning effortlessly pick apart the Jets’ #1 ranked defense. Heck, not only was it the #1 ranked defense, it was the #1 ranked passing defense, led by Defensive Player of the Year runner-up, Darrelle Revis, who had 6 interceptions on the season and was well-known for completing shutting down whatever receiver he decided to cover for the day. In the AFC Championship, he held All-Pro wide receiver Reggie Wayne to 3 catches for 55 yards.

To stop the Colts, shutting down the #1 option in Reggie Wayne is a good first step. However, second-year player Pierre Garcon (from Division III Mount Union) posted career numbers, having 11 catches, 151 yards, and a touchdown. Also, BYU rookie Austin Collie added 7 catches, 123 yards, and a TD of his own.

Granted, these guys had Peyton Manning throwing them the rock. The Colts’ offensive line, as it has all year, made sure Peyton had a generous amount of time in the pocket. But these receivers were not even supposed to be starters until rookie Anthony Gonzalez went down with a knee injury. If Lito Sheppard, Dwight Lowery, and Donald Strickland can’t stop two rookies from running in circles around them, whom exactly do they plan on stopping?

Go back to the Week 6 loss to Buffalo, who was then 1-4. “Revis Island” shut down Terrell Owens, holding him to 3 catches for 13 yards. On the other side? The unexciting but reliable Lee Evans catches a 37 yard touchdown, running right past Dwight Lowery. In a Week 11 loss to the Patriots, Revis held Randy Moss to 5 catches, 34 yards, and a touchdown. These are good numbers, but certainly not Randy-Moss-like numbers. On the other side? Wes Welker hauls in 15 catches for 192 yards, both career highs.

The way things looks right now, all roads that lead to the Super Bowl will feature a vaunted passing attack, whether it’s the Colts, Patriots, or Chargers. The Jets have a great foundation build for their defense. However, they cannot expect to beat any of the teams just mentioned with the depreciating Lito Sheppard expected to cover Pierre Garcon, Wes Welker, or Malcolm Floyd. The Jets got hot when it mattered last year, but don’t forget that it took a Raiders’ win over the Broncos to seal their playoff birth.

A solution? Spending, at lowest, a second round draft pick on a corner will help. Although the experts love Golden Tate going to the Jets at 29, a fresh corner to play opposite Darrelle Revis for the next decade will prove to pay more dividends than drafting a Leon Washington/Jericho Cotchery hybrid in Tate. By drafting a new corner, the Jets won’t have to bother relying on the Raiders to pull out an elusive win to make it into the playoffs: they can do it on their own.