Biggest Upsets In NCAA BB Tournament History

It is almost that time of year again, the annual March Madness. Everyone is getting anxious to find out what region their favorite team will be placed in and what seed they get. Every year this tournament brings exciting games and huge upsets. I will talk about some of the biggest upsets that have happened in this tournament.

One of the first upsets that comes up in my mind is the 1983 title game between the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the mighty Houston Cougars. Nobody game North Carolina State a chance in this game. They were lucky to even be in the tournament at all. It took winning the ACC tournament and getting the automatic bid just to get in. North Carolina State did have three very talented players in Forward Thurl Bailey and guards Dereck Whittenburg and Sidney Lowe but it was nothing like the talent laden roster of Houston that featured two future NBA Hall of Famers. The downfall that night for Houston was to many mental mistakes, a few bad calls and the famous missed shot. Everyone remembers Dereck Whittenburg throwing the shot up, Lorenzo Charles catching the errant shot and dunking it to seal the win and causing the huge upset over the Houston Cougars.

Another big upset in the tournament hits home personally for me, it is the 1984 North Carolina loss to an Indiana team that started four freshmen and a 7’2″ center named Uwe Blab. This game still stings. North Carolina was an extremely talented team lead by Michael Jordan and they had 10 players drafted into the NBA. Going into the game North Carolina was ranked #1, had only 2 loses and was a heavy favorite to win the National Championship. Indiana was outmatched at every position. This should have been an easy victory for the Tar Heels and it might have been if not for bad luck. The first piece of bad luck happened earlier in the year when Kenny Smith broke his wrist. He played against Indiana but was only a shell of himself. The other bad luck was Michael Jordan picking up two early fouls. He eventually fouled out that game. This North Carolina team may have been considered the greatest of all time had they been able to beat Indiana.

Last season on a Friday afternoon an upset was brewing. The 15 seed Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders were taking on the 2 seed Michigan State Spartans. The Michigan State team was often mentioned as a final four candidate and potential National Champion. Michigan State came out flat! They scored on their first possession and didn’t score again until it was 15-2. Middle Tennessee started out hot and managed to keep Michigan State at bay. By the end of the game Middle Tennessee’s early big lead proved to much for the Spartans. This was another lost chance for coach Izzo.

Throughout the years there are many great games that feature upsets or near upsets. So far a number one seed has never been upset. There have only been eight 15 seeds to pull off the upset. I am sure that this year will have a few more upsets that people will be talking about for years to come. In a one and done tournament if you do not play your best game you could be sitting at home very early.

Can The Chicago Cubs Repeat The Miracle Season?

Chicago Cubs Hope to Repeat in 2017 
Last year was a magical season for the Chicago Cubs that fans will never forget. The Cubs won 103 games for the first time since 1910. They finished the season by winning their first World Series Championship in 107 years, effectively ending the longest championship drought in baseball history. As the 2016 season becomes a distant memory, will the Cubs stay motivated and contend for another World Series title in 2017?

The Chicago Cubs will have a great chance at repeating in 2017, as they return the majority of their players from last year. They expect to have a full season from Kyle Schwarber, as he only played two regular season games last season. Schwarber tore his left anterior cruciate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his knee, after he collided with outfielder Dexter Fowler at the beginning of the season. He was able to return for the playoffs and made a huge impact in October. Having a healthy Kyle Schwarber will greatly affect the Cubs 2017 season in a positive way.

The Cubs lost closer Aroldis Chapman this past off-season to the New York Yankees. In order to replace Chapman, they decided to trade outfielder Jorge Soler to the Kansas City Royals for lockdown closer Wade Davis. Davis finished last season with a 1.87 ERA and 27 saves. Relief pitcher Koji Uehara will also join the Cubs bullpen this year. Last year Uehara had a 3.45 ERA with 18 holds and 63 strikeouts. Even with the loss of Chapman, the Cubs will have one of the very best bullpens in Major League Baseball.

The Cubs also lost center fielder Dexter Fowler during the off-season due to free agency. Fowler signed a five year $82.5 million deal with the rival St. Louis Cardinals. The Cubs will look to replace Fowler with newly acquired center fielder Jon Jay, whom they signed on a one year deal for $8 million. Jay had an injury plagued 2016 season with the Padres and will look to have a bounce back campaign with the Chicago Cubs.

Staying relatively injury free will play an important role in the upcoming season. Last year, the starting rotation did not suffer any major injuries. They hope that will continue into the upcoming season. Losing starting pitcher Jason Hammel to the Kansas City Royals will test their rotation depth. Hammel started 30 games, with a record of 15-10 and a 3.83 ERA. They signed Brett Anderson over the off-season from the Los Angeles Dodgers with an incentive laden contract. They hope he can stay healthy and become a solid pitcher in the rotation.

The Cubs will need to stay highly motivated throughout the season, or they could potentially win less games. They will have a huge target on their back, as every team in Major League Baseball will give them their best shot. The Chicago Cubs fans will not want to wait another 107 years for a World Series Championship. Will the Cubs repeat as champions, or will they suffer from a setback season? The upcoming 2017 baseball season will be an exciting challenge for the Chicago Cubs.

Which College BB Teams Must Win To Survive

College BB Teams Must win to Survive: 
*Winning Vs. Survival:

College basketball teams always seem to draw large crowds. Some of the college team players have some real talent which is demonstrated every time they are participating on a basketball game.

There are some college basketball teams that must certainly win in order to simply survive. Iowa State is a team that does fit that particular profile. Iowa State may have some talented players however they had their share of mishaps during a regular basketball season.

Iowa State have had their share of technical fouls in the past. Technical fouls can cause a team to lose their spirit as well as important play off games. Iowa State has won some important games however, they have also had a losing streak in past games. It can certainly be said that Iowa State is one of those teams that almost have to win in order to survive within the basketball arena. Iowa State can not risk losing any more important games. A winning streak will certainly help Iowa State in the ratings as well as in the court of public opinion.

Maryland was able to beat Wisconsin which was considered a major victory. However, Maryland can be quite unpredictable at times. Maryland did at one time have a super strong defense. But it seems their playing skills is mediocre at best. Maryland needs to win up coming games in order to be considered suitable for play off games as well as future college basketball games and tournaments.

Many wonder if the Jayhawks have any chance of winning the National Championship. At one time Kansas was ranked one of the 5 most talented basketball teams within the country. Of course, this was prior to Frank Mason demonstrating his playing skills. The Jayhawks are unpredictable at this point. However, the teams future survival most certainly depends upon winning at least a few major games in this coming season.

Maryland should be at the top of list of teams that must win in order to survive in this highly competitive world of sports. Additional losses or screw ups will certainly damage the team even further. The team needs to concentrate on a winning strategy that will hopefully carry them through the season.

Notre Dame was once a strong and well respected team. Notre Dame has had their share of wins and losses. Notre Dame has an absolute dynamic defense which has helped the team gain a favorable rating. However, it seems that not many are willing to bet large sums of money on up and coming games this season.

It was predicted that Notre Dame was certainly going to lose to Belmont in the first round. Which was an accurate prediction. Notre dame needs to develop a more organized rotation schedule. It would be wise to “Proceed with Caution” where Notre Dame is concerned. Notre Dame needs a new game plan which may help fix any flaws in their current playing strategy.

Notre Dame should be added to the list of teams that “Must Win” for survival sake. Playing under such conditions places great stress on the players as well as the entire team. Miracles can happen. It is probably to keep bets at a minimum and keep your fingers crossed.

Should Tony Romo or Dak Prescott Start for the Dallas Cowboys? 

It’s an old football truism that if you have two starting quarterbacks, you don’t have any. Right now, the Dallas Cowboys (5-1, #1 in the NFC East) are on their bye week. Tony Romo is due to return from a back injury he suffered on his second play of the preseason…and Dallas now has two starting quarterbacks.

Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott have been certified rookie sensations, and Dallas’s league-best offensive line has been a major part of both player’s success so far. Since Week 1, the line out of the Dallas front office has been “We’ll start Romo when he’s back and fully healthy.” That position has been modified a bit, with current statements from Jerry Jones of “What we won’t know is what is the very best time, relative to his injury, his conditioning, what is the very best time for him to be on the field?”

Which, given Romo’s injury history, sounds like Jones is taking ‘fully healthy’ with a grain of salt, if not a small hot tub full of Ben Gay. Prescott is winning games, and there’s a deep conservatism in NFL coaching about “don’t break what’s actually working.”

The question becomes “What’s actually working?”

Prescott is currently completing 68% of his passes, and is maintaining a respectable 8.17 yards per attempt. His quarterback rating is 103.9, and is elevated by his 7 TDs to 1 INT ratio. If he can maintain that quarterback rating through the entire season, he’ll eclipse Robert Griffin III’s rookie record for quarterback rating. More impressively, he’s also done this without the benefit of having Dez Bryant on the field.

Prescott is a good intermediate range passer, and the running offense (and offensive line) are good enough that he doesn’t have to make expert reads on defenses. Anyone facing Dallas knows they’re going to see a steady diet of Ezekiel Elliott ramming the ball up the middle. He gets a lot of mileage out of play action passes off the running game, but it’s unknown whether he can truly beat a team with his arm.

To get a comparable snapshot of Romo, we have to go back to his 2014 campaign. During that year, Romo completed 69% of his passes, compiled a quarterback rating of 113.2, and dished out 34 TDs and 9 INTs. It was the best season of his career, and depending on if he ever starts again, it may be the definitive season of his career. Romo has now had three injury shortened seasons (2010, 2015, and this year), and hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2012.

Romo’s lifetime completion percentage is a touch lower, but his average yards per attempt is higher. Unlike Prescott, who has rapidly declining accuracy on the deep ball (and an offense that conceals this weakness by not asking him to make those throws), Romo keeps the deep ball play as a valid threat when he’s taking snaps under center. Prescott doesn’t.

Prescott is clearly the future in Dallas; he makes good decisions, and he works within his limitations on arm strength and accuracy. Good decision making is the gold standard of good quarterbacking at the NFL level, and Prescott is on a four-year rookie contract that’s chicken feed compared to Romo’s salary.

However, the future isn’t now. Defensive coordinators are going to get a library of tape on his game, and pick it apart. He isn’t using the full route tree in Dallas and he’s not using the entire playbook; those will come with more reps and more off-season work.

When it’s clear that defensive coordinators have caught up with Prescott’s development, probably later in the season, Romo makes an excellent “change up.” When Romo’s healthy, he’s a top-5 QB in the NFL; starting Dak Prescott now preserves Romo’s health for later-season starts, and for the playoffs.