Very few college basketball experts thought Iona would make the NCAA Tournament, but the Gaels reached the dance as a 14-seed. Iona went 25-7 in the regular season and but failed to win the MAAC tournament (Loyola, Md. won it), meaning they got in as an at-large team. Surprisingly, NCAA Tournament committee chairman Jeff Hathaway said Iona was not the last team in the tournament.
“No, they were not the last team in,” Hathaway said on the CBS Selection Show. “Iona they had a very good non-conference strength of schedule — they were 44. I know a lot of people are going to try and compare them to Drexel, Drexel was well over 200. They had some good top 100 wins. Very good basketball team, very good on offense. We think we got that one right, and obviously a lot of people will debate it, and that’s what makes it fun.”
Iona beat Nevada, St. Joe’s, Maryland, and America East tourney winner Vermont non-conference, so that probably helped their case. But looking at their conference schedule, it’s hard for me to believe they had a better resume than, say, Seton Hall.
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- College Basketball
The Hornets are hosting the Bobcats Monday night, so how did center Chris Kaman get into proper spirit for the game? By taking pictures of himself holding a dead cat — or a Bobcat to be exact. Kaman is known for sharing pictures of his hunting spoils on Twitter, but this was taking things a little too far. By tweeting pictures of this nature, Kaman is showing he’s not too different from the wacky fans who go overboard at tailgates.
- Chris Kaman
Since moving over from Montreal, the Washington Nationals have not had a winning season. They have come close a couple times and are improving as of late, but they still leave a lot to be desired. Nationals fans are waiting on Stephen Strasburg and Bryce Harper to take over the franchise, but more often than not they leave the ballpark with an empty feeling in their stomachs. This season, they will have the opportunity to fill that emptiness with the Strasburger, an eight-pound monstrous entree that will be available at a concession stand in Nationals Park. Check out the description that D.C. Sports Bog passed along:
Weighing eight pounds total (including toppings), the StrasBurger is a monstrous all beef burger (combination of ground brisket, chuck and short ribs). The burger is served on a large burger bun with our secret sauce, American cheese, shredded lettuce, sliced tomatoes, sliced red onions, pickle chips and served with a cone basket of fresh cut fries and a pitcher of your choice of soft drink. This signature dish is the perfect entrée to share at this affordably-priced family restaurant.
I think “large burger bun” could be the biggest understatement of the offseason. And what, no reward for eating it? I know ballpark food is expensive, but if someone polishes off an eight-pound burger I would think they’d get their name on the wall or something. If the amount of fans vomiting in Nationals Park increases drastically this season, don’t blame the booze.
H/T Hardball Talk
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- Stephen Strasburg
There may be such a thing as being too old to compete in the Olympics, but you can never be too old to try. Andre Metzger, a 52-year-old wrestler from Michigan, is proving that as he tries to qualify for the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Metzger was a two-time NCAA champion at the University of Oklahoma in the early 1980s. He is now preparing for the U.S. Olympic wrestling trials from April 20-22 in Iowa.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Metzger left wrestling 20 years ago after a series of events involving John E. du Pont, a man he once worked alongside as an assistant wrestling coach at Villanova. In 1997, du Pont was found guilty but mentally ill in the shooting death of Olympic gold medalist David Schultz. Metzger was thinking about making a comeback in 1993 but du Pont threatened him, so Andre decided against it. Du Pont died in a Pennsylvania prison in 2010.
“I stepped away completely,” he told the Free Press. “The guy did so many bad things; he was such an evil person.”
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When the Lakers hired Mike Brown and didn’t consult Kobe Bryant before doing so, they introduced an entirely new dynamic to the team. There have been times where Brown has shown he’s not afraid to challenge Kobe, but others where it becomes obvious that the Lakers are Bryant’s team now that Phil Jackson is gone. For example, Kobe shot a combined 17-of-57 from the field during back-to-back Laker losses last week. His shot selection was particularly poor, and Brown called him out on it after Wednesday’s loss to Washington. The problem is he later apologized for it, according to the L.A. Times.
The Lakers are trying just about everything to win, which they did Friday, 105-102, at Target Center, as Kobe Bryant scored 34 points a day after a team video session turned into a say-what-you-want meeting between coaches and players, The Times has learned.
Coach Mike Brown apologized to Bryant for publicly questioning his shot selection after the Lakers’ stunning 106-101 loss Wednesday in Washington. Brown also apologized to Matt Barnes and Metta World Peace for insinuating the same thing about their shot selection in that game.
Brown then invited the players to speak their minds, which was when Kobe expressed that he felt the long meetings were unnecessary and that the team should do its talking on the court.
Brown hasn’t done a great job of coaching — particularly with the offense — but the fact that he feels the need to apologize for calling a player out about something completely fair is alarming. Whether it be Kobe or Metta World Peace, it seems like the Lakers’ new coach has to walk on eggshells in his own locker room. Maybe the big win over the rival Celtics on Sunday will improve the situation.
Dear Lord. That is one giant Gary Payton tattoo. Don’t get me wrong, I was a fan of Payton when he was lighting it up with the Sonics during the Shawn Kemp days, but clearly I was nowhere near as committed to No. 20 as this dude is. The only thing I will say is that at least his ink is somewhat unique. Lately, the thing for crazy fans to do has been to get their favorite athlete’s face tattooed somewhere on their body like those LeBron James and Kobe Bryant fans did with their leg and that Dirk Nowitzki fan did on his — well, you know. B+ for creativity?
UPDATE: Oops, I called the person in the photo above “this dude.” After looking at the picture another time, I took note of the manicure. That being said, I’m still not sure.
Aaron Rodgers would be proud. After winning both the West Coast Conference regular season and tournament titles, St. Mary’s is headed to the dance. Following a highly-successful season, they are also headed there with a solid No. 7 seed a manageable first game against Purdue. As they hope to become 2012’s March Madness Cinderella story, the Gaels celebrated in style on Selection Sunday. As you can see from the photo above that Mocksession passed along, St. Mary’s broke out the championship belt t-shirts while they watched the brackets unfold.
Unlike Steve Novak who has completely highjacked the championship belt celebration after he hits clutch three-pointers, St. Mary’s did a tremendous job of adding an original flare. Rodgers did not invent the championship belt — he just perfected the celebration. It’s nice to see one of the mid-majors has their swag priorities in order as they prepare for The Dance.
- St. Mary's Basketball
Now that’s what I call a proud mama. The Anthony Davis unibrow has become a symbol of success for the 2011-2012 Kentucky Wildcats, who are a team that many experts believe will cut down the nets at the beginning of April. On Sunday during the SEC Conference championship, Davis’ mother decided to get in on the fun by busting out the unibrow mask to rag on support her son. Vanderbilt was able to pull off a major upset and win the SEC title, so Mrs. Davis may want to put the mask away for the NCAA Tournament.
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- College Basketball
It may not be his fault, but the Knicks have struggled since they added J.R. Smith to the mix back in mid-February. Since Smith made his first appearance on Feb. 19, the Knicks have won just three out of 10 games. J.R. himself has been struggling, shooting only 37 percent from the field and 28 percent from beyond the arc. According to the NY Post, Carmelo Anthony may have seen this coming. That is why he was reportedly against the Knicks signing his former teammate.
Contrary to popular belief, Anthony was leery of the Knicks bringing in his former Denver teammate three weeks ago and gave a thumbs down to upper management, according to a person close to the Knicks superstar…
…“If it happens, it happens and I’ll be happy,” Anthony said publicly before the signing.
But, according to the source, Anthony was not gung-ho and was “hurt’’ Knicks upper management tossed his advice out the window
As we know, Smith made headlines last week for posting a picture of model Tahiry Jose’s derriere on his Twitter account, which earned him a $25,000 fine from the league. The Linsanity seems to have worn off in New York and the Knicks have reverted to their early-season ways. Smith certainly isn’t the problem, but he doesn’t appear to be a solution either. It looks like Melo is two-for-two regarding personnel decisions this season if you count — you know — him telling Mike D’Antoni to play Jeremy Lin. That happened, right?
Most people believe that wherever Peyton Manning decides to play in 2012, he is going to make his decision quickly. Over the weekend, Manning reportedly narrowed his choices down to two or three teams — the Cardinals, Broncos, and Dolphins. Of course, any other “mystery” team like the Titans could come charging in at any second, but for now the aforementioned teams have warranted the most chatter. According to Chargers GM A.J. Smith, anyone who wants to know where Manning will sign should simply ask his father Archie, who Smith believes is spearheading the entire operation.
“I do wish him the best in whatever the Manning family decides,” Smith said according to the San Diego Union-Tribune. “I don’t know why you would ask me. And I don’t know why anyone is asking Peyton. If you really want to know what’s going on — what trips he’s making and where he’s going to play — call Archie.”
Smith, of course, could still have a sour taste in his mouth from the 2004 draft, when the Chargers were forced to trade Eli Manning to the Giants because Archie insisted that Eli not play in San Diego.
Perhaps Archie does have a hand in deciding where his Hall of Fame-bound son ends up. The Mannings are a notoriously close-knit family, and Archie did say a few months ago that Peyton and Andrew Luck would not play together in Indianapolis. The Colts’ decision to cut Manning had a lot to do with not wanting to pay him his roster bonus, but it is doubtful he would have wanted to stay with the celebrated rookie coming along anyway. Archie may not ultimately decide where Peyton plays next season, but it’s safe to assume the four-time MVP is listening to what his father has to say.