Thursday, March 29, 2012

Cavs doing it the right way

The Cavaliers continued their stumble toward Lottery Land yesterday in a game against Detroit. The nights of stagnant offense and porous defense are adding up, with the Cavs dropping their fifth straight contest and eight out of their last nine. Its evident the franchise needs another volume scorer to go along with Kyrie Irving and perhaps a big man to take up some of the rebounding load.

Do you trust these men?
Unlike the other teams in this town, however, it's not farfetched to believe the Cavaliers can get it done. The Cavs are the city's most accessible franchise, boasting a front office with a clear path to success that isn't ludicrously drenched in secrecy or stifled by un-ambitious ownership.

The Ohio State Buckeyes Final Four road trip begins...

Here's hoping a Tuesday bus ride is just as fun...


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Ohio State-Syracuse liveblog. It's for the Final Four!

Getty Images / Jim Rogash
Friday night I picked up some “Mind Putty” at a brain store, and working it like a madman in my stress for this Elite 8 game, so figured I might as well try to channel it into words. Because the “ugghs” and “ohhs” and other less typeable utterances that I have let go of during the first ten minutes of the game have got to go somewhere. Ohio State is winning but it's like a series of haymakers.

1H 10:30 remaining: Craft looking very energetic..or maybe it’s too much toward frantic. Nearly turned it over but a kickball saved him.

9:55 Ravenel with a big strong play underneath drawing the foul and now putting the Buckeyes in the bonus for the rest of the half

9:17 And that quick, Syracuse has its first lead of the game.

8:53 After Bill Raftery said “I was never really into tips anyway”, Aaron Craft with a very ugly 15 footer. Syracuse ball and draws a foul at the other end.

8:22 Craft tells Amir Williams “Dunk that MF’er!” on national TV. (He was fouled on the shot.) And the Buckeye twittersphere agrees.

7:52 Now Raftery talking about “his stroke not looking unattractive” Settle down, Bill.

6:35 Tied at 23, Buckeyes are without Sully and in the double bonus, and so throw up a floater airball. DRIVE THE HOOP.

6:28 ...and on the other end, Boeheim gets T’d up for arguing a charge. Will Buford instantly misses the first free throw.

4:56 Amir Williams puts a Syracuse shot into the second row. Nice. Again, Ohio State in the double bonus....please drive the hoop every time.

4:18 AMIR WILLIAMS. Dude is on every play. Slams home 2 as Ohio State beats the zone. 

3:53 William Buford tries to hit a Kobe step forward, fall away jumper from 18 feet. Misses terribly. At least he follows his shot. (Probably the third time this tournament I’ve curse his shots and then been happy he went after the rebound.)

2:04 Buford throws up an airball, and on the next possession, a crazy offbalance shot, which he gets the rebound, and then misses another crazy shot, that fortunately goes out on the Orange.

Wowser. I have no idea what is into Will Buford but it might be the same thing as me. (That would be Miller Lite.)

0:06 With barely any time left, Ohio State gets a break, and Buford can’t finish. Gets knocked away and Craft misses a desparation 3. 29-29 at the half. And my computer is wondering why I haven’t typed Jared Sullinger’s name this entire time. Because I have gotten as much PT during the last 10 minutes as he has. 2 fouls, he’s sat for something like 12 minutes. 

And that is why I’m not freaking out. There is a virtual (and not so virtual) mob with fire and pitchforks coming for the refs, Sullinger’s been a non-factor, and Buford has been a negative. Yet this game is tied.

...That State Farm commercial with the agent basically dirty dancing with his client in the stands of (apparently) an NCAA

Rick Pitino and Anthony Davis are being interviewed at halftime. Seriously, Anthony, it’s okay for a guy to get his eyebrows done, in certain circumstances.

2H 19:20 Will Buford with a beautiful floater after what had looked like a busted OSU possession. Perhaps it’s a second-half kind of night? 

18:16 After the teams trade points, Buford again goes strong and gets fouled. Makes both and it’s 35-33 Buckeyes.

16:12 And the second half whistle-love fest continues, as the refs have called 8 fouls in the first 4 minutes. Awesome.

13:10 The Buckeyes are on a serious momentum run. Aaron Craft just went into the third row saving a ball, then sprinted back on offense, got a bit too excited and turned it over. Then commits two quick fouls. Buckeyes up 7 after Syracuse hits a 3 the old fashioned way.

Somewhere about 10:00, the refs are now just blowing whistles to stop and chat with each other.
9:00 Buford reverts. Throws up a moving 3 and misses badly. He is heat checking when the propane is empty.
Getty Images/Jim Rogash
7:43 And I just typed “Browns” instead of “Buckeyes” when typing through tears as the Bucks are listless, floundering and up by only 1. See, listless and floundering are usually terms I associate with the team in brown and orange.

3:16 For lack of a better idea, to get some good luck, I have joined my first ever Google Hangout. Me, my friend Kevin, and his six year old daughter, hopefully rooting the Bucks on via technology.


0:48.8 After Craft gets smacked in the face (with an amazing no call), he does eventually get fouled, makes two shots, Syracuse gets a quick 2, a steal on the OSU inbound, and a foul that ends up in 2 free throws. 4 point game and I’m unable to breathe, let alone talk. Even over the web.

36.8. Bucks make 2 FTs, Syracuse instantly converts a shot and one. 3 point game. and I’m having heart failure. Damn Dick Cheney jumping me in line. I think I need a transplant and can't be waiting 2 years.

0.0. BALL GAME. The Ohio State University 77, Syracuse 70. I’m searching for tickets to New Orleans. Seriously. And they’re not cheap. Uh oh.

Celebrated with a little dance party via video chat.  And I don't care that it was to Ke$ha.


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sweet weekend for Ohio

By now everyone knows it, and everyone not from the best state in the union (look it up) is most likely a bit sick of hearing about it. But the fact remains, a full one quarter of the Sweet Sixteen are Ohio teams! Some were expected to be here, some are not huge surprises. And some are #13 seeds that beat Michigan. Either way, it's all sweet.

It's a damn shame that Cleveland State, Dayton, or Akron couldn't have joined this party. But nonetheless it's a good time to be from Ohio. And from the Big Ten, too. The Big Ten makes up a quarter of the field remaining as well.

To be honest, the field looks as good as can be hoped for some of the teams. Sure, OU could end up looking like a collection of dwarves fighting Andre the Giant in North Carolina, but with UNC starting point guard Kendall Marshall suffering a broken wrist, "..So you're saying there's a chance!" (200 to 1 odds to win the tournament, I hear. That seems a bit low to me...) And the Cincinnati/Ohio State winner will have a good look at the Final Four, facing either Wisconsin or a weakened Syracuse team in the round of 8. Xavier, on the other hand, has to get through Baylor just to get a look at Kentucky. (If, of course, Kentucky doesn't lose again to Indiana.)

Great quote from Mark Titus, famous Ohio State blogging basketball legend and of course, @ClubTrillion on Twitter. He wrote on Grantland, as part of his twenty NCAA observations...

7. The Big Ten is 9-2 and the state of Ohio is 8-0

As a proud alum of the only Big Ten school located in Ohio, let me just take a second to politely say, "Suck it, every other state and conference."
Love it. The dream still lives for an all Big Ten or Ohio Final Four.But that means the Bobcats need to do some work.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

James "too tough" for concussions, but re-aggravates fake injured elbow

LeBron James looked like a real tough guy last night in the Heat's win over the Suns.  Sort of. He collided with Grant Hill when both were going for a loose ball and took a shoulder in the head for his efforts. He supposedly was shaken up, but stayed in the game after some well rehearsed theatrics (such as laying prone on the floor.)

Earlier in the game, he took a hard foul and landed on his elbow. The "same elbow (he) hurt in Cleveland."

Oh yeah, that one.

Why do I even feel the need to remark on this bozo down south? Because like an old episode of I Love Lucy, it's so familiar and makes me think of old times...overexaggerated injuries, fake ones, what's next? Perhaps hiding a razor blade underneath his pads to make a little cut should someone touch him when he drives the hoop? Dear sir, it's hard to get sympathy when nobody likes you, so please stop trying.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

It's official, Leave It To Beaver reruns are on more often than Duke

When Pete Gillen is right, he's right, but in this case he's wrong. I just looked and sure enough, Leave It To Beaver reruns are on way more than Duke this week.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Browns' fans feel a draft, and shiver

"You ain't a bad lookin' man, Mr. Garrison.."
If there's one thing Browns' fans have learned during this free agency period, it's that you can't call GM Tom Heckert a liar.

Heckert said last week that the franchise would not make a big splash in the market. The NFL's high-priced free agent bazaar opened on Tuesday at 4 p.m., and true to their word, the Browns weren't waiting to rush inside with checkbook in hand.

It seems the Browns are sticking to their plan, whatever that may be. The team certainly isn't sharing trade secrets with the public. However, one can surmise by the last two off-seasons of inactivity that the Browns are trying to build almost exclusively through the draft. With so many holes to fill, grabbing a good-if-not-spectacular player off the wire won't make enough of a difference to be worth the cap space. Or so the theory goes.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Hopefully Buckeyes show up in March; Sad that Gus Johnson won't

Nam Y. Huh, AP
Since I've lived in Chicago for the past four years, I've been to dozens of Cleveland games here. Between Tribe games at US Cellular Field and even Wrigley Field, to primo seats at half court for TGiM's half court half-ender versus the Bulls in the playoffs (and a ton of regular season Cavs-Bulls games) to top row seats for the Browns-Bears post Halloween game (with our very own Ryan taking grief in his full Bernie Kosar uniform) and even a preseason game.  Hell, I've even dragged myself to see the Blue Jackets spanked by the Blackhawks a few times.
Last night I had the opportunity to see the Buckeyes keep their Big Ten championship hopes alive at Northwestern. By "the opportunity," I mean I could pay $30 for "obstructed view" uppper deck seats in what could be a very loud 'arena," but is really a glorified high school gymnasium. Nonetheless it was finally good to see the Bucks in person this year.

And really good to see Jared Sullinger come up big, with 22 points and 19 rebounds, his first double-double in five games, and of course two huge points at the end which proved to be the game winners. Ohio State (not unlike the Cavs last nght at MSG) did everything they could to blow this one, but managed to hold on after the Buckeyes blew a twelve point lead with six minutes to play.

Let's hope this bodes well for Ohio State now that we're in March. The sad part is, Gus Johnson won't be part of CBS' coverage this year. That's a national tragedy.  His call on the tying three (second video below) was epic as usual. Jared's game winner is the first video below the break.