Bubble Watch....The Finale..

>> Friday, March 5, 2010

Over the last several days we've taken the time to give you our thoughts on the "traditional" power conferences and they're possible bubble scenarios. Yet, the one great thing about college basketball is that a computer doesn't determine our champion. Mid-Majors and small conferences are awarded the same opportunity as the Dukes & Kentuckys of the world. The Atlantic Ten and Mountain West have had absolutely superb seasons for their stanards and both stand a chance to land four teams in the NCAA tournament, and if something crazy happens, five is not out of realm of possiblities.

Atlantic 10

A couple of weeks ago we were talking about the the possiblity of seven teams with tournament aspirations. However, Charlotte and Saint Louis have faltered down the stretch, and we are now assuming that an Atlantic 10 tournament championship will be their only entry to the Big Dance. Temple, Xavier and Richmond all have tournament ready resumes and lead a three-pack of teams that are going to be difficult outs when the chips hit the table. That leaves us with two teams that now are squarely on the bubble.

Rhode Island-Remember the days of Tyson Wheeler and Cutino Mobley roaming the backcourt for the Rams of Rhode Island? Doesn't seem like its been that long ago that URI was a dangerous team in the NCAA tournament. This year's version has talent, but lacks the quality wins versus top-50 RPI opponents to feel comfortably about their chances on Selection Sunday, but with a win in their finale and a strong run in the A-10 tournament, URI can land themsevlves in the field.

Dayton-The Flyers needed a win versus Richmond on Thursday to bolster their NCAA chances. Following that loss, anything less than a win on Saturday and a trip to the A-10 finals will leave the Flyers short on Selection Sunday. If you're a Flyer fan, you need to be hoping for bursting bubbles throughout the country.

Mountain West

Steve Alford has brought the Lobo's out of nowhere to claim its first outright MWC crown in nearly two decades and the Caucasian All-Stars down in Provo are putting together another stellar year, but the MWC has two other teams whom are fighting for their tournament life.

UNLV-This sure isn't the same Runnin' Rebs team that we grew up on during our youth, but Lon Kreuger has them winning consistently year-in and year-out, and doing it without a cheating bastard like The Tark roaming the sidelines. UNLV has a resume that seems fitting of an NCAA tournament bid, including win ten games within a tough MWC. Barring a first round loss in the MWC tournament, UNLV should feel comfortable about their position on the better side of the bubble.

San Diego State-Quick trivia question....How many of you actually knew that Steve Fisher has been coaching out in Sunny San Diego throughout the past decade? Yes, that same Steve Fisher that recruited the Fab Five and wasted more talent than Roy Williams circa 2010. Fisher and company have been impressive in conference, but they're lacking a strong OOC profile and anything resonating in the quality win category, other than beating conference foe New Mexico. If I were an SDSU fan, I would be hoping for a strong run and a tournament championship before I felt comfortable.

I was going to break down a few other teams from Mid-Major conferences tonight, but I've been on the road and worked for a combined 14 hours today, so that'll have to wait til tomorrow.


Knock a Bitch Out, Get Two Games?

Seriously? When did someone decide that its only worthy of a two-game suspension for a He-She to go Manny Pacquiao on another chick?

Am I the only one who thinks that this transvestite deserves a suspension that lasts until her freshman season is over? IT shouldn't even be playing for the Women's team anyway! Much less swinging for the fences on another player's nose!

If Demarcus Cousins went ape-shit on Jarvis Vanardo in a similar fashion, how many games do you think he would be suspended? Honestly, he would most likely be kicked out of the the basketball ranks and sent packing to the NBA.

Double standard? I think so.


2010 MLB Season Preview: Toronto Blue Jays

Congratulations Canada. You showed that your nations hockey team is the best in the world. However, your baseball team is a whole different story.

Sometimes we really have to feel for the folks that run the Toronto Blue Jays. They are the only Canadian team, and they are in a division with the New York Yankees, Boston Red Sox, and now the Tampa Bay Rays. Life is tough for a “Small Market team” and they never seem to be able to afford their stars for the long term. The big questions for this club is who will replace Roy Halladay as the ace? Can Vernon Wells regain his from 2006, and does new general manager Alex Anthopoulos have a solid plan for the future?

In trading away Halladay, we can effectively argue that they traded away the best pitcher over the last decade. Now the Blue Jays do not have a pitcher who has thrown 200 innings in any one MLB season. The short term plan seems to be one of quantity over quality, the Jays have invited 30 some pitchers to Spring Training. At the moment only LHP Ricky Romero is guaranteed a spot on the starting rotation. Shaun Marcum, Brandon Morrow, and Dana Eveland may just be the leading contenders right now to round out the starting rotation.

I know some of you are thinking I'm crazy, and that 30 pitchers sounds like a ridiculous number. Well, I thought the same thing til I checked out their spring training roster. Click here.

In 2006 Vernon Wells emerged as one of the games best Center Fielders. Since then he has severely regressed, 2009 was the low point where he hit just .260 with 15 homers and 66 RBI. Wells is 31, but that isn’t exactly old for baseball, but wrist, leg, and shoulder injuries have aged him beyond his years. Since the Jays owe him $107 million over the next five seasons he must produce bigger numbers that he has lately.

So far new GM Anthopoulos has impressed by increasing the size of the Jays scouting department. While that will not pay off short term, in the long run they should be able to find some talent they can afford to keep. They have two big time prospects in Brett Wallace and Kyle Drabek who will spend 2010 getting some seasoning in the minor leagues. Short term they may struggle a bit, but the long term looks a little better every day.

They say that pitching wins championships. I think we could be waiting a while for a championship to come through Toronto.

Here’s what I think the lineup may look like:

1. RF Jose Bautista
2. 2B Aaron Hill
3. DH Adam Lind
4. CF Vernon Wells
5. 1B Lyle Overbay
6. 3B Edwin Encarnacion
7. C John Buck
8. LF Travis Snider
9. SS Alex Gonzalez

SP: Ricky Romero
SP: Shaun Marcum
SP: Brandon Morrow
SP: Brian Tallet
SP: Scott Richmond

CP: Kevin Gregg

*Don't be surprised if Kyle Drabek is in this rotation by mid-season.

On Deck: Tampa Bay Rays