Monday, March 31, 2008

W's Baseball Predictions

Baseball season is upon us, and, since baseball is the second best season of them all behind college basketball, I may as well share some predictions for the upcoming year as I watch opening day from the comfort of my couch (FYI - if you have Direct TV there's a free preview of the baseball package this week). Some of this is Twins-related, and some just MLB related overall. Have no fear, a full Final Four preview will be up soon enough.

1. As Sidler already touched on, Joe Mauer will struggle to knock in runs this year. If Gardy is smart, he will hit Mauer second where he belongs. With Mauer's lack of home run power, and Carlos "Pedro" Gomez and Adam Everett the two guys in front of him in the lineup, he'll struggle to get to 65 rbi, much less the 80 that Snacks foolishly predicted. I think he'll have a solid year, .300 - .310 range, with 25-30 doubles and around ten homeruns, but there's no way he's getting to 80 rbi.

2. Delmon Young will take a step forward, especially power wise. Young hit well last year, .288/.316/.408 with 13 home runs, and I expect him to improve. I like to believe the experience he got last year will lend itself to more patience, or at least I hope to go so. And his .408 slugging last year was the worst he had put up at any level. With a full year under his belt, hopefully he's figured out major league pitching, and not vice-versa. I am cautiously optimistic we'll see .300/.350/.500 with 20-25 home runs.

3. At the same time Young improves, I expect Morneau and Cuddyer to slide backwards further, and not just because of their new fat contracts. Nobody seems to be talking about how far Morneau slid last year. Batting average down 50 points, obp down 30 points, and slugging down almost 70 points. The one thing that makes me think he may recover is that his strikeout rate remained the same while his walk rate went up. Still, I expect him to slide and don't think he'll get to even 30 home runs this year. Cuddyer isn't as big a concern, despite a down year last year because in general his numbers were about the same other than slugging, and he actually cut down on his strikeouts. That being said, don't expect a return to his form from two years ago. I don't expect him to get to 20 home runs, or hit over .270.

4. Twins outlook: Not good. All the offensive uncertainty from the "stars", not even looking at the black holes on offense at third, short, second, center field, and possibly DH, leave the Twins unable to score runs. Looking at a confusing mishmash of a rotation leaves an even worse feeling. If you remember, The Sidler compiled some projections for the rotation and it looked like this:

Ouch. And that even seems optimistic on some of those guys. Livan is going to be a disaster. Bonser is a 4/5 starter at best. Slowey is going to get ripped to shreds in the big leagues. Maybe Blackburn can pitch. I've never seen him throw, so he's my only hope. Baker is the only one I have any faith in becoming an even league average starter, Liriano excepted. Who knows what happens with him. He seemed to be coming along this spring, and I think it was a good move to start him in the minors. I'm predicting (hoping) he gets called up around June/July and is able to at least approach his former form.

5. What does this uncertain offense + mishmash rotation mean, combined with a solid bullpen and a step down in defense? Dead last in the AL central, even behind the Royals. Would be the worst team in the entire American League, except that the Orioles are in an even bigger mess, and just getting worse.

6. Torii Hunter will be average. There are a lot of reasons to predict Hunter to have a bad year, chief among which is that I don't like him. Additionally, his walk rate plummeted from bad to really bad last year. There are good reasons to predict a good year for him, coming off two really excellent years and going to a team with a much, much, much better offense that the Twins. I expect him to have a career high in RBIs due to greater opportunity, but his numbers will go down overall. Somewhere in the .270/.333/.470 range with around 20 home runs or so.

7. In contrast to his ex-teammate, Johan Santana is going to rock the national league to Dwight Goodien levels. I know most of his numbers moved the wrong way the last couple of years, but he's in the National League now. Not only is there a free out with the pitcher, much like the Twins have in their lineup with Adam Everett, but the NL is the worse league of the two. Plus it helps being on the Mets and not having to face them. I expect him to shred the league, with an ERA in the mid-2's, a WHIP of about 1.00, and a K/9 of 9-10. Seriously. And he'll probably hit .275 to boot.

8. A Yankee collapse begins. Think about it, other than A-Rod, who is awesome, Cano, who might be the best 2b in the AL, and Jeter, who is gay, there are question marks everywhere on the Yankees roster. Posada absolutely busted through what he should have done last year, and will likely regress to the mean like a mofo. Johnny Damon's numbers have been in major declines for the last few years, including losing 90 points off his slugging last year, and posted a OPS+ of 97 (league average player = 100), and most 35 year olds don't reverse this trend. Bobby Fatbreu is in basically the exact same boat, except he hasn't plummeted quite as far just yet. Melky Cabrera's upside is basically an average major league outfielder. The Jason Giambi/Shelley Duncan 1B combo is a joke, and Hideki Matsui is coming off knee surgery and his worst season at 34 years old.

Even more, the rotation is going to be a suckfest. Chien-Ming Wang has been a very good pitcher the last two years, and could very well continue, but he outperforms his metrics every year and could be due to collapse (Baseball Prospectus gives a collapse a 34% probability). Pettitte is the only other decent pitcher on that team, and he's starting the year on the DL. As much as it pains me to say it, as I am a huge fan, Mike Mussina might be done. The back of the rotation is two kids, Ian Kennedy and Phil Hughes, who are supposed to have a ton of talent, but so did David West, Todd Van Poppel, and Brien Taylor. The bullpen is basically Rivera and Chamberlain, and I don't see anyway Chamberlain can be moved into the rotation when their third best guy is LaTroy Hawkins.

In store is a very bad year by Yankee standards, which will lead to a freakout by the younger Steinbrenners, anxious to make a name for themselves and get out from daddy's shadow. They will sell off the very same talent they refused to give up for Johan this past offseason for much lesser talent (expect Adam Dunn and/or Rich Harden to be Yankees). This will cause the same cycle the Yanks were stuck in during the early nineties and lead to more suckitude. You heard it here first.

9. The Indians will miss the playoffs due to Sabathia and Carmona spending too much time on the DL. Sabathia threw 198, 188, 197, and 192 innings the four years prior to throwing 257 last year. Carmona went from 102 innings two years ago to 230 last year. That means injuries, and that means no playoffs for the Tribe.

10. Others who will suck: Mike Lowell, Kaz Matsui, John Smoltz, Randy Johnson, Manny Ramirez, Ken Griffey, Manny Corpas, Gary Sheffield, John Lackey, Andruw Jones, Ryan Braun, Brett Myers, Jason Bay, Jim Edmonds, Carlos Pena, Alex Rios

11. Others who will rock: Justin Verlander, Micah Owings, Jeff Francoeur, Erik Bedard, Clay Buchholz, Geovany Soto, Nick Swisher, Homer Bailey, Evan Longoria, Troy Tulowitzski, Wandy Rodriguez, Billy Butler, Matt Kemp, Chad Billingsley, Takashi Saito, David Wright, Cole Hamels, Matt Capps, Tim Lincecum, BJ Upton, Vernon Wells, Dustin McGowan, Jason Bergmann

12. AL Playoff Teams: Boston, Detroit, Anaheim, Toronto

13. NL Playoff Teams: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia

14. World Series: Mets over Tigers

15. MVPs: Ryan Howard, Vlad Guerrero

16. CY YOUNGS: Johan Santana, Justin Verlander

17. Rookies of the Year: Evan Longoria, Matt Kemp

AL Central Preview

Opening Day is finally here. It is early and I'm not particularly funny, so all you get for an introduction is the Sidler's AL Central preview.

5th Place
Kansas City Royals (75-87)
Strengths: A solid young core of players led by Billy Butler, Alex Gordon, Zach Greinke, and Brian Bannister. Butler has the potential to be a star-level bat and Gordon could be an All-Star 3B. You could probably even throw Joakim Soria into the mix, a Rule 5 draftee a year ago that was lights-out as a closer. As a whole, the Royals finally have a sense of direction under GM Drayton Moore.

Weaknesses: There are a lot of them—the right side of their infield is a mess (especially if Grudzielanik is on the DL for a while), the bullpen is very weak before getting to Soria in the 9th, the #4 and 5 starters are enormous question marks, and the offense doesn't have many impact bats outside of the two kids. Greinke had major mental issues in 2006, making it hard to project what will become of him.

Comments: This is probably still a last place team in the tough AL Central, but at least there is some hope for the future in KC and I wouldn't be surprised to see them be better than the Twins. I expect them to stay on the Twins' heels for the next few years as both teams try to climb out of the bottom of the division.

4th Place
Minnesota Twins (76-86)
I've talked enough about the Twins (here) and (here)

Comments: Offensively, this team will struggle to score runs. The pitching staff is a huge question mark and the usually strong bullpen doesn't seem nearly as strong as it has the past few years—Nathan and Neshek will dominate in the 8th and 9th innings, but I think middle relief will be an issue. Whether management wants to admit it or not, this is a rebuilding year. Quick note about Mauer—if I hear people bitching about his RBI production this year, I will be tempted to punch them in the face. If he hits in the 2-spot, he'll be right behind Adam "offensive black hole" Everett and Carlos Gomez, two guys that will likely have Puntonian OBPs. Not exactly the recipe for RBI production.

3rd Place
Chicago White Sox (80-82)
Strengths: Absolutely great off-season—Nick Swisher is going to blow up in The Cell, Orlando Cabrera is a defensive and offensive upgrade over Juan Uribe (who slides over to 2B, apparently), and Carlos Quentin gives them a young OF with a lot of upside. All of these moves should give them a much-improved offense over last year's anemic output. Javy Vazquez has quietly been a very effective pitcher and Bobby Jenks is a very solid closer.

Weaknesses: Their primary power sources, Jim Thome, Jermaine Dye, and Paul Konerko, could take steps back this year due to age, particularly Thome and Konerko, two slow guys whose comparables don't suggest longevity. After Vazquez, I'm not much of a fan of their rotation. Buehrle should be fairly solid, but the other three spots are pretty big question marks. Outside of slugging 3B prospect Josh Fields, there is little to no depth in the minors, leaving them very susceptible to injuries. Ozzie Guillen doesn't seem to understand how to maximize run scoring opportunities and calls for way too many bunts.

Comments: This team reminds me of a rich man's Houston Astros. The little bit of talent in their minor league system was shipped out to fill holes on the major league roster this season. GM Kenny Williams did a great job getting young, cost controlled players in return, but there is just too much ground to make up between them and the top two teams in the division. Once Thome, Konerko, and Dye decline, the situation will get ugly in a hurry for the Southsiders.

2nd Place
Cleveland Indians
Strengths: Four legit stars—Victor Martinez, Grady Sizemore, CC Sabathia, and Fausto Carmona. Notice I didn't include Hafner in that group, more on that in a bit. This is the best rotation in the division, but that isn't the greatest compliment in the world. The bullpen is solid up until Joe Borowski, but the whole closer thing is the most overrated position in baseball, leaving Betancourt out of that role allows Eric Wedge to use him in more high-leverage situations.

Weaknesses: For a defending AL Champion/contender,They are extremely weak at the corners—Casey Blake is an OK 3B and Andy Marte appears to be the most overhyped prospect in a while, last year's bad LF platoon returns, Garko is OK at 1B, and I don't know what they'll get from Guitierrez in RF. The big question for the Tribe is going to be Travis Hafner. His comparables suggest last year's second half swoon was the beginning of what will be a very quick, sharp decline for Pronk. Even though they have the best rotation in the division, it wouldn't be a surprise to see everyone in the rotation take at least a small step back in 2008.

Comments: I think the offense and pitching take small steps back this year and keep the Indians just out of the playoffs. They didn't do anything to improve last year's weaknesses this off-season while the White Sox and Tigers did. Still a very good squad, just not the division Wild Card winner in 2008.

1st Place
Detroit Tigers (92-70)
Strenghts: Simply put--OFFENSE! The Tigers will have a top 3 offense that has a good mix of average and power hitters. Adding an MVP-caliber bat, Miguel Cabrera, never hurts. Verlander gives them an ace.

Weaknesses: The entire pitching staff other than Verlander. Bonderman has become a bit of an enigma, Willis was awful last year (in front of a terrible defense, it should be noted), Kenny Rogers is old, and Robertson is average at-best. The bullpen is a wreck after Zumaya and Rodney's injuries, leaving Todd Jones as the last man standing.

Comments: Yes, I am very concerned about their pitching this season, but I see this as one of those teams that will absolutely punish other teams' 3-5 starters and middle relief. Some of the Yankees teams of the past few years have gotten by this way, and I think it will work well enough to give the Tigers the AL Central pennant. The post-season is a different story…

Saturday, March 29, 2008

UNC, UCLA move on

Thoughts whilst watching the Great 8 games Saturday night:


- Wow, both Xavier and UCLA are absolutely great defensive teams. Their fundamentals are tremendous. Double teams, step outs on screens, rotations, getting back to your man - both teams are near flawless. After having Wisconsin's defensive prowess shoved down our Big Ten throats year after year by the announcers, I think both these teams are better. The Badgers are still good, as long as they aren't playing Stephen Curry, but UCLA and X are great.

- That being said, neither one of these teams can shoot here in the first half. Granted, it's tough to get easy shots against these two teams, but even when they are open, nothing is going down, and I can't remember seeing so many shots hit nothing but backboard, by both teams. It's like watching a Gopher scrimmage or something.

- Billy Raftery has made it pretty clear he's a big UCLA guy. He talks about Love and Collison like Madden talks about Urlacher and Favre. It's got to be uncomfortable for Vern Lundquist, having to sit there while Raftery gets a little chubby going every few minutes. Dude, gross.

- UCLA up 33-24 at half. I don't think Xavier is being outplayed that badly, they're just not hitting anything from the outside. Half of their points are off layups and dunks, which they're getting with more ease than UCLA so far. If they can start hitting shots, keep UCLA off the O boards, and find a way to control Love, they can still take this. Of course, easier said than done. UCLA is a 1 seed for a reason. CJ Anderson needs to stop being a woman too, he should be able to score on Shipp all day.

- Winona State won the D-II basketball title. Again. That's like 3 straight years they've been really, really good. I think it's time to make them D-I. If they had been D-I the last few years, I'd probably have been driving down there to watch them instead of having to watch the Gophers.

- UCLA decides to be the UCLA that kicked ass most of the year, and runs out with a 15-4 run to start the second half to go up 20 and turn this into a game that fits in with last nights games - a total blowout. Oof. Was really not expecting this.

- Man, Xavier showing some energy, outhustling UCLA, getting good shots, and nothing going down at all. The difference in the game today has been UCLA making open shots and Xavier missing everything.

- Truly did not expect this kind of whooping, as UCLA heads back to the final four with a 76-57 destruction. Wow. This is the UCLA team that lead me to pick them to win the whole thing.


- Rick Pitino has made the Elite 8 in 8 out of the 13 NCAA tournaments he's coached in. That is fairly ridiculous. I really hope he doesn't take the Indiana job (rumored).

- Seriously. Have you ever seen Tyler Hansbrough with his mouth closed? I'll answer for you. No, you haven't.

- Louisville is actually pretty good at not allowing offensive rebounds, but Carolina is killing them, even with Hansbrough on the bench. Combine that with the fact that Carolina is pretty much getting to the rim whenever they want, and they're really lucky to only be down 3.

- As a Louisville fan, let me just say this is disgusting. Cardinals playing zero defense, and even if they manage to make the Heels miss they give up second chances. The press is leading to nothing but easy Heels' baskets, and Pitino is making a huge mistake leaving it on. And on offense, it's basically nothing but 1-on-1 basketball. Horrible.

- When Hansbrough mans up on the perimeter against Earl Clark or Terence Williams, why the eff don't those guys just drive on him? Makes zero sense. Zero.

- Here's something I wrote earlier today, "Louisville likes to press, but they don't turn cause a lot of turnovers and the Heels don't commit many, particularly Lawson who only has 2 TOs in the entire tournament. If the press doesn't create turnovers, it will create easy opportunities for UNC, and make the game more uptempo." HEY PITINO IT'S NOT WORKING CALL THE DAMN THING OFF ALREADY YOU STUPID DAGO WOP.

- Hey, Earl Clark just got the ball at the top of the key with Hansbrough on him, and blew right passed him for an easy layup. Will ya look at that.

- Carolina leads 44-32 at half, and they're kicking the piss out of Louisville. There's been all of one good game this whole set of games so far. I'm counting on you, tomorrow. Please don't let Kansas blow the crap out of Davidson. I'm not really seeing anyway the Memphis/Texas game is a blowout, so maybe we'll at least have that one.

- Louisville looking a little better, cutting it to four. I'm not impressed.

- So the Cardinals tie it up, and then follow up with: Hansbrough layup, Louisville travel, UNC miss, Louisville travel, Hansbrough wide open jumper, Louisville missed front end of 1-and-1. This is how games get away from teams, even after a great run. Just being stupid.

- I've decided I truly, truly hate Hansbrough and UNC in general, and I've always hated Roy Williams. I can't believe I'm going to have to root for Kansas.

- Ah well. Louisville is only losing Padgett and Palacios, and they have a good class coming in. They'll be back.

Snoozefest Friday

Not much to say about a night when all four games are blowouts, with the closest margin of victory being 15. Memphis and Kansas were just far too talented for Michigan State and Villanova, Stanford went cold right when Texas got hot, and Wisconsin had no answer for Stephen Curry and no clue once Trevon Hughes went down. The Spartans at least sort of had some good news, as both junior Goran Suton and freshman Chris Allen had career highs in points in the game, boding well for the future.

Rather than breaking down these blowouts, here's a look at today's games, keep in mind I picked 7-1 in the sweet 16, which should be a couple of great ones. I also figured out that even if every other game goes how I picked it, the best I can finish in the DWG bracket is fourth. But if it's a Memphis/UNC title game, Mrs. WWWWW wins.

Louisville +6 vs. North Carolina: Two teams that are just blowing out everybody they play. The Cardinals first priority will be to handle Hansbrough, easier said than done, although he has scored just 21, 17, and 18 in the three tournament games, below his average. Louisville has plenty of size to toss his way, with Caracter, Clark, Padgett, and Palacios all able to body him up. I expect Pitino to put Padgett on him, forcing Hansbrough to deal with a taller player, which worked for Washington State with Aron Baynes.

Of course, even if you contain Hansbrough, you have three other major Tar Heel weapons to worry about in Danny Green, Wayne Ellington, and Ty Lawson. The good news for Cardinals fans (like myself) is that Louisville is one of the best defensive teams in the country - better than Washington State even according to defensive efficiency (#2 in the country). Ellington is a shooter, but can struggle against good defensive teams (4-13 against Wash State and Duke). Louisville only allows 30% shooting from three. Expect Ellington to struggle. Green struggle in the first two games before breaking out with 15 against Washington State. Louisville will make it tough to get into the paint, and have a lot of size once you get there, so I expect him to struggle as well.

The biggest concern outside of Hansbrough for the Cardinals is Ty Lawson. Louisville likes to press, but they don't turn cause a lot of turnovers and the Heels don't commit many, particularly Lawson who only has 2 TOs in the entire tournament. If the press doesn't create turnovers, it will create easy opportunities for UNC, and make the game more uptempo. Although L'Ville showed against Tennessee they can handle an uptempo type opponent, they're still better off with a little more of a half court game - and they turned the Vols over 17 times in that one. The Cardinals Edgar Sosa is one of the few point guards quick enough to handle Lawson, but he's had a terrible season and almost fallen completely off Pitino's radar, playing just seven minutes against Tennessee.

On offense, the Cardinals key is David Padgett, the big man in the middle. He's the leading scorer on the team, but they are very balanced with three other guys within a point of Padgett's average. He is a very smart player, and if they get the ball into his hands he can key the offense from the high post, looking for L'Ville's array of shooters. Look for Jerry Smith to get shots, and he's shooting better than 50% from three for the tournament. I also expect the inside/outside game of Terrence Williams to give Carolina troubles, despite not having a great tournament so far. I haven't even mentioned the Cardinals leading scorer for the tournament thus far in Earl Clark. He's a 6-9 wing with guard/forward skills who also leads the team in rebounding, and I have no idea how UNC will handle him.

As long as the Cardinals can keep the Heels off the offensive boards (UNC is first in the country, but L'Ville is pretty good at not allowing them) and doesn't give up too many easy baskets when they press (I would seriously consider not even pressing, or maybe just trying it out in the first few minutes) they can hang with Carolina. Not only do they end up covering the six points, they're taking this one down and heading back to the final four. Pitino vs. Roy Williams? Please.

Xavier +6 vs. UCLA:
You know Xavier and the guys from last year's team are still looking to redeem themselves after letting the game against Ohio State slip away last year, and this is their opportunity to knock off a top team. And I think they can do it. UCLA has looking shaky, and Xavier has the ability to take it to them.

The Bruins were on of the best teams all year, and my pick to win the whole thing, but have had a few games lately where they looked extremely beatable. Squeaked by Cal in the regular season finale, barely beat Texas A&M, and almost let Western Kentucky back after blowing them out in the first half. Of course, the rebuttal is that they won all those games, and haven't lost in their last thirteen games. I'm not saying they're going to lose, I'm saying they could lose.

The two teams matchup really well. UCLA has four or five scorers, both inside and outside guys, not including James Keefe who somehow blew up with 18 and 12 against Western Kentucky. Xavier counters with six scorers, and a nice mix of inside and outside scoring as well. Both teams play at a similar slow tempo, with UCLA ranking 212th and Xavier 218th, and both are offensively efficient with UCLA ranking 7th and Xavier 10th. UCLA biggest advantage is on offense, where they rank 3rd in efficiency while Xavier ranks 29th. Xavier's advantage is from behind the three point line, where they shoot 40% (19th in the country) compared to the Bruins 35% (194th).

Keep an eye on the center battle, with Kevin Love going against Josh Duncan. Both are big guys who are excellent in the paint but can also step out and play on the perimeter, and both are quality defenders. Love's advantage is two inches and about 40 pounds, so expect him to post up Duncan. If Duncan can handle Love on both ends, it will be a huge boost for the Musketeers.

Another interesting matchup will be between the four guards: Collison and Westbrook for UCLA, Burrell and Lavender for Xavier. All four are great defenders, and very quick. Similar to the center battle, whoever manages to win this one will get a huge leg up on the competition.

The biggest advantage I see for Xavier is CJ Anderson vs. Josh Shipp. Anderson is a very strong bull of a small forward, who will be able to drive on Shipp or post him up. Shipp has really struggled shooting the ball lately, but may have found his stroke and if he can knock down shots he can neutralize the advantage Anderson has.

In the end, I think Love and the two guards will be too much for Xavier, and although it goes down to the wire, UCLA once again finds a way to pull it out.

Also that picture up there has nothing to do with anything, I just like it.

Friday, March 28, 2008

NCAA Hockey Preview #2

Seriously, what is wrong with you WWWWWW. Sarah Chalke???? Thanks to that disgusting photo I can’t even eat my donut this morning. What really pisses me off is I bought one of those really good raised donuts with white frosting and the cute little spring colored sprinkles. Now that is wasted thanks to Sarah "I am 30 pounds over weight" Chalke. You really need to step it up. Also, screw drivers are gay. Not white wine spritzer gay, just plain old gay. Why is C. Garey so angry and why does he use his entire name as a moniker??? C. Garey, I am only asking why you are so angry and I am in know way judging you. On to hockey.

Midwest Regional (Madison, Wi "greatest city on earth")

Did you know that Bogart once puked crap out of his mouth and onto his arm while road tripping it in Madison. It what just like that episode of South Park where Cartman poops out his mouth. The only difference is Cartman had an actual turd come out his mouth and Bogart had some hybrid combination of turd and #3's. I know this is disgusting, but it is also fascinating if you really think about it. You know this isn’t any worse than the picture of nasty ass Sarah Chalke. God I still feel sick. F U WWWWWW!

#1 North Dakota vs #4 Princeton- I would love nothing more then to start this preview by predicting a Princeton victory but I don’t want to look like one of those bitter guys who say Brett Farve sucks and then tries to prove it. Instead I will just say North Dakota sucks but is still really good? Either way they win this game, but I don’t think it will be a blow out. I still say North Dakota is a one team line. Anyone who shuts down the Duncan-Oshie line will be in the game with North Dakota. NoDak does have a great defense and possibly the 2nd best goalie in the country. Kangas is clearly a better goalie than Lamerioux. North Dakota wins 3-1. God knows I would love to see an upset here! Also, have you heard the internet rumor about the time Duncan and Lamerioux got real drunk and put live pocket gophers "in" each other? Sick.

#2 Denver vs #3 Wisconsin- I still can’t believe Wisconsin is in this tournament. You can take your pairwise rankings a stick them right up Sarah Chalke fat ass. However you do the math Mankato State got screwed. To top it off Wisconsin gets to play at home. F’ing Bucky cheated somehow and he will burn in hell when it comes out. Denver really should win this game but Bucky in the Kohl Center scares me a bit. I am going to pick Denver to win 2-1, but my gut is saying Wisconsin at home. Whoever wins this game wins the region, book it!

Regional Final #1 North Dakota vs #2 Denver- This game will set college hockey back 10 years. Denver will play trap hockey that makes the MLS look interesting. The beautiful part about this game will be another failure by the mouth breather Hakstol. Denver wins 2-1. With all the talents UND loses this year it will be a minimum of three years before they are title contenders again. Suckers!

Northeast Regional (Worcester, MA)

#1 Miami (shit house!) vs #4 Air Force- Miami is the classic team that puts up huge numbers all year and then goes up in a ball of flames every year at the NCAA tournament. This year will be no different. Miami does have a legit stud in Ryan Jones. Jones has scored 30 goals in 38 games this year and made the Hoby Baker top 10 list. All I know about Air Force is I watched them get out played by the Gophers back in December. At that point the Gophers absolutely sucked and where playing without the team members who where playing in the world Jr. Tournament. You know that Air Force will work real hard because that is what idiots in the armed forces do. The problem is these kids are playing for a service school because they aren’t good enough to play for a top tier program or they want to make something out of their lives other than athletics. That’s not exactly American if you ask me. Miami wins 3-2.

#2 Boston College vs #3 Minnesota. Boston College is led by Nathan Gerbe. The beauty of Nathan Gerbe is Dawg towers over him. Gerbe stands 5-6 but is skilled as hell. He is exactly the type of player the Gophers need to start recruiting. Here is a little history for you. Do you know the last time the Frozen Four was in Denver the Gophers won the NCAA title? And.....The last time the Gophers lost to Denver in the WCHA Final Five Championship they went on to win the NCAA Title. What does this mean???? Boston College wins 3-1! This is a game the Gophers can win, but my gut tells me they won’t. That is to bad because the winner of this game will move onto the Frozen Four. Saturday will also be a sad day for The Bear as he will say good bye to his all time favorite Gopher, Derek Peltier. The good news for The Bear is he will be able to have Peltier caddy his golf clubs for him this summer at Meadow Brook.

Northeast Championship #1 Miami vs #2 Boston College. Miami once again wets the bed. Boston College wins 5-2. Eat it Ryan Jones!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Review and what not

I was going to wait until tomorrow to type up tonight's games, but I've been drinking screwdrivers all night (note: that's not gay) and I'm in a typey mood. I didn't even get to start watching the games until after 9 tonight, due to some interestingly scary developments in Project: Baby W. Summary - it looks like she may be on her way early, and thus the W home has been a whirlwind of baby setup activity.

That is neither here nor there. What is here and there, is that we went 4-0 on game bets today. What up? Also went 8-1 on player props. For reals. Dominating the late rounds of the tournament. Like every year. Expect dominance tomorrow. Or a complete collapse to get back towards .500. I don't know. On to the games.

North Carolina 68, Washington State 47:
This is the only game where we lost a player prop, as Danny Green outscored Kyle Weaver 15-10. This is also the game I didn't get to see much of, as CBS mercifully switched off this ass-kicking. The interesting thing is that Washington State did the two things that were keys: 1) control tempo and 2) limit Hansbrough. The did both of these in the first half, yet were still down fourteen. The second half saw the dude with one of the worst nicknames ever, "Psycho T" have a better half as the Heels ran away with the game. Seriously that nickname is really just retarded. Also, the dude never, ever closes his mouth. For real. If you say you've seen him with his mouth closed, you're a god damned liar.

Xavier 79, West Virginia 75: This was a fun game, overtime even. After X got out to a big first half lead I was feeling pretty good about myself, but they blew it. The last 8 minutes or so was back and forth for the lead, and was one of the more entertaining basketball games of the year. WVU's Joe Alexander really is a pretty good player, but he's a big time forcer shooter guy. Before tonight's 8-18, he hadn't shot better than 33% in his last three games, but everybody wanted to talk about him like he was jesus because he scores a lot of points. He did play well tonight, but his defense is brutal. On one occasion I saw Josh Duncan get the ball in the post against him and pass up several layups just to continue to make fancy "dreamshakesque" moves and just basically have fun. Alexander is a scorer no doubt, but he plays defense like a Griggs M chick against a drunk dude.

I have a couple other quick comments about that game. One of the more impressive things I've seen in the history of the world was Drew Lavender's defense tonight. Not even talking about the way he handled the perimeter against WVU's guards, I mean one play where Mazzulla for WVU got the ball in the open court and came in 1-on-1 against Lavender, and got turned away. Didn't even get a shot off. Just tremendous closeout defense against a charging opponent. Another thing is that Xavier's best player, Josh Duncan, had four fouls with about 11 minutes left in the game. At one point coach Sean Miller brought him back in, but nobody on the Mountaineers bothered to attack him to try and get a fifth foul. Horrible coaching. Not unlike leaving a 41% three point shooter in BJ Raymond open twice in the last two minutes. West Virginia had this game in the bag with a 6 point lead in OT and let it go. Inexcusable.

One guy I feel bad for in a way that I don't really feel bad at all is WVU's center Jamie Smalligan. Dude came over to WVU from Butler to be the new Pittsnoggle. You know, a seven footer who was more comfortable hanging out around the three point line, a "Rickert" or a "Bogart" if you will. Turns out Huggy-Bear isn't too interested in gays like that, and Smalligan posted career lows in, well, everything. Maybe you should be such a sissy, Rick. I mean Jamie.

Louisville 79, Tennessee 60:
The most anticipated game of the night, for me, turned out to be kind of disappointing, as I think both teams turned out to be idiots. I think from the 16 minute time out to the 12 minute time out the teams combined went 1-12. It was very uptempo, but for the most part - well, Tennessee's part, was very stupid. I think the Vols would absolutely win a streetball tournament, and I also think it's very possible Bruce Pearl is a horrible coach. Team is obscenely talented, yet underachieves. Did you also know that some dude who was a bouncer on Jerry Springer has his own show now? The fact that this douchehole makes tons of money and I don't really pisses me off.

Anyway, what the f happened to Chris Lofton? He had 15 tonight, which covered his over/under of 14.5, but it came on 3-15 shooting, 2-11 from three. He made the degenerate gamblers happy, but I can't image Vol fans are too thrilled. His scoring dropped more than five points a game this year, and he's shooting 7.3% worse from the floor. Want to know why? Because every damn shot he throws up there is a fadeaway with the front foot kicking forward. It's not quite chick style shooting, but he's really killing both his future and his teams chances. I mean, I guess he already killed his teams' chances, but I was referring to his NBDL team. They're gonna hate this guy. I also saw him do that stupid thing where when you shoot a three and there's a defender anywhere near you, fall down and try to get the foul. Well, the ref didnt' fall for it and his defender just went streaking down and got hit for a layup - wide open because Lofton was on the floor. I think it's safe to assume chris loften is kind of a homo.

UCLA 88, Western Kentucky 78: Another game we didn't get much of. I'll say that the fact that WKU was able to get all UCLA's guards in foul trouble, Collison out, Shipp and Westbrook with four, is actually fairly irrelevant now that they won. Xavier's guards arent' ooh no there's a snake eating mice babies on the tv now. The snake killed the mom mouse with poison and is now eating the babies since they have no protection dude this is messed up. Wow. Ok, sorry. Xavier doesn't have the quick guards that effed up UCLA tonight, but they have a much better answer inside for your precious Kevin Love who you think is so awesome because he's white and you're a racist son of a bitch. Yeah, I'm calling a Xavier win. I had UCLA as my champ, but they look like total hell right now. They're just waiting for somebody to put them out of their misery at this point.

Oh, and the picture is Sarah Chalke because I wanted it to be. There's no rhyme or reason here. But I did feel I owed people.

NCAA Hockey Preview #1

The above picture has nothing to do with NCAA hockey but I felt I had to give the readers of this blog a photo of some trashy pelt to make up for WWWWWW’s poor lack of judgement. Snacks, you will not be able to spin this photo into anything that has to do with your fetish of boy and girl love, so be on your toes until WWWWWW post another disgusting pic later tonight. There is something about girls in camo and bullets that is strangely hot. Holy Hell will definitely be soiling some of his mom’s linens after this photo.

A quick recap from my experience at last weekends WCHA Final Five Championship Game. I would like to start by thanking The Bear for allowing be to attend Saturdays Championship game basically by myself. Last weekends snow storm confused the big fella and sent him back to his cave for a couple more weeks of hibernation. Thus leaving me to attend the game with some old wrinkled bastards who have gopher season tickets next to me. To make things even worse, I was surrounded by idiotic Nodak fans (more to come on them in a minute) and what I believe was a crazy father and son combination right next to me. The father in the pair was possibly the angriest man on the face of the earth. Yes Bear, even angrier than you. All I heard the entire game was this old mean bastard of a father telling his 40 something kid what a loser he was, how drinking is bad (nice advice old man) and if the "kid" questioned his hockey knowledge one more time he was going to "knock his f’ing teeth down his throat." At that point everyone in my section got a little nervous and you could cut the tension with a knife for the next five minutes. Luckily the Gophers scored their one and only goal minutes later so the entire section could explode and release said tension.

Now to the Nodak fans. Not to generalize, but they are all a bunch of F’ing losers. To the guys in front of me who thought they where a combination of Chris Rock, Richard Prior and Chris Farley, duct taping DU over the Sioux logo on jersey is not funny. In the future you don’t need to stand up for the majority of the game laughing and taking photo’s of each other. Your bit was as old as the guys I was at the game with. Here’s a question, Why would you ever openly cheer for another rival team/school (DU) when you don’t have money on the game? The more I am around these Nodak fans the more they puzzle me. I have never seen a group of people with a bigger inferiority complex than UND fans have to the U of Minnesota. Losers! Super Sioux fan I am not lumping you into this group. You are super funny, hot and real intelligent.....especially about hockey. How do you like that for a compliment girl!

The game finished 2-1 with the Gophers losing their 4th WCHA Final Five Championship game I have attended. Other than Jesus’s play in goal the game was rather boring. The highlight of the night came afterwards when Kangas won MVP of the tournament. I cried at this point. Like anyone was going to vote against him on Easter weekend. That is enough breakdown.

The real NCAA tournament start tomorrow night when the puck drops on the NCAA hockey tournament. WWWWW, your hockey readers want to thank you for also offering a NCAA hockey contest. I guess you where out of old things laying around your house. This would have also given you a chance to redeem yourself after your basketball bracket performance. Man where your picks bad!

Here are my predictions for the NCAA tournament. Friday night the East and West regional’s begin play.

East Regional (Albany, NY)-

#1 Michigan vs #4 Niagara- This game should be a cake walk. Michigan is really, really good and Niagara is average at best. 6-1 Michigan.

#2 St. Cloud State vs #3 Clarkson- St. Cloud State has never won an NCAA game and this is by far their best opportunity to do so. The one thing St. Cloud has to do is find a way to score even strength goals. A perfect example of this was last weekend vs the Gophers. St. Cloud went 1-7 on the power play and ended up getting beat 3-2. They rely much to heavily on the power play. I still think they are to much for Clarkson. St. Cloud gets the monkey of their back and wins 4-2.

East Regional Final Michigan vs St. Cloud. Michigan is just way to deep and a much better team than St. Cloud. I am guessing Motzko and Co. will try and slow the game down a bit and that is not St. Clouds strength. If they decide to skate with Michigan they will also get out played. Their only hope is their mouth breathing goalie stands on his head and there is a better chance of WWWWW winning the DWG basketball bracket than that happening. Michigan wins 4-1.

West Regional (Colorado Springs, CO.)

#1 New Hampshire vs #4 Notre Dame- This is actually a really pesky #1 vs #4 matchup. Notre Dame is a descent team that just hasn’t clicked all season. I wouldn’t be shocked if Notre Dame pulled the upset here. The only problem is Notre Dame sucks at all sports and has about as good of a tournament record as St. Cloud. New Hampshire has frosh James VanRiemsdyk who was the 2nd overall pick in last years NHL draft. James only had 31 points this year but is extremely fun to watch when he is on his game. New Hampshire wins 3-2.

#2 Colorado College vs #3 Michigan State- This is one of the two top games in the first round of the tournament. Michigan State is the reigning NCAA champion and CC is the WCHA regular season champion. If the game wasn’t being played in Colorado Springs I would take Michigan State going away because CC also sucks in March. Because of the games location I hesitantly select CC to win 3-2. I could also see Michigan State winning 3-2. The stars of this game will be the goalies.

#1 New Hampshire vs #2 CC- Once again CC sucks in March, New Hampshire wins 3-1. That is the kind of hard hitting breakdown readers come to DWG for.

Tomorrow I will break down the Northeast and Midwest brackets. I would do it now, but I am hungrier than WWWWW before a trip to Old Country Buffet.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sweet 16 Preview: Midwest Region

Last, but not least, the Midwest Region. I also want to mention that the McDonalds all-star game is Wednesday night. I won't be able to watch it right off, but they're replaying it a bunch of times and I'll check it out and give my thoughts.

Kansas -11.5 vs. Villanova: Scottie Reynolds sucks and so does Villanova. That's been my opinion all season, and I'm sticking with it. Just because they managed to get passed Clemson and then lucked into a matchup with Siena doesn't change that fact. The other fact in play here, is that Kansas is the most talented team in this tournament. They are also one of the top defensive teams, and have no problem shutting down scoring point guards. In their two matchups against Texas, DJ Augustin, a much, much, much better player than Scottie Reynolds, shot a combined 8-31. I don't think you have to worry about the Jayhawk guards handling Reynolds. Add in the fact that Nova is not a particularly good defensive team, ranking 210th in the country in effective FG % against, while Kansas ranks 5th in offensive effective FG %, and you're looking at a rout from the get go.

Wisconsin -4.5 vs. Davidson: Of course I don't want Wisconsin to win, I hate those bastards. Not to mention Davidson is a fun team to watch, and Stephen Curry is completely ridiculous. It's just the Badgers are the best defensive team in the country, and if anybody can scheme to shut down Curry it's Bo Ryan.

The good news for Davidson fans and Badger haters is that Georgetown is a top 10 defensive team as well, and that didn't stop Curry from dropping 30 on them in that big second round win. The Wildcats showed they can play with a bigger, stronger, better defensive team, and that gives them hope that they can handle the Badgers on Friday.

There's hope, but it's slim, and I don't see it happening. Davidson will likely keep it tight for a while, but unless Curry can really get off, the superior size, defense, and fundamentals of the Badgers will carry them to both a win and a cover.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Trent. Come on dude.

On the way home from the bar tonight, and I happened to catch Trent Tucker drop this little nugget of wisdom about the sweet 16 matchup between Stanford and Texas.

"The key here is Tempo. Texas really wants to get out and run, whereas Stanford wants to slow the game down."

I've actually heard this same thing from some other analyst, but here is a classic example of perception not matching reality.

In terms of tempo, from the basketball stat jesus, Texas ranks 258th out of 341. Not anywhere near a team that wants to speed the game up. Stanford is actually a slow it down kind of team, but their tempo ranks 249th, so they are actually slightly faster than Texas.

The Longhorns score a lot of points, third in the Big 12 at 74.5 per game, but it's not because they play an up tempo style, it's because they're efficient. They rank third in offensive efficiency in the country, behind only Kansas and North Carolina.

So, the point is, people like to make things up based on their perception without bothering to even make a cursory glance at the stats which could either back up or refute their subjective opinion, and that's what's wrong with a lot of columnists and commentators these days. But I still love Trent Tucker anyway.

Sweet 16 Preview: South Region

In the second most chalky region, Memphis has a tough road to get to the final four.

Texas -2 vs. Stanford: Texas was my final four pick, and I'm sticking with them, even though I'm a little nervous for this Stanford game and the Lopez twins.

Stanford showed they can handle a guard-oriented team in beating Marquette last round, and at the same time showed they are vulnerable to that type of team as well, as at one point it looked like the Golden Eagles were going to run away with it. Obviously, the biggest concern if you're playing the Cardinal are the twins, Robin and Brook Lopez. There's not a ton to worry about offensively outside of those two, but you have to seriously worry about them, as Brook put up 30 against Marquette and Robin had 18.

If you're Texas, you have to be concerned, because they're very similar to Marquette. Guard oriented, and not very deep. Where Marquette was able to throw four decent guys with size at the Lopezes (Lopi?), Texas will bring just Connor Atchley, and try to make due with a couple of 6-7 guys in Damion James and Gary Johnson. They do have three 6-10 guys on the bench, but they only average 15 minutes per game between the three of them and only Dexter Pittman has played any kind of meaningful minutes in the tournament so far, 8 of them. Additionally, Texas basically plays just five guys most of the minutes - only the starters played more than 8 minutes in the Miami game last round.

The good news for the Longhorns is how good the guards are. DJ Augustin might be the best point guard in the nation. He's really struggled shooting the ball so far in the first two rounds, but makes up for it by setting up his teammates, and has 8 assists in each of the first two games. Fellow guard AJ Abrams has picked up the slack, with 6 threes and 26 points in each of the first two games. Swingman Damion James might be the biggest key for Texas, since he plays the role of post man for them despite being just 6-7. He's grabbed a double double in each of their first two games, and will be counted on to control the Lopi.

Seeing as how Marquette's Jerel McNeal was able to go off for 30 against Stanford, and the Eagles were able to outrebound the Cardinal 38-31 despite being way outsized, I have no worries about the Longhorns. They should win and cover, and it may be close for a while, but they'll pull away in the end.

Memphis -4.5 vs. Michigan State: It's no secret what Memphis's strengths are - athleticism and good defense. If there's one Big Ten team that has a shot against them it's the Spartans. The Spartans play good defense as well, and with Raymar Morgan, Kalin Lucas, and Chris Allen, they have some athletes to help out against the guys on Memphis.

In reality, I don't see how the Spartans can hang with the Tigers. Of course, I also thought they'd lose to Temple and get killed by Pitt, so I don't really have a good handle on this team. Izzo is one of the best coaches in history in the tournament, and getting the most out of his team, so that's what has me worried. Derrick Rose, Chris Douglas-Roberts, and company are much more talented, and I still expect them to run away with it. With Dozier and Dorsey, they have the size to neutralize the Spartans rebounding advantage they have over most teams, and are better on the perimeter too.

The key for MSU would be to slow the game down, take care of the basketball, don't let Memphis run, control the boards, and find a way to keep Rose and CDR out of the lane. If any coach can pull it off, it's Izzo, but I don't see it. Memphis wins in the biggest blowout of the sweet sixteen. Memphis better hope it's not close in the end, as I can see the Spartans making them pay for their inability to hit free throws and pulling off a miracle.

Sweet 16 Preview: West Region

Xavier +1 vs. West Virginia: What the heck is West Virginia doing here? I had pretty much dismissed them from the start, expecting Arizona to knock them off, and even if they didn't they certainly wouldn't beat Duke. That all came from not seeing them play this year, and remembering the gimmicky Beilein teams of the past, with their not rebounding and three point chucking. A team like that would have been ripe for Arizona or Duke to destroy. Turns out, Huggins has remade this team, building around the very solid Joe Alexander and developing a more inside/outside game plan, rather than having everyone chuck threes all day. If you need proof, 34% of the Mountaineers attempts this year were from three, 165th in the country. Last year, they shot 49% of their shots from three, fifth in the country - and ranked 3rd and 7th in the two years prior to that. They are a much better team this way.

Xavier, on the other hand, is pretty much the same team that almost knocked off Ohio State last year, and would have without a miraculous run in the last few minutes by the Buckeyes. The Musketeers have been tough in the tournament, having trailed in the second half against both Georgia and Purdue only to end up winning, and covering, in both games. They come at you with a lot of options, with six guys averaging between 9.8 and 12.1 points per game. They have size (Derrick Brown at 6-8, Josh Duncan at 6-9), athleticism (CJ Anderson, Drew Lavender), defense (Lavender, Stanley Burrell - A10 Def. POY), coaching (Sean Miller), efficiency (Duncan, Brown, Anderson, Jason Love - all better than 50% from the floor), perimeter shooting (Duncan, Lavender, BJ Raymond - all over 40% from three), and they make their free throws (Duncan, Raymond, Lavender, and Burrell - all better than 83%). In case it's not obvious, I'm very big on Xavier. WVU has looked good, but these are still players recruited for Beilien's system, and the run stops here as Xavier wins and covers, then puts a scare into UCLA.

Western Kentucky +12.5 vs. UCLA: It's awesome that WKU got this far. I've been a fan of the program since the first time I saw Courtney Lee play, and was hoping they'd make a run. I picked them over Drake, and almost picked them over UCONN before thinking UCONN's size would present a major problem. Of course, San Diego took care of that, and here are the Hilltoppers in the sweet 16, with a horrible matchup against UCLA.

Of course, the Hilltoppers could pull it off. As good as Sun Belt Player of the Year Courtney Lee is, and he's very, very good, the first two rounds proved there's more to this team than just him. Tyrone Brazelton dropped 33 on Drake in round one and 15 more in the second round. Although they get most of their scoring from four guards, they do have a group of guys 6-7 and above who they can trot out to the post, and they'll need them against UCLA. Obviously the Bruins are going to look to Kevin Love and Darren Collison to key them against the Hilltoppers. It should be fun to watch the matchup between Collison and Westbrook on one side, and the four WKU guards on the other. I think WKU can hold their own here, but don't know how they are going to deal with Love, not to mention Mbah a Moute. The good news for Hilltopper fans is that Mbah a Moute is having injury troubles, and Josh Shipp is battling illness, which would likely help Lee on the offensive end.

Even with the injury concerns of UCLA, I don't think WKU quite has the juice to get this one done, but I expect it to be close. The pick is WKU +12.5, expecting UCLA to get the win. No George Mason this year.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Fantasy Baseball Draft - Catch the Fever

The Sidler and I co-own a fantasy baseball team and our draft was tonight. What better way to kick off baseball season than a running diary of our draft together.

We will be communicating over yahoo messenger, while drafting with a group of people in the Milwaukee area on a community chat. Actually, Stevens Point to be specific, home of Point Special beer, Terry Porter, and Grandslam's ex-girlfriend.

We've finished 5th, 1st, and 2nd in our three years together in this league and plan to dominate once again. There are 10 teams in the league, and we pick ninth. Lineup is C, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS, OF, OF, OF, OF, Middle-Infielder, Corner-Infielder, Utility, and 9 pitchers. Hoping to grab Jimmy Rollins, David Wright, Jose Reyes, Johan Santana, or Albert Pujols at 9. Two of that group at 9th and 12th would be great. Somehow Pujols is slipping in drafts due to injury concerns, despite being in the top 9 of MVP voting all seven years of his career - he'd be a steal. Some other sleepers we like: Nick Swisher, Alex Gordon, Howie Kendrick, Billy Butler, Nick Markakis, Lastings Milledge, Dontrelle Willis, Dustin McGowan, Micah Owings, BJ Upton, Geovany Soto, Adam Jones, and Rickie Weeks.

6:02 - ARod goes first. Big surprise. Way to think outside the box.

6:04 - Followed by Hanley Ramirez, David Wright (who we had last year), Jose Reyes, and Jimmy Rollins. That's a lot of shortstops.

6:05 - By the way, easiest money ever is tonights NIT game, with Cal +8 at Ohio State.

6:06 - Next Miguel Cabrera, Matt Holliday, and Chase Utley leading up to our pick. Do we go Santana or Pujols? We decide to go with Johan. Never had him as a Twin, but now we get him in the NL. He could very well go ahead with a sub 2.5 era and a WHIP under 1 in the NL.

6:10 - Pretty happy with the turn, as we end up picking Albert Pujols to go with Santana. Domination has begun.

6:13 - Ryan Braun and Prince Fielder go in the next couple of picks, which is no surprise with a Brewer-centric group. Expect all kinds of crazy Brewers to go way earlier than they should. Also, we're not going anywhere near any Twins other than maybe Delmon Young.

6:15 - Brandon Phillips goes, and I'm not really even sure who he is. I mean, I know he's a second basemen for the Reds, and he's good, but I've never even seen an at bat. He could be black, white, or chinese for all I know. Stupid national league.

6:17 - Jake Peavy goes at the turn, ending our dream of a Santana/Peavy top of the rotation. Luckily, he pairs Peavy with Alfonso Soriano, the first official crappy pick of the draft.

6:20 - CC Sabathia goes. Too bad his arm is going to fall off this year. You heard it here first.

6:30 - On our swing we grab Ichiro and Brian Roberts to get some speed, after getting sniped at the last minute on BJ Upton. I was all fired up too. Watch, Upton is going 30/30 this year, and we just effing missed him and took Roberts in a panic. At least we got Ichiro for the third straight year. Average, runs, and steals, year after year. Almost went with Mags, but Sidler dismissed him due to his "faggy hair." I'd have to agree, but instead we take Brian Gayberts.

6:37 - Bobby Abreu goes right after our pick. We used to have a man-crush on Fatbreu back when he was good. Now he sucks, and is officially the worst pick of the draft thus far.

6:39 - Josh Beckett gets picked, except that he got all fat and lazy this offseason. See picture above, I'm predicting health issues for him.

6:51 - Four picks away and we're hoping to get Troy Tulowitzki and Nick Swisher, just so we can get all the cool names to offset Brian Gayberts.

7:00 - Tulowitzki gets snapped up right before our pick, continuing a disturbing trend that really better not continue. We go with his buddy Garret Atkins, despite the fact that Sidler, "hates all rockies." Also pull an audible on the Swisher ick after we realize he's actually not good in fantasy terms. Decide to start a run instead, going with Papelboner, the first closer taken. Despite missing out on Upton and Tulowitzki, which really stings, I think we've still managed to pull ourselves together and look ok so far.

7:16 - We've officially reached the first "I hate everybody available" portion of the draft. Names being tossed around: Adam Dunn, Delmon Young, Russel Martin, Orlando Cabrera, Scott Kazmir.

7:19 - Have officially locked onto Russel Martin as the pick. Meaning he's likely to be taken right before us.

7:21 - Sidler suggests Chris Young (the outfielder) who hit all of .237 next year. Sidler's next suggestion: Nick Punto, I'm guessing. It's clear I'm the brains here.

7:25 - We manage to get Martin, our #1 catcher in the league. Yes, above the baby Jesus. After debating between Doc Halladay and Scott Kazmir, we go with Kaz, figuring between him and Santana, that's a ton of strikeouts. Of course, he'll probably get hurt and Halladay will blow up. We also miss out on Sidler's guy Adam Dunn. He's likely crying right now.

7:33 - And there goes Tori Hunter. Enjoy his .255/.304/.400 with 18 homeruns this year.

7:51 - In case you're wondering, there is no bench in this league, but if somebody is on the DL you can put them on our league's DL. Which is why we're going to take Curtis Granderson very late in the draft, and immediately move him to the DL and stash him for later in the season. It's moves like this that make me the Billy Beane of fantasy baseball.

7:57 - Chipper Jones goes right before us, and might end up being a steal for the dude who took him, if he stays healthy (doubtful). We grab Swisher, who we almost took four rounds ago, realizing he's the best power option right now, and follow him up with Takashi Saito, the Dodgers underrated closer. Torre knows how to use closers, and Saito should have an excellent year, if he's stays healthy.

8:04 - Granderson plan no longer valid, as someone who didn't know he was hurt grabs him. Next pick is Delmon Young who I have been wanting to draft for several picks but was assured "he'll still be there next time." I will now have to kill the Sidler.

8:11 - At about 2 picks every half hour, at this pace, with 11 picks left, we'll be done around 11pm. These things take forever.

8:22 - Francisco Liriano just went. Ballsy move, especially considering it sounds like he's going to start the year in the minors. For our picks, we go with OF Matt Kemp of the Dodgers, a guy I was hoping the Twins would get in some kind of Santana trade, and SP Tim Lincecum of the Giants. Might have grabbed Kemp a little early, but we've lost out on everybody and made our move. Assuming he gets full playing time and lives up to his potential, he could be a monster. Lincecum gives us another strikeout machine, and a funny name. Plus, if there's any kind of offense in San Francisco, he could have a very nice season.

8:36 - Mauer finally goes in the thirteenth round. I'm not big Mauer guy, but I thought it was getting ridiculous. We were considering grabbing him for utility, but as Sidler pointed out, if he's in the 2-spot with Gomez and Everett the two guys in front of him, he'll have about 18 rbi this year.

8:38 - My favorite closer of all-time, Trevor Hoffman, goes. If you want to know what makes him so awesome, watch this - with sound on:

It's far away, but it's the only video I could find with decent sound quality. Hells Bells is just a killer song to run out to.

8:44 - Still needing a shortstop, we grab Orlando Cabrera. Getting a SS late who can possibly give you 20 steals and a .300 average is a good deal at this point. As an added bonus, we can watch him shred the Twins over and over again. With our other pick, realizing closers are getting taken rapidly (Kerry Wood just went for Pete's sake) we grab Chad Cordero, the last closer we feel comfortable with. Giving us three save guys (Cordero, Saito, and Papelbon) and a good chance to finish high in the saves category.

8:54 - Someone I have never, ever heard of just got taken for the first time in some outfielder named Michael Bourn from the Astros. I have no idea who that is.

8:58 - Jeff Kent still plays baseball?

9:13 - We go with Todd Helton, to give us a little more power and Sidler's been hyperventilating over him for the past several rounds, and Ted Lilly. I'm not really a big Lilly guy, but I'm getting too bored and too tired to argue at this point. Helton is an excellent pick at this point. An upside of .300 with 20 hrs, 100+ runs and 80+ rbi is nice this late.

9:31 - Needing power, went with the biggest bat left available by far in Pat Burrell. He's boring, but you can pretty much pencil in a .260 average with 30 homers and 90 rbi, and we need homers and rbi. Follow that up with SS Jhonny Peralta, the best power option in the middle infield, with 20 homerun potential.

9:35 - Jon Lester before Clay Buchholz? What am I missing here?

9:38 - Apparently Buchholz has had a tough spring and will likely start the season in AAA. So that's why then.

9:49 - Scott Baker gets grabbed in the third to last round. We are currently debating if we should grab either Bonser or Slowey in the final round, just to have a Twin. We'd be passing on a guy like Jeff Francis or Matt Garza.

9:54 - Second to last turn to pick, we go with Derek Lowe and Billy Butler. Lowe is a good pickup this late to add to the rotation, especially since we're loaded on strikeouts and won't get hurt by his low K/9 rate. Butler is a pick on potential, and Sidler and I are both in love with how this guy can rake. Awesome late round pick as he has a chance to explode in full time duty this year.

10:08 - Just over four hours later, and we finally get to make our last pick, a guy we really wanted in Matt Garza. So no actual Twins, but Garza and Santana. Sweet.

Ended up with a pretty good squad. Or strength is pitching, as it seems to be every year, but our hitting should be solid. A lot of good hitters, with only Pujols a star, unless Kemp or Butler break out this year. Basically a solid hitting team all around, with nothing spectacular in the group, although they should score a good amount of runs and be in the top five of every category.

Pitching looks great, both the rotation and the pen. A rotation of Johan, Kazmir, Lincecum, Lilly, Lowe, and Garza looks like a great mix. Johan and Kazmir could be stars. Lilly and Lowe are veterans who aren't going to set the world on fire, but should be consistently above average, and Lincecum and Garza are young fireballers who have the potential to take a leap to the next level. All together, this group should strike out a ton of guys at the very least. The bullpen of Saito, Cordero, and Papelboner gives us three top 15 closers.

All in all, we're gonna win.

Sweet 16 Preview: East Region

Ok, so my picks for the first two rounds haven't exactly been lighting the world on fire, and I cost Bogart $100 with my UCLA/Texas A&M pick. That doesn't mean I'm not still smart. It's not my fault, blame Notre Dame and looking Harangody for not showing up, USC and Arizona for actually being really crappy after tricking me into believing in them, and Marquette and Pitt for choking away games they should have had in the bag. Remember, I picked Siena over Vanderbilt.

Here is your DWG East Region preview, with the other regions yet to come.

North Carolina -7.5 vs. Washington State: Maybe the two most impressive teams in the tournament so far, as neither one has gotten anywhere near a close game. The most impressive win out of these two was Washington State's thorough ass kicking of Notre Dame, holding them to under 25% shooting. A great clash here of offense vs. defense, as the Tarheels have scored 113 and 108 while shooting 61% and 68% while the Cougars have held teams to 40 and 41 and forced 31% and 25% shooting. An old adage says good defense beats good offense and good pitching beats good hitting, but that's football and baseball. I don't see WSU having the athletes or the scheme to hang with the Tarheels. Sure they were able to squash Harangody and the Irish, but there like a poor man's poor man's North Carolina. Go ahead and take away Hansbrough, which may be impossible, the Heels have plenty of other weapons, and play good defense as well. Throw in the fact that the game is in Carolina, and the Heels are the pick to win and cover.

Louisville -2.5 vs. Tennessee: A little surprised to see the Cardinals favored here, with the Vols being the higher seed and all, but I suppose after rolling over Boise State and Oklahoma by 18 and 30 they have to be included as one of the hottest teams in the tournament as well - man, the East Region is stacked. Tennessee has struggled a bit, having problems with American before winning by fifteen and slipping past Butler in overtime, but you can't discount how good they were all year. And don't forget, Butler may have been a seven seed, but they were probably good enough to be a 3 or 4, so that's still a great win. I just don't see how the Vols deal with the size and depth of the Cardinals, too weaknesses of Tennessee. Still, the speed, athleticism, and guard play of the Vols could carry the day. One thing is for sure, this is going to be a great game. It's tempting to take the points, as this one could go down to the wire, but I think the Cardinals take it, and cover in the end.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Ok, I've figured out the prize list for the Down with Goldy bracket, currently being led by ScarletGopher and DCsGopherette. There are prizes for the top 5 places, and you can just pick whichever one of these you want, starting with the winner and going down to fifth place.

1. The Simpsons Seasons 4-7 on DVD
2. Seasons 1 and 2 of Curb Your Enthusiasm on DVD
3. The Basketball Book - a very cool coffee table sized book by Sports Illustrated
4. Baseball Prospectus's "Baseball: Inside the Numbers" book + a Kevin Garnett 12 inch Starting Lineup figure from 1998.
5. 12 somewhat cool 20 oz. cups + something I haven't figured out yet.

I told you there would be kickass prizes.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

3 Days of Goodness

Thoughts from the first 2+ days of the tournament:

- Despite winning in the first round, Notre Dame should be the most embarrassed team in the tournament, except for maybe UCONN. Washington State is considered a good team, however I think they are very overrated and vulnerable, and the Irish completely embarrassed themselves with that turd of a game today, scoring just 41 points after shooting less than 25% (13-53). Luke "Big East Player of the Year" Harangody was the biggest culprit shooting a whopping 3-17, although he wasn't helped by Kyle McAlarney going 5-13. In case you're curious, that was Harangody's second worst scoring day of the year, with just ten points. Nice timing. I wish I could have watched that game, to see what the hell happened. But I'm predicting a UNC route of Washington State next week.

- Unfortunately I didn't get to watch the games early Friday, which is when two of the best games of the tournament thus far took place - Western Kentucky/Drake and Davidson/Gonzaga. I saw the highlights, and that WKU shot was amazing. Snacks says the Northwestern State moment was still the best Sensor's NCAA tournament moment ever, but that is a close second. That's so gay it would happen when I couldn't be there.

- When I left Friday, Klinger was as drunk as I've ever seen him, and maybe the drunkest anybody has ever been ever.

- I told all you about Siena, and called their victory over Vanderbilt. According to Snacks, a lot of people were predicting that upset, but I'll tell you right now, I never heard a word from anybody else before making that call. I'm kind of bummed they're facing Villanova instead of Clemson, because I'd be interested in seeing if they could handle the Tigers. Speaking of that, how in the holy hell did Villanova beat Clemson? Scottie Reynolds sucks.

- I still can't believe USC laid such an egg. They seriously had the talent to go to the Elite 8. I wrote that the one big issue facing USC was OJ Mayo trying to do too much and shooting them out of the game, but their defense should be able to handle Beasley (relatively). Well, Mayo went only 6-16 and Beasley didn't explode, hitting for only 23. K State somehow got scoring from the whole team, and managed to shoot 48% against a tough USC defense, then shot under 40% against an almost identically defensively Wisconsin team. Weird.

- Speaking of the Badgers, they are looking very, very good so far. If Georgetown gets passed Davidson, expect a final score in the neighborhood of 35-32.

- Watching the very end of the Stanford/Marquette game, with the Eagles up 1 with 8.8 seconds and the bad Lopez brother at the line. He missed, and place sounded very pro-Marquette, despite being in Anaheim. It's just goes to show, everybody hates Stanford.

- Duke got bounced early again, ho-hum, how utterly shocking. It's going to be very interesting to see just how entrenched Coach K is there after two straight early exits. Will there be grumbling, or is it going to be more like Paterno at Penn State? As in, no matter how far he's causing the program to fall, he'll be there until he retires. Note, I'm not saying Duke has crashed or anything like that, just that two straight early losses for them is something I've never seen.

- Arizona sucks. I should have paid more attention to their late season suckness and inability to beat anybody other than Washington State rather than the talent on their roster. Oh well.

- Another minor shocker was Butler's thorough ass-kicking off South Alabama. I picked Butler, and expected them to win, but I thought it would be a tightly contested game that would likely come down to the wire. Instead Butler kicked their butts and won by 20, and it wasn't even that close. If I'm Tennessee, I'd be very nervous.

- It's fairly clear the Atlantic Ten was overrated this year outside of Xavier. Temple got stomped by Michigan State, and St Joe's got rolled by a really mediocre Oklahoma team. And yes, I picked Temple to beat the Spartans. Shut up.

- Phone call just received from Bogart, who is at the bar down in Chicago, but needs to chase his gambling losses on the day with another $100 bet he needs me to place. And not only do I need to place it, I have to pick it too. I go with UCLA -10.5, because A&M sucks.

UPDATE: Texas A&M does not suck, Kevin Love and Darren Collison were just a little bit better down the stretch. Not bad for a non-ankle breaking guard and not stud lowpost guy. Great game. Sorry Bogart. Maybe you'll feel better after this:

Friday, March 21, 2008

Rheumatoid Picks Up The Pieces For The Bears Guy Peltier!

Talk about having a case of the Albany’s during March Madness. That is exactly what the Bear’s Guy had yesterday when he sent his wild slappa god knows where with fifteen seconds remaining and the Gophers tied 2-2 with St. Cloud State. Hey Peltier, way to be the guy who shite’s the bed when there is every chance in the world to finally be a hero and leave your mark on the Gopher hockey program. You really know how to pick’em Bear!!! Luckily for all Gopher fans Mike "rheumatoid" Howe was hopped up on Advil Gel Caps and was able to pounce on Peltier’s sloppy turd. Lucifer also reared his beautiful head again last night as Howesy scored his "6th" goal of the year. Even more amazing than Howe’s joints working properly was the fact that Dawg called me with 3 minutes left in the game to tell me the Gophers would score before OT. Good call Bert!

Incase you didn’t hear, Alex Kangas walked on water last again last night. My question to all readers. Is Kangas the greatest college goalie ever? Did you also realize that the final five lands on easter weekend this year? Can anything else point to a Gophers championship this weekend?

Seriously WWWWWW, your bracket is terrible. Can we please get Mrs. WWWW or Old Man WWWWW to break down college hoops for us? Those two at least have a clue what is going on. I might butcher the use of "too" but even I could tell that OJ Mayo is a dime a dozen talent and Arizona had the same chance of beating W. Virginia as Wozniak had driving home from Madison without puking on the side of the road.

With all the talk about Bogart’s terrible, flaky and down right disgusting skin I thought I would post a picture of what it looks like for the readers who do not know him. Seriously man, have you ever heard of lotion?

Go Gophers!

Thursday, March 20, 2008


11:18 - Coming to you LIVE from Joe Sensor's in Roseville! It's the best day of the year. Tomorrow is pretty sweet too, but this year I can't watch because real life is getting in the way, so screw you Friday. I'm joined here by Snacks, Joey Dorsey, Sinlinlin, and the Optimator. Also, Franchise is here at another table. That's cool. The Todd will be joining us later, already drunk.

11:20 - And away we go with Georgia/Xavier. We have Xavier -7.5. Easy money.

11:29 - Georgia up one. Do they have enough left? Probably not.

11:31 - Spartans/Temple is on. I'm very interested in this one, because I fully expect Temple to knock off Sparty, and Snacks thinks I'm an idiot. I'll tell you a secret. He's the idiot.

11:34 - Sparty looking god awful. You know what kind of sucks about watching all the games at once, somebody will make a comment about the game, and you'll have no clue which game they're referring too and you swivel your head like a white boy in the ghetto.

11:37 - Sinlinlin and Optimator keep talking about hockey. Dude, it's basketball day today. Knock that shit off.

11:39 - Now they're discussing some hockey game that had 11 total goals scored. Must have been adapted hockey, no way real hockey scores that much. Ever. The record is probably like 8.

11:45 - Snacks just checked his work email, as if he's big and important in some way. What an effin loser.

11:46 - And we have the first beer stain on a bracket, as "captain important at work" Snacks doinks off a little beer onto, what is very likely, a god awful bracket.

11:48 - Snacks guarantees the final game will be Kansas vs. Memphis, because they are the most talented teams. Completely discounting coaching, fundamentals, and well, everything other than talent. If talent was all that mattered, Rico Tucker would be the player of the year, but he's received terrible coaching. No way Memphis makes the final game. And I'm a Memphis fan. No. Way.

11:50 - So Super Mario Bros had sex with the Simpson and out came Mario Chalmers.

11:51 - Battery life is at 1 hour, 51 minutes left. And I forgot the plug in thing like an idiot.

11:54 - Georgia looking like, well, an NCAA tournament caliber team. Leading X 25-21 with 3:46 to play. Seeing as I have Xavier in the elite 8, this would be a bit of a blow to the W bracket. Would still probably beat Snake.

11:57 - Wow, Temple pretty much just fires anything up there. Getting nervous about the Temple pick, as they seem to be idiots.

11:58 - Snacks ripping Hoffarber here. Dawg, I expect you to fire back.

12:03 - Temple is the worst team ever.

12:08 - Georgia up 9 at half. I'm getting a Hoosiers vibe from them at this point. Not the crappy Indiana U team (sorry Sidler), but the movie. You know, the whole underdog thing.

12:30 - The Todd has arrived. And I still have no power cord, which means this is going to be shorter than planned. God damn it.

12:31 - The Todd pointed out if you entered the DWG bracket challenge, if you print it up and bring it to KFC you can get a Toasted Wrap Combo for $2.99. Everybody's a winner!

12:36 - Kansas is crazy good folks. If you don't at least have them in the championship game, you're probably some kind of idiot who thinks that Darren Collison isn't an ankle breaker.

12:38 - Sinlinin, a dude I've never met, may have just hooked me up with a power cord. Sweet. Now we'll get to the good ole drunken blogging, but in public!

12:43 - Possibly heading for an 0-3 start gambling on the games this year. But we did win the play-in game. I suck at gambling, and basketball knowledge in general. But at least I'm not stuck at work like you poor bastards. And they just cut away from the Temple/MSU game because it's such a blowout. God, I'm so embarrassed.

12:46 - I've just learned Snacks is a creepy pedo Chomo, as he digs Gene Simmons daughter, who is apparently like 14 or something. I'm contemplating calling the police. Oh, and all the teams I like suck. Usually my bracket does fairly well, but this is a pretty awful start. Dionte Christmas can't even find a shot against the Spartans matchup zone, and Georgia is absolutely outplaying Xavier.

12:49 - Best Sensor's moment ever: Northwestern State over Iowa with the last second three pointer. There were some Iowa fans here, and the whole place was packed, mostly rooting against Iowa. After NW State hit the three to win, the place went crazy, and the Iowa fans cried. It was sweet.

12:53 - Xavier making a run to cut it to four. Bracket may be saved.

12:55 - I forgot to mention that when we went to the Gopher/Maryland game, the Todd bought a pretzel with cheese, at the pretzel, and brought the cheese home. That's fairly odd. Also Dr. Acula en route.

1:03 - All TVs now on Xavier/Georgia. I could have watched this at home. X down 3. Come on idiots.

1:05 - Oh oh. Oh oh. Here's comes X!!

1:12 - Sinlinlin hooks me up with a power cord. Unfortunately, Mrs. Snacks is being a HUGE jerk and won't let me run the cord along the floor in case some retard trips over it and breaks his head like Tom Pohl. Still, at least I can charge it between games. Xavier not only up, but up five and might cover.

1:13 - Sinlinlin is my new favorite person. Even more than Rico Tucker. Ok, not really.

1:14 - Purdue fans starting to show up. I might have to root for Baylor now, even though I picked Purdue to win. This quite a conundrum.

1:21 - Push on Kansas/Portland State as PSU's meaningless three rims out at the buzzer. I'll take it.

1:23 - In excellent news, we actually got Kansas at -23, but Snacks is illiterate, so we win. 2-0 on the tournament thus far (play-in game included). I'm so awesome.

1:33 - X needs to cover. Up 7 with 34 seconds left, shooting free throws.

1:37 - Optimator keeps watching the random Sensor's channel tuned to hockey fights and sports bloopers instead of basketball. I can't think of a joke here.

1:37 - X covers. Need to power up computer. Will be back.

2:26 - And we're back and charged to 73%. Three things: 1. The Todd said "Gene Keady will lead Purdue to the Elite 8". 2. The Todd said, "Seriously, Snake doesn't have any clue how to use the word "too". 3. Kent State is embarrassing me.

2:31 - Snacks is "still not worried about Baylor" despite them being down 25-18 and looking like hell.

2:38 - Dawg, Bear, Snake, Klinger - start posting comments.

2:42 - Wow, what a yawner set of games. Other than Marquette/Kentucky, every game is a blowout right now. Might be time for some Golden Tees.

2:46 - I'm bored now. Recharging computer.

3:02 - Jesus, Kent State is worse than Temple. I'm a complete idiot.

3:07 - We're now discussing how Bogart has terrible skin and looks like a zombie of some kind. That's just good stuff.

3:08 - Sorry, I know this is boring, but these games are kind of a buzzkill. I'm going to assume the rest of the tournament will be awesome to make up for it.

3:09 - Funny Dr. Acula story, "So there I was getting the mail, all of a sudden my neighbor across the street runs out of his house with a beer in his hand, and says 'oh shit, they're early.' So I look to my left and see there is a realtor and two clients pulling up with their child, and I notice the neighbor has a beer in his hand - and his house is for sale. Suddenly he runs to his car and puts his beer in the cupholder and jumps in and drives off, as the clients and realtor pull in. Jesus, are you typing this? People are going to think I live in the ghetto."

3:12 - Dr. Acula also once got stitches in his chin because he can't catch a softball. True story.

3:15 - Heading to Alary's in a bit, where the Todd, "walks around with a raging boner." Looking forward to it. Although I think I've already seen him in that state with the Rickert picture.

3:19 - Curtis Terry of UNLV is Jason Terry's brother? Wow, he and Cooper Manning probably hang out and talk about how they hate their families.

3:21 - So I've heard from both Joey Dorsey and Dr. Acula that some dude in a fighting Sioux shirt and pants combo has been the only guy in the bathroom twice and has taken the middle urinal both times. I deduce from this that all Fighting Sioux fans are gay.

3:24 - Addendum: Said Sioux fan did not wash his hands.

3:34 - WWWWW is off to the head. This is The Todd taking over. This snippet is brought to you by Summer's Eve. We are live at Sensor's and I'm about 6 pints deep and almost ready to head to Alary's for some TNA before heading to the X for the big Gopher game. And holy hell, Kentucky just hit a three to pull within three of Marquette while the place goes Ape Shit. For those keeping score at home, I've got UK picked two out of my three pools, go Wildcats. Where's the shot of Ashley Judd? WWWWW is back so I'm off to get a shot. Mazeltoff!

3:39 - F'ing Marquette is doing everything they can to blow the cover, at -4.5. This isn't fun.

3:40 - There's a very obnoxious Kentucky fan here. I want to light him on fire.

3:43 - Marquette covers. Everything else is a blow out. Heading to Alary's. No live blog from there, but feel free to go to and check out the live web cam. You may see The Todd accosting some poor wholesome females.

WCHA Final Five

The WCHA final five begins tonight at the Xcel. Tonights play-in game features the Gophers vs St. Cloud State. The winner of tonights game moves on to Friday's semi-finals to play #1 seed Colorado College. The other semi-final will feature the University of we hate native americans vs the Denver Pioneers.

The Gophers head to the Final Five after possibly the longest 3 game series in the history of the WCHA. The Gophers lost 1-0 in double OT, won 2-1 in OT and won 3-2 in double OT to advance. There are three keys to tonights game for the Gophers. 1) Kangas, 2) score 3+ goals and 3) stay out of the penalty box. They follow my keys and I guarantee victory.

Next years Hoby Baker winner needs to continue playing like he did last weekend. That might be a bit much to ask, but I have never been one to shy away from asking for to much. Kangas either gets shutouts all weekend or I write him off faster than Frazee! Seriously, if the Gophers want any chance of advancing this weekend Kangas can not allow more than two goals a game. Sad, but true.

Next to the Play of Kangas goal scoring is the next biggest factor for the gophers. I know that sounds like the dip shit analyst who says "whoever scores more goals will most likely win the game", but the Gophers need to find a way to score 3 goals without playing 100 minutes of hockey. Last Sundays game was a perfect example of what I am talking about. The Gophers had numerous chances to score goals right in front of the net and instead of putting the puck in the corner of the net the forwards would rush shots and hit the Mavericks goalie in the chest. The Mavericks goalie (Zacharias) played well last weekend, but the Gophers made him look better than he is. Mouth breather Jase Weslosky is not the goalie Zacharias is, so 3 goals isn't like asking for the moon.

ATTENTION TO THE BEARS GUY PELTIER!!!! The 3rd key to tonights game for the Gophers is staying out of the penalty box. St. Cloud basically lives by it's power play. Their #1 unit of Roe, Lasch and Nodl is possibly the best power play unit in the country. As a team, St. Cloud leads the WCHA in PP efficiency at 21.9%. That means the Gophers can only take necessary penalties. Note to Peltier, we don't need any Cross Checking, Roughing, Boarding or whatever other dumb penalty you decide take 60 feet behind the play. Those are the penalties that will get the Gophers beat tonight. Maybe the gophers should just sit Peltier all weekend? Hey Bear, nice player!

Predictions for the weekend.

Play-in game MN 4 St. Cloud 2. The Gophers will be to tired to skate all over the rink which is a good thing for this team. They will sit back and play "system" hockey and rely on Kangas to make saves. How much does it suck that the Gophers have turned into the Wisconsin Badgers of college hockey? God I can't wait for some actual talent to get back in the program next year! Also, keep your eyes out for the Todd slinging his shit on the ice if the gophers happen to lose. I am on record as saying The Todd doesn't have the arm to get it over the glass.

Semi-final #1 Denver 3 UND 2. Upset of the weekend. UND has been playing to good for to long. The also looked very poor last weekend. On top of that, Denver will be looking forward to this game after the cheap crap UND pulled up in Grand Forks last month. Yet another banner slips through the fingers of Neanderthal Hakstol.

Semi-final #2 CC 3 MN 1. Gophers have nothing left and even if they did Colorado would still beat them. I still think CC is the class of the WCHA.

3rd Place Game. Who really cares other than the Sioux fans who will still act like winning this game is a big deal, f'ing losers!

Championship- CC 5 Denver 2. Denver can't skate with CC. CC locks up a #1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

Tom Pohl update from the University of Minnesota. Gophers Pohl in Intensive Care Following Surgery at Rochester Hospital. University of Minnesota senior Tom Pohl is in intensive care following surgery resulting from an injury suffered in the Golden Gophers double overtime victory over Minnesota State on Sunday in Mankato . Pohl sustained a skull fracture when his head hit the boards in front of the teams bench at 6:09 of the second period. The injury resulted in bleeding on the brain and Pohl was airlifted to St. Marys Hospital in Rochester . Successful surgery was performed to stop the bleeding and stabilize the fracture. Pohl remains at the hospital for further observation.We are very fortunate that he has tremendous medical care, said Minnesota coach Don Lucia, who is in Rochester with Pohl and his family. Were looking forward to him returning to school at one hundred percent and our thoughts and prayers remain with Tom and the Pohl family.

Here is a link to the Gophers incoming recruits. Things are really looking up talent wise. Only two questions marks coming in over the next two years, Brandon Martell and Josh Birkholz. Martell just isn't that good and Birkolz comes off as a whiny kid who pouts when things aren't going his way....f'ing cake eater!

Kyle Okposo played in his first NHL game Tuesday night for the New York Islanders. The Black Ginger played 14 minutes and registered two shots on net. It looks like two months of Minor league hockey got his development back on track. Good thing he got out while the getting was good.

Lastly, even though the smartest man in Grand Forks is on record as saying the Gophers won't make the NCAA tournament they are a lock. The worst team to make the NCAA tournament in Gophers history....without a doubt, but I will still take a game or two in the NCAA after the season this team has had.

Lastly, Lastly....WWWWWW, nice NCAA picks! I thought you where suppose to be the hoops guy on this blog? The Sports Guy knows more about college hoops!