Thursday, March 31, 2005

Webber Out 3-4 Weeks


Chris Webber is reportedly out 7 to 10 days with a sprained left shoulder. However, according to research done on Chris Webber's injury recovery time in relation to the average player's recovery time, 7 to 10 days usually implies approximately 3 to 4 weeks.

Thursday's Picks:

March 31, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (2-1-1), Week: (7-2-1)

No picks for Antonio tonight.

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (2-0-1), Week: (5-2-1)
  • INDIANA +5.5 over Miami
  • Minnesota -3 over LAKERS

Indiana has beaten Miami 11 consecutive times. ELEVEN-- Wow! They've also been playing some rock-solid basketball as of late. The Heat meanwhile have had three straight iffy outings on the road. I like Indiana to at least cover in this game, especially considering people are putting money down on Miami at an almost 2 to 1 clip-- when in doubt, ride Vegas. The Cleveland/Chicago line is downright sketchy. I'm sure they moved it down with the news on Curry, but both LeBron and Big Z are hurting for Cleveland. Everyone's also taking Chicago, which means Vegas almost certainly has something up their sleeve. I mean the Cavs haven't covered on the road in 10 straight games. Just seems fishy to me, so I'm avoiding it. I like Minny tonight because for the last month or so, they've been beating everyone they should be beating. That's not to say they've been covering on a regular basis, but with a line as small as 3, it's essentially a pick 'em. Lakers are terrible, too. Good luck tonight,

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Wednesday's Picks

March 30, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (0-1), Week: (5-1)

  • Chicago -3 over CHARLOTTE
  • Golden State +2 over MILWAUKEE
  • Denver -7.5 over UTAH
  • Seattle +6.5 over SAN ANTONIO

All roadies tonight. And no I wasn't shaving my bikini line, I got it waxed last week.



Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (0-1), Week: (3-2)

  • Chicago -3 over CHARLOTTE
  • ORLANDO -5 over Toronto
  • Denver -7.5 over UTAH

The Bulls don't screw around against cellar-dwellers (19-5 vs. sub-.500 teams not from New Jersey since dreadful 0-9 start, look it up) and with seeding still at stake in the East, I'd be hard-pressed to go against a team coached by Scott Skiles with more on the line. The home team has covered convincingly each time Orlando and Toronto has met, so I'm going to bank on the same result taking place tonight now that the Magic appear to have rid themselves of the demons plaguing them during their grotesque losing streak. Denver is just too talented, too quick, and too athletic to allow Utah to keep the game close barring an extraordinary shooting performance.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Tuesday's NBA Picks

I have no clue what day it is

Home Team in CAPS

ANTHONY'S PICKS

Last Night: (5-0), Week: (5-0)

  • Clippers +3.5 over CLEVELAND

Thats all I like tonight really. Cavs stink and even though they came back last night, I feel a bit of a let down at home. I like the Clips and think they'll keep playing hard. CLE 96, LAC 94. GLTA

PAUL'S PICKS

Last Night: (3-1), Week: (3-1)

  • MEMPHIS -4 over Seattle

I agree with Ant, not much to choose from on tonight's slate. I've had the chance to watch Seattle a lot lately and I'm just not impressed with how they're playing even if they still maintain a hefty division lead. Memphis has been equally bad, but with a few games now under Gasol and Swift's belt, I think they're ready for a breakout game-- Grizz win by 5 or 6. Good luck...

Monday, March 28, 2005

Booed and Feathered


Frutration officially settled in for Kobe Bryant last night, seen here arguing a call with Official Zach Zarba. The Lakers were booed last night at Staples and have lost 8 straight, yet Chris Mihm was revived from the dead with a double-double-- go figure.

Monday's Picks

March 28, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (Week Complete), Week: (12-8)

  • New Jersey -3.5 over CHARLOTTE
  • NEW ORLEANS +3 over Cleveland
  • PHOENIX -6 over Denver
  • Houston -5 over UTAH
  • GOLDEN STATE -4.5 over New York

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (1-0), Week: (12-8)

  • New Jersey -3.5 over CHARLOTTE
  • MILWAUKEE -4 over Indiana
  • NEW ORLEANS +3 over Cleveland
  • GOLDEN STATE -4.5 over New York

A must-win game for New Jersey if they want to stay in the thick of the playoff race. I'm banking on the Nets to come through tonight after two lackluster performances in the Jerz against the Grizz and the Wolves. The Bucks are 6-1 this season when heading back home after playing at least 2 straight on the road and 21-10 when giving up less than 100 points this season. I'm going to ride this trends and go against the "team that wants it more" theory. The Cavs have lost 11 straight on the road, 9 against the line, and while I definitely think they can and really should win this game, I feel safer betting against a team that really appears as though they have little chance of turning around what's been a terrible second half of the season. The Knicks played excellent in beating the Warriors a few weeks ago, but I think GS will be looking for some retribution tonight. The Knicks' season essentially ended when they lost in Portland the other night, so it wouldn't surprise me at all to see them put forth a half-hearted effort tonight. If they do come through, give Herb Williams a lot of credit. Good luck tonight...

Sunday, March 27, 2005

No, PrimNOZ, NO!


Is this how you would react if you just had the best game of your life (27 points, 11 rebounds) against the most dominate player of this era (Shaquille O'Neal) in your young franchise's biggest victory to date (94-92 win over Miami)? I mean really-- is it possible someone in the crowd yelled out, "Primoz, show me your tits!"? I sure as hell hope not. Yeesh.

Sunday's NBA Picks

March 27, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (Week Complete), Week: (12-8)

Anthony went to Disney World.

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (2-1), Week: (11-8)
  • SAN ANTONIO -3 over Houston

I still like the Spurs without Duncan and think people are underestimating them even though they have struggled over the past week. I think once Popovich realizes he has to get his guys out in the open court and run more, and he may have last game in scoring 111 against Atlanta (although it is the Hawks), that the Spurs will start playing better. And if McGrady doesn't give it a go (game-time decision), then the Spurs will indeed role today. I've also got a great link for you guys to check out-- Paul Shirley's NBA Blog. Shirley, a scrub on Phoenix, was asked to write a running blog on the Suns' current West Coast trip and my, oh my, is it worth checking out. Anthony and I are considering offering Shirley a contract to write for nbasource.com once the Suns let him go presumably after the season. We'll let you know how negotiations go (2 years, unlimited space, 6-pack a week?). Good luck tonight...

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Ant's Got His Celts, I Got My Cats


Villanova battled North Carolina harder than anyone thought they could thanks in large part to my boy Kyle Lowry, seen here stealing the ball from Raymond Felton. By the way, Lowry, a freshman making only his fourth start, completely outplayed Felton and even got the future lottery pick to foul out late in the game. Just had to bring that to everyone's attention.

Saturday's NBA Picks

March 26, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

Anthony's Picks:

Last Night: (3-3), Week: (12-8)

Week completed-- nice work Ant! Now you can enjoy the beach you f*cking *sshole!

Paul's Picks:

Last Night: (1-2), Week: (9-7)
  • Miami -8.5 over CHARLOTTE
  • New Orleans +10 over MEMPHIS
  • DALLAS -7.5 over Cleveland

First let me bitch for a moment-- how in the world do the refs make that travel call on my 'Cats last night?! Are you KIDDING me?! First of all, he clearly took two steps--no idea why Bill and Verne were agreeing with the call. Either they were smoking too much, or not enough because of their obvious cases of glaucoma. Second of all, how in the world do you make a call like that in the waning seconds? Swallow your f*cking whistle unless there's an obvious call-- refs shouldn't be affecting the outcome of a game! Anyways, my boys put up a good fight when nobody gave them a chance. AND they clawed back from down 11 when everyone thought it was over. You gotta give them props for that and I'm looking forward to next season when we're going to be legitimate title contenders. By the way-- I like Illinois in a close game; Louisville big; North Carolina by about 10; and Michigan St in a VERY close, physical game. On to tonight's picks-- Miami is just simply too talented and playing too well for the Bobcats to keep this one close-- look for the Heat to win by at least a dozen. The Hornets can matchup with the Grizz and with Memphis still bringing heads back and Fratello juggling rotations, I like NO to make this a tight game. And Cleveland just sucks on the road (10 straight losses), so anytime they're away from Gund and the line is below 10 against a top Western team, I'd suggest banking on them NOT to cover. Good luck tonight...

Friday, March 25, 2005

Friday's NBA Picks

March 25, 2005

Home Team in CAPS

ANT'S PICKS

Last Night: (4-0), Week: (9-5)
  • Chicago +7 over BOSTON
  • MIAMI -4.5 over Phoenix
  • Atlanta +13 over SAN ANTONIO
  • GOLDEN STATE -6 over Milwaukee
  • Washington +6 over CLIPPERS
  • New York +5 over SEATTLE

I'm not just choosing Chicago because of my article, I just think the Celts are going to struggle again after getting smoked by the Knicks Wednesday. BOS 96, CHI 93. Miami had one glitch in the past three weeks, big deal. Phoenix is playing their fourth road game in a row and the Heat are looking for revenge of their loss earlier in the season to the Suns. MIA 103, PHX 95. San Antone couldn't beat Christ the King Girls right now by more than 13. SAS 94, ATL 91. Golden State should be back at full strength tonight and blow out the Bucks 109-95. The only reason I took the Wiz is because Livington cannot guard Arenas and Simmons is hurting so Hughes should rough him up as well. LAC 99 WAS 97. Finally, the Knicks seem on a mission after destroying the C's the other night. They are really determined to make the playoffs and should take care of a battered Sonics squad. NYK 103, SEA 101. GLTA see you all next Friday when I get back from Florida. PEACE

PAUL'S PICKS

Last Night: (3-1), Week: (8-5)
  • MIAMI -4.5 over Phoenix
  • GOLDEN STATE -6 over Milwaukee
  • CLIPPERS -6 over Washington

A couple of great matchups tonight-- Indiana returns to Detroit for the first time since the "Malice in the Palace" on November 19th and Miami hosts Phoenix in what could very well be a preview of the NBA Finals. I'm going to leave the Indy/Detroit game alone, but I really like the Heat to cover at home tonight. Phoenix hasn't been playing their best basketball as of late, and coming off of Charlotte and Atlanta, I think Miami will overwhelm them--especially considering the Heat are coming off of a 4-day layoff. Golden State is coming off of a lackluster performance against the Mavs on Wednesday, but don't let that fool you. This team is playing excellent basketball and just had a rough shooting night and seemed to let their emotions get the best of them-- something that's common for a young, inexperienced team. The Bucks are also playing their 4th West Coast game in 6 nights and haven't looked good at all, and with Mo Williams likely out again, expect Baron Davis to torch Anthony Goldwire. Washington has been just scraping by the last few weeks going a respectable 5-5, of course those 5 wins are 2 nail-biters against Utah, and wins against Charlotte, Atlanta, and the Lakers. Right now the Clips are looking like the Heat compared to all of those teams, so look for the Clippers to cover tonight.

No More Celtics!!!!!--I Promise

Check out Paul's latest:

  • Rating the NBA Broadcast Talent


  • By Anthony Peretore

    After writing for The NBA Source for the past five months or so, the fact that I’m a Boston Celtics fan has come up several times. On occasion, I have gotten slammed for my steady dose of optimism regarding the C’s, almost to the point where I’m ashamed to even write about them at all. I realize our readers come to the site to get insight on the NBA, but subconsciously you are all looking for conflict. For instance, if you’re say, a Memphis Grizzlies fan, and I bash Jason Williams (just an out-of-the-blue example), you’re going to defend him as you feel it necessary. We all have ties to our teams and feel it is our right, even our duty to defend them. Well, the difficult part of writing about the NBA and being a die-hard Celtics fan is that more often than not, the two can get easily tangled. I’m not a 25-year veteran journalist from the New York Times and I haven’t even come close to mastering the art of writing, but I feel I’m taking the necessary steps to get there. The point is, my passion for the Celtics will never die and neither will my desire to write. Somehow, I need to figure out how both of these loves can co-exist without them getting intertwined. I appreciate all the feedback this season that has helped put me in my place as a writer. You have all made me aware that Anthony Peretore the fan has to find his own place behind Anthony Peretore the writer. But before Ant the fan goes to hide in a cave in the Serengeti, he wanted to at least give you an explanation behind his passion as a C’s fan. He feels he owes you at least that much before he puts it all to rest.

    I realize that most of you view the Celtics in the same light as say the Bulls, Sixers, Bucks, etc.—teams that were once very good, but will probably never be a serious contender again. I must admit, if I were on the outside looking in I’d probably feel the same, especially since the C’s haven’t won a championship since ‘85-86. Now, I’m not one of those fans that will tell you he remembers that “good ol” series against the Rockets—since after all, I was four and if my memory was that good I’d be working for NASA or the CIA or something, not writing blogs for approximately zero compensation. Nor will I tell you I remember how great Bird, McHale and Parish graced the old parquet of the Boston Garden. Nor will I tell you I’ve been a season ticket holder since I was 6. Why not? Because those would all be lies and Paul would dime me out ten minutes after I published this. So, the real reason, well the credit has to go to my late stepmother—she loved Larry Bird, I loved her, so naturally I took a liking to the Celtics. As a young boy it was inevitable to make stupid decisions: putting salamanders in your pocket, eating rocks, telling girls they have cooties, deciding to follow the Celtics, etc. Looking back at this array of choices, they may all seem rather irrational and immature, but as a 23 year-old adult (sort of), I can confidently admit they all have played an important role in my life. Today, we’ll focus solely on that of being a Boston Celtics fan and leave the salamanders and rocks for another day.



    At least I'm not this bad...


    Naturally, as the years of my youth wore on, I became more and more aware of how cursed the Celtics franchise was becoming. When Larry Bird retired I didn’t know what to feel. I was ten years old, what did I know? He was a legend, I knew that much, but I was more worried about my archery score at summer camp that day than Bird hanging them up. A year later when Reggie Lewis died, it was more of the same feeling. I didn’t realize the implications these occurrences would have until I was much older. Never did I think that a legend retiring and an All-Star dying would be so crippling to a franchise, an ignorance that probably came from eating too many rocks. However, when high school rolled around (and thus my inevitable set of braces to fix my Tyrone Hill teeth), this ignorance began to transform into frustration. I was now old enough to see how Bird’s retirement and Lewis’ death were effecting the team year in and year out. Ultimately I reached a crossroads: either punk out and start rooting for Ewing and the Knicks or remain loyal and hope for the best. Well obviously I chose the latter and instead of things turning around, the Celts slowly got worse. The first round draft picks of Acie Earl (‘93), Eric Montross (‘94), and Eric Williams (‘95) made the mid-to-late ‘90s almost unbearable. Sure, a team has a buffer zone after losing arguably two of the most influential players of the ‘80s, but c’mon Acie frickin’ Earl? Eric Montross? I get sick just thinking about it.

    In 1996, management briefly came to their senses and drafted F Antoine Walker from Kentucky. Walker came in and immediately filled the void of team leader and simultaneously became the first player I was actually proud of as a fan since of course, Bird and Lewis. As most of you may know, 1997 may go down as one of the worst years in Celtics history and subsequently, my life. Boston finished the ‘96-97 season with the worst record in the NBA, but due to the most ridiculous tradition in all of sports—the annual draft lottery, Boston was royally screwed in the pooper (for lack of a better phrase). David Stern basically said: “Sorry Celts, no first pick, no Tim Duncan, you can have picks three and six instead.” Okay, well it wasn’t the end of the world. We still had two very high picks to try and turn this thing around. Unfortunately, Boston picked arguably the worst season in the history of the NBA to tank. Honestly, besides Duncan and Tracy McGrady, the best players left for the C’s were Bobby Jackson, Kelvin Cato, Tim Thomas and Stephen Jackson, no joke look it up. But as you all know, Rick Pitino and co. went with Chauncey Billups and Ron Mercer, two players that would factor in zilch for the future. To make matters worse, later that season Billups (the 2004 Finals MVP) was traded for Kenny Anderson. It was like some sort of sick joke was being played on the entire Boston Celtics fan base. The worst part about it was that if you were a loyal follower, there was no way out, absolutely none. You wanted, no NEEDED, to see this thing work out or you might not be able to live with yourself.


    Serge Zwikker: The only way the 1997 Draft could have been any worse...


    An Eastern Conference Championship appearance in 2002 calmed the waters a bit, as there was finally some plausible reason to rejoice. I was in attendance for Game 3 of that series vs. New Jersey, one I will be able to tell my grandchildren about. As fans we never stop believing in our teams. We could be down forty and say, well if we can hit a few threes, then force a few turnovers and cut this thing in half by the end of the third, we’ll be right back in this. Well, that’s what happened that afternoon, in my head and in those of an entire arena filled with Celtic fans. Sure, we were pissed being down 20 at the half, but never for one second did we accept defeat. When I saw Walker verbally abuse Paul Pierce on the sidelines between the third and fourth quarters, I felt something. That 21 point deficit shrunk to 19 then 15, then 11, then 9, then 7, 6, 4, 3, 2, 1 and then it happened. A Kenny Anderson free throw tied it up and we never looked back. Pierce was jumping on the media tables, fans were hugging, and the Fleet Center was rocking. Waiting my entire life for some glimmer of hope, I finally got it that Saturday afternoon. We had a 2-1 edge in the series and were just two measly wins away from a showdown with the Lakers in the Finals.

    Unfortunately, that Finals trip never materialized and the team slowly began its steady decline back to mediocrity. For the past two seasons, we’ve arguably gotten worse, that is until this year. Not only is Boston 11-2 since re-acquiring Antoine Walker, but they are in first place in the Atlantic and own the third best record in the Eastern Conference. Plus, unlike 2002, this team is geared entirely for the future, making us a legit force that should continually improve in the next few seasons. Not too exciting? Well if you’ve been aboard this train of horror for the past 15 years or so, then you know how thrilling it is to be a contender once again. I’ve been pulled in from the start and perhaps the agonies I’ve faced each and every season create this uncontrollable optimism. If I watch them and they look sharp, I’m going to translate that into having a shot against the Pistons in the playoffs. I don’t want to come off as an idiot, but I can’t help it—no Celtic fan can. But I’ve come to grips that I must tone it down, especially now in writing for The NBA Source. So this is it, my last Celtics article ever, I’m finally putting it to rest to focus on the NBA as a whole without placing them on a pedestal. I apologize for not making this realization sooner, but one day when I’m a 25-year veteran journalist at The New York Times, I’ll have Paul and all of you to thank.

    Al Jefferson: Finally a reason to look forward to the future

    Thursday, March 24, 2005

    Thursday's NBA Picks

    March 24, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANTHONY'S PICKS

    Last Night: (2-2), Week: (5-5)

    • Charlotte +8 over ORLANDO
    • Washington +2 over UTAH
    • SEATTLE -3 over Portland
    • SACRAMENTO -1 over Dallas

    I'm picking a lot of games for a Thursday, but I'm going to Florida on Saturday so I'm going to try and complete my 20 by tomorrow. Orlando should not be favored by 8 over anyone without Francis and Hedo. They'll win, but it will be close, 99-94. Utah had a big win over the Lakers the other night, but take that with a grain of salt (whatever the hell that means). Washington is a legit team with or without Jamison. They'll win convincingly tonight 104-93. I don't care if Ray Allen is out, although I expect him to play. Portland stinks and will get smoked 105-91. Finally, in basically a pick 'em I always like to take the home teams, especially when it's the Kings. Skinner with two sprained thumbs should play tonight and be a defensive force down low. Kings 104, Mavs 98. GLTA



    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (2-1), Week: (5-4)
    • Memphis PK over NEW JERSEY
    • HOUSTON -6.5 over Cleveland
    • DENVER -9 over Lakers
    • Dallas +2 over SACRAMENTO
    I'm busting out a monster article rating all the national network talent tomorrow in case any of you were wondering if I was being lazy this week. The picks-- even though Jersey has been hot (5 in a row), I think Memphis should have little problem shutting down the offensively-challenged Nets and control the boards against one of the few teams that rebounds worse than they do. Expect this to be a neck-and-neck game with the Grizz pulling out a 4 or 5 point win. Tracy McGrady has fell into a shooting slump over the last few games, but I expect that to change tonight as LeBron James, who has been getting burned on the defensive end lately, will be forced into covering him with Newble giving up too much size. I expect Houston to roll tonight. Very seldom will I bet against Kobe Bryant, but tonight I think he's about to be hit very hard with reality. The Lakers just don't have it in them to challenge Denver for that final playoff spot out West and there's no doubting that the Nuggets will come out firing against a worn-down Lakers team. Keep in mind the Lakers have been on the road for almost two weeks and Denver, with the thin air, is no easy place to play when you're exhausted. Dallas played with a lot of fire last night in Oakland against the Warriors as they have all season long with Avery Johnson manning the sidelines. I expect that same intensity to carry into tonight in a game which should have a playoff atmosphere. Good luck tonight...

    Wednesday, March 23, 2005

    Down in front!


    Who's that bum sitting in the first row yelling at the refs? Oh snap! It's George Karl! Love the jersey-- not sure about the sweats. C'mon George, at least color coordinate!

    Wednesday's NBA Picks

    March 23, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANT'S PICKS:

    Last Night: (2-2), Week: (3-3)

    • Boston pk over NEW YORK
    • New Orleans +9.5 over MINNESOTA
    • PHILADELPHIA -2.5 over Detroit
    • GOLDEN STATE -3 over Dallas
    I'll be honest, I don't feel great with any of these games, but I'm going with them anyway. I finally get to watch the Celts, so I have to take them. I think they can take care of the Knicks as they have in their previous 3 meetings this year. BOS 104, NYK98. Minny can't beat anyone by more than 9 no matter who they're playing. MIN 97, NO 93. Detroit's offense flows through Rip Hamilton and with him out again tonight, they'll look a bit lost like they did last night in Cleveland. Philly seems to have it every other game, so tonights one where they should all be on the same page. PHI 98, DET 94. Finally, I'm going to continue to ride the Warriors as long as they stay hot. JRich should be back tonight and that means a game in the 100s. GS 112, DAL 108. GLTA

    YOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO PAUL

    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (2-2), Week: (3-3)

    • San Antonio -3.5 over INDIANA
    • Chicago +3.5 over TORONTO
    • New Orleans +9.5 over MINNESOTA

    At first though you would probably think the Pacers are still a quality basketball team that will hang on to a playoff spot in the East. Wrong. Indy is just 5-7 in its past 12 games, having played just 3 +.500 teams in that span and losing to each one of them handily (Cle, Den, Sea). Don't sleep on the Spurs because of a lackluster second half the other night at MSG-- they should bounce back with a respectable showing tonight. Chicago hasn't yet lost to Toronto in the Scott Skiles era and won't tonight either as the Raps continue their woes against top defensive teams. And the Wolves have won by double-digits just once in over a month, and only 3 times in all of 2005 (By 10, 11, and 17)--look for NO to cover this line .

    Tuesday, March 22, 2005

    Tuesday's NBA Picks

    March 22, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANTHONY'S PICKS

    Last Night: (1-1), Week: (1-1)

    • Detroit +2 over CLEVELAND
    • Lakers +1 over UTAH
    • NEW JERSEY-5 over Indiana
    • SACRAMENTO -9 over Portland

    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (1-1), Week: (1-1)

    • Detroit +2 over CLEVELAND
    • UTAH -1 over Lakers
    • Miami -1.5 over HOUSTON
    • SEATTLE -6.5 over Milwaukee

    Monday, March 21, 2005

    Eastern Conference Playoff Picture

    By Anthony Peretore

    Theme: Saved By the Bell

    What does Kelly Kapowski have to do with the NBA? Read and find out


    1. Miami Heat (52-16), 1st Southeast—Kelly Kapowski (Hottest)
    Saying these guys are the hottest team in the NBA is like saying Kelly was the hottest girl at Bayside High—yeah, no kidding. Winners of 12 straight and 19 out of their last 21, the Heat find themselves 8.5 games up on the second place Pistons for home court in the East. Also, Miami has overtaken the leagues’ best record honor from the Spurs and Suns. Look for the Heat to coast into the playoffs and possibly begin to decrease both Shaq and D-Wade’s PT to rest them for the stretch run.
    Next Five: Tue: @HOU, Fri: vs. PHX, Sat: @CHA, Tue: vs. TOR, Thu: @IND

    2. Detroit Pistons (42-23), 1st Central—Zach Morris (Champs)
    The Pistons got possibly their biggest win of the season on Sunday afternoon, but with a bit of a catch. SG Richard Hamilton went down in the third quarter of Detroit’s 110-101 victory over the Spurs with a left ankle injury. X-rays were taken and more information should be made public later on Monday. Aside from this bad news, the Pistons seem to be getting their act together at the right time. After dropping four of five earlier in the month, Detroit is currently on a four game high and have increased their lead in the Central to 7.5 games. PG Chauncey Billups has been a beast of late, averaging 25.5 PPG, 6.3 APG and 4.3 RPG over his last four. Also, SF Tayshaun Prince is quietly emerging as a top candidate for the Most Improved Player award. Not only did Prince drop a career-high 31 against the Hawks this week, but he’s also averaging 23.0 PPG and 6.5 RPG over his last four. Barring any disasters, the Pistons should have no problems holding off the Celtics for the two seed.
    Next Five: Tue: @CLE, Wed: @PHI, Fri: vs. IND, Sat: vs. BOS, Mon: vs. DAL


    As long as they're the champs, they rule the school


    3. Boston Celtics (38-29), 1st Atlantic—Stacey Karosi (Second Hottest)
    If the Heat are Kelly Kapowski, then the Celtics must be the Stacy Karosi of the NBA. Boston has won seven straight and are 11-1 since acquiring Antoine Walker from the Hawks. Despite their impressive win streak, most of the W’s came against weaker opponents until last Friday when they upended the Rockets (winners of five in a row) in Houston, a game that was never close. Boston, led by their three-headed monster of Walker, Paul Pierce and Ricky Davis, find themselves quickly running away with the Atlantic Division. If the Celts can sure up their shaky team defense by April, they should be able to advance past their first round opponent and set up a semifinal match up with the defending champs.
    Next Five: Wed: @NYK, Fri: vs. CHI, Sat: @DET, Wed: @DAL, Fri: @ATL

    4. Washington Wizards (36-28), 2nd SE—Lisa Turtle (Fashionable)
    Despite playing without Antawn Jamison for the majority of March, the Wiz have still managed to go 5-4 for the month. Led by PG Gilbert Arenas (25.4 PPG, 5.3 APG, 2.0 SPG) and SG Larry Hughes (21.9 PPG, 6.2 RPG, 5.0 APG, 2.8 SPG), Washington will participate in the playoffs for the first time since 1996-97, when they were known as the Bullets. Speaking of the Bullets, the sole reason they get the Lisa Turtle award is for their throwback burnt orange jerseys that they rock on occasion. I know I’ve mentioned this before, so if you haven’t seen them, take a look.
    Next Five: Tue: @DEN, Thu: @UTH, Fri: @LAC, Sun: @SEA, Mon: @POR

    Check out the burnt orange on Kwame, nice right?


    5. Cleveland Cavaliers (34-30), 2nd CEN—Screech Powers (Falling apart)
    On Monday morning the Cavs fired Head Coach Paul Silas siting the team’s need for a spark heading into their final month of the regular season. Cleveland seemed to have gotten their act together last week in winning three in a row from March 8-15. However, the team is currently on a three-game slide and couldn’t even manage a ‘W’ on Sunday with LeBron James (56) becoming the youngest player to ever score 50 points in a game. The Cavs have gone from one of the more intriguing teams heading into the playoffs, to one almost certain to get bounced in the first round. Possible candidates for a coaching replacement include: Flip Saunders and Eric Mussleman
    Next Five: Tue: vs. DET, Thu: @HOU, Sat: @DAL, Mon: @NOR, Tue: vs. LAC

    Only Screech Powers could make a bonehead move like firing Silas


    6. Chicago Bulls (33-31), 3rd CEN—Mr. Belding (Dorky but still in control)
    The primary concern for the Bulls right now is undoubtedly the health of starting center Eddy Curry. EC has missed the team’s last three games with a strained left hamstring, an injury that may keep him out a few more games. The Bulls hope he can return Monday night when they face the Hawks, but with Atlanta struggling badly, it would be wiser for them to hold him out at least one more game. Before their win on Saturday in Philadelphia, Chicago had dropped four in a row, evidence that this team may be hitting a youth wall. It will be interesting to see if this young squad can hold onto their playoff spot down the stretch. If they do indeed reach the postseason it would be their first trip there without MJ.
    Next Five: Mon: vs. ATL, Wed: @TOR, Fri: @BOS, Sat: vs. IND, Mon: vs. MEM

    Good 'ol Richie Belding

    7. Indiana Pacers (33-32), 4th CEN--Jeff (Dirt bags finish last)
    More good news for the Pacers: Jermaine O’Neal is done for the season. If this team doesn't tank the rest of their games, GM Larry Bird should get first ever Worst GM of the Year award. Say they held out Jamaal Tinsley and Stephen Jackson got a “back injury,” the Pacers could nab a top 10 pick in this summer’s draft. With the return of O’Neal and Artest next season, the Pacers could pull a San Antonio from 1998. To refresh your memory, the Spurs sat out David Robinson for the rest of the season to gain a shot at the number one overall pick that year, Tim Duncan. I forget if they got him though.
    Quick tie in with Jeff: remember when Zach caught him kissing another girl at that club when he was dating Kelly, then he ended up losing both of them? Well he reminds me a lot of Artest in that he lost his eligibility to play and his team missed the playoffs. If you don’t believe their missing the postseason, check out their upcoming schedule.
    Next Five: Tue: @NJ, Wed: vs. SA, Fri: @DEN, Sat: @CHI, Mon: @MIL

    8. Philadelphia 76ers (32-34), 2nd ATL—A.C. Slater (Great body, little else)
    I’m not really sure what to say about this team. They are a respectable 7-7 since acquiring Chris Webber, but just don’t seem close to getting all the pieces together for the playoffs. Coach Jim O’Brien has done arguably the worst job of any coach this season with all he’s had to work with. The Atlantic Division had been morbid before the sudden rise of the Celtics, yet Obie seemed to have kept his squad in neutral, perhaps afraid to push them too hard and risk injuries. Well, now with the surging Nets nipping at their heels, it’s almost too late to push this team, especially with Allen Iverson fracturing his thumb. Don’t be surprised if Philly finishes out of the playoffs or as high as 6. Your guess is as good as mine.
    Next Five: Wed: vs. DET, Fri: vs. TOR, Sun: @LAL, Mon: @SAC, Wed: @PHX

    9. Orlando Magic (32-34)—3rd SE--Leon Karosi (Sinking like a submarine)
    Don’t worry Magic fans, Chris Jent is here to save the day! WHO? Exactly. On Saturday morning, the Magic replaced Coach Johnny Davis with the former Ohio State Buckeye (think Jimmy Jackson) Jent, a relative no name in the league. Jent was also a member of the 1994 Houston Rockets Championship team and had only been a Magic assistant since the beginning of the year. With an unproven coach and Stevie Franchise out for two more games, it doesn’t appear as if the Magic are going to catch the Sixers or Pacers. However, the team did secure a ‘W’ in Portland on Saturday and it should be interesting to see how the team responds to Jent down the stretch.
    Next Five: Mon: @CHA, Thu: vs. CHA, Sat: vs. PHX, Mon: vs. ATL, Thu: vs. TOR

    Can Jent pimp-walk the Magic into the playoffs?


    10. New Jersey Nets (31-36)—3rd ATL--Deke (Imposing presence, little depth)
    Don’t look now, but the Nets have won four straight to climb within 1.5 games of the eighth and final playoff spot. With injured SF Richard Jefferson making a strong push to return for the playoffs, the Nets have immediately become one of the more intriguing teams in the NBA. There’s no telling what RJ, Jason Kidd and Vince Carter can do together, but too bad they’d likely face the Heat or Pistons if they do indeed sneak in. But, with 15 games remaining and their remaining opponents owning just a .480 winning percentage, it’s conceivable to presume the Nets could climb as high as the six seed. But, now we’re getting ahead of ourselves a bit.
    Next Five: Tue: vs. IND, Thu: vs. MEM, Sat: vs. MIN, Mon: @CHA, Wed: vs. LAC


    Western Conference coming later this week…

    Reminder: This site is now nbasource.com--no need for the blogspot anymore....

    Monday's NBA Picks

    March 21, 2005--The First Day of Spring

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANTHONY'S PICK

    Last Night: (1-1-1), Last Week: (14-5-1)
    • NEW YORK -1 over San Antonio
    • CLIPPERS -8.5 over Portland

    Great week, last week, that will never happen again. I like the Knicks to be fired up tonight and the Spurs to be pretty depleted. Losing Duncan for up to four weeks will no dobt hamper their spirits. NYK 96, SAS 90. The Clippers just got Shaun Livington back and I have some strange feeling they're gonna go on a bit of a run. LAC 105, POR 91. GLTA

    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (1-1-1), Last Week: (12-7-1)

    • CHARLOTTE +1 over Orlando
    • San Antonio +1 over NEW YORK

    Paul's with his girl tonight, and should be back to 100% tomorrow sometime.

    APPAULED


    New Cavaliers Owner Daniel Gilbert fired Paul Silas as head coach earlier today. I'm just going to be blunt because I'm mad as hell about this. Silas is as good a coach and guy there is in the league and a perfect mentor for LeBron James. And seriously, were the Cavaliers really underachieving?! They should be happy with just being in the playoff race. It's pricks like Gilbert that sometimes make me wonder why I love the NBA so much.

    Sunday, March 20, 2005

    Sunday's NBA Picks

    March 20, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANTHONY'S PICKS

    Last Night: (2-0), Week: (13-4)
    • Golden State +4 over SACRAMENTO
    • San Antonio +1 over DETROIT
    • LAKERS +2 over Seattle

    I'm gonna keep riding GS until they show some sort of letdown. This team is fired up and Sac just played an O.T game last night. GS 103, Sac 95. I'm taking the Spurs because this is a statement game. Detroit is an up and down team right now and it seems like the Spurs always seem to take care of these big games. SAS 93, DET 90. Finally, the Lakers have been a morbid team lately and I'm just taking them with my gut. LAL 102, SEA 99. GLTA

    PS-R.I.P UConn, who played an absolutely terrible game. I've never seen an entire team and coaching staff fall apart like they did today. Josh Boone and Rudy Gay are lottery picks? That's a joke right? Those guys are two of the most timid players in all of college basketball. Gay needs to drive to the rim and stop relying on his j which to tell you the truth, is pretty gross. Williams is still immature and all of a sudden thinks he's a scoring PG. This Connecticut program is in trouble for a while. Great news huh?

    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (NBA 1-1, NCAA 0-2), Week: (NBA 11-6, NCAA 5-6)

    Up later...

    Saturday, March 19, 2005

    Saturday's NBA Picks

    March 19, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    ANTHONY'S PICKS

    Last Night: (5-0), Week: (11-4)

    • Sacramento +2.5 over CLIPPERS
    • Utah +7.5 over WASHINGTON

    Nice night last night, that will never happen again. Celtics played another brilliant game last night in downing the Rockets and they should handle the Hornets tonight as well, but that game just scares me. Sactown lost to a good GS team the other night and they won't drop two in a row. SAC 104, LAC 97. This Utah game is just a gut feeling, nothing more. Washington's without Jamison and maybe Kwame again. Utah stinks but they have to show up at least once a week. WAS 95, UTH 91. GLTA

    PAUL'S PICKS

    Last Night: (NBA 2-3, NCAA 2-2), Week: (NBA 10-5, NCAA 5-4)

    • PORTLAND -1 over Orlando
    • Sacramento +2.5 over Clippers
    • Wake Forest -9 over West Virginia
    • Cincinnati +3 over Kentucky

    Hakim Warrick can thank us for the NBA Source Jinx. I actually had Duke in my other pool, but unfortunately I had Kansas in that one too-- so, basically I'm totally screwed. Whatever. Quickly-- Portland and Orlando are both in disarray, no Stevie Franchise so I'll grab the Blazers at home. Sac owns Clippers, have won 7 in a row and will make it 8. Wake is too athletic and talented for West Virginia to stay close for too long. And Cincy will continue the trend of mild upsets today as they take down the Wildcats...

    Friday, March 18, 2005

    Hakim the Next Dream


    Mid to late 1st round?! Hakim Warrick will begin his quest to prove that he's a bonafied lottery pick and future NBA stud tonight against Vermont . Also keep an eye on Louisville's Francisco Garcia and Juan Palacios who both have NBA-tailored games...

    Friday's Picks

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    What If? The 2005 NCAA Tournament

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    March 18, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    Anthony's Picks:

    Last Night: (Drunk), Week: (6-4)

    • Knicks -3 over ATLANTA
    • Philadelphia +7.5 over CLEVELAND
    • NEW JERSEY -6 over Utah
    • New Orleans +7.5 over CHICAGO
    • Boston +6.5 over HOUSTON

    Top 10 Things I hate right now:

    1) LSU and New Mexico for absolutely killing any chances I had of winning my office pool. Thanks for showing up guys.

    2) Jose Canseco.

    3) A-holes with cheesy mustaches in college basketball. What's the point?

    4) Drinking til 2 a.m then having a meeting at 8:30 with my boss and telling him I understand things when I'm not even sure I'm technically alive.

    5) New Mexico who's down 34-11 at the half. Paul and I could score 11 on 'Nova in a half.

    6) Old people driving. Once someone hits 75, that's it. I mean really, these people have absolutely no judgement and if they do it takes 3 minutes to kick in. When I'm going 80 on the highway I don't have 3 minutes to wait for Gertrude slamming on her breaks cuz she forgot to take her pill. DAMMIT!!!

    7) Beautiful girls driving alongside you that don't look over when you're practically spraining your neck to gawk at them. Just look over and smile, PLEASE!!!

    8) Crappy pizza places that offer like two larges for 10 bucks and me falling for it thinking the pie could actually be good. Shit I said pie, I'm officially getting old.

    9) Friends from college that wake up at 2 pm and get to do things that I can't do at work while I'm at work writing this crap pissed off.

    10) That it's 4:20 right now and I missed the entire UConn game even though I'm doing absolutely nothing. I mean if my boss had half a heart he would have let me go. Thanks buddy.

    I'm no gonna bother writing anymore.

    Paul's Picks:

    Last Night: (NBA 1-0, NCAA 3-2), Week: (NBA 8-2, NCAA 3-2)

    • MINNESOTA [16-19] +3 over Memphis [18-25]
    • MILWAUKEE [26-12-1] -4.5 over Washington [12-19-3
    • Clippers [18-21] +5.5 over DENVER [17-22]
    • Golden State [18-21-2] +11 over PHOENIX [21-23-2]
    • SEATTLE [22-16] -9 over Orlando [26-11-1]
    • Old Dominion +7.5 over Michigan St.
    • Stanford +2 over Mississippi St.
    • Southern Illinois -2.5 over St. Mary's
    • Northern Iowa +7 over Wisconsin

    That LSU pick hurt big last night, damn! Minnesota has looked better as of late, winning 5 of 8 with the 3 losses being against Miami, San Antone, and Dallas which are teams that essentially just overmatched them. A beat-up Memphis team that has been surviving off a cupcake schedule should be a game that the Wolves can handle. Washington isn't a very good road team and certainly isn't as good with only 2 of their 3 big-tymers out there (Jamison's out), so I'm sticking with the Bucks who seem to take care of business at home. The Clippers have been battling lately and I'm going with my gut on this one and taking them. Golden State by the way is my new favorite team, I'm not even kidding. An article is coming on my Warriors, so I won't delve into the topic too much right here. They match up very well with the Suns and should be able to cover an 11-point spread. I've noticed a trend in teams coming right off of coaching changes (see Memphis, Lakers, Blazers, Nuggets with Cooper) and struggling immensely, so it might be wise to bet against the Magic for a little while.

    I picked ODU to clip Michigan St. in every pool, so obviously I'd bank on them to cover a +7.5 spread. I'd also take Stanford to beat Mississippi St-- a tale of two teams have contrasting season: Miss. St who underachieved, Stanford who overachieved. I always like the overachievers who are playing with far less pressure on them- plus the SEC has been exposed big time. I screwed up on LSU, so I'm hoping Southern Illinois can carry the load for my sleeper picks. And even though I'm not big on Northern Iowa, I think they can cover a 7 point spread against a crappy road team that plays as slow as Wisconsin.



    Thursday, March 17, 2005

    2005 NCAA Tourney: Studs, Duds and Picks

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    What If? The 2005 NCAA Tournament

    Mafia in the NBA?

    The NBA Lookalike List

    My boy Dee Brown

    I’ve been pondering this same question for a few days now: even though this is a NBA site, would anyone really mind if I wrote a NCAA Preview? I mean, out of all the NBA fans how many willingly ignore the tournament and focus solely on the pros, 1%? Well, to satisfy both sets of readers, I decided to focus on a handful of players in this year’s Tournament and give you a better perspective on who should (and should not) be continuing his success onto the next level. I have also provided my picks at the end of the article, if you care to take a peak. Good luck.

    CHICAGO REGION

    STUDS:

    1. Dee Brown (Jr.) 6-0 SG (Illinois): Despite being an undersized ‘2-guard,’ you just get that sense that he’s going to be a winner at the pro level. Once transformed into a point guard in the NBA, look for Brown to emerge as one of the more solid pass-first leaders in the league.

    2. Brandon Bass (So.) 6-8 F (LSU): Not only did he nab SEC Player of the Year in just his second season, but like Emeka Okafor a year ago, received scholar of the year honors as well. This rare combination of brains and athletic ability make him my favorite for NCAA Player of the Year next season (no chance he stays).

    3. Deron Williams (Jr.) 6-5 PG (Illinois): Williams reminds me a lot of a Jeff McInnis/Kirk Hinrich type player. He has as fluid a mid-range jumper as anyone at the college level and if he can bring that to the pros as well as his tremendous passing skills, we’re looking at a starting combo guard for years to come.

    4. Daniel Gibson (Fr.) 6-2 PG (Texas): So what’s the difference between Chris Paul last season and Gibson this year? Not much. Gibson led the Longhorns in PPG and APG in his freshman campaign, and may just be the most heralded frosh in the nation. If Rick Barnes’ squad doesn’t improve on their 8 seed next season, look for Gibson to make the early leap.

    Honorable Mention: Jared Dudley 6-7 F (B.C), Nick Fazekas 6-11 C (Nevada)


    DUDS:

    1. Salim Stoudamire (Sr.) 6-1 SG (Arizona): Sorry to burst everyone’s bubble over perhaps the best shooter in the game, but he’s just too small. Now, if he makes the transition to point guard, perhaps we will see the second coming of his cousin (Damon). For now however, all we have is an undersized shooter about to be d’ed up by much taller and gifted defenders. Remember, he plays in the Pac-10 and no All-Star has come from that conference in years (Arenas?)

    He may be lights out now, but just wait...



    2. John Lucas (Sr.) 5-11 PG (Oklahoma State): Too small, too skinny for the pros. He's a shoot first PG with a pretty nice assist-to-turnover ratio, but I just don't see him being any good in the pros. Call it Bobby Hurley syndrome, but Lucas is only going to be good in college. Unless however, some moron of a GM gives John Lucas Sr. another NBA coaching job. Maybe Mike Dunleavy can hire him as an assistant and both coaches could have their sons on the team. It'd be like Little League all over again.

    CHICAGO PICKS:

    First Round Winners:
    Ant’s Picks: Illinois, Nevada, Alabama, Boston College, LSU, Arizona, Southern Illinois, Oklahoma St.

    Paul’s Picks: Illinois, Nevada, Alabama, Boston College, LSU, Utah State, Southern Illinois, Oklahoma State

    Second Round Winners:
    Ant: Illinois, Boston College, LSU, Oklahoma State
    Paul: Illinois, Alabama, LSU, Oklahoma State

    Sweet Sixteen Winners:
    Ant: Illinois, Oklahoma State
    Paul: Illinois, Oklahoma State

    Regional Champion:
    Ant: Illinois
    Paul: Illinois


    ALBUQUERQUE REGION
    STUDS:

    1. Chris Paul (So.) 6-0 PG (Wake Forest)
    Flat out the best prospect in the entire country. I watched him from two rows back in the Sweet Sixteen last year and he blew my mind even as a freshman. There are certain players you watch where you just know. Maybe he doesn’t light up the boxscore every single night, but leading his team to only 5 losses (he was suspended for one) playing an ACC schedule has to tell you something.


    You can be sure the only genitals he'll be touching from now on are his own

    2. Eric Williams (Jr.) 6-9 PF (Wake Forest)
    Besides being a beast down low, Williams has an extremely high basketball I.Q., something that’s going to carry him into the lottery next summer. I don’t think Skip Prosser has pushed him enough to turn him into an All-American caliber player, but that’s just because of the abdundance of talent on this Wake team. E-Will has the potential to be 17 and 9 guy at the next level, but a lot depends on how hard he works this summer in preparing for his senior campaign.

    3. Francisco Garcia (Jr.) 6-7 SF (Louisville)
    Putting Garcia up here may surprise you, but the kid has tremendous athletic ability and is learning from one of the best in Pitino. Look how many pros Pitino has turned out from Kentucky. He won't fall short with Garcia either, arguably his best player since taking over at Louisville. I see Garcia in the Larry Hughes mold, with his long, spidery build and tremendous athletic ability. Some NBA team is going to get a stud in the middle of the draft this summer.

    4. Chris Taft (Jr.) 6-10 F (Pittsburgh)
    Now this kid is still a big IF in my book, but there’s no denying the raw talent that’s there. I can easily see him falling into the Darius Miles mold (maybe because he looks like him) and slacking off his whole career. His potential to be a special player depends on two things: 1) which team drafts him, and 2) how long he stays at Pitt. If he gets taken by a coach who’s not going to ride him hard in his first few seasons or he leaves early (say, this summer), his career might be over before it starts. He should stay in the program and be the go-to-guy for his final two years then be a top 5 pick in 2007. The odds of this happening are even to 50 Cent and Fat Joe becoming boys.

    Honorable Mention: Chevon Troutman (Sr.) 6-10 PF (Pittsburgh), Ronny Turiaf (Sr.) 6-10 PF (Gonzaga)

    DUDS:

    1. Carl Krauser (Jr.) 6-2 PG (Pittsburgh)
    He simply cannot take care of the basketball, evidenced in his 4.1 turnovers per game. This is acceptable for a frosh PG, but c’mon, this guy’s a junior. Krauser has had a great supporting cast the last two seasons and both teams have turned out to be a disappointment. Either we can put the blame on Coach Jamie Dixon or on their floor leader, Krauser. I choose the latter.

    2. Ronald Ross (Sr.) 6-2 SG (Texas Tech)
    I’m putting Ross here simply based on the fact that Andre Emmett is doing nothing in the pros and he was every bit the offensive player Ross is, and an excellent defender as well. Bobby Knight doesn’t have the luxury to breed along NBA stars like he did once upon a time at Indiana. With Texas Tech he must preach team basketball and unfortunately for Ross that equates to a roster spot on a NBDL squad next season.


    ALBUQUERQUE PICKS:

    First Round Winners:
    Ant: Washington, Pacific, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Texas Tech, Gonzaga, Creighton, Wake Forest

    Paul: Washington, Pittsburgh, Georgia Tech, Louisville, Texas Tech, Gonzaga, West Virginia, Wake Forest

    Second Round Winners:
    Ant: Pacific, Georgia Tech, Gonzaga, Wake Forest
    Paul: Pittsburgh, Louisville, Gonzaga, Wake Forest

    Sweet Sixteen Winners:
    Ant: Georgia Tech, Wake Forest
    Paul: Louisville, Wake Forest

    Regional Champion:
    Ant: Wake Forest
    Paul: Louisville


    SYRACUSE REGION
    STUDS:

    1. Sean May (Jr.) 6-9 PF (North Carolina)
    May’s already regarded as the best rebounder in college basketball today and his scoring touch down low is following right in stride. May hopes to follow in the footsteps of his father and make the strong leap to the next level. The one thing I admire about this kid is that he’s gotten remarkably better each year despite his heavy struggles at the beginning of his career. That will to improve is sometimes half the battle with these kids. If his knack for scoring keeps improving there’s no telling how good May can be.

    2. Marcus Williams (So.) 6-3 PG (Connecticut)
    This is the one player I’ve had a close eye on all season. Keep in mind I’ve maybe missed three UConn games all season and Williams has been the main subject of my viewing probably 70% of the time. At the beginning of the year he was as immature a point guard as I’ve seen at Connecticut. He tried to make the flashy pass every trip up the court and wow the crowd as often as he could. After he missed a wide-open layup in the last seconds to tie the score in South Bend, Williams has never been the same player. Instead of regressing from that low-point, Williams took control of the team and became one of the best floor general in the conference. He still makes the dazzling passes, but now they come with about half the turnovers. Also, he’s developed a beautiful mid-range jumper that tends to drop more and more each week. Keep an eye on Williams during this tourney because he will make or break Connecticut’s chances.

    Can Maaaacus lead the Huskies to back-to-back titles?



    3. Wayne Simien (Sr.) 6-9 PF (Kansas)
    His size and post moves make him one of toughest (if not the toughest) big men in all of college hoops. I’ve only seen Simien once or twice this season, and both times he was double and triple-teamed showing the type of post presence he provides the Jayhawks every night. With Nick Collison struggling at the next level, I still have my doubts about him, but there’s no denying how good Kansas has been the past two seasons, and to that we must credit their best player.

    4. Raymond Felton (Jr.) 6-1 PG (North Carolina)
    Is there anything this kid can’t do besides shoot free throws? Leading this talented UNC squad is no small task, especially under Roy Williams. But, Felton has been on top of his game all season, an experience that has no doubt prepared him for life at the pro level. Garnering this experience at such a renowned university should transform him into an excellent floor leader. These pass-first guys are hard to find these days, but when then come around, NBA teams gobble them up quickly.

    Honorable Mention: Danny Granger (Sr.) 6-8 PF (New Mexico), Marvin Williams (Fr.) 6-9 PF (UNC) and Rudy Gay (Fr.) 6-9 F (Connecticut)—Haven’t seen enough of them to evaluate fairly. Also, Rashad McCants (Jr.) 6-4 SG (UNC)—not quite sold on him yet, perhaps after the tournament I will be. The talent in this region is ridiculous.


    DUDS:

    1. Julius Hodge (Sr.) 6-7 GF (N.C. State)
    Last year we talked about how Hodge was too skinny. And now, I actually think he lost weight this summer. Didn’t N.C. State think to hire a personal trainer for this kid? Did they want to contend at all in the ACC? 10 seeds are cool.

    2. Charlie Villanueva (So.) 6-9 PF (Connecticut)
    Charlie is a kid that doesn’t quite get it—yet. He doesn’t understand how to take over a game or that his team needs him to be the post presence Emeka Okafor was. He doesn’t understand that the way he took the team on his back in Syracuse in January is way he should have been playing all season. Denham Brown, Josh Boone and Rudy Gay certainly aren’t stepping up as leaders, so why isn’t Villanueva? Maybe Jim Calhoun is milking Charlie along still so that he stays another year, making UConn the hands down favorite for preseason #1 in 2005-06? That’s really the only theory that makes sense.


    SYRACUSE PICKS:

    First Round Winners:

    Ant: North Carolina, Iowa State, New Mexico, Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, N.C. State, Connecticut

    Paul: North Carolina, Iowa State, Villanova (Alma matter), Florida, Wisconsin, Kansas, N.C. State, Connecticut

    Second Round Winners:
    Ant: North Carolina, New Mexico, Kansas, Connecticut
    Paul: North Carolina, Villanova, Kansas, Connecticut

    Sweet Sixteen Winners:
    Ant: North Carolina, Connecticut
    Paul: North Carolina, Kansas

    Regional Champion:
    Ant: North Carolina
    Paul: North Carolina



    AUSTIN REGION
    STUDS:

    1. Hakim Warrick (Sr.) 6-8 F (Syracuse)
    I give Warrick a lot of credit for staying all four years at the ‘Cuse. He already won a national title and probably could have been a first round pick last season, yet elected to stay and now the Orangemen have a legitimate chance at the Final Four bid. Warrick has that natural ability to take over a game and doesn’t shy away one bit. The difference in their game against Connecticut last week is that Warrick came out aggressive and Villanueva and Boone for UConn (as usual) did not. His spidery frame could use some bulking up, but his raw talent and athleticism are no doubt going to make him a lethal player at the next level. Is often compared to Shawn Marion.

    2. J.J. Redick (Jr.) 6-4 SG (Duke)
    My ass he’s 6-4, but hey, that’s how he’s listed. I think he’s really about 6-2, but if Ben Gordon can make it a 6-1, so can Redick. Saying the kid has range is an understatement. Even the gawd awful shots he hoists up from time-to-time only miss be a few centimeters. If you haven’t seen him play, understand this: in a conference with Chris Paul, Sean May, Rashad McCants, Raymond Felton, Jarrett Jack, B.J. Elder, Julis Hodge, and Sheldon Williams, among others, it was Redick who nabbed Player of the Year honors, not any of them. Which leads me to the question, how many times do you think the phrase “Damn, that white boy can shoot” was used in reference to J.J. this season? 4, 5 billion?

    3. Sheldon Williams (Jr.) 6-9 PF (Duke)
    Williams is an absolute monster, someone that is not going to take crap from any guy down low. These type of guys consistently make good pros: Brad Miller, Kurt Thomas, Ben Wallace, Kenyon Martin, DeSagana Diop (just kidding). He plays like a warrior night in and night out and after his final season at Cameron Indoor next year, he will make some NBA team a lot better.

    4. Taylor Coppenrath (Sr.) 6-9 PF (Vermont)
    It’s easy to proclaim that a big white guy from UVM isn’t going anywhere in the NBA, but have you seen him play? Not only is he a beast down low but his Birdesque jumper makes him perhaps the most versatile big man in college basketball. If Chris “Kamannnnnnnn dude” can start in the NBA, so can Coppenrath. Plus I like his name, Coppenrath. Imagine the Knicks drafted him? I can see the back of the New York Post now: “Feel Taylor’s Rath.”


    May look doofy, but sure doesn't play that way


    DUDS:

    1. Andrew Bogut (So.) 7-0 C (Utah)
    He reminds me a lot of Coppenrath (or vice versa) but something just tells me this kid is going to be a big time dud. No one knew anything about him and now that they do, expect the Utes to be bounced out on Thursday. However, ESPN.com called him the most skilled big man in the country along with like 7 other players. That’s the problem with ESPN.com. They assign these team overviews to like 20 different guys and they all end up saying the same thing about several different players. But I digress…

    2. Daniel Ewing (Sr.) 6-3 G (Duke)
    This is more my biased opinion than anything. I just don’t like Ewing and his style of play. He’s a two-guard forced to play the ‘1’ and has adjusted for the most part. But these types of players just don’t make it that often in the NBA. Plus he doesn’t do one thing particularly well either. He’s an okay passer, dribbler and shooter, which translates to an okay NBDL player. Sorry Danny boy.

    3. Gerry McNamara (Jr.)
    A gunner who’s an under-skilled passer, sure, he’ll be a good pro. Plus he’s got that line beard that make me wonder if there is a single mirror on the Syracuse campus. I would have probably left him off this list if he spelled his named Jerry.


    AUSTIN PICKS:

    First Round Winners:
    Ant: Duke, Stanford, Old Dominion, Syracuse, UTEP, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Kentucky

    Paul: Duke, Stanford, Old Dominion, Syracuse, UTEP, Oklahoma, Cincinnati, Kentucky

    Second Round Winners:
    Ant: Duke, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Cincinnati
    Paul: Duke, Syracuse, Oklahoma, Kentucky

    Sweet Sixteen Winners:
    Ant: Syracuse, Oklahoma
    Paul: Syracuse, Oklahoma

    Regional Champion:
    Ant: Syracuse
    Paul: Syracuse


    Ant’s National Title Game:
    North Carolina 78, Illinois 73.

    I said I wouldn’t go with every one else with this pick, but these are by far the most polished teams in the country. I know what they say about Roy Williams, but if he’s ever going to win a national championship it’s this season. His players realize this too and I think Felton and McCants will do a good enough job on Brown and Williams for Carolina to squeak this one out. Don’t be overly surprised if UConn slips by UNC however.

    Possible Cinderellas: UTEP, Northern Iowa, Utah State


    Paul’s National Title Game:
    North Carolina 77, Illinois 73.

    Carolina is the most talented team in the field, but I’m not even sure if they can win 6 games in a row, but I guess they are the safest pick. Actually, I kind of have a gut feeling Duke can be here, but I wussed out of taking three #1 seeds in the Final Four. This decision is like choosing between going out with the guys or a smoking hot chick. What would you do?

    Possible Cinderellas: New Mexico, Southern Illinois


    Check out Paul's "What If" piece below...Enjoy the Tourney and St. Patty's Day

    Thursday's Picks

    March 17, 2005

    Home Team in CAPS

    Anthony's Picks:

    Last Night: (3-2), Week: (6-4)

    Be wary- Ant will probably be sloshed by the time he puts his picks up.

    Paul's Picks:

    Last Night: (3-0), Week: (7-2)
    • GOLDEN STATE [17-21-2] -2 over Sacramento [17-17-2]
    • West Virginia -1 over Creighton
    • Nevada +1.5 over Texas
    • LSU -3.5 over UAB
    • Utah St. +5.5 over Arizona
    • Winthrop +14 over Gonzaga

    Sorry if you don't like the green font- just thought I'd do something lame to commemerate St. Patty's Day since I can't celebrate the approriate way (I'd kill for a pint of Guinness right now). That GS/Sac line is a bit misleading-- GS had been on the road for awhile up until last game in which they played a red-hot Houston team very tough. Linesmakers are banking that betters will forget this and assume the team is struggling. I'd go with GS on this one.

    I'm also going to try my luck with some tourney games. West Virginia if you'll remember got off to a hot start this season after feasting on mid-majors, then stumbled during the first half of the Big East season due to their lack of talent, and pulled together late in the season thanks to some sharpshooting and a very underrated coach John Beilen. I think they pull this one out over the Blue Jays of Creighton. Texas is without 2 starters and has a freshman point guard-- I can't remember the last time a team who's best player was a frosh PG did anything in the tourney-- take tourney-tested Nevada. LSU is a team to keep an eye on-- they played great in the second half of the season, have a star in Brandon Bass, and aren't getting as many points as they should because a lot of people are taking UAB based on last season's run. I can see them making a deep run--possibly as far as the Elite 8. That Utah St./'Zona line is shocking-- Utah St. only got in because they won their conference tourney and Zona is the kind of team that can drop 90 against anyone. The line suggests that the Aggies will control the tempo and given that everyone is taking Arizona, I'm going to stick with Vegas and take Utah St. Hell, I have them winning anyways. And Winthrop is a very underrated team who supposedly is athletic enough to run with Gonzaga in what should be an entertaining game. Once again everyone is banking on the Zags, so I'm siding with Vegas once again. Good luck tonight...

    Wednesday, March 16, 2005

    What if? The 2005 NCAA Tournament


    What if Ben Gordon was still at UConn and lighting up opposing teams?

    #$%@&*@*&!!! Are you SERIOUS?! I was 75% done with this piece when Anthony called me and told me he just caught wind of the new Sports Illustrated which hits newsstands tomorrow. The Cover: LeBron James with an Ohio St. headband, "What if LeBron had gone to college...and Amare Stoudemire and Tony Parker too?" Oh, man. I decided I'm not going to scrap this piece, nor am I going to adjust it to match SI's. There were 4 significant differences we had: I chose not to include foreign players, thus no Tony Parker. I think it's bullshit that SI did because if they were going to bring him in, then it's a foregone conclusion that many other Euros would have ended up at universities as well. I also left out Christian Drejer (Florida) and Erazem Lorbeck (Michigan St.) because each of them withdrew from their respective universities before actually throwing their names in the draft. And I had Dwight Howard going to Georgia Tech, not North Carolina. I did a ton of research on this and the best info I could find had Howard listing Ga Tech as his top choice during his junior season. UNC was mentioned, but truth betold, Howard never even began the recruiting process. I'm almost positive SI placed Howard at UNC because Roy Williams made a visit to Howard's house during his junior season that became public news at the time. But during that meeting, Howard supposedly showed Williams a letter he wrote to himself when he was 15 saying that he dreamed his entire life of playing in the NBA and that essentially ended the college recruitment of Dwight Howard. SI also left out DeAngelo Collins, didn't put NC State in the tourney even though they would have had another scorer to complement Julius Hodge in Josh Powell, and surprisingly didn't seem to think St. Joseph's with Delonte West and Colorado with David Harrison would be good enough to qualify for the field of 64. Well anyways, I'm dropping this article on you-- I don't care. The formatting sucks and looks nothing like the way I'd prefer to have it, but Blogger sucks so there's nothing I can do about it. I apologize for not coming out with something "original", but I promise you I was convinced a few days ago that I had quite a brainchild to bring to you guys. Nevertheless, enjoy...

    NBA Players/Wannabees Back in College:
    Alabama- Maurice Williams Sr.
    Arizona- Ndudi Ebi So., Andre Iguodala Jr.
    Arkansas- Al Jefferson Fr.
    Baylor- Harvey Thomas Sr.
    California- Jamal Sampson Sr.
    Colorado- David Harrison, Sr.
    DePaul- Eddy Curry Sr., Dorrell Wright Fr.
    Duke- Luol Deng So., Shaun Livingston Fr.
    Florida- Kwame Brown Sr.
    Georgia Tech- Chris Bosh Jr., Dwight Howard Fr.
    Indiana- Josh Smith Fr.
    Louisville- Ousmane Cisse Sr., James Lang So., Sebastian Telfair Fr., Donta Smith Jr.
    Memphis- Amare Stoudemire Jr., Dajuan Wagner Sr., Kendrick Perkins So.
    Minnesota- Rick Rickert Sr., Kris Humphries So.
    Mississippi St.- Travis Outlaw So.
    NC State- Josh Powell Sr.
    Nevada- Kirk Snyder Sr.
    North Carolina- J.R. Smith Fr.
    Ohio St.- LeBron James So.
    Stanford- Josh Childress Sr.
    St. John's- Lenny Cooke Jr.
    St. Joseph's- Delonte West Sr.
    Syracuse- Carmelo Anthony Jr.
    Tennessee- Jackie Butler Fr.
    Texas- T.J. Ford Sr.
    UCLA- Tyson Chandler Sr., DeAngelo Collins Jr., Trevor Ariza So.
    UConn- Ben Gordon, Sr., Emeka Okafor Sr.
    USC- Robert Swift Fr.
    Virginia- DeSagana Diop Sr.
    Wisconsin- Devin Harris, Sr.


    3-time All-American T.J. Ford led Texas to the Big 12 Title despite dealing with a flurry of injuries to key players.

    The All-Americans:
    1st Team: Amare Stoudemire, LeBron James, Carmelo Anthony, Emeka Okafor, T.J. Ford
    2nd Team: Chris Bosh, Ben Gordon, Tyson Chandler, Eddy Curry, J.J. Reddick
    3rd Team: Devin Harris, Maurice Williams, Andre Iguodala, Wayne Simien, Kwame Brown
    Freshman of the Year: Shaun Livingston
    Player of the Year: LeBron James


    ACC Player of the Year Chris Bosh leads Georgia Tech into the Tournament as a #1 seed.

    # 1's:
    Duke- Fr. PG, *Shaun Livingston; So. SF, *Luol Deng; Jr. G J.J. Reddick; Jr. PF Shelden Williams; Sr. G Daniel Ewing; Jr. PF Shavlik Randolph
    UConn- Sr. C, *Emeka Okafor; Sr. SG, *Ben Gordon; So. PF, Josh Boone; So. PG Marcus Williams; Jr. SF, Rashad Anderson; So. F, Charlie Villanueva; Fr. F Rudy Gay; Jr. F Denham Brown
    Georgia Tech- Jr. C *Chris Bosh, Fr. PF *Dwight Howard; Jr. PG Jarrett Jack; Sr. SF B.J. Elder, Sr. SG Will Bynum; Sr. C Luke Schenscher, Sr. F Isma’il Muhammed
    Memphis- Jr. PF *Amare Stoudemire; Sr. G *Dajuan Wagner; So. C *Kendrick Perkins; Jr. SF Rodney Carney; So. F Sean Banks; Fr. G Darius Washington; Sr. G Anthony Rice; Jr. G Jeremy Hunt; Sr. PF Duane Erwin
    # 2's:
    Ohio St.- So. G/F *LeBron James; Jr. C Terence Dials; Sr. G Tony Stockman; Jr. SF J.J. Sullinger; Jr. SF Matt Sylvester; Jr. G Je'Kel Foster
    Syracuse: Jr. F *Carmelo Anthony; Sr. PF Hakim Warrick; Jr. PG Gerry McNamara; Sr. G Josh Pace; So. F Terrence Roberts; Sr. C Craig Forth; So. G Louie McCroskey
    North Carolina: Jr. PG Raymond Felton; Jr. C Sean May, Jr. SG Rashad McCants; Sr. F Jawad Williams; Fr. F Marvin Williams; Fr. G *J.R. Smith; Sr. G Jackie Manuel
    Louisville: Jr. F Francisco Garcia; Fr. PG *Sebastian Telfair; Sr. SF Larry O’Bannon; Sr. PF *Ousmane Cisse; So. C *James Lang; Jr. F *Donta Smith; Jr. SG Taquan Dean
    # 3's:
    Illinois: Jr. G Dee Brown; Jr. PG Deron Williams; Sr. G Luther Head; Sr. F Roger Powell; Jr. C James Augustine
    Arizona: Jr. SF *Andre Iguodala, Sr. G Salim Stoudamire; So. F *Ndudi Ebi; Sr. C Channing Frye; Jr. SG Hassan Adams; So. PG Mustafa Shakur; So. PF Ivan Radenovich
    Florida: Sr. C *Kwame Brown; Jr. PG Anthony Roberson; Jr. F Matt Walsh; Sr. PF David Lee; Fr. F Corey Brewer; Fr. C Al Horford
    UCLA: Sr. C *Tyson Chandler, So. F *Trevor Ariza, Jr. PF *DeAngelo Collins, Sr. F Dijon Thompson, Fr. PG Jordan Farmar; Fr. G Arron Affalo; Fr. F Josh Shipp
    # 4's:
    Texas: Sr. PG *T.J. Ford, Fr. G Daniel Gibson, Jr. F Brad Buckman; Sr. C Jason Klotz; Sr. G Kenny Taylor No P.J. Tucker or Lamarcus Aldridge
    Wake Forest: So. PG Chris Paul, Jr. SG Justin Gray, Jr. C Eric Williams, Sr. G Taron Downey, Sr. PF Jamaal Levy; Sr. F Vytas Danelius
    Alabama: Sr. PG *Maurice Williams, Jr. SF Kennedy Winston; Sr. SG Earnest Shelton; Jr. PF Chuck Davis; So. C Jemareo Davidson
    Washington- Jr. G, Nate Robinson; Sr. G Tre Simmons; Jr. SF Brandon Roy; Jr. F Bobby Jones; Sr. G Will Conroy
    # 5's:
    Wisconsin: Sr. PG *Devin Harris; So. F Alando Tucker; Sr. PF Mike Wilkinson; So. G Kammron Taylor; Sr. F Zach Morley; Sr. G Sharif Chambliss;
    Oklahoma St.: Sr. F Joey Graham; Sr. PG John Lucas; Sr. F Ivan McFarlin; Fr. G JamesOn Curry; Sr. SF Daniel Bobik; Sr. F Stephen Graham
    Kentucky: Jr. SF Kelenna Azubuike; Jr. G Patrick Sparks; Sr. F Chuck Hayes; Fr. C Randolph Morris; Fr. G Rajon Rondo
    Kansas- Sr. PF Wayne Simien; Sr. G Keith Langford; Sr. PG Aaron Miles; So. SG J.R. Giddens; Jr. F Christian Moody; Sr. G Michael Lee
    # 6's:
    Stanford: Sr. SF *Josh Childress; Jr. SG Dan Grunfeld; Jr. PG Chris Hernandez; Jr. PF Matt Haryasz; Sr. C Rob Little; Sr. F Nick Robinson
    Minnesota: So. PF *Kris Humphries; Sr. C *Rick Rickert; Jr. SF Vincent Grier; Sr. C Jeff Hagen; Fr. F Dan Coleman; Sr. PG Aaron Robinson
    DePaul: Sr. C *Eddy Curry; Fr. F *Dorrell Wright; Sr. PF Quemont Greer; Sr. G Drake Deiner; So. G Sammy Mejia; Sr. G LeVar Seals; Jr. PF Marlon Brumfield
    Oklahoma: Jr. PF Taj Gray; Jr. G Terrell Everett; Jr. F Kevin Bookout; So. PG Drew Lavender; So. G Lawrence McKenzie
    # 7's:
    Gonzaga: So. SF Adam Morrison; Sr. PF Ronny Turiaf; So. PG Derek Raivio; Jr. C J.P. Batista; Jr. G Erroll Knight
    Boston College: Jr. PF Craig Smith; So. SF Jared Dudley; So. SG Sean Marshall; Sr. G Jermaine Watson; Jr. PG Louis Hinnant; Sr. C Nate Doornekamp
    Nevada: Sr. SF *Kirk Snyder; So. PF Nick Fazekas; Sr. C Kevinn Pinkey; Fr. F Mo Charlo; Fr. PG Ramon Sessions
    Villanova: Jr. G Allan Ray; Jr. G Randy Foye; Jr. F Curtis Sumpter; So. PG Mike Nardi; Jr. C Jason Fraser; Fr. G Kyle Lowry; So. PF Will Sheridan
    # 8's:
    Mississippi St.: So. F *Travis Outlaw; Sr. PF Lawrence Roberts; Sr. SG Winsome Frazier; Sr. SF Shane Power; So. PG Gary Ervin
    NC State: Sr. G Julius Hodge; Sr. F *Josh Powell; Jr. F Ilian Evtimov; So. G Engin Atsur; Jr. G Cameron Bennerman; Jr. G Tony Bethel
    St. Joseph's: Sr. SG *Delonte West; Sr. SF Pat Carroll; Jr. G Chet Stachitas; Jr. C Dwyane Jones; Jr. PG Dwyane Lee; Fr. PF Robert Ferguson
    Michigan St.: Sr. SF Alan Anderson; Jr. SG Maurice Ager; Jr. C Paul Davis; So. SG Shannon Brown; Sr. PG Chris Hill; Sr. G Kelvin Torbert


    Round of 32

    Chicago
    1) Memphis 84-73
    8) Miss. St.

    5) Wisconsin 66-63
    4) Wake Forest

    6) Stanford
    3) Florida 74-70

    7) Gonzaga
    2) Syracuse 78-71

    Albuquerque
    1) Duke 84-66
    8) St. Joe's

    5) Kentucky
    4) Texas 71-68

    6) Minnesota
    3) Arizona 83-81

    7) Nevada
    2) Louisville 92-80

    Syracuse
    1) UConn 80-70
    8) NC State

    5) Kansas 83-77
    4) Washington

    6) Oklahoma
    3) Illinois 65-64

    7) BC
    2) UNC 85-66

    Austin
    1) Ga. Tech 74-54
    8) Mich. St.

    5) Okla St. 66-60
    4) Alabama

    6) DePaul
    3) UCLA 79-78

    7) Villanova
    2) Ohio St. 76-68



    Devin Harris was too much for Chris Paul and Wake Forest as the Wisconsin Badgers advanced to the Sweet 16 with a 66-63 victory

    Round of 32 Notes-

    No major upsets in this round-- remember, I'm not filling out a tourney pool here but rather trying to pick the better team with respect to the matchup. Wisconsin, led by 2-time Big 10 Player of the Year Devin Harris, matched up very well with Wake Forest and applied their tenacious D to throw the Deacons off their hi-octane approach. Stanford gave Florida a tough game, but was held off late thanks to the powerful frontcourt combo of Kwame Brown and David Lee. Texas, despite being without starters P.J. Tucker and LaMarcus Aldridge, rode T.J. Ford to victory in a win against overrated Kentucky. Arizona rallied behind the 2nd half sharpshooting of Salim Stoudamire to overcome a 15-point halftime deficit in taking down the Gophers of Minnesota. Kansas jumped off to a hot start against Washington and never looked back in an 83-77 victory over the Huskies. Illinois and Oklahoma battled in the most closely contested game of the round, with 19 lead changes and 10 ties, before Dee Brown stole a Drew Lavender pass with 3 seconds to go to seal an Illini triumph. Oklahoma St. point guard John Lucas put the lock-down on Alabama All-American Mo Williams as the Sooners defeated the Crimson Tide in Austin. And UCLA's Tyson Chandler tipped in a Dijon Thompson miss as time expired to send the Bruins into the Sweet 16 in beating the DePaul Blue Demons 79-78.

    Sweet 16

    Chicago
    1) Memphis 79-66
    5) Wisconsin

    3) Florida
    2) Syracuse 74-70

    Albuquerque
    1) Duke 81-72
    4) Texas

    3) Arizona 90-83
    2) Louisville

    Syracuse
    1) UConn 77-70
    5) Kansas

    3) Illinois 75-73
    2) UNC

    Austin
    1) Ga. Tech 68-62
    5) Okla. St.

    3) UCLA
    2) Ohio St. 76-70



    Andre Iguodala and the Arizona Wildcats raced to a 90-83 win over the Louisville Cardinals.

    Sweet 16 Notes-

    Memphis, lead by Amare Stoudemire's 25 points and 12 rebounds, proved to just be too athletic for Wisconsin in handily defeating the Badgers 79-66. They will meet Syracuse in the Regional Final after Carmelo Anthony once again provided the heroics for Boeheim's bunch, scoring the Orange's final 12 points in lifting his team to a 74-70 victory over Florida. Duke had little problem disposing of depth-ridden Texas 81-72 once Brad Buckman and Jason Klotz got into foul trouble early. The Dukies will take on Arizona after the Wildcats outran the Louisville Cardinals en route to a 90-83 win. UConn continued to look like the team to beat as they took down the Kansas Jayhawks in a game in which they never trailed. Illinois once again pulled out a win in the waning seconds as Luther Head nailed a pull-up jumper with seconds to go in taking down North Carolina. Georgia Tech's freshman sensation Dwight Howard was the difference in the Yellowjackets' win over Oklahoma State with 17 points and 14 rebounds. They will meet Ohio St. in the Elite 8 as National Player of the Year LeBron James continued to dazzle fans with an awesome 28 points, 13 rebound, 9 assist display against UCLA in a 76-70 win.

    Elite 8

    Chicago
    1) Memphis
    2) Syracuse 77-75

    Albuquerue
    1) Duke 86-77
    3) Arizona

    Syracuse
    1) UConn 75-70
    3) Illinois

    Austin
    1) Georgia Tech 70-60
    2) Ohio St.

    <
    Carmelo Anthony was unconscious in scoring 34 points as Syracuse took down #1 seed Memphis 77-75.

    Elite 8 Notes:
    Carmelo Anthony dropped 34 on Memphis and Gerry McNamara hit all 6 of his 3-pointers as the 'Cuse played a near-perfect game in taking down #1 seed Memphis. Shaun Livingston continued to stir memories of Magic Johnson as he dished off a tourney-high 14 assists in Duke's 86-77 disposal of Arizona. Illinois gave UConn a run for their money, but in the end Ben Gordon once again hit key shot after key shot down the stretch to lift the Huskies into the Final Four. And Georgia Tech overcame a 23-point first half effort from LeBron James to pull away from the Buckeyes with their stellar defense in a 70-60 win.

    Final 4
    St. Louis
    2) Syracuse
    1) Duke 76-75

    1) UConn 81-70
    1) Ga. Tech


    J.J. Reddick knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left as Duke advanced to the title game against UConn.

    Carmelo Anthony once again lit up the arena with a game-high 30 points, but Duke was able to pull out a 76-75 victory over the Orange on a J.J. Reddick 3-pointer with 2.1 seconds left. Duke led almost the entire game before Anthony scored 8 straight in a 2-minute span late in the second half. It was back and forth from then on until Reddick's 23-foot bomb lifted the Blue Devils into the championship game.
    Emeka Okafor won the battle of the bigs against Chris Bosh as he got the junior into foul trouble early in the first half before having his way with Luke Schensher and finishing off with 26 points and 15 rebounds. The Huskies advance to play Duke in the Championship for the 2nd time in 6 years,

    Championship Game
    St. Louis
    1) Duke
    1) UConn 75-72


    Emeka Okafor was named the 2005 Final Four MVP as the UConn Huskies marched to their 3rd title in 6 years.

    Ben Gordon hit a Scotty Thurman-esque 3-pointed with 6.4 seconds to go and Luol Deng's desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer fell just short as UConn won its 3rd National Championship in 6 years. Emeka Okafor was named the Final Four MVP after scoring 20 points, pulling down 15 rebounds, and blocking 7 shots for the Huskies.