Thursday, October 25, 2012

Indy Diagnosed with Championship Fever

There was Katie Douglas courtside, epicenter of the final couple seconds of Championship-clinching Game 4. She hadn't scored in weeks, but she deserved this moment just as much as Tamika Catchings, who won Finals MVP. When the injured star was out, the rest of the team stepped up and overcame tough obstacles to bring home the championship. This marks the 2nd professional championship won in Indianapolis this year (Superbowl) and first pro basketball title since the ABA championships in the early 70s.

Coach Tom Crean reminds us MSU, UM and O$U are the current champs, and while it's nice to be in the (natl) title conversation the real challenge is improving everyday... Trickle-down leadership, starting with Watford. One reporter asked him to comment on the state of basketball in the Midwest, with Louisville, UK, and Michigan all contending. He then reminded her of O$U, Illinois and the rest of the B1G as well as Cincy, Butler and Notre Dame.

Speaking of ND, for the 4th straight year, Football Irish are #1 in grad rate, and likely top-5 in GPA too (Academic All-Americans Mike Golic and Manti Te'o). ESPN Gameday will be in Norman this Saturday as your Irish take on the Sooners in a  primetime matchup featuring a pair of top10 teams. If only Keith Jackson was calling it... WHOA NELLY!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

My team is better than yours

The worst kept secret was released today: Indiana Hoosiers basketball is the top team in the land. Not only are they returning all 5 starters from last year, but Sheehey is the best 6th man in the nation and Yogi adds backcourt depth. Its an embarrassment of riches that wasn't exactly easy; Coach Tom Crean has pieced together a title contender in just 4 years after inheriting a program with 1 (former) walk-on.

IHSAA football sectionals begin this week, and look who is ranked #1... da Bears. Lawrence Central went to the title game in 2010 but lost to Fishers at Lucas Oil stadium while Mr Football Tre Roberson eventually took his talents to Bloomington.  QB Drake Christen leads the state's most prolific offense (42 ppg) while A-Rod and Isaiah Townsend own the run game and a solid D known for shutting-out opponents all season. Eyes will be on the sectional semifinal next week, where LC looks to avenge last year's loss to 2011 State Champ, Carmel Greyhounds.

Speaking of stout defense, Notre Dame has yet to allow a rushing TD this year as they sit undefeated in the BCS hunt. Their 6-0 record and top-5 ranking is boosted by downing three ranked opponents and could get better with wins @ Oklahoma & USC. Linebacker Manti Te'o is a Heisman contender and the other #5 leads the dynamic offense, even though veteran QB Tommy Rees has had to pick up Everett Gholston's slack a few times.

Pacers begin the season later this month with some unfamiliar faces, adding role players DJ Augustine, Ian Mahinmi, Gerald Green, Sam Young, as well as draft picks Orlando Johnson and Miles Plumlee. Some say the bench didn't really improve from last season, but the chemistry of the starting 6 (Hansbrough) strengthened, plus major improvement from George Hill and Paul George should compliment the frontcourt of Danny Granger, David West and Roy Hibbert, who signed a max-contract this offseason.

I am holding off on talking about the Reds until I've cooled off from their choke-job, but my headline still holds true unless you're a fan of SF, NY, STL or DET.

And finally the Colts. Yes, I'm still soaking in the victory over the Packers. All I can say is Andrew Luck is my hero. Other than that, ChuckStrong!

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