Wednesday, March 29, 2017

An End of an Era

             The Detroit Red Wings were eliminated from playoff contention on Tuesday, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes, 4-1. This marks the end of a 25-season run of playoff appearances. The Wings won four Stanley Cups and made six Stanley Cup Finals appearances during their unprecedented run. What was going on during the 1991 year?

  • George H.W. Bush (The first Bush) was in the Oval Office.
  • The original "Beauty and the Beast" was in theaters.
  • "Love Will Never Do" by Janet Jackson was topping the charts.
  • The SNES was being released to the general public (SIX Nintendo consoles were released during this run, including the Switch).
  • The Detroit Lions made their only NFC Championship appearance, getting thwomped by the Washington Redskins, 41-10. This was also the last season the Lions won a playoff game (Cowboys by a score of 38-6).
  • The Gulf War was coming to an end.
            A lot has happened since the Red Wings last missed the postseason, as you can tell.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

About This Tournament...

            The first weekend was surprisingly awesome in spite of the lack of upsets. I mean, people anticipate that an upset will happen, right? People want to see a #13 seed or #14 seed pull off the stunner or a thrilling buzzer beater. What if we anticipate it so much that we're surprised when it doesn't happen? That's a part of why the first weekend was better than you thought. It was a nice break from the Cinderella action.
           Now you got one school booking their first trip to the Final Four (Gonzaga or Xavier) and you got another battle of the blue bloods (Kentucky and North Carolina) after a riveting battle of the blue bloods (Kentucky and UCLA). You also have two lower seeds (South Carolina and Xavier) who could potentially make the Final Four. How exciting is that?

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

LaVar Ball's Statistics

            Lonzo Ball's father, LaVar Ball, has been in the news quite a bit lately, boasting about how good his son is and how he'll be drafted by the Lakers. He's been so outspoken that LeBron James has issued a stern warning to LaVar. But did you know that LaVar played basketball at Washington State? He played 26 games for the Cougars, averaging 2.2 points per game, 2.3 rebounds per game, and an assist per game. Apparently, his son's a lot better than he was back in his hey-day.

Photo Courtesy of TMZ

Saturday, March 18, 2017

The Avs-Wings Rivalry

            Back in the day, the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings didn't like each other. I mean, they hated each other's guts. It started with a dirty hit by Colorado's Claude Lemieux on Detroit's Kris Draper in the 1996 Western Conference Finals. Colorado went on to win the series. 4-2, and they won their first Stanley Cup that year. This was in spite of the Red Wings breaking the regular season record for wins with 62. Detroit managed to come back and win the next two Stanley Cups. Between the two teams, they've appeared in six Stanley Cups and have won five together during their amazing runs up to 2002. Here's an ode to one of the greatest rivalries not just in the NHL, but in all of sports.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Why They Didn't Make March Madness

            This year's March Madness features tons of adversity and plenty of parity. This is unprecedented, considering Vanderbilt made it as a ninth seed in spite of having 15 losses on the season. Anyways, here's a breakdown as to why these "bubble teams" got burst by the selection committee.

  • Syracuse (More Road Wins, Please): Syracuse had a stellar home record of 16-3 and had quality wins against Duke, Florida State, and Virginia. So why did they miss the tournament? They had 14 losses, marred by horrible road play. They had two wins on the road this season and their road losses include one to Boston College. Ouch. 
  • Illinois State (Make A Harder Schedule): The Redbirds just had to win the Missouri Valley Conference tournament and they were in. They had six losses, which get most teams in the tourney. They would've taken a spot from a team like Vanderbilt and probably would've been in the play-in game. The problem is that the Redbirds lost to the likes of Murray State and San Francisco (San Francisco isn't that bad; it's just their RPI's not great). Throw in the lack of quality wins and Illinois State is in the NIT. What Illinois State needs to do in order to make the tournament next year is summed up in this Dan Muller tweet: 

      • Indiana (Fulfill Expectations): Indiana started off the season with lofty expectations. Ranked in the Top Five with a quality neutral-floor win over Kansas and another over North Carolina would make any resume look like a No. 1 contender. There were a couple of issues with Indiana's season, though. Aside from the eye-catching collapse, the Hoosiers went on to lose 15 games this year, including losses to Fort Wayne and Nebraska.

      Sunday, March 12, 2017

      GIFS Galore!

                  I got more GIFs to show you today!! Prepare to be entertained!!

      Thursday, March 9, 2017

      Picking Your Bracket

                  March Madness is nearly upon us. The average citizen will fill out a bracket in hopes of it becoming perfect so that they can brag to their friends about the little moment they achieved with the bracket. Anyways, if you're having a hard time filling one out, here's a few suggestions to help you out.

      1. Look For The Big Names: Teams like Louisville, North Carolina, Kentucky, Kansas, and Duke are the popular picks to make the Final Four year in and year out. They're basketball bluebloods and are known to pull in the best recruits every year. If you're having a hard time establishing a Final Four, look to these names for some help.
      2. Mascots!! If you're having a hard time filling a bracket out in general, just pick a team based on whose mascot you like more. It won't guarantee you a perfect bracket. Then again, what way will considering the unpredictability of March Madness?
      3. Bet On The Top Seeds: A No. 1 seed has never lost to a No. 16 seed in the men's game. There have been eight No. 15 seeds that have beaten their No. 2 seeded opponent in the Round of 64 (Middle Tennessee State is the most recent to win). The closer the match-ups are seed-wise, the more likely of an upset (A No. 1 seed would have less likely of a chance to be upset than a No. 3 seed, for example). The only exception to this rule is the sixth seed/11th seed compared to the fifth seed/12th seed match-up (The 12th/11th seeds have won 46 times in the Round of 64 each). Also, keep in mind that there have only been four teams with the tenth seed or lower that have reached the Final Four (Syracuse is the most recent).
      4. Look At The Conferences. Popular Final Four picks tend to come from conferences like the ACC, the Big East, and the Big Ten. Conferences like the Pac-12 haven't produced a champion in a long time (Arizona in 1997) in spite of UCLA having the most men's basketball titles in tournament history. If you don't know who to pick, just go with the team that's either in one of the aforementioned conferences or pick against conferences like the Pac-12 (Unless they're a higher seed). 
      5. Research! Look up where a team's strengths and weaknesses lie. What defense does the school run? Is their offense an up-tempo offense? How do the match-ups line up? Knowing these attributes along with knowing the match-ups will help you not only pick your Final Four, but will help you pick which upsets will occur.
      6. Coin Flip: You can do a match-up (Or even an entire bracket) by flipping a coin. You might get some wacky results!
      Photo Courtesy of Sporting News

      Wednesday, March 8, 2017

      In Honor Of International Women's Day

                  Today is International Women's Day, a day where we celebrate one half of the genders in our fair world. There have been numerous women who have achieved great things in our world such as Marie Curie, Amelia Earhart, Susan B. Anthony, and Rosa Parks. But what about the sports side? There are plenty of women who've done great things in the world of sports. Check out some of the highlights of some of the greatest women to play sports.

      Sunday, March 5, 2017

      Blending Buddy

                  Today, I'm introducing to you a new segment called "Blending Buddy". It's a segment where I show you some of the smoothies that I made to help me lose thirty pounds in four months. These juices and smoothies will help you get the proper nutrients needed to fight off disease and make you feel better physically and mentally. Please note that it also takes physical activity in order to reach your ideal weight.

      Jungle Juice
      • 1 plantain
      • 1 banana
      • 1 red banana
      • 1 handful of kale
                  This is what I like to call, "Jungle Juice", since these ingredients are often associated with an Amazon/African rainforest setting. Anyways, these ingredients will form a smoothie that is high in potassium, but will be extremely thick since plantains are enormous. The plantain will be hard to take from its casing, so you'll need a knife to cut through the thick casing (Please be careful). However, that's the only time you'll need the knife (Unless you want to cut the plantain up into pieces) since the bananas are easy to break apart. Throw into a juicer/blender and enjoy!!

      Thursday, March 2, 2017

      Takes On March Madness

                  There are plenty of intriguing story lines going into March Madness, like specific teams set to finally make the tourney and the No. 1 seeds of the tournament. Here are some things to check out when the tournament comes around.

      1. Northwestern Finally Makes It? The Wildcats are the only big-conference team to never make the tournament. They've already broken their school record of wins in a basketball season (For the men) and have good wins over Dayton and Wisconsin. If they do good enough in the Big Ten tournament and get one or two wins, they should be set for their first appearance.
      2. The Ever-Changing Bubble: There are plenty of teams that are grabbing eyebrow-raising wins. Wake Forest just pulled a recent upset off on #8 Louisville. Georgia Tech has a nice pair of wins over ranked teams like Florida State and Notre Dame. Marquette defeated both Creighton and Villanova (One of those was a road win). Vanderbilt has good wins over teams like Florida and South Carolina. This year has seen the bubble constantly change from teams making it to teams on the outside looking in. Talk about your parity.
      3. Does Gonzaga Deserve a Number One Seed? The Bulldogs would've loved to have entered the WAC tournament undefeated, but a home loss to BYU derailed such plans. Also, wins over Florida, Iowa State, Arizona, and two wins over Saint Mary's may be nice (Especially the neutral-floor win over Arizona). But they aren't exactly setting Gonzaga's resume on fire when it comes to a No. 1 seed. These indicators might mean that Gonzaga will need to win the WAC tournament in order to get a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.
      4. Sparty Down? Tom Izzo's Spartans have been in the NCAA tournament since 1998. This run includes a national championship, a couple championship appearances, and numerous Final Fours. However, the Fightin' Izzos could be in danger of missing the tournament with an 18-12 record. Though Michigan State has had a difficult schedule this season, they've done themselves no favors by losing to Northeastern at home and losing to teams like Illinois and Penn State. Not winning a single game in the Big Ten tournament will likely send Michigan State to the NIT. 
      5. The Loaded ACC (And Big East): The ACC and Big East have a great number of teams that are either a lock for the tournament or could make the tournament. Teams like Louisville, Villanova, North Carolina, Duke, and Butler are some of the headliners for these two premier basketball conferences. Even some of the ex-pats are getting in on the fun; West Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Maryland are having tournament-worthy seasons. 

      Wednesday, March 1, 2017

      On The Playlist

                  Here's another edition of "On The Playlist", where I show you what's bumpin' on my playlist. Enjoy!!