Maybe it’s the fact that things are going to change so dramatically next year with the additions of Pitt, Syracuse and Notre Dame. Maybe it’s the 2:30 p.m. start times for the Hokies (Thursday) and Cavs (Friday) that have me feeling relaxed about print deadlines. Or maybe it’s the potential for a third Duke-Miami matchup this season — one that could decide the title.
The tournament isn’t what it used to be or what it has the potential to become, but it should be fun.
Here are the odds to win the championship:
Duke Blue Devils 7/5
Miami Hurricanes 9/5
N.C. State Wolfpack 9/2
North Carolina Tar Heels 5/1
Virginia Cavaliers 8/1
Florida St. Seminoles 18/1
Maryland Terrapins 20/1
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 40/1
Clemson Tigers 40/1
Boston College Eagles 50/1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons 75/1
Virginia Tech Hokies 100/1
I like picking upsets, but I don’t see any value picks this year among the longer shots. I think Duke and Miami will get to the final, and Duke will win it. Pretty lame forecast, I know. Anybody think somebody else has a big run in them?
PREP PITCHERS WILL HAVE NEW INNINGS LIMITS THIS YEAR in high school baseball. Ray details all the specifics here. The main rule states that pitchers can’t go more than nine innings in one day or 14 innings in a seven-day period.
My initial thought was, “Who the heck throws their guys that much anyway?” The answer: Not many people. But for coaches who might be tempted, this is a deterrent. I still think pitch counts are a better gauge of usage than innings, but it’s a little harder to monitor and enforce that, I guess.
WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH ALL THE SINKHOLES IN THE NEWS? The latest story unfolded on a golf course in Illinois, where a 43-year-old mortgage broker fell 18 feet into one on a fairway. Fortunately, he escaped with only a separated shoulder. Be careful out there, duffers.
-Here’s Berman’s story on Erick Green taking ACC player of the year honors. “I’m speechless,” Green says. “This is a dream come true for me, man, since I was a little kid. This is something big for me.”
-Fort Chiswell offensive lineman Coleman Thomas commits to Tennessee.
-Gio Gonzalez tosses five scoreless innings to lead the U.S. to a 7-1 victory over Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic. Next up for the Americans: the Dominican Republic on Thursday night.
-Hoops all day today on the telly, beginning with Providence-Cincy in the Big East tournament at noon on ESPN.
-Miami Heat wins their (its?) 19th in a row. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: Make your team nicknames plural, please.
-Dwight Howard has 39 points and 16 rebounds in his return to Orlando to help the Lakers win.
-Add another milestone for Lionel Messi. A crowd of nearly 100,000 watches Messi score twice as Barcelona becomes the first team to advance in the Champions League after a 2-0 first-leg loss on the road, torching AC Milan 4-0.
-Thanks, Frank. My wife had never seen a Harlem Shake video until she happened to come across Beamer’s…and started watching the 16 zillion others on YouTube. If I hear that lion roar one more time…
NAME THAT TUNE
O.J. got yesterday’s: “No Shelter” by Rage Against the Machine. Nicely done. Today’s is probably a little easier for most:
Just like the silk
Soft and cuddly hug me up like a quilt
I’m a lyrical lovah
No take me for no filth
With my sexual physique, jah know me well-built
Oh me, oh my, well, well
Can’t you tell
I’m just like a turtle crawling out of me shell
Gal you captivate my body put me under a spell
With your couscous perfume
I love your sweet smell
You are the only young girl who can ring my bell
And I could take rejection, so you tell me go to hell…