Since it's FInal Four weekend, let's concentrate on the end to the best three weeks of the year.
First of all, congratulations to Ed Dechellis and his Nittany Lions for taking the NIT crown last night. Talor Battle and Jamelle Cornley surely proved they belonged in the NCAA Tournament. The Nittany Line calls the win a huge step for the Penn State program. I agree.
Tom Izzo's MIchigan State Spartans are also representing the conference this weekend, as they'll look to pull the upset over UCONN on Saturday before facing the winner of VIllanova and North Carolina.
For more on the games, look here at Basketball Prospectus for an excellent preview. If I were a betting man, I'd go with Ty Lawson and the Tar Heels. But since I'm not, I'm going with my heart and the fact that I can't stand UCONN or North Carolina. So, I'm calling a 'Nova and MIchigan State championship with our friends from East Lansing cutting down the nets!
But for the Spartans to have a chance, Raymar Morgan needs to wake up. While Goran Suton has played out of his mind, Morgan has disappeared. And it hasn't just been in the NCAA Tournament, he hasn't been himself for the better part of the season. The Detroit Free Press picks up on that story line here.
Hat tip on both of those above links goes to Spartans Weblog which has an assortment of quality Final Four related links here, and also a look at fifth year big man Idong Ibok who might play a larger role than usual as the Spartans try to slow Hasheem Thabeet.
- Terrence Moore of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution thinks the Georgia Bulldogs should do whatever it takes to land Tubby Smith. That's fine, but Virginia just did the exact same thing, throwing $3 million at Tubby. Moore argues that 1) it's cold in MInnesota (whatever) and 2) Tubby wants a practice facility that Minnesota hasn't given him and UGA has a state-of-the art complex.
- College Football Talk is also reading the tea leaves on whether Eric Decker will skip his senior season as a Minnesota football player for the MLB minor leagues.
- Forget who it was, but someone commented here recently that Tony Bennett's style is ill-suited for the ACC. This columnist agrees: "Bennett’s slow-paced, hard-nosed defensive style could become a volatile subject when mixed with the prevailing culture in ACC country."
- If you're itching for the MLB season to begin, why not catch some baseball this weekend at the Dome as the 25th ranked Golden Gophers take on #18 Ohio State?
- With the economy the way it is, even if we've seen some progress on Wall Street the last week or two, expect more opinions like this, noting that with cuts in state and local government budgets, is it prudent or appropriate to hand out multi-million dollar contracts to coaches when teachers are being cut?
- The Slipper Still Fits gushes over Mark Few.
- Another ESPN talking head doesn't like MIchigan State and Tom Izzo.