Friday Fellow(s): Feeling Good

We’re going literal this week: it’s Friday, and there are some fellows in the basketball world who are feeling (and looking) pretty good.  Feel free to click the above for a soundtrack appropriate to the coming joy…

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Hump Day Hotties: You Make the Call

Christien-Sager-oklahoma-university-mdn

Christien Sage of Oklahoma State. One pick Cosmo got right. He kinda reminds me of Austin Nichols in this picture.

As a lazy lady lately (whoa, alliteration!), I’ve been a total slacker about scouting new hotties to show you dedicated readers. I’ve been very anti-sports watching lately (aside from my favorite teams), so I’m completely unaware of fresh meat. With the NCAA Tournament upon us, there is plenty of fresh meat awaiting our ogling eyes. There is always that hot college boy that makes you feel like a pervy old lady.

With that said, Cosmo has been busy covering the sports world again, compiling a list of NCAA hotties to watch. I’ll let you be the judge, but here’s my 2 cents.

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Ladies…Bracket Brawl 2013: This Time It Counts*

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Your tourney favourites (AP Photo)

*Well, if you count bragging rights.

This post is brought to you by Advil Cold and Sinus, so if this starts down the trail of incoherence forgive me. It’s NCAA Tourney Time which means we have a Bracket to Brawl over. You can join our group, Ladies…Bracket Brawl, here on ESPN’s Tournament Challenge (password is ladiesdotdotdot) Once again, we are offering the winner (the non-Ladies… contributor winner, that is) a slot for a guest post. Need some insight? You will find some here and here but you should probably avoid cold medication unless you’re comfortable with choosing Davidson to go Elite Eight. For the mobile minded, NCAA has an app for iOS and Android to help you follow along (sadly, not available in Canada’s iTunes Store. BOO-URNS.)

March Madness starts Thursday, March 21 so get your brackets in now!

Saturday Snap Poll: Court Rushing Ettiquette

Today’s Bedlam (Oklahoma State vs. Oklahoma) basketball game was yet another classic, an overtime win for 17th ranked OSU vs. their unranked cross-state rivals. Half of Games Mistress’s family was in attendance. Then this happened:

Bedlamcourtrushing.jpg

Up to the minute phone photo courtesy GM’s mom.

Now, the way I understand the unwritten rules of court rushing, non-upset related court rushing is only permitted if :

  • There is a game-winning buzzer beater (OSU clinched this win with 18 seconds remaining)
  • It is the end of a long-standing losing streak to the other team (OU did win the previous meeting this season, but OSU has won this game at home four years in a row)
  • It clinches a championship. (This game did not.)

To be fair, my mom and brother, both OSU fans, expressed some dismay over the court rushing (though my mom justified it because “it was a rivalry game and it was so close.”)  It should also be noted that this is the first season in quite some time that OSU’s men’s basketball team has been this good.  But, what do you think?

Pat Summitt: A Post-Title IX Baby’s Tribute

I have no particular attachment to Pat Summitt or Tennessee women’s basketball.  I came of age after Title IX, where women’s sports, if not always culturally or popularly supported, at least had an acknowledged right of existence.  The way I understood it during my childhood, Pat Summitt was like any other great coach in her chosen sport; famous, respected, and of course, the architect of teams you never wanted your favorite team to run into in the tournament.

I didn’t know back then, that she started coaching Tennessee before the NCAA Women’s Tournament even existed, for a salary of $250 a month.  I didn’t know that the women’s Olympic team she played on, in 1976, was the first ever women’s basketball event at the Olympics.  (Seriously, go read her Wikipedia page, it’s like a primer in women’s sports history.) For someone my age, she was just always there, glaring over the court from the sidelines.  The media fanfare over her retirement is remarkable because it’s not suprising, simply her due as a prominent figure in her field.

Best of luck, Pat. And thanks.

Belated Bracket Brawl Brap-Up

I really, really intended to post this last week, but I thought y’all would appreciate an Opening Day post on Opening Day (and CuteSports did an awesome job with it, too). Then my weekend social schedule got inverted at the last minute and I never quite got back to the computer.  So, with my apologies, here is the Bracket Brawl Wrap-Up for 2012.  After all, even if everyone expected Kentucky to win, we did make a little history in our tournament.

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Sports Developments That Don’t Make Me Want To Throw My Laptop Against The Wall

Let’s see, my beloved Sooner women’s basketball team lost a heartbreaker Tuesday, then yesterday there was You-Know-Who to the Jets, oh, and you might remember my boyfriend’s a Saints fan… it’s been a frustrating sports week.

Here are three things making me happy.

1. Brittany Griner and the Baylor Women’s Basketball Team. I suppose I should hate them since they smoked my girls twice this year, but they’ve smoked everyone this year (at 36-0, their margin of victory was in the single digits only 4 times; 3 of those victories were over Tennessee, UConn, and defending champion Texas A&M).  The Bears, and star player Brittany Griner, are so good that you can’t help admiring their skill.  I know accusing ESPN of bias is nothing new, but let’s just say that if this team had “UConn” on their jerseys we’d be hearing a lot of “Best Women’s Team Ever” talk out of Bristol.  Do yourselves a favor and check out one of their tourney games in the next couple of weeks.

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NCAA Tourney, Day 1: The Non-Upset Upset

Today’s zen meditation: when the only upset 3/4 of the way through the first day of play is the one upset everyone was predicting, is it really an upset? (Not to mention that at least one 12 seed has won a game in 23 of the last 24 tournaments, so statistics were even on VCU’s side.)

I delayed and delayed and delayed putting up the post in hopes that March Madness would break out, but despite some close games (and one burgeoning conspiracy theory involving Syracuse), the surprise of this tournament has been the lack of surprise.

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The Ladies… Bracket Brawl Commences!

Let’s see, Louisville, Florida State, Missouri … was there any major conference tournament where the 1 seed came out on top?  And are those results foreshadowing another chaotic NCAA tournament, or just a sign of the top teams saving their best efforts for a national championship run?

You tell us, because the Ladies…Bracket Brawl is back!  Just join our Tournament Challenge group (the password is ladiesdotdotdot) and see if you can be the first reader in three years to come out on top.  The Ladies are just playing for bragging rights; our readers are playing for their very own guest post.  Of course you have to win first.  And to win you have to enter a bracket before the games begin on Thursday, March 15.* Just click the link and get started!

*The First Four play-in games, which take place earlier in the week, aren’t included in the brackets. Sorry, that’s just how ESPN sets it up.

Bracket Brawl Prep: In Search of An Underdog


h/t Will Leitch

It is nearly time for the NCAA tournament, and by extension, the Ladies… Bracket Brawl (look for a sign up post late Sunday).  Since my alma mater is on year three of Absolute Hopelessness Where Men’s Basketball Is Concerned*, I like to spend conference tourney week selecting underdogs to root for come March Madness Thursday.  I keep hoping that one of these years I’ll pin my hopes on an underdog that  becomes a true Cinderella, but as of yet, I always bank on teams of the play-valiantly-but-lose-the-first-weekend variety.  So join me on my quest to find this year’s VCU, won’t you?

*It’s a real thing.  And extra painful when, immediately before the onset of said Hopelessness, you had Blake Griffin.

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Hit and Run: You Suck, Albert

Guess who was SO excited to snag Albert Pujols on her fantasy team (in large part because one of the “people” drafting in front of her was Lady Bee’s dog, Daisy, but that’s another story) only to see him have one of his worst season starts ever?

Albert himself doesn’t seem worried and he has historically broken out of his slumps in spectacular fashion, so I’m sure it’s just a matter of being patient.  However, given my excellent record of jinxing things I write about on this blog let’s just try this:

Albert Pujols is so bad right now, you guys.  I think maybe he’s finally over the hill.  Or maybe the pressure of his contract year is getting to him.  Whatever the case, I don’t see him breaking out of this slump any time soon.

Moving on to things which don’t directly affect any of my teams (which usually nullifies any jinxes or reverse jinxes)….

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Ladies… Linkups: With Added Opening Weekend Smugness (just a little)

Notre Dame's Skylar Diggins battling the Huskies' Kelly Faris (Photo Credit: Jamie Sabau/Getty Images)

How can a weekend recovering from the flu be your best weekend ever? When you spend it on the couch with your hubby diamond surfing through the MLB Extra Innings free preview. Yankees game only on at 5? Let’s see how the Pirates are doing in Chicago! Painful to watch? Let’s see how Melky Cabrera looks in baby blues! Wait, can we go back to Texas again? Because that was awesome.

Honestly, I’d get nothing done if I had the baseball package for my dish.

Anyway, it’s another busy Monday. Here are some quick links to get you through the day:

Tonight: UConn. Butler. No, none of us picked these guys in the Championship. But kudos to unofficial winner CuteSports! [NCAA]

Tomorrow night, Notre Dame faces Texas A&M for the women’s basketball title. Skylar Diggins had 28 points last night as her Fightin’ Irish downed the Connecticut Huskies 72-63, ending their run for a third straight championship. [ESPN]

When is a story about pants awesome? When they are these pants! Yes, the Norwegians are BACK! By the way, Canada is 3-and-0 at the Men’s World Curling Championship in Regina. [Globe and Mail]

You guys, Aramis Ramirez needs a hug. [Onion Sports Network]

Guess who’s first in the AL East as of this afternoon? The Orioles! Guess who’s last? Here’s a hint. I’m told THEY’RE THE BEST TEAM ON PAPER!! [It's early.]

Move away from the panic button and have an excellent week!

VCU vs Butler

So admit it – your brackets are just as screwed up as mine are. Yeah, I know. Lots of upsets, lots of overtime, lots of surprises. But two of the bigger surprises came from the 8th seeded Butler and the young and admirable  Brad Stevens, and 11 seed Virginia Commonwealth (Virginia where?) with their fearless leader – Shaka Smart.  I was almost positive that the earlier Saturday game of this coming weekend would be Pitt vs. Kansas, especially when I was in 1000th place out of millions with ESPN’s bracket challenge after the first round and a half.  Boy was I ever wrong.  Thankfully, these two gentlemen make it very easy to feel good about rooting for the underdogs, and also make one of these final games very easy on the eyes.  Let’s take a side-by-side look at our favorite hottie NCAA BBall coaches  – one of them is guaranteed to be in the Championship Game, so regardless of Saturday’s results, which one wins Ladies… choice?

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Hit and Run: With Spring in our Step

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Here's Marquette, whose victory over Syracuse last night made me cry. (Photo: Getty Images)

It’s Monday. How are your brackets looking? Like hell? Thought so.

First of all, a warm welcome to our special guest Ladies… Bracket Brawl participants: Melissa_thistle, Courknee35, Big10Bias and fellow Canuck/friend of the blog Andrew Bucholtz (you will go read his blog The 55-Yard Line now, won’t you?) Our current leader isn’t in our Ladies… group – due to technical difficulties, we had to create another group on ESPN.com so one gal could get her picks in. That gal is Buffalita, leading the pack with 460 points and picking Ohio State to win it all. CuteSports and Raven round out the Top 3 at 440 and 430 points respectively. Any hopes I had of repeating last year’s surprise success have been flushed down the proverbial toilet. I blame Butler.

Best of luck heading into Thursday! Sweet Sixteen will be hopefully be sweet for some of you.

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Your March Madness Visual Reference Guide

I would be happy to see more of this from Singler, but YMMV.

I’m jumping my usual post day by about twelve hours just so I can remind you that you can still sign up for the Ladies… Bracket Brawl right up until tipoff Thursday (12:15 EST).  Just click the link and enter the password: ladiesdotdotdot.

In the meantime, here’s a quick visual guide to some of the teams and storylines that will be occupying your TV over the next four days (at least).

Uh, that’s Duke over there.  I miss that period when they flamed out in the early rounds every year. Kyle Singler (#12) is the latest in the Duke mold of Awesome Collegiate Players With No Real Chance At A Pro Career.

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Ladies… Bracket Brawl

Ohio State freshman Jared Sullinger led the Buckeyes to the Big 10 Championship this past weekend. The Buckeyes are the odds-on favorite to win the Tourney, at least according to Vegas. OSU is the 7-2 favorite to win the National Title.

 

It’s that time of the year again where we call out sick on random weekdays with the March Madness Flu! The NCAA Tournament starts tomorrow, so that means it must be time for the Ladies… Annual Bracket Brawl.  The tourney gets underway early this year, with the “first round” kicking off tomorrow with (16) UNC-Asheville vs. (16) Arkansas-Little Rock at 6:30 PM (ET) followed by (12) UAB vs. (12) Clemson at 9:00 PM (ET) in Dayton, Ohio.

Again, we’re inviting all our readers to sign-up and submit their brackets to our Tournament Challenge group on ESPN.com.  The winner will get their very own Ladies… post where they can blog about whatever sports-related topic they wish.

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Bracket Brawl Update (No Fooling, Promise)

Gordon Heyward thinks y'all should have bet on Butler.

I really suck at April Fools’ Day jokes.  Besides, the way this NCAA tournament is playing out, we all look like big enough fools right now, no?  I must say I’ve never been in a bracket pool where everyone’s champion lost before the final weekend of play, but that’s exactly what has happened to us Ladies and our dear readers.  Perhaps we should have taken Butler more seriously.

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Ladies… Bracket Bawl, Um, Brawl, Update

Did you pick West Virginia? Did you know Darryl Bryant broke his foot and is out for the rest of the tourney? Do you still like that pick?

Wow.  So, um, when I said it was the most wide-open tourney in years that was … possibly the only thing I’ve said about the tournament that’s actually been right so far.    The Ladies … Bracket Brawl, like so many other tourney pools this year, is a collection of shredded brackets.  The good news is, with everyone doing so poorly, everyone still has a chance to catch up.  Well, I don’t, but the rest of you do.  Let’s look at the standings after the first two rounds:

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Whoa, Cinderella is Hot!

So in all my basketball watching (and non-watching in protest of my Terps losing), I have noticed quite a few hotties that, until the Tourney, have been flying under the radar – specifically the boys of Northern Iowa.

Now, I try not to ogle too much seeing as this year’s seniors were born in or around 1988.  Yikes!  Babies they are.  But, hey, I’m a female, and I’ll look if I want.  You know the quote by Matthew McConaughey in Dazed and Confused? “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man,” Matt’s character, Wooderson, waxes poetic. “I get older, they stay the same age.”  If only (most) women embraced that logic, except substitute “high school girls” for “men’s college basketball players”.

Unleash your inner cougar, or just plain ogle if you’re a youngin’, after the jump.

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The 2010 Sweet 16 – Now With Captions!

So like many of us, I spent the weekend watching some college teams duke it out. Unfortunately, I couldn’t get my sh*t together and submit a bracket on time.  So in true lady form, I’d like to list my predictions for this coming week’s Sweet 16 winners taking us to the Elite 8, in beloved Lolcat caption form.

(I’d like to add a congrats to my alma mater – Women’s Basketball at University of Rochester made it to the Final Four!!)

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Ladies… Linkups: “What the hell, Marquette?!” edition

Walkoff Walk is previewing the upcoming baseball season. Predictions are almost never correct (for evidence of this, see my 2009-10 NHL predictions, which I plan to revisit in a very-near-future post), but when they’re this well-written what does it matter? Here’s Rob Iracane on the NL Central.

At the 2010 Paralympic Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada’s sledge hockey team lost an opportunity to play for gold as Japan came through with a 3-1 victory. I hope you Americans are happy now.

Hey, did you know that women can’t be bothered to blog?! I would tell you why, but my blood is too busy boiling.

On a tangentially-related note, HERE’S A WOMAN WHO BLOGS!  I think Amanda Rykhoff captured a few common sentiments from yesterday’s matchups (and horrifying outcomes!)

And yeah, I don’t know why I’m sitting in first place as of this writing. Apparently, I nailed most of the upsets (*blushes*) But trust me – Ohio will last longer in the Tournament than I will.

DeVaughn Washington making it look...awesome! (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

There’s more Tourney goodness to come, but try to get some work done this afternoon, OK?

Last Call for Brackets!!!

Just a reminder you have until Noon Est Thursday to join the Ladies…Bracket Brawl.  Don’t worry if you’ve never picked a bracket before or haven’t watched a college basketball game this season — sometimes the best brackets are filled out by people who don’t spend too much time analyzing their picks.

But, if you need some help, here are some helpful strategies for picking your bracket (interspersed, for your enjoyment, with some cute college players):

John Wall

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The 2009 NBA Draft of Hotness

I am not a fan of the NBA. I have probably watched a total of 5 games in my entire life, but I absolutely love college basketball. It is much more competitive and entertaining. Also, there are a lot of hot guys to be found. (I am only 23 so I can still say that without being a total perv!) Last night was the NBA Draft. So that means that many players said goodbye to their college days and joined the pros. This also means that I will no longer know or care what is going on with them. (That’s a lie. There are quite a few players that I really like who were drafted last night. Next season might  be the first year I genuinely care what’s going on in the NBA.)

OK, enough about college basketball being far superior to the NBA. Let’s move onto those hot guys. Having talent is really important and goes a long way in the actual draft, but it doesn’t get you far here. Blake Griffin may have been the number one pick last night (and rightfully so…boy is talented!), but he doesn’t make the cut in the Ladies… draft.

Now let the fun begin with the first pick…

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Congratulations, Tar Heels and Huskies ! Next year, let’s make it interesting.

Through the hoop.  Thats ...different, Geno.

Through the hoop. That's ...different, Geno.

And so, with Tuesday night’s rout of Louisville, the NCAA basketball season comes to a close with the inevitable UConn women’s victory.  Congratulations to the Huskies, both for winning the tournament and making this year’s women’s tournament the most boring postseason event ever, at least in terms of its ultimate conclusion.

But really, it’s not like the men’s tournament was much better.  the North Carolina men’s championship was certainly not the foregone conclusion the UConn women’s was — and did not come with an undefeated regular season, either — but once their respective tournaments began, both Tarheels and Huskies ripped through their brackets in a fairly similar manner.  Look:

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Hump Day Hottie: Sidney Ponson

The Royals gave me a very happy St. Patrick’s Day by signing Sir Sidney Ponson (yes, Sir! He was knighted in his native Aruba). They were impressed with his showing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic, and might now be putting him in the KC Opening Day rotation.Yes, please.

Grrr, baby!

Grrr, baby!

LOTS more after the jump.

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Fun With Photos: NCAA Men’s Tourney Vol. 1

Before I get started, I just want to say how much I’m going to miss all our departing Ladies; joining this site was one of the only good things that happened to me in a very crappy summer last year and I’m going to miss sharing ideas (and pictures) with you on a regular basis. Minda and I have some high expectations to live up to.


I love the first weekend of the NCAA tournament.  Last year I had my wisdom teeth out the Wednesday before and so I watched every game while recuperating; this year I had to work Thursday and Friday, but I also got to eat solid food and not have painkiller induced hallucinations about Jim Nantz, so it was pretty much a wash.  Anyway, this year’s tournament yielded some great pictures … and even better opportunities for captions.

INVIZIBUL KITE FLYING
INVIZIBUL KITE FLYING

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Hit and Run: Cinderella Edition

Even Yurendell DeCaster cant believe what his team has done.

Even Yurendell DeCaster can't believe what his team has done.

So the Netherlands pulled off their second stunning upset over the Dominican Republic (in extra innings, no less) and have advanced to the second round of the World Baseball Classic.  To illustrate how unlikely this scenario was, Dutch team officials had the team booked to fly home on Monday, sure that they would not be advancing.  Where’s Jim Nantz to start throwing around the Cinderella tag when you need him?

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College Basketball: Hotties in The Shadows

While I was home over Christmas, I finally got to see my Sooner men play a few games (of course I got to see the loss, but whatever) and I kind of fell in love with Willie Warren, our freshman guard.  Willie was a big recruit in his own right, but Blake Griffin mania has a tendency to make his teammates disappear into the background.  So I thought I’d spend this post giving a little love to some of the guys that have to share their court with a budding NBA lottery pick.

Just to make things easier, I used the latest projected NBA draft rankings at NBAdraft.net, which are as follows:

  1. Blake Griffin, OU
  2. Hasheem Thabeet, UConn
  3. James Harden, Arizona State
  4. Jordan Hill, Arizona

The teammates playing in the metaphorical shadows, after the jump.

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Hit and Run: Basketball breaks my heart, so I find solace in football…

I know how you feel, Roy. I know how you feel...

This has been a rough week for me as a sports fan. I have found myself in the odd position of having to defend my team, not only to others but to myself. I bitched all pre-season about how much I hated all the rankings. Too many expectations only means you crash harder when you inevitably slip from that lofty perch. I knew my team wouldn’t go undefeated; we didn’t last year and we are essentially the same team. But there is still nothing harder than watching the boys you love lose, and then LOSE AGAIN!!! (And then to watch that first team who beat you go on and lose to HARVARD. Harvard. I didn’t even know the Ivy’s had basketball!) There is also nothing worse than to kinda hate some of the members of your team. What was that Wayne Ellington? You thought you could go pro? How ’bout you jack up not one, not two, but THREE airballs?? That’s what they do in the pros, right? Or perhaps Ty Lawson. So called best point guard in all the land. Maybe you should have more points that turnovers in the first half. Sometimes that helps. Or maybe you should have atleast some ability to guard your man.  Is keeping him from scoring 30+ points unreasonable? Is that too much to ask? Thank the sweet baby Jesus for Danny Green. And Tyler Hansbrough’s first half effort. Ugh. I haven’t even watched Sportscenter this week because I can’t bear to hear all the shit they are saying. It makes me kind of sick.

I’m sure there are people revelling in my despair.

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