Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Field of 64 by 33

Looks like we have 33 players in the Sports Night Blog Brackets! The field of 33 is mostly you, the reader, but some News 14 flavor has been added. Jason Spells is taking his cuts along with Kira Mathis, and former weekend sports anchor Steve White is also in the mix. Should be fun watching this all shake out.

OK, so I have Louisville winning it all. I know I am doomed, because Louisville is the top overall seed, and something is gonna happen to knock them out. I'm not rooting for that, mind you, but it's just my luck.

Sorry ACC fans, but I don't have an ACC school in the Final Four. I have UNC beaten in the South Final by Oklahoma, Duke out in round 2 to Texas (upset special), and Wake going out in the Sweet 16. Just picks, people, so don't get all knotted up.

One other thing about the NCAA Tournament. Is it just really, REALLY sterile? The teams play in neutral sites, everything is very, VERY regimented (like down to the second as to when teams can take the court for practice, etc). This is supposed to be the highlight of the season for a basketball team--making the Big Dance! Yet, sometimes, I wonder if it's just over-commercialized, and the kids just don't get the chance to enjoy it (unless they win the whole thing).

Other news and notes:
** Carolina Panthers need a punt and kick returner, now that Mark Jones agreed to a deal with Tennessee. Hate seeing him go. Wasn't the fastest guy, but he protected the rock--no turnovers in any of his return attempts last season, and was crucial to the Panthers win over Green Bay.

**Carolina Hurricanes topped New Jersey 4-2 on Wednesday night, one day after martin Brodeur became the NHL's all-time winningest goaltender. Canes in a real battle for a playoff spot, and if they stay healthy, they should get there. Right now, they are 3 points out of the 4th seed--crazy, right?

**Speaking of pucks, if you are in Charlotte and looking for something to do, why not take in the Friday night Charlotte Checkers game. Friday marks the "Pucks for Patrick Night," a cause very near and dear to the News 14 family, specifically Shawn Flynn. Find out more by clicking here. Hopefully, it will be a packed house.

**Charlotte Bobcats on a 2 game win streak, thanks to another beatdown to an NBA bottom-feeder. 104-88 over Sacramento on Wednesday night, next up a roadie at Toronto on Friday. Don't look now, but the Bobcats are serious contenders to make the playoffs. Of course, their reward as the 8 seed would likely be LeBron James and Cleveland, but hey, it's the playoffs, right?

Enjoy the tourney, and our coverage on News 14 Carolina. Loads of reaction from UNC-Radford, plus a look ahead to Wake Forest's opener with Cleveland State in Miami. Don't miss it!

Mike Solarte

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