Monday, March 22, 2010

When does this ride end?

This blog post began on Monday, but due to a slamming week, is just getting finished up in the wee hours of Wednesday morning. I won't talk about my destroyed NCAA brackets. Chances are yours look a lot like mine, so I feel like I am in good company. Spraying to all fields...
  • Duke heads to Houston for the Sweet 16, and News 14 Carolina will be there. Tim Baier will be with the Blue Devils, and should he see them to the Final Four, I am slated to make the trip to Indianapolis. Would be neat to see Jon Scheyer and Kyle Singler make it to college hoops promised land. Their road is not easy, having Purdue next, and then likely Baylor (should they get past St. Mary's). I heard some sports talk radio on Tuesday, and a caller said that the tournament is down, thanks to teams like Kansas and Villanova being shown the door. Really? When Goliath goes down to David, that makes the tournament even more compelling. I don't recall a lot of negative sentiment when Davidson made their run a couple years ago. The upsets are what make the NCAA tournament the greatest spectacle in college sports. Maybe one day, college football will follow suit with their own playoff. It wouldn't be a 64 team field, nor should it, but the survive and advance mentality of the Big Dance is what makes it great. Every shot, possession, rebound, is crucial.
  • NASCAR will wrap up a 2-day test at Charlotte Motor Speedway on Wednesday, as they allow the teams a chance to work with the spoiler that is being brought back this week in Martinsville. The short tracks are pointless to test at with the spoiler. It's not a downforce scenario there, but the teams will need this data for tracks like Texas, Phoenix, Michigan, etc. Cool seeing the spoiler back on the cars. Makes it look like a stock car again, which is something that NASCAR says was part of the reason to bring it back. Whatever the case may be, it's back, the teams need to get used to it with this car (as the front splitter is also a change from the front air dam that was there before the "Car of Tomorrow" was phased in. 93 wing races behind them, the spoiler's return means that Jimmie Johnson was the most successful "wing" racer. 3 titles with that COT-wing combo. How they adapt to the spoiler may be the difference in winning a 5th title, or coming up short.
  • Charlotte Bobcats picked up a win over Washington Tuesday, 95-86 in overtime over the Washington Wizards. I've said it before, the Bobcats are a fun team to watch, but at the same time, they can be exasperating. Charlotte is FAR BETTER than the Wizards, yet they couldn't put them away until the overtime. To me, that is a sign this team still has some growing to do, before it can be considered a solid contender, but they should make the playoffs, given their position (7th in the East), and their remaining schedule (fairly soft by NBA standards). They need to do a better job of playing the full 48 minutes. When they do that, they are a tough out for any team in the league, and that includes the LA Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers of the Association.
  • I wanted to address some of the comments made by now former Bobcats majority owner Bob Johnson, regarding the city of Charlotte and its business community, but frankly, this blog space is far to valuable for me to even waste time on it. He's gone, Michael Jordan is in, and hopefully, a new wave of support will develop. MJ's involvement, on a now full-time basis, can only help, given the level of involvement from the previous owner. Yeah, I'm not even mentioning his name again, going forward.
  • Finally, Mexico-Iceland kicks off at 8pm at Bank of America Stadium on Wednesday night. Apologies to all the great soccer fans in the region that will come in for this one, but I can't get fired up over a friendly between Mexico, a country that has a fairly decent national team, and Iceland, a country that I didn't even realize HAD a national soccer team. A good crowd is expected, and I hope they all have a wonderful time.

That's all for now. I'll check back in before the weekend.

Mike Solarte

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