Wednesday, March 19, 2008

It's Tournament Time

So, one of the most exciting months in sports is here: March. March Madness is definitely one of the best tournaments in the world. Most of the games are very exhilarating.

Three Big Five teams have made the tournament (Saint Joseph's, Temple, and Villanova), when it looked as if none would make the tournament for the first time since the '70's. I don't think any off the local teams will make it past the second round, however. Here are my picks for this years tournament.

First Round:

East Region:

1 North Carolina will beat 16 Mt. St. Mary's

8 Indiana will beat 9 Arkansas

5 Notre Dame will beat 12 George Mason

11 Saint Joseph's will beat 6 Oklahoma

3 Louisville will beat 14 Boise State

7 Butler will beat 10 Alabama

2 Tennessee will beat 15 American

Midwest Region:

1 Kansas will beat 16 Portland St.

8 UNLV will beat 9 Kent State

5 Clemson will beat 12 Villanova

4 Vanderbilt will beat 13 Siena

6 USC will beat 11 Kansas St.

3 Wisconsin will beat 14 CS-Fullerton

10 Davidson will beat 7 Gonzaga

2 Georgetown will beat 15 UMBC

South Region:

1 Memphis will beat 16 Texas-Arlington

9 Oregon will beat 8 Miss. St.

12 Temple will beat 5 Michigan

4 Pittsburgh will beat 13 Oral Roberts

6 Marquette will beat 11 Kentucky

3 Stanford will beat 14 Cornell

10 Saint Mary's will beat 7 Miami

2 Texas will beat 15 Austin Peay

West Region:

1 UCLA will beat 16 Miss. Valley St.

8 BYU will beat 9 Texas A&M

5 Drake will beat 12 W. Kentucky

4 Connecticut will beat 13 San Diego

6 Purdue will beat 11 Baylor

3 Xavier will beat 14 Georgia

10 Arizona will beat 7 West Virginia

2 Duke will beat 15 Belmont

Second Round:

East Region:

1 North Carolina will beat 8 Indiana

5 Notre Dame will beat 4 Washington St.

3 Louisville will beat 11 Saint Joe's

7 Butler will beat 2 Tennessee

Midwest Region:

1 Kansas will beat 8 UNLV

4 Vanderbilt will beat 5 Clemson

3 Wisconsin will beat 6 USC

2 Georgetown will beat 10 Davidson

South Region:

1 Memphis will beat 9 Oregon

4 Pittsburgh will beat 12 Temple

3 Stanford will beat 6 Marquette

2 Texas will beat 10 Saint Mary's

Sweet 16 Round:

East Region:

1 North Carolina will beat 5 Notre Dame

3 Louisville will beat 7 Butler

Midwest Region:

1 Kansas will beat 4 Vanderbilt

2 Georgetown will beat 3 Wisconsin

South Region:

1 Memphis will beat 4 Pittsburgh

2 Texas will beat 3 Stanford

West Region:

1 UCLA will beat 4 UConn.

2 Duke will beat 6 Purdue

Elite Eight Round:

East Region:

1 North Carolina will beat 3 Loisville

Midwest Region:

1 Kansas will beat 2 Georgetown

South Region:

1 Memphis will beat 2 Texas

West Region:

1 UCLA will beat 2 Duke

Final Four:

1 North Carolina will beat 1 Kansas

1 UCLA will beat 1 Memphis


1 North Carolina will beat UCLA by the score of 75-73

I know it looks like I picked all the favorites, but I didn't. One of the major upsets in the tournament will be No. 2 seed Tennessee losing to No. 7 seed Butler. I did pick the Final Four to be all number ones, which has never happened. I looked at the metchups and just thought they could pull it out. I be watching these games 24/7.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Philly Lands Soccer Team

The MLS announced last week that the new expansion team will be awarded to Philadelphia. It was between St. Louis and Philly but after Philly got the funds for a stadium, it was a one city race. The stadium, on the Chester waterfront, will be finished in 2010 and that's is when the team will start competing with other Major League Soccer teams. The team has not been named yet (but it figures to be the "Liberty" or Philly "Freedom").

It seems like their will be many fans at the stadium in the debut year (there have already been thousands who have reserved season tickets). But will the fans stay? That is the question. I think it really depends on how the team plays. Philly fans care about how their team does and that's about all. If the team plays well, they should be able to fill the stadium. The team should also play and exciting form of soccer (their are plenty of boring ways of playing soccer). Historically, expansion teams haven't done well at all (like the Tampa Bay Rays and the Houston Texans).

I really hope the team does well and attracts fans. The team will sellout the first couple of years, but will they be able to hold that up. Soccer is one of the best sports to watch when played effectively. Let's hope they play effectively.

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Eagles Sign Samuel

The Eagles locked up one of the top free agents of the year with their signing of Asante Samuel. One of the best defensive backs, Samuel will help a Eagles team that had only eleven interceptions. Samuel had six interceptions last year and ten the year before that. Samuel will be the starting left cornerback, opposite Sheldon Brown. The Eagles will give Samuel 57 million dollars over the next six years with twenty million guaranteed.

I think this was a good move made by the Eagles. Samuel has been called a difference-maker and will greatly improve this Eagles defense. He is called a "pick magnet" by his agent and if he continues his great interception totals, then he will really help the Eagles out.

The Eagles now have three quality corners (Samuel, Sheldon Brown, and Lito Sheppard). Sheppard seems to be the odd man out because he is the starting left cornerback. Sheppard, a two-time Pro Bowler, has been hampered by injuries the last two seasons. If the Eagles don't move him or Brown to another defensive position (like safety), he will likely be on a different team at the start of next season. It would be a good move to switch Brown to strong safety and let Sheppard and Samuel play cornerback. That is not likely to happen, however. The Eagles could consider trading Sheppard for a wide receiver. There was a rumor going around that coach Andy Reid let Sheppard seek out a trade, but that was denied by Reid. Trading Sheppard may be a good move, seeing that many teams would value a solid corner like Sheppard.

So the Eagles have made their first significant move of the offseason, and I think it is a good one.