1. The overrating of mid-major college basketball teams has gotten a little ridiculous. That Joe Lunardi would have New Mexico as a 3 seed and Maryland as a 6 speaks volumes about the way the selection committee has endorsed the idea that annual upsets are good for the sport. Lunardi is simply predicting what the committee will do. I get it, but I’m not sure I agree with it.
As far as the NCAA is concerned, it’s absolutely inconsistent with their football championship.
2. If Cesar Izturis bats second this season with any regularity, the Orioles are in a heap of trouble. Current injuries notwithstanding, here’s the lineup I think we’ll see day in- day out. I’m not sold on Reimold in left or Scott DHingat 6. Wigginton may find some at bats by default this year.
1) Roberts 2B (S)
2) Markakis RF (L)
3) Jones CF (R)
4) Atkins 1B (L)
5) Tejada 3B (R)
6) Scott DH (L)
7) Wieters C (S)
Reimold LF (R)
9) Izturis SS (S)
3. Derek Anderson’s animosity might not be such a bad thing to have on the Ravens’ bench. Half the city chastised the Ravens for letting him go, so why not bring him back. Let him fight for the two slot and spill Mangini’s playbook in the meantime? Not that we had any trouble with the Browns this year, but one team’s loss can always be another’s gain.
4. I’ve watched a lot of college basketball this year, and this I know for sure: Jay Bilas uses the term ‘ball screen’ way too much. It’s downright annoying.
5. Matt Wieters looks way better wearing #32 than Jamie Walker ever did. I’m excited to get my SI in the mail tomorrow, and I’m really excited about this kid’s potential. Let’s hope he doesn’t disappoint.
6. The World Cup is going to be really good. A deep run by the U.S. (by deep I mean making it out of group) would get a little buzz going about soccer in this country and perhaps boost the status of the MLS, a league I think is on the verge of being very relevant.
7. Gary Williams received an award I think he richly deserved in Coach of the Year in the ACC. I truly believe he gets the most out of the guys he lures to College Park. Imagine if he lured better guys. Nonetheless, you can’t help but excited about the prospects for this team this weekend in Greensboro and beyond. He has three seniors that SHOULD be able to find a way to win a couple of games.
8. Harold Reynolds is by far the best baseball analyst in the business. ESPN would serve themselves well to swallow their pride, make amends, and offer the guy Joe Morgan’s job on Sunday nights starting in 2011. Let’s face it, Morgan’s commentary is tired, erratic, and downright mind-numbing. Reynolds would bring a lot to the table for in-game analysis.
9. The WGC at Doral this week should have some interesting storylines. It might be worth a channel flip from the action in Greensboro. The big names (less one) are in Miami to tackle the Blue Monster and are looking to post a big dollar and a big momentum win as the Tour starts to shift focus toward Augusta in four weeks. I suspect Phil Mickelson takes full advantage of Tiger’s absence this week and goes low- maybe -15. It should be enough to win and give Brandel Chamblee, Frank Nobilo, et al a lot to talk about.
10. Thinking out loud now: Maryland’s road to the Elite Eight might be made easier by losing on Friday night in Greensboro. If they’re a six seed now, they’d probably stay a six if they lose Friday. If they somehow advance to the finals on Sunday and win, I suspect they might get a three seed. They would be 26-7 and the undisputed champion of the ACC. Tough to put them outside the top 12 at that point. So I would submit that if they win on Friday, they better win the ACC Tournament. Otherwise, they’re going to get a 4 or a 5 seed and have to face a 1 seed too early. If they’re a 6, they would have to beat an 11, a 3, and a 2 to get to the Eight. If they’re a 5, they have to beat a 12, a 4, and a 1. I’ll take the former over the latter. That being said, running the table would be sweetest of all.