It’s a Happy Friday for me because it’s a big weekend. I think I might check out Carmelo Anthony against the Wizards tonight (not because I give even a HALF a crap about the Washington team, but because I love all things Baltimore-and ‘Melo is Baltimore); I’ll definitely be at the Maryland-Georgia Tech game tomorrow afternoon, and I’ll either be at John Mayer tomorrow night at Verizon Center or I’ll be checking out Minotauro Nogueira vs. Cain Velasquez at UFC 110.
And while part of the reason I’m excited about UFC 110 is because I got to know Velasquez a bit when I was working out in Phoenix (he wrestled at Arizona State), but also because I am a BIG fan of Octagon Girl Arianny Celeste (thanks to NextRound.net/UFC Magazine)…
I wonder if she’s Team Lysacek or Team Plushenko?
Let’s see what everyone has to say….
1. Georgia Tech Official Site previews tomorrow’s trip to College Park to face Terps
Georgia Tech is the type of team that Maryland SHOULD be able to have success with. While they’ll be tough inside with Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal (similar to how Duke was tough inside a week ago), but they just don’t have the guard play and shooters to carry them on long scoring runs that finish off the Terps. In fact, if Maryland is able to get up by 8-12 points, I think it will probably be ballgame.
Of course, Paul Hewitt is a MUCH better coach than some in the ACC (specifically Sidney Lowe and Dino Gaudio; he’s also a MUCH better in-game coach than Roy Williams), so the Wreck will make the adjustments they need to compete.
My call? 80-74 Terrapins.
2. D1scourse’s Patrick Stevens thinks Terps need 3 more wins to feel ‘really safe’ on Selection Sunday
I think we’re discussing semantics here. I’ve maintained that Maryland will get in the NCAA Tournament if they go 10-6 in conference play (and 9-7 if the other win comes against the Blue Devils). However, if they want to feel SAFE, getting another win would be helpful; especially considering that the committee won’t even look at their win over Division II Chaminade out in Maui.
But they’ll get in at 10-6. With the Pac 10 likely being a 1 bid league this year and other leagues not being as deep as most years, the committee won’t be able to turn down a 10 win ACC team. Also, to get to 10 conference wins, they’ll have to beat Georgia Tech, Virginia Tech, Clemson or Duke-any of which would be a better win than their best two currently (the Florida State sweep).
3. Murray State Official Site previews tomorrow’s ESPN BracketBusters showdown with Morgan State on ESPNU
This is a REALLY tough task for Todd Bozeman’s Bears. The Racers are 25-3 on the season, they’re perfect at home in front of the Regional Special Events Center crowd; they’ve won 16 in a row, and their only losses are to Western Kentucky, Louisiana Tech and a 5 point loss to Cal. They’re good. My guess is that they’ll beat Morgan State. But Reggie Holmes and company have surprised me before (even though both Drew Forrester and I picked them to win at Arkansas).
All of this being said, I think it’s fine time that a local sports hero had a University named after him….
4. LaxPower previews Johns Hopkins’ lacrosse opener tonight vs. Manhattan at Homewood Field
I love this idea. A 5pm start against the Jaspers, then a night out on the town. In fact, if you were looking for a cheap date tonight, I’d suggest taking a gal over to the Walters Art Museum around 3:30, then going to see the Blue Jays open their season with a win, and adding dinner (wish the Spice Company was still open) after the game. I’m starting to question whether or not my decision to see the Wiz and Nuggets tonight was a good idea after all.
For the record, Dave Pietramala’s Jays SHOULDN’T struggle tonight at all. That being said, Duke shouldn’t have struggled with Bucknell last week either.
5. The Sun’s Mike Preston says Loyola, UMBC will need strong 1st quarters in tomorrow’s lacrosse openers against Navy, Delaware respectively
I think the Retrievers have a really good chance to beat the Blue Hens and open the season 1-0. I’m not sure if I feel the same way for the Greyhounds against Navy. The Midshipmen remain a tough defensive squad under Richie Meade, and while the Hounds will likely have more success than the 5 goals VMI scored in Annapolis last week; it won’t be easy.
The real shame is that somehow this is the first time the Mids and Hounds have met since 1993. Good for Coach Meade and Charley Toomey for getting these teams back together.
6. The Diamondback’s Kate Yanchulis previews Maryland’s lacrosse opener at Belarmine tomorrow
Did you know that lacrosse was played in Louisville, Kentucky? Neither did I!
This season begins very similarly to last season for Dave Cottle’s team. They have plenty of talent, and they have to translate it into victories. They were able to save some face by beating Notre Dame in the first round of the Tournament last year, but they were a team with Final Four talent. They’re plenty talented again this year, and they’re back inside Byrd Stadium, which should allow them to get a bit more comfortable.
The talent in College Park starts with attackman Will Yeatman, a monster of a man who should be an offensive superstar. But he’s not the only one, and it is Dave Cottle’s responsibility to make the unit work cohesively.
7. Stevenson Official Site says season opener at Widener pushed back to Sunday, moved to Eastern University due to lingering blizzard effects
Does this have any impact on the Mustangs? I don’t think so. BUT, the weather (at least temperature wise) will effect every lacrosse team that plays this weekend, as having cold fields will change the way the ball bounces for sure.
The ‘Stangs shouldn’t have much of an issue in their opener, but sometimes less talented teams can win games in weird situations. This might be a weird situation Sunday.
8. Ravens Official Site’s Mike Duffy says Derrick Mason will only return to Baltimore if he gets 2 year deal
Derrick Mason has EVERY RIGHT to look at Ozzie Newsome, Eric DeCosta and John Harbaugh and say “I’m not Patrick Johnson. I’m not a scrub. You HAVE to show me some respect.”
And on the flip side, the Ravens brass has every right to either say “okay, no problem; we want you here” or “sorry, we just can’t do it.”
My guess will still be that he ends up coming back.
9. ProFootballTalk.com/NBC Sports’ Mike Florio mocks Florida DE Carlos Dunlap to Ravens
What an interesting mock this is. This is the first (legitimate) NFL source that has mocked Dunlap to the Ravens, and there’s no doubt he’d be a hell of a talent. Given his personal issues, I don’t think he’d be a guy the Ravens would take-but they just signed a player in Donte’ Stallworth after a DUI manslaughter.
It will be interesting to see how Dunlap’s personal troubles affect where he ends up in the NFL Draft. My guess? He slides into the second round.
But he’s intriguing, no doubt about that.
10. MLB.com’s Brittany Ghiroli says Orioles 2B Brian Roberts expects to be ready for Spring Training next week after battling back spasms
What a weird story. ESPN.com’s Buter Olney reported B-Rob had kidney stones? Then Dave Trembley said “no, I think it’s back spasms”?
I’m not sure there isn’t a level of truth somewhere in between. If Roberts is ready to go in Sarasota next week, I guess this isn’t an issue. But it sure seems strange.
11. USA Today’s Michael McCarthy says Michael Phelps signs endorsement deal with Under Armour
The ONLY thing I could think when I heard this was “What took so long?” I would have assumed Kevin Plank would have sunk his teeth into a sports star like Phelps from Charm City some time ago.
If he’s smart, Plank will gobble up Amanda Beard next….
12. The Sun’s Glenn Graham previews Blast’s matchup with Monterrey La Raza tonight at 1st Mariner Arena
This is pretty close to “must win” for the Blast, who are mired in a really troubling losing streak.
And finally, I leave you with this.
I have a new clubhouse leader for “Best Song of the Decade.” It’s “In My Head” by Jason DeRulo….
Flexing my mic muscles since 1983….